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When is the best time to transition between self-fastening straps and laces?

12th Dec 2019



“When should my child be transitioning from self-fastening straps to laces?”

“When is the best time to teach my kid how to tie their laces?”

These are just two of the questions we receive frequently from parents who are looking at transitioning their kids from straps to laces – whether that be by choice or due to the limited lace-less range as a child’s foot gets past a certain size. It can be a hard issue to navigate, which requires a lot of time, practice and patience, by both your child and you as a parent. With a lot of information out there, we’ve got all the details you need to help you answer this question.

Learning to tie shoelaces is an important skill, which different kids master at different times. However, just because your child can tie their laces, doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to transition from school shoes with self-fastening straps to laces.

Pablosky Sf Strap 784811
Self-fastening straps are very practical, easy to use and quick, which makes them ideal for young kids. It allows them the freedom to learn to put on their own shoes with minimal fuss (as well as a sense of accomplishment!). When going to the park, playground or even a pool, taking shoes off is usually the end outcome, with straps ensuring an easy on and off.
Clarks Daytona Yth Inj

It is ideal to start teaching your child to do their own laces with plenty of time to spare before they either grow out of self-fastening styles or school requires them to wear laces. This will ensure that there is no mad dash to quickly learn laces once the time comes when they need to wear them.

While laces are not the most practical for every child, they often provide a more secure fit and you will find that the older your child gets, the more of their friends that will be wearing laces. Some school uniform policies also request that kids wear laces from a particular age.

Shoes & Sox Lace Card
To help start this process with you and your child, we’ve got a couple of resources that can assist. In-store, we offer ‘Learn To Lace’ cards which are transportable, making them the perfect first learning tool. They may come in handy as well to colour one side of the laces using a permanent marker, making it easier to show your child how to tie laces and for them to follow any verbal instructions you provide. With technology so prevalent, you may find that your child will learn from a video, which you can watch here.


So, what’s the answer? In reality, there is no ‘perfect’ time. It depends on yours and your child’s needs and really comes down to the time that you both feel most comfortable to teach and learn this new skill. Learning to tie laces can be challenging – it requires patience and determination on both sides, and a lot of practice. Shoes & Sox is here to help you on your growth journey with tools and assistance at every step of the way.