There have been signs for a while that I don’t really know how to tie running shoes. The first indicator was actually my skate ski boots, whose laces loosen during the first 30 minutes of a ski. Last winter I was also having trouble un-tying the laces of my kids’ ice skates, especially with cold hands in the dark. And, finally, at a school field trip to the ice rink, I notice a Dad tie my daughter’s skates in this quick knot that held beautifully and was easy for me to untie over an hour later.
After thinking about it for over a year, a quick Google search turned up an absurdly in-depth site all about shoelaces, Ian’s Shoelace Site. My first stop on the site, “Slipping Shoelaces? Crooked Bows?” revealed that I have been tying my shoes in a granny knot (or a double granny knot) for the past 35 years. I quickly learned the proper standard shoelace knot and am slowing breaking a 35-year-old habit. After about a week, I was ready to dig deeper…
I noticed something the site author calls “Ian’s Secure Shoelace Knot.” It’s actually a double slip knot, and that was the knot I saw the Dad tie on my daughter’s skate last Winter. I rooted around in the kids’ rooms for a bit and uncovered “Red Lace, Yellow Lace,” a book with real shoelaces to teach kids (and apparently also adults) how to tie shoes. It turns out that the double slip knot is quite simple to learn, and it’s regrettable that I’ve reached this point in life without prior exposure to the wonders of proper shoelace knots! Click here to learn the Ian’s Secure Shoelace Knot (i.e. the double slip knot).
I also read on the site that round cord laces are much more prone to slipping. Ah, ha! Last night I swapped my skate ski boot laces for flat woven ones. I will be testing them out tomorrow on a long skate ski.
You can learn more about how to tie running shoes specifically – click here for “Tips for Sports.” I just might study up on lacing and tightening techniques… next year? In the meanwhile, thanks Ian, for the absurdly helpful shoelace website!