Paracord Speed Laces

Introduction: Paracord Speed Laces

I'm a Bio-medical researcher stationed in Chicago. Graduate of Loyola University (Chicago) class ...
I was getting tired of having to take off my gloves to change from cross-country ski boots to hiking boots. Temperatures were in the negative teens and taking off gloves was asking for frostbite. So, I thought that there must be a better way to lace boots so that they can simply be hooked on. Using a 2:1 block and tackle-like system I got the boots reasonably tight without having to pull hard at all. I came up with this simple method that I've been using to great success all winter.

What you need:
  • Shoes to re-lace
  • Gutted paracord
  • an ignition source

Step 1: Lace Up

So the first step is pretty simple. Cut off a working length about the length of your original shoelace. a longer working length might be a good idea. 1.2X the original shoelace length is probably a good place to start.

gutting paracord just involves pulling all that fuzzy stuff out of the casing and giving it to the cat. I didn't gut mine and regretted it. 15mil cord is too big to fit into the hooks of my boots.

After that, fuse your ends so they don't fray. Bonus points are given for fuses that are slightly larger than the body of the cord as these will keep the knots from coming accidentally untied.

Next, tie a bowline in one end of your working length with a nice small loop. a smaller loop looks cleaner and will allow you more range in how loose/tight your boots can be.

For how to tie a bowline, these guides are fantastic:
http://www.animatedknots.com/bowline/

Lace starting at the topmost loop on the outside of the boot and continue to lace the rest of the loops normally.

Step 2: Taught-line Hitch and Hooking

so, after you lace all of the boot's loops you'll pass through the bowline itself (pictured). You are now ready to tie a taught-line hitch

a taught-line hitch is a great knot to know. as a Boyscout, it's the third you (I) learn(ed). the reason it's so good is because it can be slid to adjust tension in a line which is an invaluable property in pitching tents and suspending tarps. To tie the taught line, pull your line as tight as you want it, hook it on the hooks and tie your taught line hitch half way between the two topmost hooks.

For how to tie a taught-line hitch:
http://www.animatedscoutknots.com/tautline_hitch.html

to adjust tension, slide the knot up or down the line.

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    Discussions

    With my type of boot it doesn't work with a taught-line. The taught-line only works if the boots have loops going all the way to the top.