A Shoelace Alternative to Remake Your Sneakers

By Olivia O'Mahony 6 Min Read

What do Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Jessica Alba all have in common? More than a couple of things, actually, so I’ll clue you in on the particular similarity in question here: all four of these iconic women are fans of Hickies, a new kind of shoelace developed from high-tech elastic that’s switching up the way sneakers are worn by people of all ages, genders, and lifestyles. You might assume it’s because they have more important things to do with their time than worrying about unravelled laces. To that, I say you might be on to something.

The Hickies Lacing System

The idea of a no-laces-necessary approach to sneakers is one that, for me, gets more exciting the longer I sit with it. Never having to risk falling flat on my face while on a morning run or, more commonly, sprinting for the bus again? You had me at hello. Once Hickies are fastened to a pair of shoes (they work with any kind of footwear, so long as they have eyelets) they are ready to go forever, with their modular design giving the wearer ability to use different lacing styles on the same shoe based on desired tightness and fashion preferences. Hickies come in a whole rainbow of colors – everything from ivories and lavenders to electric blue, neon pink, and multicolor options – and, to maximize personalization, the brand’s website even provides a series of videos to advise Hickies fans on the right lacing method for their lifestyle.

And if you’re thinking that a set of Hickies would be the perfect gift for the child in your life who would rather run than walk, you couldn’t have it any more right: Hickies Kids are made for children ages four to eight. Softer than the brand’s other variations (Kids Hickies use a thermoplastic elastomer blend, as opposed to the pure kind, as used by the adult Hickies line), they are easy to fasten, shorter in length to fit smaller feet, and just plain fun to look at. Younger Hickies wearers can also avail of Doohickies, an array of customizable shoe charms that clasp onto Hickies laces. They can be jazzed up with everything from glue, to markers, to googly eyes, to glitter. It’s almost enough to make you wish you were six again…

But Hickies provides the grown-ups with plenty of opportunity to glitz their sneakers up, too. The brand have teamed up with the internationally-renowned Swarovski crystal company to design what they call "the ultimate statement accessory" – and they’re not wrong. With custom Swarovski crystals embedded in each clasp, this particular line of Hickies (which go for $60 a pop) can bring a touch of glamor to any spin class.

How, you ask, did a concept for the eradication of the traditional shoelace snowball into a brand successful enough to partner with a gemstone giant? The answer lies in the hard work of Hickies founder Gaston Frydlewski, who, growing up in Argentina, was that one kid we all knew who never tied his shoes. At just 22, he tried to fund his dream project – and was shot down over and over again.

“I had this in my system, and I just needed to make it happen or get it out of my system,” Frydlewski told Forbes. “I was a little obsessed with the idea. It was such an obvious opportunity I just couldn’t get it out of my mind, and I didn’t want to have a what-if in my mind the rest of my life.” Determination won out. Frydlewski, now 35, has sold over 2 million pairs of Hickies in 45 countries.

The Hickies lacing system is one size fits all, with each lace measuring 115mm long. Each pack (which, for the non-jewel-encrusted variation, costs roughly $16) contains 14 laces, more than enough for any pair of shoes. The thermoplastic elastomer material is entirely free of latex and toxic materials (so you never have to worry about the health of a family pet with a shoe-nibbling problem) and are completely snap-resistant to boot (no pun intended).

Excited? Then don’t hesitate. At this relatively early stage in the undoubtedly long life of Hickies, the company is offering free $1 U.S. shipping on any two-plus pack purchase, as well as buy three, get one free and buy four, get two free deals. Yes. Seriously. No trippin’.

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