By Jenn K
The manufacturer provided this product for review purposes.
I have seen elastic shoe laces, pull tab laces, hook and loop shoe closures, but not magnetic shoe closures. Zubits are just that; magnetic shoe closures. No more tying shoes, knots, or stepping on open laces. Sounds fabulous! I personally do not mind tying my shoes. The problem is when the laces keep coming undone. Ugh!
The Zubits are two magnetic pieces with three holes on each piece for the laces to run through. They also come with four plastic lace anchors that can be used to secure the lace ends instead of tying a knot. The Zubits come in three sizes that are determined by the force of the closure desired. Size 1 is for children and elderly. Size 2 is what the manufacturer recommends for athletic type shoes, gym class, and adults. Size 3 is for large adults, sports, and boots with stiff soles. The prices range from $19.99 to $21.99 depending on the size. They are available in the following colors: grey, black, white, brown, blue, and pink.
The manufacturer’s website is very informative with installation instructions, videos, ability to purchase, and FAQs. I always find it interesting to read FAQ sections. Many times there is valuable product information. I learned that the Zubits can affect credit cards when the closure is open (so keep them over an inch away) and that the force is concentrated when the Zubits are closed. I also learned that when the closure is open I could stick my shoes anywhere that a magnet will stick. I will see what interesting places I can come up with to hang my shoes.
The included instructions were easy for me to follow, very detailed, and had great illustrations. The instructions were so clear and easy to follow that I had the Zubits placed on both my athletic shoes in about five minutes. First I opened the laces on my shoes three rows down. Then I laced through the Zubits as illustrated in the instructions. At the top of my athletic shoe I tied a knot on one and placed the lace anchor tab on the other. I liked the lace anchors the best; so I removed the knot and replaced it with a lace anchor. Installation was a breeze! I still have yet to cut the ends of the laces; I am tucking them inside my shoes. I just want to make sure I have the correct fit with the Zubits before I cut them.
I have worn the Zubits for one day thus far at work. I was able to walk up and down the stairs, jump, walk briskly, and walk over 10,000 steps without the closure opening or the laces moving from the lace anchors. So far so good. Also they do not look bad with my athletic shoes and they are hardly noticeable. I used a different color than the laces just for more styling.
I am actually shocked on how well the magnet holds. It is not just a simple pull to release the magnet. It released with a twisting motion or by stepping on the heel of the shoes with the opposite foot in either a standing or seated position. The magnet is so strong that when both pieces of the Zubits are placed at about an inch apart the magnetic pull joins them together.
The Zubits appear to be durable and seem to be made of high quality materials. I am looking forward to this test because there are many people out there that have finger dexterity issues and can only use one hand. I am hoping that Zubits will work for them. Also this may work well for pregnant women that have difficulty learning forward long enough to tie their shoes or lazy people like myself.
Update: December 27, 2015
A month has gone by since I received the Zubits. I will say that I am totally impressed with this product and so are the many people that I have shown this product to. I liked the Zubits so much I ordered them as holiday gifts for some people I know that have difficulty tying their shoes. I got so spoiled with the Zubits that when I wore another pair of tie shoes I wished for my Zubits. Wearing another pair of shoes helped me realize how much I enjoyed not tying my shoes or retying laces while wearing the Zubits. So far I have worn the Zubits with my daily work athletic shoes. These shoes see much activity throughout a day. I sometimes have to run to catch my train to work (which I am frequently running late), brisk walking at lunch, and walking up and down the stairs. During my fitness walks I generally travel 3 miles. During a typical workday I am mostly on my feet and moving.
It took me about a week to finally cut off the extra lacing from the anchor tabs. I was hesitant because I was not certain the Zubits would work. During the first week I did not have to make the laces looser, tighter, or fiddle with them in any way. I just slipped my feet in the shoes and clicked the Zubits magnet together and pulled my feet out of the shoes to take them off. When the shoes were off there were times they would stick together at the Zubits from the force of the magnets. This would even occur if the shoes were placed right next to each other with the Zubits opened. When this happened I had to detach the two magnets with a twisting motion using my hands. The magnets were also strong enough to hold the shoes to a magnetic board when the Zubits were open.
After the first week I got so used to wearing the Zubits that it seemed so normal for me to have them on my shoes. I did not really think about my Zubits much until someone asked me how to open my shoes. I was at the employee clinic and they had to check my feet for reflexes. They stated that they never saw something like this. I then thought oh yes my shoes are different. Then I got thinking about the Zubits again and how much I like them.
I noticed that the Zubits became wet from rain and there was no rust nor did that affect the magnet strength. Also the Zubits have not caused any premature wear of my laces where they are placed through the magnet or at the lace anchors. The Zubits are easily cleaned by wiping them with a damp towel or cloth. They do not seem to attract any more dirt than shoes without the Zubits; it is just more noticeable due to the smooth magnetic surface.
What I like most about the Zubits is that my laces do not untie. There have been times while sitting that I accidently popped the Zubits open on one shoe, but I had my other foot placed on the heel of the shoe that popped open. I also was kicking the shoe that became open forward some while placing the other foot on the heel of the shoe. That all seems difficult to explain; maybe if I just say the Zubits did not open while I was walking or just plain sitting that will give you a better understanding of my point.
I can open and close the Zubits with one hand and no fine motor finger dexterity is needed to open or close the Zubits. Therefore they would potentially work great for people with hand issues or can only use one hand. I actually introduced the Zubits to some people I know with these issues and they were able to open and close the Zubits with no difficulty. They even reported that they ordered a pair on Amazon. I have been trying to figure out how to close the Zubits if one cannot bend or bring a leg up to a height to reach the Zubits. I tried a reacher (grabber) but it had a magnetic end and it stuck to the Zubits. I need to find a reacher that has a non-magnetic end or think of another possible way.
Final Update: January 26, 2016
Another month has gone by and I still love the Zubits. I have worn them on my lunch fitness walks, to work daily, and on my commuter bike to ride to and from the train station and to my work.
I have run, jumped, and walked briskly with the Zubits holding my shoes on my feet. I love the face that I do not need to tie my shoes and my laces no longer become undone. Actually the shoes look better with the Zubits as there are no messy shoe ties and loops.
So far they have held up well. The magnets are still proving to be strong. There are times when I will accidently pop the Zubits open. However, I found this is due to me sitting and putting force on the back of one shoe with the toe of the other. It is kind of like I am kicking off the shoes. Still I have not needed to tie my shoes in the past two month. I did tighten the laces once in the lace anchor tabs as I felt I could have my shoes a little more secure.
I have cleaned them by wiping them with a soft cloth. There has been no scuffs on the surface or any rust from the inner magnet. The color looks as if the Zubits are new with no fading from the sun.
I attempted closing the Zubits using a reacher. I found one with out a magnet on the end, but I was not able to successfully close the Zubits with the reacher consistently. Maybe I just need practice.
I am happy with the Zubits and I plan on continuing to use them. Many of my friends and their family members are using them and are happy with them as well. I think they are absolutely great for people with one use of one hand and the elderly.
Did I say I love the Zubits? Well I do.
For more information please visit www.zubits.com.