Ways & How

How to Tie Your Shoelaces

How to Tie Your Shoelaces

Tying shoes is generally considered a milestone for preschoolers. So knowing how to tie your shoelaces is something all adults should have mastered, right? Surprisingly, a number of adults get it wrong every day. If your shoelaces have ever become untied once or twice during the course of the day, you might just be one of them. The incorrect shoe-tying technique increases the likelihood of tripping, which can lead to potentially serious accidents. At the very least, it can cause inconvenience on your part during the most annoying times. And if it happens while you are competing in a sport, the delay can very well cost you victory. Today, we share with you a two-part technique for tying your shoelaces. As you will soon see, each part serves a purpose:

  1. The most common style of footwear that needs to be laced is the athletic shoe. Unfortunately, most people tie athletic shoes in the same way they were taught to as kids. This actually places unnecessary pressure on the blood vessels of the foot. If you examine the tops of your feet, you will see several veins and arteries; pressure on these compromises circulation, which affects performance.

  2. Athletic shoe manufacturers spend millions of dollars on design in order to optimize the wearer’s performance. As the cliché goes, the devil is in the details. If you look closely at a typical pair of running shoes, you will see that there is an extra hole a little to the side of the topmost eyelet (the hole through which the shoelace passes). Despite its unassuming appearance, that hole actually serves as a pressure buffer so that the shoelaces do not press on the top of your foot.

  3. To correctly lace your athletic shoe, thread the laces through the conventional eyelets like you normally would. However, instead of tying the ends after the topmost hole, take the right-hand lace and thread it into the extra hole on the same side. Do not pull tight; you should create a loop big enough to fit your finger in. The end with the aglet (the metal or plastic tip which keeps the end of the lace from fraying) should end up inside the shoe, while the loop should be on the outside. Repeat the same process for the left-hand shoelace end.

  4. Now take one aglet and hook it through the loop on the opposite side. Again, repeat for the other aglet. You will end up with both laces running straight across the top of the shoe, with the loops acting as anchors. This distributes the pressure of the laces and the weight of the entire shoe more equally, rather than leaving everything hanging off the top of the foot. See the next steps for the proper technique for making the overhand knot.

  5. The following steps show how to properly tie shoelace ends so that the knot does not unravel easily. They apply to everything from sneakers to wingtips to laced boots. They just call for a slight variation on the one-eared bunny technique.

Most of us learned how to tie our shoelaces using the bunny-and-tree method: ‘The bunny goes around the tree, into the hole, pull tight.’ In other words, this involves making one loop (bunny ear), then wrapping it around and under the other lace. Modify this by making the “tree” go around the “bunny” and then on top before pulling through. What this does is align the center knot along the horizontal axis, rather than the vertical axis — the two loops of the finished bow point to the sides, not to the top and bottom. As the movement of the foot shifts the tongue of the shoe forward into the laces, the knot becomes tighter, not looser. This makes it less likely to come undone. Most people are surprised to learn that something as simple as knowing how to tie your shoes actually requires a specific technique. Try the technique we have outlined above; you should immediately see the difference it makes.


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