Life Without Lacing: A Paradigm Shift

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Imagine. One lace for the life of a shoe. Further imagine a shoe lace that only needs to be fastened once and never needs to be replaced. That is Para-Tek’s mission.

Working solo in her New York City home Anna Krengel has spent ten years perfecting her “parallel technology” or as she has named her company: Para-Tek. Five years were devoted to acquiring and testing the precise elements and hardware for the laces, fasteners and buckles. “The devil is in the detail,” Anna stated.

After obtaining one patent for sneakers and another for boots, Anna now seeks shoe manufacturing partners to scale up output. The techniques involved in the initial installation of the pieces must be exacting and precise. As noted in the patents, the lace must be threaded and anchored so that a single pull on the movable fastener causes the multiple lace segments to move through the eyelets of the shoe and align in unison. The entire shoe opening contracts – opens wide – simultaneously.


Para-Tek is open to providing companies exclusivity in terms of field of use. The military, for instance, must quickly unlace shoes of the wounded. “One hand, one pull, one second” is all that is required for shoes to come on and off in parallel technology. Fire personnel and first responders will certainly save lives as the footwear of accident victims may be instantly removed. The makers of orthopedic shoes are another clear partner.

The manufacturers of golf shoes will find a receptive market in the country club set. For fans of long distance running, Beardsley may have beaten Salazar in the ’82 Boston Marathon had lacing not been an issue. And, of course, it will come as a relief to parents as their kids will be safe in forever-fastened shoes.  In fact, who of us would not appreciate the time and energy savings of a life without lacing? Anna’s short YouTube video demonstration states that the age range for her product is “2 to 92.”

The preferred material for the laces is Dyneema, a laminated fabric constructed from polyethylene fibers. The laces cannot stretch, the reason why nylon and polyester are discouraged. Dyneema is stronger than steel, indestructible and cannot be cut with scissors. The cost of Dyneema laces may be marginally higher than standard laces, but the laces will always outlive the shoes resulting in net savings for the consumer. No broken laces; no replacement cost.

Those who have experienced parallel technology have been exceedingly satisfied. An avid tennis player, Anna has a large test group at her Club. Folks are clamoring for the product, and after all of these years she is ready to hit the ground running.

By David Liepman, May 29, 2020

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