It’s been a while, so I figured it’s time for another edition of “Oh No You Didn’t!”. In other words, I get to tell you a story about how I tried to be cheap, how it backfired on me, and how I fixed it!
Emma and Elliott take a weekly Jazz/Tap class. They have a great time dancing together!
One challenge, though, is keeping up with their growing feet! It seems a shame to invest a lot of money in brand new dance shoes, so I am always on the lookout for new pairs at thrift stores, garage sales, Facebook Marketplace, etc. Elliott has usually worn the neoprene, slip-on style of tap shoe. When he grew out of his last pair, I was unable to find an inexpensive replacement, even on eBay. So, I decided to buy him a lace-up pair.
However, this made changing shoes in the middle of class much more challenging for my mother-in-law, who sweetly takes Emma and Elliott every week. It was also frustrating for Elliott. So, I decided to try something. What if I replaced the shoe laces with elastic cord?
I was leery of using round cord, as it might not hold a knot as well as a flatter lace. A quick search on Amazon produced just what I wanted: Dritz Oval Cord Elastic! This elastic cost about $6.00, which isn’t the cheapest solution in the world. However, I got the shoes for such a screaming deal, that I decided it was worth it. *Disclaimer* I am an Amazon Associate. Any purchases made through my affiliate links gives me a small commission. I am careful to only promote products that I personally use and enjoy!
First, I removed the original laces. Then, I cut two lengths of elastic to match the length of the laces.
Next came the difficult task of threading the elastic into the tiny lace holes. It was nearly impossible, but I grabbed onto bits of the raveled ends of the elastic to start pulling the laces through the holes. Having a needle or a pin to help poke the lace ends in might have helped!
Part way through, I made sure to pass a lace through the slot in the tongue of each shoe. This would make sure that the tongue wouldn’t be loose and scrunch down when Elliott pulled on the shoes. First shoe done!
Elliott kept me company. I love that smile!
Before I went through the bother of doing the second shoe, I thought I had better have Elliott try on the first one. So, I tied the elastic laces into a double knot gave it to Elliott. Would my idea work?
Ta-da! It worked like a charm! I rushed to finish the second shoe, because Karen was almost there to pick up the kids. Originally, I thought I would be cutting and stitching the laces together, with no bow. However, I like them this way. The shoes look just like traditional, lace-up shoes…but with secret stretch power!
Karen told me that Elliott had no trouble putting them on, during class, and she sent me this photo of the happy tappers!
It’s so fun to see the kids do these activities, together. It’s even more special that they get to share dance time with their Nana. She used to be quite the dancer, too!
Well, there you have it! Now, you don’t have to pass up those pesky, lace-up (but usually cheaper) tap shoes. You’ve got a new trick up your sleeves and your kids have easy to wear tap shoes on their feet!