Laces Out: Cheap Leather Laces Rejuvenate Canvas Shoes

Bet you never thought a $3 purchase could completely change the look of your shoes for the better. Bring those canvas shoes back to life with this simple, stylish upgrade.

Illustration of criss cross lacingMost guys have never given their shoelaces a second thought, other than when they’re untied. The idea of spending any money on replacing perfectly good laces may seem downright crazy–but hear me out.

Replacing the athletic laces that came with your shoes with a pair of leather laces is a small and cheap renovation, but it completely redefines the look of the shoes.

While not a new idea, I first ran across it here where a new pair of laces pulled some old Vans Authentics out from retirement. Immediately they transform from a plain pair of canvas athletic shoes to a pair on par with casual loafers or boat shoes.

I opted for a pair of Keds that I picked up at Gap and swapped out the boring white laces with a pair of leather laces I found at Target for $3.  One 72” lace was enough to fit both shoes. The Vans are also a classic choice, and Payless currently has a white canvas shoe that could be a great, cheap alternative.

I decided to go for the “chino” color because they’re perfect for Fall, but can also easily be a replacement for white kicks come next Spring or Summer. Getting a pair in blue or white could look great too.

Wear them sockless like a boat shoe and you’ve got a comfortable, classy and unique style suitable pretty much all year. (Keep them stink-free with these tips from Art of Manliness.)

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.