Saturday, April 13, 2024

Review: Caterpy Laces - Update

Caterpy Laces in my Shinao XC-500 shoes.
 Note: the Caterpy Laces were sent out for test and review to Guitar Ted Productions at no charge. I am not being paid, nor bribed, for this review and I will always strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

The Caterpy Laces have been in use for a couple of weeks now so I thought I would pop in and give my first impressions of how they are doing in my shoes. In case you missed it, the introduction to these laces and this review can be read HERE

After I installed the laces in my shoes I heard back from my contact for Caterpy Laces and he shared with me how he treats these laces if they are too long for the shoes you are trying to use them in. He suggested cutting them to length, once you are satisfied with their use in your particular shoes, and then "healing" the cut ends with a lighter, as you might do with a tent rope made out of Nylon, as an example. I decided that as I have the laces set up, that this would not be necessary, but that is an option if you get these and want to shorten them up a bit. 

As you can see from my image above, the Caterpy Laces in the Short size were perfect These are the 20" length laces. You can see that just the ends are exposed past the uppers, which is fine for cycling. Those bits are very unlikely to get caught up in the whirling machinery. The longer, "Standard" length laces I installed in my Chrome street shoes are 30" long. That was a bit too long for those shoes, however; I just stick the loose ends under the laces as they pass over the shoe's tongue and I am okay with that.  

Riding Performance: The most important thing here is how the Caterpy Laces work for riding. I still am in the process of figuring this all out, but I have ridden enough times with these laces to have an initial impression.

First of all, I've never had these particular shoes fit my foot as well as they do now. The Caterpy Laces draw the sides of the shoe up against my foot with even pressure and quite snugly, as if I had the shoes formed to my foot. This is remarkable, to me at least, because I have a very narrow foot, and I have never had shoes fit me "right" due to that. 

No BOA system, no straps, ratchets, or lace-up shoes have ever fit my foot with the sort of support I am getting from the addition of the Caterpy Laces. This translates to the bike as a shoe that seems 'more at one' with my foot. No sloppy, wasted micro-shifting of my foot around in the shoe, as I am quite used to having to put up with all these years. 

This feeling actually translates over to the Chrome shoes I am using daily for everyday living and bicycle commuting, errands, and goofing off on the bike. The extra lace ends on the longer Caterpy Laces in the Chrome shoes also allow me to adjust the tension to my feet in different areas by pulling through the "bumps" in the laces to make a certain area feel tighter or by passing a bump through the other way through an eyelet to lessen pressure. It is a pretty enlightening experience for me. Having shoes that actually fit my weird foot is a very new thing. 

This makes riding in the Chrome shoes even better since the shoe is, once again, not moving around in a way that detracts from my cycling experience. If I had traditional laces I would have had to have the shoe tied on so tightly that my foot would start to tingle or feel pain to get the same cycling related results as I am getting with the Caterpy Laces.  

So Far... The Caterpy Laces are definitely worth doing more riding with and they have made life easier just from the standpoint of basically turning both pairs of the shoes I am using the laces with into slip-on shoes. 

The Shimano cycling shoes are a bit more difficult to 'slip-on', and the tongue always needs a tug to sit right, but that is a function of the design of the XC-500's and my unusually narrow forefoot which kind of binds the not-very-slippery uppers material in a way that causes that issue. That is not a ding on the Caterpy Laces. 

Okay, with that I will get back to some riding. I will try to get in a couple multi-hour rides in to really test these laces out and then I will be back with a final review.

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