Converse won’t let me tie my shoes

I love Converse, but they are pissing me off. I’ve written in the past about their questionable marketing these days and how they seem to be stretching themselves too thin trying to go upmarket with the likes of John Varvatos ( I have those shoes and love them) and budget with Target. Their styles and image are still somehow pretty much intact, but that I think is more based on the actual wearer than their splintered marketing and diversified branding efforts. Nonetheless, Harlo and I put a pair of Converse in the Sportswear to Streetwear exhibit at the Goldstein Museum of Design in their shoe section which features Converse dating back to the beginning of their brand.

But as I said, now they are really starting to irritate me. They seem to be so concerned with Ubermarketing that they aren’t providing good customer service. Below you’ll find the annoying discourse going on between me and them which followed a useless phone call prior to these emails. All I am trying to do is get a pair of shoelaces to replace mine which have worn through (Ha) and they are not available for purchase and no one seems to be able to get me any or reply to my request. These are $125 Converse (!!!!) (average Converse price for similar shoes about $45) and yet they won’t tell me how to actually get shoelaces for them. You’ll see from my emails I’m at a loss for how to deal with them. And yet…I love those shoes and simply want the stupid laces so I can keep wearing them. When a brand gets so big that they have lost touch with their core customers there is a problem.


Here are the emails in reverse order-latest first:

Hi Meagan,

I am checking in again to see how I can get the rubber laces to go with my John Varvatos multi-eyelet shoes. It’s now been a full month and I have not received the information from Converse which is disappointing customer service as I have multiple pair of the shoes and they are going unworn.

It is also disappointing since I am currently a Ph.D. student in Apparel Studies at the University of Minnesota, and in the university’s Goldstein Museum of Design (of which I am a former employee) there is a sportswear exhibit featuring the Converse brand and includes Converse shoes owned by myself and my husband. I am now rethinking my support of Converse as this customer service experience has been less than satisfactory.

To have a request as simple as the purchase of shoelaces, and have it disregarded via the phone, and then twice via email is quite poor. This will not go undiscussed among my coworkers, fellow students, and the numerous courses I teach and on my fashion blog.

Please let me know how to purchase or to simply acquire these shoelaces. Feel free to pass this along to any management that you feel should be informed of my dissatisfaction and I understand it is not necessarily your department who are the break in the chain as you initially said you were contacting a different department to help you with my need.

Thank you,

Monica Sklar

On Sep 22, 2008, at 2:08 PM, ConverseOne wrote:

Hi Monica,

I apologize you have not received any contact. Unfortunately, we do not have direct numbers we give out. I have sent this information on to that department again. I apologize for this inconvenience.

Thank you,



From: Monica Sklar []
Sent: Fri 9/19/2008 6:30 PM
To: ConverseOne
Subject: Re: mbRE: need replacement Varvatos laces

I haven’t heard back form the other department-is there a phone
number I can call. I’m currently unable to wear the shoes due to torn
laces. Or perhaps you could follow up with them again?
Thank you,
Monica Sklar

On Sep 16, 2008, at 2:53 PM, ConverseOne wrote:

Hi Monica,

I have forwarded your information on to another department to see
what we can do.

Thank you,



From: Monica Sklar []
Sent: Mon 9/15/2008 2:16 PM
To: Estore; ConverseOne
Subject: need replacement Varvatos laces

I need two pair of replacement black thin rubber shoe laces for my
two pair of John Varvatos multi-eyelet Converse Chuck Taylors. The
rubber has worn through and I cannot find them in a local store
cannot find them online, and I called the product sales number for
Converse who said since they are not online they do not have any to
sell to me and that I should email your address.

Please let me know how to replace them.
Thank you,

Monica Sklar

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  • Dan February 01, 2009 02.59 pm

    Hi Monica

    I found your comments when trying to track down replacement laces for my Varvatos muti eyelet trainers.

    Just wondering if Converse manaed to sort out the problem with your laces?



  • Monica Sklar February 02, 2009 11.35 am

    It was never resolved and I’m pretty bitter about it. Converse emailed me saying replacement laces were being sent-but they never did it. Then they said they were lost in the mail and were taking a pair off shoes from their HQ showroom and sending them-they never did that either. Then I emailed them twice to check on this issue (including very recently) and I have never heard replies again. Meanwhile, I have not been able to find replacement laces from them or any other provider and now will probably have to make something out of cord from a craft or hardware store which is pretty ridiculous for $100 sneakers.

  • Monica Sklar February 03, 2009 10.11 am

    Dan replied saying he was told to contact the UK distributor–we’ll see how that goes for him. Yesterday I heard back yesterday from the Converse email help system that they plan on sending my laces and this time wanted to know sizes etc. They’ve never asked me that many details before so perhaps now they are legit. I looked back and started emailing with them about this in September if you can believe it. It’s such a trivial thing but so annoying. We’ll see what happens.

  • Worn Through » Converse is off my $*!List
    February 26, 2009 - 5:12 pm

  • Ben Read March 21, 2010 02.02 am


    I just bought a pair of these shoes and mine came with 3 different shoelaces…2 pink but one is half as long as the other. and one long dark brown. I called Converse and the same thing they have no idea how to get them….WTF. I was hoping you found replacements somewhere? I only bought these shoes so i could wear the brown ones the pink are ugly

  • Monica Sklar March 21, 2010 09.44 am

    Hi Ben,
    If you search my site you’ll find I wrote another post saying Converse if off my s–t list. More or less. After endless pestering they finally sent me two pair of my laces for free. Oddly, it’s like they weren’t really the laces though, as they’re much longer than those the shoes came with, and look a little different. But, essentially they’re the same stretchy material, same color, and longer is better than shorter so I called it a day. I’d say you should either return your pair and try to get another pair that is packaged properly with the right laces, or, pester the hell out of them until they comply. It’s ridiculous that now this product has gone from being a one or two color limited edition to a basically a full line and yet they cannot service their customers regarding them…still. Good luck.

  • zak April 13, 2010 09.26 pm

    I have a couple of pairs of these multi eyelet shoes and I’m trying to figure out what to do with the extra lace left out of the last holes. There is so much of that stretchy cord left over, that even with a double knot they’re dragging on the ground. Any suggestions?

  • Monica Sklar April 14, 2010 09.23 am

    I just knot mine like three times, which does create quite a large lump, but i figure that is better than huge clown-like bows that get caught on stuff. basically they just haven’t figured out how to make these laces properly and have good distribution of them for their customers.

  • Eddie February 12, 2013 04.18 am

    Hey guys, I saw your post and I know that it’s old but I figured I’d chime in and let you know about a new pair of elastic shoelaces that I invented initially designed for Chucks…I love Chucks!! but I HATED THE LACES!! I wanted something that looked great on a pair of Chucks but would basically turn my shoe into a slipon without looking weird. So, after months of testing out materials I launched Synch Bands. The perfect elastic lace that locks in under your shoes eyelet and adjusts all without any bows or tying.

    Check ’em out if you hate dealing with the laces on your Chucks and want something as simple and classic as the Chucks you’re wearing. Hope you dig them! Cheers 🙂


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