This Is The Best Way To Tie Your Shoelaces

This Is The Best Way To Tie Your Shoelaces
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The clip is a short presentation by Terry Moore at 2005’s TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) conference. Moore runs New York’s Radius Foundation, which I could try to explain, but is better described by the company itself: “[seeking] new ways of exploring and understanding dissimilar conceptual systems or paradigms”. One of those systems appears to be shoelace-tying, which you’ve likely been doing wrong your whole life, according to Moore.

The trick is simple — just go the other way. If you’re left-handed, you might already tie your shoes like this. I’m left-handed myself, but I learnt by rote from my parents, who are both right-handed, so I’ve been tying crappy knots my whole life. Thanks Mum and Dad!*

I could try and describe the exact process in words, by the video does a better job than I could do with text alone.

* I still love you guys.

I bet you thought you knew how to tie your shoes [TheNextWeb]


  • I dont know about that – i tried this with my shoes, and while yes i have been taught the first way…. my results are not the same, when i do it the way iv been taught and pull it like show – it stays horizontal across the shoe (opposite to what is shown) when i do it the better way – i pull it like before and it goes verticle…. hmmmm so i think it also depends on how the shoes are laced as well not just the knot…

    • It also depends on whether you do the first part left over right or right over left. Technically one version of the knot is basically a reef knot, the other version is a granny knot. You reverse the direction on the second half to create a strong reef knot, if you do both halves in the same direction it’s a weak granny knot.

    • Sean is right. You were almost certainly tying your shoes “correctly” to begin with, but achieving the right kind of knot via the way you approach the first part of it not through the way you make and tie the loops. So just keep right on with your original method.

      • Your absolutely correct, the first knot also has a play in if its strong way or not…. iv been doing the left over and under right…. and then the normal loop… and its strong and keeps horizontal ๐Ÿ™‚ i still always do a double bow loop because that makes it even stronger ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sounds like the method I use –

      Modern nylon laces can be a pain to keep secure as they’re too slippy. It’s a shame they seem to be the standard these days and it’s getting pretty hard to find cotton laces when you need them. I get incredibly frustrated when my kids come home from school to find their laces have come loose and been retied in the most ridiculous knots by one of their teachers. I’m very tempted to spend a few minutes teaching each of the teachers how to tie the above knot.

  • Girls are more likely to have acquired an understanding of the bow-as-granny vs bow-as-reef knot principle because we have to deal with things like sashes and hair ribbons where it’s even more important that the loops sit nicely to the side and not “along the vertical axis”.

    And observant girls notice very early on that the secret to success lies in how you begin the bow not how you end it.

    So I’m surprised that he didn’t try to correct the audience’s technique by instructing them to swap the under/over direction of the *first* half of the knot and then tie the second part of the knot (a slightly more ingrained set of moves) as usual. Achieves the same goal but is a much easier habit to change.

    • Lifehacker covered this a couple of years ago and I thought the exact same thing. It’s much easier, technique-wise, to just switch direction of the initial knot…

  • Both methods are stupid, involving fiddly had specific methods. You have no need to wrap either lace around and pull one part or whatever, people have made it more complex than it is.
    You just do the in initial tie then double each lace and do a second tie- simple and ambidextrous. You can do that final tie in the same direction as the first or in the opposite one to get a different knot. Either is just as basic. -none of this pulling through holes and faffing about which hand to use.

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