A $5 Hack That’ll Make These Sandals Look $1,295 More Expensive

If you haven’t noticed the explosion of knee-high, lace-up gladiator sandals this summer um, hi, what? They’re one of summer’s biggest trends and springing up on shelves everywhere—from high-end designer versions to the pair we just spotted at Gap. (And not to brag, but we called this trend back in February.)


The Gap style doesn’t show the shoes on a model, so it’s not completely apparent how high up they’d tie. The product description notes “crisscross suede laces [that] wrap around ankle,” and, truly, it would likely differ for everyone based on the size and length of legs.

But then, a stroke of genius in the comments section of the product page (thanks, Ashley D. from Pennsylvania!).

The laces on Gap.com describe them as being suede, but they seem more like a synthetic leather. They are stiff and awkward to tie, which leaves the ends poking out like little antennas. This style is hard to find in such a reasonable price point, so I wasn’t ready to send them back just yet. I purchased soft black leather cord from a craft store for about $5 and now I love them.

The lace-up construction of this style means it’s easy to remove Gap’s laces and thread your own in. Whether you’re replacing them for comfort à la Ashley or to get the high tie look that’s trending, it’s a crazy-easy hack. Any big-box craft supply store will have soft suede cord in a range of colors, as does Amazon. If you’re concerned about the strength of the cord and worried it’ll break, double up and pull two strands through the holes rather than one.


Before you know it, you’ve got the luxury look of Valentino’s runway pair, except for $1,295 less.

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