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How to Tie Your Shoes (and other shoe tricks)

In the spirit of learning new tricks, today I want to talk about tying shoes – more specifically: how to do it. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Ummm..Lauren. Like most well-accomplished 4 year olds, I learned how to tie my shoes in kindergarten. And after 20-some odd years of doing it, I’d like to think of myself as an expert.” But before you roll your eyes and move on to the next post, hear me out. There’s a way to tie your shoes for everyday wear…and a way to tie them when you’re running (or walking).

I know we’ve all seen these people (or been them!) — the runner who has his or her shoes laced up in quadruple knots in order to keep them from coming untied during a run or a race.

DSCN0374

Unless you’re like my 10-year old self — who would purposely lace her shoes as loose as possible so that she’d have to stop and rest re-tie them multiple times during her 1-mile jog around the neighborhood — having your shoes come untied during a run is pretty annoying. Not only that, but it can be down-right dangerous. You don’t want to trip over a loose lace and end up flat on your face.

So at first glance, the double (triple or quadruple) knot may seem like your best insurance against these accidents. But what if I told you there was an easier way that not only looks better, but will guarantee that your shoes will never come untied again? A lofty promise, I know, but I’ve tied my shoes like this for every run for many many years now, and I have never once had them come untied.

The Runner’s Magical Double Loop

I’ll admit that I don’t know why this method works – I just know that it’s fail-proof. And the best part is that it’s incredibly simple.

1.) Start out by crossing your laces around each other to form a base as you would usually do:

how to tie shoe_1

2.) Take one lace in your hand and form a loop. This doesn’t have to be a fancy loop with the loose end going in a certain direction, etc etc etc. Just form a normal looking loop and pinch it between your pointer finger and thumb. Nothing too fancy yet – this is something you’ve been doing for years.

how to tie shoe_2 Notice the dog paw in the upper left-hand corner?

2a.) Take a quick break to yell at said dog who has run off with an old pair of running shoes (no doubt to practice the trick for himself):

koli_shoe

3.) Take the other lace in your opposite hand and wrap it around the loop that you’re currently holding.

And now for the trick: keep wrapping that lace until you’ve gone around the loop twice.

how to tie shoe_3

Notice that I’ve made 2 circles around the loop

4.) Pull that lace through and tighten. The finished product – a clean and secure knot.

runner knot

This method really couldn’t be more simple. You basically tie your shoes the same way you always have (unless you’re still using the two loop-bunny-down-the-rabbit-hole method), but you make an extra circle before pulling the lace through. That’s really the only thing that takes some getting used to. Now that I’ve been doing this for so many years, it’s become a habit I don’t even have to think about. Every time I lace up a pair of shoes – for running or otherwise — I tie them like this.

Still have doubts that something so simple could be so effective? Give it a try! I promise your shoes will not come untied, and if they do, I’ll give you your money back you’re probably doing something wrong let me know – because then I need to re-think everything! ;)

For a different method, you can try the Ian Knot recommended by Runner’s World. It takes a little bit of practice, but can be a super fast, secure way to lace up those sneakers.

Support Those Ankles

Another shoe trick I’ve been experimenting with for the past few weeks is one that I learned from my youngest sister. This method supposedly provides you with more ankle support, which is key for someone like me who is a huge overpronator (which basically means that my ankles roll in when I walk/run). It does this by keeping the top sides of your shoes tight.

1.) Take your untied laces and pull them back through the top hole – you know, the one that is set back a little ways that most people leave unlaced. Leave a little extra lace hanging out between the eyelets so that it forms a small loop.

running shoe_extra loops 1 running shoe_extra loops side

2.) Pull your left lace through the loop on the right side of the shoe, and your right lace through the loop on the left. Tighten.

tying shoe for more support

2a.) Take another quick break to yell at your bored puppy who has now decided to pass the time by chewing on the doorstep.

bored puppy

3.) Proceed to tie your shoes like normal (don’t forget your double-loop!).

DSCN0369-1

With that, you’re all laced up and ready to hit the roads! Like I said, I’ve only been experimenting with this method for the past couple of weeks. I can’t say that I’ve noticed a huge difference, but my ankles do feel a little more secure, so I’m going to keep testing it out.

running shoes laced up

And that concludes our lesson for today. How do you tie your shoes?

—-

And to all my readers in the good ole U S of A –  Happy 4th of July (weekend)! Hope you have a fun, relaxing, and patriotic celebration!

33 Responses to How to Tie Your Shoes (and other shoe tricks)

  1. I love this! I’ve tied my laces as you showed for ankle support since freshman cross country in high school. Definitely saves me! Have a great weekend lady!

    • Guess I’m really late to jumping on the bandwagon then! Glad to hear that you think it works — my ankles have felt a little more supported, so maybe there really is something to it!

      • Dont worry, this is a new idea to me, so you’re obviously not the latest in on the craze. Great idea though, I’ve just tried it and it really helps.

