When Yankz! sent over Sure Laces to try, I couldn’t wait to try them out. But, I decided to ask a fellow runner who has been using elastic laces a lot longer than I have. I figured her extensive experience with elastic laces would provide a more valuable review than mine. I’d like to thank Bernadette for taking these out for a try and for writing this review!
I’m a long time user of elastic laces, so I was excited to be asked to do a guest review of Yankz! Sure Laces. I’ve heard a lot about these laces and really wanted to try them.
Elastic laces are great because they add a little give to your shoes to account for socks of varying thicknesses (and those days when water retention is an issue). Plus, it makes it a snap to get your shoes on/off, and the fit is always perfect. However, elastic laces are NOT going to miraculously fix a pair of ill-fitting shoes, no matter how hard you will them to do so. I knew that (really, I did!) but I still wanted to see if Yankz! would make a difference with a pair of running shoes that have been giving me problems.
I have a pair of running shoes that bruise the top of my left foot every time I wear them. They fit well otherwise, so I initially assumed it was a by-product of new shoes that would go away as they got broken in. Not the case. During the first few weeks after I bought the shoes, I used standard laces and tried several different lacing methods, like these: http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/custom-tie-your-running-shoes?page=single. None of them really helped, so I bought a new pair of running shoes and pushed these to the back of my closet. When I got the opportunity to test Yankz! laces, I unearthed them from the closet and decided to use them as my test subject with the hope that Yankz! would make them fit better.
Fitting the Yankz! in my shoes was a bit of a challenge, but the instructions printed on the package are pretty clear. You lace them starting at the top of the shoe and work your way down to the toe. Then you put on the shoes, adjust the fit, and lock down the laces by connecting the ends (at the toe) to a loop at the top of the shoe.
My next challenge – finding a place to hook my Garmin foot pod and my Road ID shoe tag (http://www.roadid.com/Common/Default.aspx). With standard laces (even elastic ones), I just slide these accessories under one of the cross laces and snap them on. It was difficult to do that with Yankz, because the adjustment loops got in the way. I managed to get my Garmin foot pod clipped on, but ended up strapping my Road ID to my wrist. (Shout out to Road ID for making their ID tags interchangeable – great idea! And thanks to my husband, too, for insisting I also get a wristband when I ordered my shoe tag.)
Time to go for a run! I headed out the door for an 8-mile run, feeling optimistic. At first, everything was great, but about 3 miles in I started to feel my left foot getting sore. I adjusted the laces and the tongue of my shoes, but the discomfort kept getting worse. After 6 miles, I gave up and limped home.
Were my expectations unrealistic? No… well, maybe a little. Yankz! didn’t fix the problem with my shoes, but that’s not their fault. The quality is comparable to the brand of elastic laces I’ve been using, and I really do think they’d be comfortable if used with the right pair of shoes. However, the reverse lacing is puzzling and adjusting the fit can be awkward. If that doesn’t bother you and you like the idea of having two adjustment points (toe and ankle), then you might want to give Yankz! a try.