Shoelace.css – A Back to the Basics CSS Starter Kit

I spent some time last week working on a free CSS boilerplate I'm calling Shoelace.css. It's kinda like Bootstrap, but a lot leaner and pure CSS. You don't need a preprocessor like Sass or Less to use it, but it's still highly customizable with CSS variables.

I'm calling Shoelace a "starter kit", not a framework. The goal was to create a lightweight, fully customizable, and extensible boilerplate for building websites and web apps.

What makes Shoelace really awesome is that you can <link> to it with just one line of code and start using it. Customizations can be made in your own stylesheet by simply overriding variables:

:root {
--body-bg-color: black;
--body-color: white;

Shoelace is only 31KB minified and comes in at about 7.9KB gzipped. For comparison, Bootstrap 4 alpha 6 is 192KB CSS + 47KB JavaScript. And, starting today, you can use Shoelace via CDN courtesy of KeyCDN.

For more info and to grab the source, head over to

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Creator of Surreal CMS and other web things. Follow me for tweets about JavaScript, CSS, and web programming.