How to Relace Sperrys

Written by thom roberts
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How to Relace Sperrys
Sperry's leather laces and around-the-ankle design provide security but make relacing difficult. (chaussures usées sur damier image by Boris Legrand from

Other than taking your well-worn Sperrys into a local cobbler, there are a few successful methods for relacing your boat shoes. Many finer footwear stores sell relacing kits, but if you're away for the weekend or don't have access to a fancy shoe shop, you can try more ingenious methods for replacing a worn lace.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Replacement laces
  • Speciality threading lace
  • Floss or sturdy metal wire
  • Spare narrow shoe lace
  • Small screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Superglue

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  1. 1

    Buy a leather shoelace kit from a local full-service shoe retailer. You may also find one at hiking and outdoor speciality shops. The leather laces will come with a boondoggle-style lace with a metal wire in the centre of it.

  2. 2

    To fashion a relacing kit yourself, pierce a sturdy metal wire through the broken end of a spare narrow shoelace. Wind the metal wire tightly around the shoe's original lace carefully so that it doesn't snap off while you are pulling it through each eyelet.

  3. 3

    Use a small screwdriver to help lift the eyelet, so the thread can easily pass through. Be careful not to catch the wire, as it may then come undone.

  4. 4

    Clip off the wire and use your new laces. If you made your own rather than buying a kit, allow for an extra few inches of lace, and just trim the ends so that they are clean and unmarked from the wire.

  1. 1

    The leather lace that loops around your ankle is designed to keep the Sperry snug on your foot even if you end up in the water. You can separate the ankle loop from the laced fronts easily. This will keep you from having to thread the lace through the six difficult eyelets around the ankle.

  2. 2

    Cut the shoelace where it completes the ankle loop, leaving approximately a half-inch extra. Make sure that the excess part of the ankle loop is long enough to be tucked in behind the flap of leather along the front laces of the shoe. Dab a bead of superglue on the lace, and tuck it in behind the flap. Repeat on the other side of the loop.

  3. 3

    Thread a fresh leather lace through the three or four sets of eyelets along the front of the shoe. Keep the extra length to one side of the shoelace.

  4. 4

    Clip the extra length of leather so the two shoelaces are even. You can wet some of the extra length of leather and loop it around itself like a spring. This will give the ends of your laces a professional-looking finish once you let them dry in place.

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