So I have a friend. Well, She is really my daughter’s friend, but I think of her as my friend too. Most Fridays, we get together with her mother and her to celebrate the end of the week. We order pizza for the girls. Sometimes we watch Modern Family. Feta and salad and copious amounts of wine are always involved (for the adults of course- the girls get spritzers).
One of these Fridays when they were getting ready to leave, I noticed that Leela did not tie up her boots.
Me- Leela, your boots are unlaced. (Thinking I was being helpful)
Leela- I know. (No move to correct the situation)
Me- Leela, you are going to trip (Astonished that she would want to walk around without her shoes untied. But then again, boys go around with their pants around the sac of their butts so why should I be surprised?)
Leela- No I won’t. (serene in her complete illogic)
Me- Leela, why have shoelaces if not tie them up? ( completely exasperated)
Leela- I think shoe laces are stupid.
Me- Really? Can you back that up? I want an essay on the topic of shoelaces by Monday. (joking)
Leela- Okay. (still with that stoic youthful stare).
Well, it wasn’t in my inbox on that Monday, but it sure as heck was in my inbox yesterday morning (only about 6 months late, but who’s counting).
So this week, we have a special guest blogger, my almost-thirteen year old friend Miss Leela will now tell you why shoe laces suck.
The Case Against Shoelaces
Shoelaces were created to add comfort to footwear. They were intended to provide a more enjoyable walking experience. Nowadays, however, shoelaces have become more of a hassle than anything else, what with having to tie them. Leaving them untied often leads to adults’ scolding. In this report, I will discuss the benefits of keeping your shoelaces open, and the negative effects that tying them can bring.
First of all, most adults would say that walking with untied shoelaces is a safety hazard. This is completely ridiculous, seeing as you can just take particularly wide steps to avoid tripping. If you are in a situation where you need to run, you can, again, take wide steps. This actually makes you go faster and will help you get to where you need to be without being late. Besides, the chances of tripping are very low. Everyday, you probably see dozens of people with untied shoes or boots. But how many of those people do you see trip? Very few. And how many do you see hurt themselves? Even less.
In fact, sometimes tying your shoes can be much more dangerous than leaving them open. One of the things that I personally dread most is when my mother tells me to tie my shoes before taking an escalator in the metro station. What she doesn’t realize is how silly it is for her to think of this as protecting me from danger. It’s true that taking an escalator with tied shoes may mean that there are less chances of your laces getting stuck, but it increases the chances of you losing your foot in the rare case that this should happen by a lot. The worst thing that could happen if the lace of an untied shoe were to get caught on an escalator is that you end up having to take off your shoe and leave it there, and spend the rest of your time out half-barefooted. However, if this same thing were to happen with tied shoes, then you would not be able to take off your shoe, would end up in the hospital, and have to spend the rest of your life half-footless.
Despite this valid argument, my mother tends to have the last word when it comes to the escalator. And I know for a fact that my situation is not unique. Many parents will stubbornly forbid the children from using the escalator with untied laces. The nature of kids tends to encourage them to stubbornly refuse their parents’ orders to tie their shoes and take the stairs. One may choose to see rebellion against parents as a negative thing, but one cannot deny that bonus exercise acquired by taking the stairs is only a good thing. In a culture where children spend more time in front of a screen than playing outside, extra exercise is crucial to their proper development. Leaving their shoelaces open indirectly lets a child get just that.
Lack of exercise is not the only negative thing that tying your shoes can bring. It can also indirectly cause back pains. Having to bend down frequently to tie, retie, or untie shoelaces can have negative affects on a child’s dorsal comfort, whereas leaving them open, ignoring them all day and then comfortably kicking them off and saving time after school has no contributions to their health situation. Today’s children (for the most part) suffer from enough physical discomfort due to lugging excruciatingly heavy backpacks with them as they commute to school every day. They certainly do not need the added pain caused by constantly bending over.
Finally, parents constantly telling their children to tie their shoes when they clearly don’t have to can be very stressful for the kids. A student’s life is stressful enough, what with all the work they get from school and extracurriculars, as well as all the regular stress that comes with growing up. Being constantly reminded of yet another task that they have to complete (tying their shoes) would make being a kid almost too much to bear.
Tying shoelaces is certainly not all that it’s cracked up to be. It can make riding an escalator much more dangerous than leaving them untied, will get you where you need to go a lot slower, can decrease time spent exercising, can increase back pains, and can add to stress. Overall, tying your shoes is a pain and a waste of time and definitely not worth all of that just to lower your chances of tripping.
2 thoughts on “The Case Against Shoe Laces”
While I disagree with some of your argument (as a mother, I live in horror of escalators and untied laces!), I really enjoyed this well-written essay.
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I'm not sure I'll begin to wear my shoes untied–ignoring the risk of losing my foot on an escalator–but I give Leela full points for understanding how to structure an argument.
And now I know why I suffer from dorsal discomfort.