Trail And Ultra Running MENU

Hoka Zinal Review

April 28, 2024 Comments (0) Featured, Gear Reviews

Caterpy No-Tie Shoelaces


I’ve seen Caterpy laces for quite a while now and was interested in their application in the running world. However, they always seemed a bit gimmicky to me, like they were the shoelace version of the running trucker hat – stylish and fun, but not functionally comparable to actual running hats. When they approached me about doing a review I was intrigued as I was now able to put my interest to the test. I fitted laces to a pair or Altra Lone Peak running shoes, as well as a pair of Vans Ultrarange activewear shoes (lifestyle test). My testing of the laces was conducted with approximately 5 runs ranging from 5 to 10 miles. My lifestyle test has been conducted wearing the Vans shoes around town and on a personal trip to Massachusetts to visit family, which required a lot of walking.


The gang at Caterpy was kind enough to understand the physical function of a running shoe and send along the appropriate length of laces. That said, once laced in the shoe I initially thought they ran a little long, so I trimmed them. This turned out to be a mistake. What I had actually done was pull the laces too tight, which restricted my foot and didn’t leave enough to loosen them to a comfortable length.

PRO-TIP: Lace your shoes, leaving them looser than you might think. Wear them around for a bit, dialing in the tension to where you know you want it, then trim as needed.

The end result of my test is that the laces don’t need to be trimmed, at all, and here is why. If you lace your shoes as normal and stop at the last normal crossing of laces, there will be a gap across the top of the laces where you’d normally tie a bow. Instead, cross the laces back over the top and put the remainder through the last hole again. Not only will this secure the shoe at its highest point, but it will doubly secure the laces (which isn’t needed, but we runners love it in case of a snag) because there are now two strands going through a single eyelit.

Notice the cross-lacing at the top to add tightness.


Expectations: I assumed that the laces would loosen over the course of a run due to the repetitive nature of flexing the foot forward. I also assumed the flexibility of the laces wouldn’t keep the shoe tight enough on my feet, especially when running technical downhill trails.

Reality: This was in no way the case, at any point. Due to an innovative rubber core housed inside of a flexible nylon sheath, with nodules every half inch or so, the laces flex enough to stretch with the movement of the foot while still holding in place thanks to the nodules. On technical terrain, they held firm to the shoe yet didn’t put undue pressure on my feet.

Getting in and out of the shoes is also much easier than I would have expected. The laces flex enough that you can slide your foot into the shoe without having to loosen the laces more than one nodule. A simple pull on each end and they are tight enough again. Imagine switching shoes in an ultra when the simple act of having to untie and tie your shoes seems like more effort than you can give.

For my lifestyle shoes, I never even mess with loosening and tightening the laces, they have just become slip-ons. And considering how lazy I am, this is a real treat. Granted, in the image below the laces definitely don’t match my cool shoes, but I also left it to Caterpy to select the color of the laces they sent, my only suggestion being, “the crazier the better”.


Traditional laces, when tied snuggly to the shoe often put pressure on the top of the foot, causing pain, especially after several hours into a run. Caterpy laces have no tie point, so there is no single point of pressure being added to the foot. Additionally, thanks to the flexibility throughout, the laces move and flex with your foot as you walk or run, never putting more pressure on the foot than necessary. Exception – if you pull the laces too tight they will lose the flexibility described and can cause pressure (obviously).

They are simple to loosen and tighten. They require no tying. In the first set of laces I tried, I trimmed the laces and then put an overhand knot in the end thinking they might loosen and pull through the eyelet. This was completely unnecessary. I have over 100 miles in my lifestyle shoes and 40 miles in my running shoes and the laces have never pulled loose.

I was worried initially that the laces would pull loose if they snagged on a branch or root. Turns out, when there are no bows to get caught on stuff, there is nothing to snag. I have yet to experience a single moment when the laces have loosened as a result of snagging.


I actually don’t like giving reviews where I have nothing negative to say. It makes me feel like I’m being paid to review them. I’m not, I promise. I actually just really love these laces. I plan to swap out the laces in all of my race shoes in the coming weeks, I just need to pick the right colors.

If you want to learn more about Caterpy laces or where you can buy them, click HERE.

We will be doing a number of new reviews in the coming weeks, so remember to come back soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *