A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to test the ‘TACLACE’ by the same named manufacturer TacLace. Having seen this innovative little product in some of my news feeds and knowing it was designed by guys from the field. I jumped at the chance to put it through its paces.
However before we begin I would like to take you back over a decade, yes I am old. Speed to gear up has always been one of the training doctrines that has not changed for the infantry man and is a lifesaving and essential skill. To that end we were always looking at solutions to keep us ahead, some would sleep in trainers so should it head ‘south’ then they were moving. Some like me tried that as well as the ‘speed-lace’ that was simply idea, a very heavy duty zipper that was laced into your boots. This was a great time saver but fell afoul of camp rules as well as prolonged use in the field meant that the zipper had a strong chance of failure due to the fact it was a ‘zipper’. So when I heard of a time saving device for lacing up your boots I was both curious of a new innovation and conscious of the past.
When the product arrived I had enclosed both the ‘TacLace’ system as well as two different length pairs of shoelaces (that will become apparent). On the back of the Taclace card there was both a small marketing blurb as well as a ‘QR’ code and website details for a ‘how to use’ guide. Being a civilian I was quickly on the WWW and going through the various demonstration & information videos prior to moving through both a static picture as well as video tutorial on how to install the product. All of these were easy to follow and in no time I had installed both systems on to my boots for use.
Earlier I mentioned I was provided two pairs of differing length shoe laces, which was perplexing but became apparent after watching the videos. You need a minimum of 17” of shoe lace once your boots are fully fastened for the ‘TacLace’ to be functional. If you use an 8 Eyelet boot you are recommended to use the 72” lace. If you have a 20 eyelet boot then you are recommended to use the 84” lace. As all the boots that I used this product on were 8 eyelet boots I only used the 72” lace.
You also need to be made aware that the original concept of this system was designed for ‘Closed’ eyelet boots, not ‘Open’ however they work just as well on either you just have to be mindful of a different lacing procedure. The three pairs of boots I used were all 8 eyelet setups, however two pairs were a combination of 4 closed + 4 open. As I said this did not pose a problem but you just need to tighten your boots in a different manner. It did transpire that having an ‘open eyelet’ system allowed for more versatility in your lacing procedures and put in a play a little ‘out of the box’ experiments for this writer.
For the two weeks I used them I found no flaws, discomfort or lack of tension in my boots. My boots always felt secure and the TacLace did allow me to secure and get moving quicker than if I had to use the normal lace solution. On this note I would suggest that you do dry runs as although the use is simple it did feel slightly ‘alien’ especially after doing your laces in a certain way for 30 years.
I mentioned earlier that I experimented and one of my experiments was to tie your laces with one hand and still retain the tension need for your boot to stay secure. As I am fortunate enough to have the use of both my hands it was a peculiar feeling to try this, but I did succeed in doing so. With either practice or a ‘life necessity speed lesson’ I could envisage a user quickly getting their boots on with the loss of one of their hands, even if it was the dominant.
The other element came to play when ‘removing’ my boots! Due to the natural environment I find myself in, the cold & wet are always at play and as we all know when trying to ‘untie’ your knotted laces with cold, numb, wet hands and sodden laces you almost feel like you should be cutting them off to get out. However with the ‘TacLace’ no problem, just unfasten the Velcro and slide the cord lock and voila your boot is off!
As of writing this review we are unaware of anyone stocking the TacLace system in either the UK or Europe so please do visit www.taclace.com for details on how to purchase them. They are available in three solid colours Tan, Black and OD and you can also buy colour matching shoelaces at the two lengths I described earlier.
*Please note for this trial I was supplied the Black version with both lengths of laces, the laces do not come as standard*