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Remember those sneakers you had in high school that would light up with every step? You’re not in high school anymore, so maybe it’s time to retire those shoes for good. But aside from some sartorial swag, those light-up sneakers did serve a secondary purpose: helping you stay visible in the dark.
These days, more and more people are swapping their light-up shoes for light-up shoelaces. The best light-up shoelaces use tiny LED lights to illuminate your laces, giving you visibility say, as you go for a run or bike ride at night, and helping you stay visible to others as well. You know how some jackets or bikes have reflective panels on them so drivers can see who they’re sharing the road with? Think of these LED shoelaces as a safety measure for your feet.
Aside from their safety benefits, the best LED shoelaces are also a must-have for outdoor events and parties, adding some fun to your festival outfit and helping you stand out in the crowd. Cycle through different lighting modes like strobing or slow flashes, or set the laces to rotate through different colors. It’ll add an extra dimension to your next party as you step onto the dance floor.
The best part: the laces all come in solid colors and the lights don’t turn on until you activate them via an included battery pack and on/off switch. In other words, they look like regular laces until you decide it’s time to flip the switch… literally.
What You Need to Know About LED Shoelaces
Material: Most shoelaces are made from some type of cotton, canvas or nylon. We’ve found nylon laces to be the most durable, and most of the picks on our list are waterproof so you don’t have to worry about wearing them out in the rain.
Sizing: The largest shoelaces on our list run up to 50 inches in length, making them more than suitable for a regular pair of shoes. The longer length also makes them great for lacing up bulkier footwear, like skates, ski boots and more.
Battery Life: These LED laces are all controlled by a tiny battery pack that clips onto your shoe or onto the laces. The battery packs have an on/off button that you press to activate the lights. Keep in mind that unlike light-up shoes (whose hardware is hidden inside the shoe), with these light-up laces you’ll see a tiny battery pack on the front of your shoe. Some say it’s a little like those security tags they have at department stores.
Whether you want to stay safe on your next run, bike ride or hike, or you just want to add some fun to your festival excursion, here are some of our favorite LED shoelaces to pick up — and lace on.
1. Acmee LED Shoelaces
These nylon shoelaces lace up easily to any type of shoe, and provide an easy way for you to stay visible, whether you’re on a jog or at a party.
The laces offer three different light-up modes: fast flash, slow flash and a continuous light. The neon colors offer an additional way to stay seen. Press a small button to activate the different lighting features.
This pack gets you six pairs of laces in six colors: blue, green, pink, yellow, orange and red. There are also two traditional pair of white laces included. The included CR2032 Battery gets you up to 80 hours of use (note: it’ll get you 30 hours if you leave the laces on continuous lighting mode, but up to 80 hours on flashing mode).
PROS: Reliable lights that won’t burn out. Longest battery life on our list.
CONS: The on/off button is a little bulky.
2. Novelty Place LED Shoelaces
These waterproof laces keep the lights on no matter rain or shine.
Strap them on when you’re heading out for a jog or bike ride, or to stand out at the festival or party.
Toggle between three modes: slow flash, fast flash, and “stay on” mode, which keeps the laces lit up without any blinking. The included on/off button makes it easy to switch settings.
These LED laces last for 60-80 hours in “blink” mode or 40 hours in steady mode.
PROS: Super long length (50 inches) make these great for lacing up skates, boots, athletic shoes and larger footwear.
CONS: Set only comes with three pairs.
3. LIHAI LED Light Up Shoelaces
These LED shoelaces slip on easily and look like regular white shoelaces until you activate the LED lights. That’s when they burst into a multicolor pattern, with three different lighting modes: slow flash, quick flash, and “neon rotation mode” (where the lights circle through different colors).
The laces power on via a button cell battery (included) and the battery lasts for up to 60 hours.
At 47 inches, these are the shortest laces on our list, but that makes them ideal for children’s shoes.
PROS: Multicolor design, with three different lighting modes. The “neon rotation” mode adds color to your laces without having to deal with a strong flash or strobe-like setting.
CONS: Battery is replaceable but requires a dedicated tool kit to unscrew the battery compartment.