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Over two years ago, while living in China, Ryan and Valerie Wiens had a lightbulb moment. After realising the huge chunk of time spent for their three kids to put on their shoes, they started asking themselves if there could be an easier way to put on and take them off. And thus, Zubits was born.
Known as a magnetic shoe closure, it aims to go way beyond being just another “no-tie” shoelace solution. After hearing positive feedback from family and friends, the husband-and-wife team decided to take their creation to the next level — more specifically, to Kickstarter.
How Zubits Works
Step One: Unlace 3 rows of your laces.
Step Two: Lace your shoelaces through Zubits. This takes a minute, tops.
Step Three: Insert your foot and adjust tightness to comfort.
Step Four: Knot or clip your shoelace inside your shoe.
Step Five: This is the slight tricky part. Test by tucking the laces into your shoes for a day. If necessary, readjust and when ready, cut off the laces.
Here’s a video to illustrate this.
Zubits will be sold in three (four, if they reached their stretch goal; which they did) sizes. Size #1 is specially designed for children, elderly or smaller adults for casual shoes and low activity. Size #2 caters towards teens and adults for most activities such as running, while size #3 is recommended for high activity by large individuals.
Size #0, Zubits latest addition, are made for toddlers and little children. This smaller Zubits size will be equipped with integrated plastic pull handles. All Zubits are available in six colours: black, grey, white, pink, blue and brown. Based on the production timeline shown on Kickstarter, the product will be shipped on February 5, 2015.
Pros and Cons
Zubits is brimming with incredible features. First things first, it does not lose its magnetism over time. Unless you find a way to heat them over 176° Fahrenheit, then that’s another story. According to its Kickstarter page, it states that the magnets will be enclosed in plastic and protected from corrosion and elements.
Thanks to the strong magnets, you can even hang your shoes literally everywhere. Since Zubits results in a huge shoe-mouth opening, you can wear your shoes loose (like slippers!) behind the desk. Its fast magnetic closing and hands-free foot removal gave them a couple more brownie points.
One of the frequently asked questions is, will Zubits work on every shoe? As long as they’re not velcro or non-tying elastic laces, then yes, they will work. However, this theory does not apply to boots. This is because boot construction plays a crucial role. Since the creators aren’t able to test them out on every boot, it is unclear if Zubits will work well on them. To quote from the product’s Kickstarter page, boots are currently a question mark.
“That’s cool. That’s ready-to-go, to the J-O-B.”
“Did that just happened? I think I need those.”
“Are you kidding me?”
These are some of the feedbacks the Wiens have gotten when they were introducing Zubits to people at Sans Francisco. Ever since its launch, the product has met with favourable reviews. I had a brief message exchange with Wiens and he shared that Zubits is the third most popular project on Kickstarter!
There’s also a bit of a buzz going on Instagram! Simply type #zubitsmyshoes to see what the commotion’s about. With this gem, you can walk, run, hike without ever re-tying your shoelaces.
A set of Zubits for one pair of shoes is going for a USD$17 pledge. You can support the project here.