14 Aug TacLace – The Origin
In Iraq, Afghanistan, and unfortunately even on the home front, today’s warriors (and citizen soldiers) find themselves in harm’s way. They find themselves in scenarios where things just can’t happen fast enough, and in these scenarios their lives are on the line. It takes about 30 seconds for indirect fire to peak (shot out) and impact. Now for the adjustment, and just where does that one land? I’d rather not wait around to find out.
Unfortunately it can take up to one and a half to two minutes to secure your boots properly. If you ask me, I’d rather spend those seconds in the bunker or on the berm responding to pop shots. This is where and why TacLace was born; when time counts, we didn’t want to spend it on our boot laces! TacLace was designed to eliminate the need to tighten and tie your laces, rather streamline the process in three easy steps: Pull, cinch, and wrap. Now cut that 2 minutes down to about 15 seconds! Don’t believe us? Take a look at the video below, notice the warrior on the right finishes in 16 seconds.
True, you are not always in a combat scenario, but that shouldn’t deter your from using it. I wore my TacLace for over a year before leaving the Corps in 2012, part of that was in Afghanistan and the other part was in garrison. You know who asked me about it? No one… Why you ask? They never knew I was wearing it, my trousers bloused right over it as if I never had it on. Not that it mattered if they did, I was in uniform regulations no matter the service or associated order. I found that TacLace not only sped up my preparation process, but it distributed the load of my laces evenly across my leg getting rid of those lace indentations you get after a long day on your feet. They even made for a more professional look, no laces came loose or dangled in front of my boots, nor were they awkwardly tucked into the top of my boots. While speed is its primary attribute, don’t overlook the comfort, professional appearance, or safety of TacLace.
How it came to be
It started with a strip of cheap elastic cut from a piece of personal gear, a cord lock from God knows here, some Velcro, and a local hire working in the sew shop aboard Camp Leatherneck. This version did the trick, but had its shortfalls. We had to take the laces out of the top two eyelets to gain enough lace for our foot to even slip in.
When we made it back stateside, we “took it to the next level.” After acquiring some higher quality material from a military wholesaler, I took the goods to a close friend and local business owner at Port City Custom Upholstery in Wilmington, NC. We bickered and argued about what I wanted, but eventually came to a more functional prototype than our previous Afghan version. The stitching contrasted a bit from the rest of it, but overall, the desired result was there! We tested these with some local experts, Marines, and a handful of DoD contractors to find that it had some merit.
An initial investment was made on our part for a large order of material where the initial product run was pieced together by… well we’ll call it Kim’s Sewing. Unhwa, AKA Kim, sewed away at our initial inventory. Most of these went out as samples for further testing, all with positive results. I remember putting it in front of Gruntworks of MARCORSYSCOM and the response they gave was the icing on the cake.
Next step was to find a long-term manufacturing solution and take it to market. Now TacLace is officially U.S. made right in the heart of Raleigh, NC. We are pleased to have it manufactured by RLCB, Inc. (formerly Raleigh Lions Clinic for the Blind) and Blind Industries and Services of Maryland who jointly employee over 200 blind workers. To date, we have been more than pleased with the response of our fan base and those now using TacLace regularly.
So over 2 years and 3 or 4 prototypes later, TacLace became what it is today. It’s a product we are extremely proud of, mostly due to the spirit of what it does. Anything that could potentially save a life, or just make your day a little easier, is ok in my book. So please share with those who you think could benefit.