Step Up your Feet System: A Review of BuzzTek Waxed Laces

Alli "Moonbeam" McGranaghan

buzztek waxed shoelaces by beavertail reviewed on boots

On a quest to create robust products that can keep up with the elements while maintaining a strong dedication to sustainability, Beaver Tail Outdoors has released their flagship product, BuzzTek Waxed Boot Laces. Designed to keep your “tail on the trail,” founder J.J. Krystopa claims his first pair have held a single knot intact for hundreds of miles across varied terrain. I was curious to test them myself, if not a tad skeptical.


buzztail laces reviewed in the woods with a dog paw too

Taking the laces for a hike! Alli is sporting 63” round boot laces and Donny is testing 48” flat laces. (If only paws needed laces... Otto insists on acknowledgement that he played a substantial role in testing by directing all our excursions.)


Shoelaces are often the unsung heroes of footwear (trust me, when your laces snap in the backcountry on a multi-day backpacking trip, you gain a new appreciation for them). Often overlooked in their ability to help achieve increased comfort and functionality, J.J. will admit it is difficult to market a product that is typically an afterthought to customers.

I have been testing BuzzTek laces for several months in the diverse terrain and conditions of Vancouver, British Columbia. My local trails are rugged and most often wet from rain or snow. Receiving lengths fit for both running shoes and hiking boots (with packaging worth a pretty picture to-boot!) I first put the laces on my go-to pair of boots for the season. I wear these whether I’m recreating outside, skipping to the grocery store, or heading to the ski resort. The laces have thus accompanied me on numerous snowy climbs, soppy dog walks, and hikes through wild coastal rainforest.

 Beaver Tail BuzzTek waxed laces on a log

Regardless of whether you are walking, hiking, running, or lifting, in either trail runners or boots, there are numerous benefits to a quality lace. Compared to generic laces made from cotton, polyester, or nylon for most shoes, BuzzTek Waxed Boot Laces are made from high-strength paracord wax-soaked and infused with sustainably-sourced beeswax. They don’t feel like your typical lace because they aren't, and the rigidity of the laces are stiffer than what you might be used to. I would equate their flexibility parallel to that of a furry pipe cleaner: when you bend them, they hold their shape. 

The Benefits of the Beeswax-Coated Paracord:

  1. The beeswax makes them water resistant and durable, meant to face all conditions and less likely to snag on sticks or sharp rocks. You’ll never need to touch soggy laces (a sensory quirk of mine that gives me ‘the icks’).
  2. The wax holds a knot securely - they are highly resistant to slipping and untying. My laces never untied accidentally when testing them. Further, keeping your shoes snug and secure all day reduces the likelihood of blister hot spots on your feet.
  3. You only need a single knot. Seriously, it will stay! Only tying a single knot also eliminates the annoyance of having to untie a tangled double knot later. 
  4. Even the simple task of quickly lacing up at home becomes more streamlined. The waxed laces securely grab and hold tight to the eyelets and rivets of my boots, eliminating the annoyance of the laces slipping and having to go through the process of re-lacing and tightening again.
  5. I feel good knowing the wax is sustainably sourced. Honeybees play a vital role as essential insects in our environment and in the cultivation of the foods we consume. The proceeds contribute to beekeeping education, the production of raw honey, pollination services, and continued manufacturing of beeswax.
  6. Handcrafted in America, the laces feature an innovative aglet solution - thin shrink, providing an ultra-light alternative to metal tips.

Customized Options for a Unique Fit:

Flat Laces: Commonly seen on trail runners, sneakers, and gym shoes. Flat laces have a greater surface area, enhancing friction for more secure knots.  

Round Laces: Typically found on hiking boots and work boots. Round laces, in general, are considered to be more rigid and durable, designed to withstand the tugging and pressure against rivets/eyelets when tightening and tying. As a thru-hiker, I would opt for the round laces, even on my trail runners. 

Lengths: Selecting the correct length is key. There are three lengths available designed to fit the most common shoe types and sizes. Remember - you’ll only be tying a single knot, so there is no need to lean towards extra length. My boots (Women's size 9, with 7 pairs of eyelets) accommodated the 63” round laces perfectly. My runners (Women's size 9) accommodated the 48” flat laces well, with enough length to solely tie a small, single knot.

Color: Currently, six different color patterns are offered on GGG, with more on the way!

beavertail shoelace colors

Overall Assessment:

Price: In my cost analysis, I found that comparable laces on the market range from $5 - $15. BuzzTek laces top the chart in price, at $17. However, when I assess the cost in relation to quality and product details, the extra bucks are worth it in my opinion. These include…

  • Being handmade in America
  • Utilizing all locally sourced materials, that would otherwise be waste
  • Supporting local and small businesses
  • Environmentally astute: every purchase directly impacts local beekeepers and nurtures bee colonies

    Functionality: The importance of a proper ‘feet system’ should always be prioritized in any outdoor pursuit. I believe that adding BuzzTek laces could further raise the success of my personal system. There is long-term value in their functionality and dependability. I have more confidence in their ability to last in extreme and rugged conditions and in keeping my feet secure on large mile days. 

    Feel: The only minor aversion I have had to the laces in multi-month use was that the wax of the flat laces on my sneakers seemed to feel more ‘tacky’ than the round, boot laces. However, I attribute it to the authentic and organic manufacturing process of the product. I won’t be reverting to the original laces that came stock on my boots or runners, as I'll be utilizing BuzzTek laces on future thru-hikes. 

    Style: Not going to lie, I loved the look of my original, iconic red Danner laces. But there are lots of fun colors to choose from (The “turquoise flat” are my favorite - I hope to see the color in round laces!). I let J.J. send me the colors of his choice for testing and ultimately, I am happy with how the “laser tag” pattern looks on my boots.

    Consumer & Company Benefits: The unique materials of BuzzTek laces are what make the difference - from the hive to the trails. Beavertail Outdoors gets their wax directly from a local honey producer, Queen of Hearts Honey. The profits from their dynamic relationship help towards the preservation of over two dozen bee yards across Pennsylvania. Additionally, Beaver Tail strives to honor the communities and people that make small business possible.

     Two shoes with Beavertail BuzzTek shoelaces compared on moss

    Overall, I recommend you take a step towards upgrading your “feet system” and try BuzzTek laces - a small investment that delivers both quality and a conscientious contribution towards our communities.

    Alli is a freelance writer based in British Columbia, Canada. She humbly aspires to be a strong voice in the outdoor industry centered on inclusiveness for all bodies. Alli encourages all to be silly and simply take small steps towards their goals. Her wish is to spread awareness that you don't have to be an extreme athlete to have an extreme amount of fun. Aside from writing, she enjoys backpacking, hiking, snowboarding, trail running, and snuggling with her dog. Find Alli on Instagram, @bucketsofmoonbeams.



    BuzzTek Laces by Beaver Tail Outdoors
    BuzzTek Laces by Beaver Tail Outdoors



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