I have a pair of shoes for mountain biking that are about to fall apart. I’ve replaced the cleats, so they still grip well, but the Velcro straps were about to fall off. These shoes are around 5 years old, so I may buy another pair anyway, but before purchasing new ones, I decided to see if they could be converted to use laces.
I’d never worked grommets before, but Amazon has a Grommet Kit for around $10 that has everything you need besides a hammer to get started. The idea was to put holes into the side without the Velcro loops and use grommets to reinforce them when laces were attached. The original loops would then be used to loop laces through on that side. I could (and may eventually) do both sides, but that would be more work. We’ll see how this works.
As seen in the pictures below, all you really have to do is find a strong point in your shoes and pierce it with the included punch. This can take quite a bit of effort, and the bottom holes were made with a 1/4 inch drill bit and cleaned up with a box cutter because I couldn’t easily get to it with the hole cutting punch. Once this is done, the grommets are attached by hammering them with the included inserting punch. As shown, the shoes are laced up with purple cord because that’s what I had available. Maybe true laces will go onto them eventually.
After doing a quick ride with the shoes today, they actually did really well. I tied a bow with two loops, so maybe that helped. Oh, and the bloody thumb… Seriously keep your eye on the punch when you’re hammering everything. It takes quite a bit of work to punch through some shoes (mine apparently). I put on a glove after I did this! I’m not sure for what or if I will use these grommets again, but like the awl that I recently purchased, you never know when you will need something like this for a project!