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Long Island coach takes soccer invention national

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A youth soccer coach on New York’s Long Island realized that his players were becoming increasingly frustrated with a common equipment problem. Their shoelaces often loosened or untied during practice and games.

His solution began with frequent trips to the local Home Depot and other stores. From there, Tom Neale, a former U.S. Army officer and ranger, started using bungee laces and plumbing items. He spent nights, literally until five in the morning on some days, maneuvering shoes, laces and rubber discs.

After 15 designs and three prototypes, Neale finalized the Discits custom-fitted shoelaces. The design includes bungee laces that replace regular shoe laces and the Discits device that permanently fastens the laces.

The new product requires a one-time installation process to create a custom fit that is automatically repeated every time a pair of sports shoes is worn. The simple steps include creating fastening loops with the laces. A casual fit is achieved with these loops. The snug fit for practice or competition is maintained by placing the loops around the Discits device. No-tie laces are secured within seconds. Originally designed for soccer, Discits can be used on lacrosse shoes and for other kinds of footwear.

Availability of Discits

Neale already has partnered with SAY Soccer, a national youth soccer organization. The partnership has helped Neale become associated with youth soccer leagues in 34 states. Retail availability of Discits includes the Syosset-Woodbury community of Long Island, New Jersey and Virginia. Discits also can be found online.

The sports popularity of Discits already has crossed over for everyday footwear—youth are using them for school and adults have adapted them for the gym.