Marc Fisher blogged Friday about how hard it was to find replacement shoelaces anymore. Most of his commenters suggested places that still sell the things, but a significant portion slammed him for writing about something to trivial. They hit him hard, and I bet these people never liked Seinfeld. Yet many of the shoelace haters also suggested places he could try.
You can be sure I read the entry. I find myself needing to buy replacement laces every few years — my subconscious must care deeply about a firm fit — and it always takes a couple stops to find them. When they turn up, I wonder if I’m buying the last brown pair and if they’ll ever be stocked again. Can a supermarket order just six pairs of shoelaces at a time? Or do you have to buy them in bulk with combs, shoehorns and polish?
Fisher has an interesting theory on the scarcity. While the stories last year about watches dropping off was no surprise, he guesses at a trend I wouldn’t have expected, “that laces are perhaps on their way to becoming a technology of the past. Check out the footwear on teens and folks in their 20s: We’re talking flipflops, slip-ons and, among little kids, the always-annoying Velcro.”
Maybe I don’t spend enough time looking at people’s feet, but I feel like I don’t hear Velcro very often. The slip-ons make appearances sometimes — they’re noticeable, saying something about the wearer — but I still see lots of laces. And maybe those people are like me. And maybe their shoes are like Ross, replacer of Fred. Both my shoelaces have been snapped in half for a while now, maybe a year, so I’ve reset each to run halfway up the eyeholes.
It’s very easy to write a full post about shoelaces.