Most people only know the one shoelace knot that they learned as a child, having been taught by either a parent, a sibling, a relative, a teacher or even another child. Many are surprised to learn that there’s more than one method, let alone seventeen!
The diagrams are all drawn as though looking down at your own shoes whilst tying, and are colour-coded to make it easier to follow where the lace runs. The lace end that starts on the left side is blue and the end that starts on the right side is yellow. For colour-blind visitors, Blue=Dark=Left, Yellow=Light=Right
"Ian Knot" = Ian’s Fast Shoelace Knot – Recommended!
I tie my shoelaces with an "Ian Knot", the World’s Fastest Shoelace Knot: Make a loop with both ends and simultaneously pull them through each other to form an almost instant knot. It’s a truly revolutionary way to tie your shoelaces!
Ian’s Secure Shoelace Knot – Recommended!
This knot is the end result of analysing numerous secure knots and combining their best features, with the emphasis on symmetry: Make two loops and pass them both through the "hole" in the middle. Slippery laces or serious sports are two good reasons for using this knot.
Standard Shoelace Knot
Of all the shoelace tying techniques shown to me by others, this is by far the most common: Make a loop with one end, wrap the other end around it and pull a loop through.
Two Loop Shoelace Knot
Also referred to as a "Bunny Ears" shoelace knot (due to its two loops): Make a loop with both ends, then simply tie a knot with them. It’s often tied incorrectly, resulting in an un-secure "Slip" knot.
Two Stage Shoelace Knot
This knot is made in two distinct stages: Make and secure one loop, then make and secure the other loop. The result is slightly more secure because it’s less likely for both stages to come undone.
Turquoise Turtle Shoelace Knot
Just as the Surgeon’s Knot is like the Standard Knot secured with an extra pass through the middle, the "Turquoise Turtle Knot" is like the Two Loop Knot ("Bunny Ears") secured with an extra pass through the middle.
"Better Bow" Shoelace Knot
Another secure knot variation, again based on looping around more than once: Begin as for a Standard Shoelace Knot, only loop around twice before pulling through the loops thus made.
"FreedomKnot" Shoelace Knot
This is yet another of the secure knots on which my own Ian’s Secure Knot is based: Make an "O" and pass a loop through it from both the front and the back.
Loop the Loop Shoelace Knot
Also known as the "Klets Knot", this method makes any regular shoelace knot more secure: Tie a Standard Knot (or even an Ian Knot), then feed one loop through the other loop and pull it tight like a noose.
Double Shoelace Knot
A crude method of making a knot "permanent" or for consuming excess lace to keep the ends from dragging: Tie a Standard Shoelace Knot, then tie an overhand knot with the finished loops. Unfortunately, it’s also very tricky to un-tie (though that’s great for preventing infants removing their shoes!)
Double "Ian Knot" Shoelace Knot
Multiple Ian Knots can be made by simply hanging onto the loops and repeating the technique. The result has little practical value other than for "shortening" laces. It’s presented here for novelty value; please don’t take it too seriously!
Crossed "Ian Knot" Shoelace Knot
This knot is a curiosity that often results from tying the Ian Knot wrongly. Twisting the starting loops in the wrong direction results in a knot with the ends crossed within the knot. It seems more secure, but can easily fall apart.
Mega "Ian Knot" Shoelace Knot – Over the top!
This is an "experimental" variation of my Ian Knot: Make a double-loop with both ends and simultaneously pull them through each other. The result is super-secure, but is a little too difficult to tie.
Halloween Shoelace Knot – Just for fun!
The perfect finishing touch for a Halloween outfit or for other "creepy" occasions: Tie your shoelaces with these miniature "Hangman’s Nooses".
One Handed Shoelace Knot
Here’s the ideal way to tie shoelaces with one hand: Lace the shoe with the bottom end permanently tied off, then secure the top end with a simple loop knot.
A "Reef Knot" is basically a Standard Shoelace Knot minus the loops. This is useful when the ends are not long enough to tie a regular "bow", such as when a shoelace has broken and there is no ready replacement.