        Whod have thought I would be re-learning to tie my laces at 25….?
        alex´s last post ..ladies shoes size 3

  2. Oohh good post!! I didn’t realise how you tie your shoes could help support your ankle..you’ve caused a shoe revolution in my world :D
    Freya @ Brit Chick Runs´s last post ..Farewell

  3. Thank you so much for the ankle support tip! I am a major overpronator, so I will definitely rework my laces ASAP! Coming from a teacher – this was a great lesson!
    Becky´s last post ..Farm to City

  4. Like Freya I never knew that you could tie your shoes to support your ankles, I will give this a go as my ankles do the same thing as yours (I think!) Loving the picture of your puppy chewing the doorstep – totally adorable!
    Helen´s last post ..Lately life has been a bit like this…

  5. I use to tie my shoes as you show as ankle support because I always felt more support and secure. After reading your post I’m trying to remember why it is that I stopped. Great post!
    Bekah @ runtrackmind´s last post ..Piggyback

  6. Ahaha, you’re so cute! Thanks for the grade-school lesson, girlfriendd. Jay kay. Jay kay!! I know it’s really important to have properly tied shoes, especially when running! Kudos to you for sharing your neat little trick :D

    I’m lame and don’t tie my shoes. I don’t untie them either. They’re kind of just permanently in tied-mode and I slip in and out of them. If I ever dooo have to tie them, I usually double knot them, bunny-ear style. Ha!

    xo Aletheia
    aletheia´s last post ..A Tale of My Life As an ‘Oops’ We Have a Breadwinner-

    • So it’s YOU that still does the bunny ears!! haha Well, you’re going to have to untie your shoes sometime — don’t you ever buy new ones? If you do — this is way easier than double knotting. And once you learn the right lace to pull, it comes out with just one little tug! I don’t always untie my shoes either, but this is about as easy as it gets.

  7. This is awesome!!! I had no idea!
    Katie @ Health for the Whole Self´s last post ..Building a Better To-Do List

  8. i’m sorry this has nothing to do with your trick, buuut..
    oh my gosh Koli Bear has gotten HUUUGE!

    nice trick though lauren.
    you’re so clever :)

    • Why thank you! :) And yes — he has gotten huge. Still hasn’t grown into those legs though. I really think he’s half deer.

  9. thats exactly how the guy at the running store where i get my shoes ties my laces!!!!! i usually keep them liek that unless i somehow undo it for whatever reason- at least now i can refer back here and make sure i tie it up right <3 haha, adults need to learn to ties their shoes, aint that the truth! lol
    xoxo

  10. This post was so funny to me because when I was in “run club” in middle school, I would purposely leave my shoelaces loosely tied so I could stop and take breaks to tie them! =P
    Love the puppy photos :)
    Hope you’re enjoying the 4th!!

  11. I think I tie mine in a version of the first method that you demonstrated. I try to tie them tight but not too tight but doubled so that they won’t come undone (I agree that its super annoying!)

    Your pup is such a cutie!

  12. I do the double loop thing on my shoes as well and think it does help to some degree with ankle support. I can definitely feel a difference from when I don’t do it. I will definitely try your trick for tying the next time I lace up.
    Alex @ IEatAsphalt´s last post ..Calling all DC Bloggers

  13. So I’m guilty of always skipping over the “how to tie your shoe” articles in Runner’s World magazine b/c they looked so complicated. But it’s really just one extra loop? That seems easy enough even for me. Who knew? I’ll be trying this on my run tomorrow morning!
    Jen´s last post ..Spent

  14. haha, that picture of your dog with the shoes is too cute!

  15. Aah your puppy is adorable!!! Especially that picture of him by the doorstep–too cute.

    As for my shoes? I tie them normal and they never come undone. Maybe you’re just such a fast runner that you need extra strength tying skills? Probably. :)
    hbobier @ Basil Vodka´s last post ..Gluttony

  16. [...] Lauren shares some great tips for shoe-tieing [...]

  17. I just learned the ankle support way to tie, too! But it was actually suggested to me because I was getting blisters on my ankle and achilles tendon. Ever since I changed my laces I haven’t had trouble with my shoes rubbing my skin raw!
    Lizz @ Leading the Good Life´s last post ..A Food- Fireworks- -amp Flip Cup Filled Fourth

  18. I always do the “support your ankles” tie (plus it keeps the laces short and out of the way but I like the way it feels tied on my foot too!) I need to start double looping it though! I’v only ever had my shoes come untied once when running which was no big. But none would be better ;)
    Ashlei´s last post ..It’s My Birthday-

  19. [...] also really funny, knowledgeable and inspiring. If you do nothing else make sure you learn how to tie your shoelaces… (Seriously you have been doing it wrong all these [...]

  20. [...] lottery in the first place and started to run properly, I am forever grateful. Oh and she taught me how to tie my shoes… Yes you are probably doing it [...]

  21. [...] So I learned how to tie my shoes again (better). [...]

  22. [...] up with reasons why it just wasn’t going to happen. But yesterday, I read an article on a new way to tie my shoes. That was all it took to spark my interest, fire up my motivation, and brush away all my [...]

  23. [...] as the starting point was still some way away. On the way I tied my shoelaces – the trusted runners’ knot. Just around the starting point, we started to jog and at 7:26 we crossed the starting point and [...]

  24. [...] Another thing I changed was I found a new way of tying my shoe laces. I was annoyed that they would untie sometimes during my runs so I googled a good way of tying them and it was awesome. I felt a lot of support for my ankles and they never came undone. Here is the link on how to do it. http://www.healthontherun.net/running/how-to-tie-your-shoes-and-other-shoe-tricks/ [...]

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  26. […] Teaching a colleague a helpful “trick” I learned several years ago – and genuinely making his day with that new knowledge.  I love […]

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