Riplaces - Revolutionary Lacing System
Riplaces are a revolutionary way to replace shoelaces for good. Riplaces' Core + Bungee system not only has a cool clean look but also gives you the ability to fine tune and adjust the way your shoes fit without ever having to tie laces again. Each set of Riplaces includes 14 Core fasteners and 60 bungees that come in 5 different sizes. The different cores and bungees are available in multiple colors, allowing you to create a custom combination that is both unique and fitting to your personality.
On a Mission
My name is David Nicholson and this is my wife Karen. One day I was sitting on my back porch, in the freezing cold of a Florida winter, a chilling 55 degrees. Karen, would not let me in with my nasty work shoes on. My shoelaces were a mess and in an unbreakable knot. I sat on the cold concrete steps, and thought how stupid shoe laces are. I said to myself, “what I need are some tiny little bungees to go between each eyelet, then I can just slip my shoes off and on”.
I looked over to find bungee cords in the bed of my truck. The only problem is that there were hooks on the end. I began to create in my mind some sort of a loop with a connector to snap the bungee into, which would hold it in place.
Riplaces were born.
I immediately told my son, Sean, and Karen about my idea. Sean got it right away; Karen needed a “visual” so I used some crepe paper and a paint card sample to create the first “skinny” and bungee.
We made a prototype from hair ties and some make shift connector. I used some big plastic bozo the clown buttons from Walmart and hair ties. We later decided to call the connector part The Core.
It's the core of Riplaces, its what holds it all together.
At first I thought my shoe would be loose or too floppy. The exact opposite was the case. The hair ties were way too tight and didn’t stretch enough. I had to take my shoes off after about 5 minutes because my feet were going to sleep. The elasticity of the bungee ended up being the hardest problem to solve. It needed to stretch enough to allow your foot to slide in, but be tight enough so your shoe would fit snug.
After many variations, we finally nailed it!
Now let me digress a bit. Some of you are saying, “this guy thinks 55 degrees is cold? what a wimp”. There’s a reason why 55 degrees was freezing cold. When I graduated college, my first job was as an electrical engineer working at a local power company in Jacksonville, Florida. After about 6 years, my wife and I knew that God was calling us to serve in a different capacity for the next season of our lives.
We ended up leaving the U.S. and serving as missionaries in Guatemala for 4 years and then moving to Guerrero, Mexico for 10 years more. My children grew up in the Latin culture and all are completely bilingual and bi-cultural. As a matter of fact, we have six grandkids that are half latin, from Cuba and Mexico.
So after living 14 years in the tropics and going barefooted and wearing sandals, 55 degrees was pretty chilly. Now I’m back in the states and am forced to wear shoes. All those years of no shoes indirectly resulted in Riplaces.
This has been an incredible journey as we continue to meet all kinds of awesome people who love Riplaces and are helping spread the word.
Thank you all for your support!
David y Karen