Zubits Magnetic ShoelacesDecember 04, 2014
If you have kids or have been in close proximity to children, you've probably noticed that many of their shoes have Velcro straps instead of laces. There's a reason for that. Shoelaces can be a huge nuisance for little ones. Even on adult shoes, shoelaces can be a pain. Zubits thinks their magnetic shoe closures create a smarter and simpler alternative for both kids and adults.
Zubits magnetic shoelaces are magnetic clasps that are designed to work with normal laced shoes and they replace the need to tie and untie shoelaces. Simply step into the shoe with Zubits and snap the clasps together. Zubits will securely hold the shoes on your feet until you choose to step out of them.
Zubits replaces the bows and knots of shoelaces. They are installed by unlacing the top three rows of laces and then lacing the Zubits magnets into these rows. Once the shoelace tension is adjusted properly, the excess shoelace can be cut off. From that point forward, you won't have to tie laces again.
Although it seems hard to believe that the Zubits magnets would be strong enough to keep shoes on feet during stressful athletic activities, demo videos show otherwise. People are shown running, jumping, stopping quickly and the Zubits never pop open.
One would think that almost any type of athletic stress on the shoe would pop the closures open, but, counterintuitively, as it turns out, the magnets only need to keep the shoes on your feet and most activities just don't exhibit an amount of pressure on the shoes beyond what the magnets can hold. Yet, the magnetic closures can be opened by simply stepping on the back of the shoe to hold it down and stepping out of the shoe. The magnets instantly split apart.
While Zubits seem to work with almost all shoes, there are a few shoes that may not be compatible. Testing shows that shoes with hard soles (think athletic cleats or some types of boots) may not work. Due to the inflexible soles, these shoes seem to transfer more pressure to the lace area of the shoe. Loosening laces on these type of shoes may work, but individual testing would be required to determine if this works for your particular type of shoe.
Zubits magnetic closures are designed with a number of interesting features. The magnets are designed to be much stronger than normal neodymium magnets alone and unlike ceramic magnets, they won't lose their magnetism over time. The magnets are also enclosed in a plastic casing to protect them and this also helps reduce any external magnetism, so they shouldn't try to attach themselves to nearby metal objects.
The magnetic closures come in four different sizes (the larger the size, the stronger the clasping power). They also come in several colors (black, gray, white, brown, blue and pink). The sizes and colors make it easier to match shoe color so that the closures either blend in or stand out (your choice).
While Zubits closures obviously make "tying" shoelaces literally "a snap" for kids and adults, there are beneficial uses for those people that may have difficulties manipulating shoelaces. For example, people with arthritis or other finger or hand impairments may find that Zubits simplifies shoe use immensely. Not only is it easier to "tie" or "untie" the shoe, but because the top three rows of laces are replaced by the Zubits, this allows the shoe mouth to open much larger, making it much easier to step into the shoe or remove it from the foot.
Zubits currently can be pre-ordered for $20/pair and they should last a lifetime.
Image Credit: Zubits