Ian Fieggen (aka 'Professor Shoelace') Ian's Shoelace Site Ian's Shoelace Knot
Ian's Shoelace Site - Bringing you the fun, fashion & science of shoelaces
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.) You'll find the answers to Frequently Asked Questions here, mainly for the benefit of people typing those questions into search engines. It's also worth looking here before you send me a question for which I've already posted an answer.

See also the Translations of F.A.Q's if you have a question in another language.
Q: When were shoelaces invented?
Q: When were shoe laces invented?
Q: When was the shoelace invented?
Q: When was the shoe lace invented?
Q: Who invented shoelaces?
Q: Who invented shoe laces?
Q: Who invented the shoelace?
Q: Who invented the shoe lace?
Q: Who was the shoelace inventor?
Q: Who was the shoe lace inventor?
Q: Who was the inventor of shoelaces?
Q: Who was the inventor of shoe laces?
Q: Who was the inventor of the shoelace?
Q: Who was the inventor of the shoe lace?
A: No-one knows exactly! Like shoes, shoelaces have been around for thousands of years, long before either names or inventors were ever recorded. Having started as basic string or leather thongs with which primitive humans bound their foot coverings, they would have gradually evolved into the shoelaces that we know today, with no individual ever credited with their "invention".
Urban Myth Warning!
It is widely mis-reported that shoelaces were invented by Harvey Kennedy on 27th March 1790. This date is centuries after shoelaces were in common use and is clearly NOT correct. Perhaps he patented a particular type of shoelace, but he did not "invent shoelaces".
Q: How do you tie your shoelaces?
Q: How do you tie your shoe laces?
Q: How do you tie your shoes?
Q: How do you tie your shoelace knot?
Q: How do you tie your shoe lace knot?
Q: How do you tie shoelaces?
Q: How do you tie shoe laces?
Q: How do you tie shoes?
Q: How do you tie a shoelace knot?
Q: How do you tie a shoe lace knot?
Q: Instructions: How to tie your shoelaces.
Q: Instructions: How to tie your shoe laces.
Q: Instructions: How to tie your shoes.
Q: Instructions: How to tie shoelaces.
Q: Instructions: How to tie shoe laces.
Q: Instructions: How to tie shoes.
Q: Instructions: Tying your shoelaces.
Q: Instructions: Tying your shoe laces.
Q: Instructions: Tying your shoes.
Q: Instructions: Tying shoelaces.
Q: Instructions: Tying shoe laces.
Q: Instructions: Tying shoes.
Q: Instructions: Shoelace tying.
A: The best general purpose shoelace knot, and the original reason for this web site, is my own Ian Knot. Not only is it the World's Fastest Shoelace Knot, it also happens to looks neat and symmetrical, causes less wear and tear on the laces, stays securely tied yet comes undone easily when required.
Ian Knot animation
If, on the other hand, you meant this question generally, my Tying Shoelaces page contains everything you need to know, including a number of different Shoelace Knots.
Q: Are there other ways to tie your shoelaces?
Q: Are there other ways to tie your shoe laces?
Q: Are there other ways to tie your shoes?
Q: Are there other ways to tie shoelaces?
Q: Are there other ways to tie shoe laces?
Q: Are there other ways to tie shoes?
Q: Are there other ways of tying shoelaces?
Q: Are there other ways of tying shoe laces?
Q: Are there other ways of tying shoes?
Q: Are there other shoelace knots?
Q: Are there other shoe lace knots?
Q: Are there different ways to tie your shoelaces?
Q: Are there different ways to tie your shoe laces?
Q: Are there different ways to tie your shoes?
Q: Are there different ways to tie shoelaces?
Q: Are there different ways to tie shoe laces?
Q: Are there different ways to tie shoes?
Q: Are there different shoelace knots?
Q: Are there better shoelace knots?
Q: Are there faster shoelace knots?
Q: Are there quicker shoelace knots?
Q: Are there easier shoelace knots?
Q: Are there stronger shoelace knots?
A: Head for my Shoelace Knots page, where you'll find a number of different knots for tying shoes.

The two knots that I reckon everyone should know are my own Ian Knot, which answers several of these questions (ie. better / faster / easier), plus my Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot. Besides these, there are several other common knots plus some lesser known methods.
Q: How do you tie shoelaces with one hand?
Q: How do you tie shoe laces with one hand?
Q: How do you tie shoes with oone hand?
Q: Is there a one handed shoelace knot?
Q: Is there a one handed shoe lace knot?
Q: Is there a handicapped shoelace knot?
Q: Is there a handicapped shoe lace knot?
Q: Is there a disabled shoelace knot?
Q: Is there a disabled shoe lace knot?
Q: Is there a shoelace knot for one hand?
Q: Is there a shoe lace knot for one hand?
Q: Instructions: One handed shoelace knot.
Q: Instructions: One handed shoe lace knot.
Q: Instructions: One handed shoelace tying.
Q: Instructions: One handed shoe lace tying.
Q: Instructions: Tying shoelaces one handed.
Q: Instructions: Tying shoe laces one handed.
Q: Instructions: Tying shoes one handed.
Q: Instructions: Handicapped shoelace knot.
Q: Instructions: Handicapped shoe lace knot.
Q: Instructions: Disabled shoelace knot.
Q: Instructions: Disabled shoe lace knot.
A: Almost all shoelace knots are designed to be tied with two hands, and anyone who has tried to tie them with one hand will realise that this is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Besides those who are physically missing an arm, hand or fingers, there are those who have suffered strokes or have been crippled by arthritis, as well as those who are temporarily disabled through injury or other restrictions.

A few solutions exist on this site, including the One Handed Shoelace Knot and the One Handed Lacing. I've even created a video of how to tie my Ian Knot with one hand! Elsewhere, alternatives include elastic shoelaces, laces with spring catches or toggles, and lace-in inserts with either zippers or Velcro.
Q: Is there a more secure shoelace knot?
Q: What is a more secure shoelace knot?
Q: Do you have a more secure shoelace knot?
Q: Are there more secure shoelace knots?
Q: What are more secure shoelace knots?
Q: Do you have more secure shoelace knots?
Q: Is there a more secure shoe lace knot?
Q: What is a more secure shoe lace knot?
Q: Do you have a more secure shoe lace knot?
Q: Are there more secure shoe lace knots?
Q: What are more secure shoe lace knots?
Q: Do you have more secure shoe lace knots?
A: I've studied a number of more secure shoelace knots, most of which are based on wrapping around a second time in some manner. I've combined the best features of several such knots to produce my Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot, with the emphasis on symmetry.

Note that my Ian Knot, the World's Fastest Shoelace Knot, is quite secure for all normal activities.
Q: Why do my shoelaces come undone?
Q: Why do my shoelaces come untied?
Q: Why do my shoelaces slip?
Q: Why won't my shoelaces stay tied?
Q: Why do my shoe laces come undone?
Q: Why do my shoe laces come untied?
Q: Why do my shoe laces slip?
Q: Why won't my shoe laces stay tied?
A: If tied correctly, ALL the normal shoelace knots, including my Ian Knot, should stay securely tied. Most people discover that their shoelaces slip because they are, without realising it, tying an un-balanced "Granny Knot". My Granny Knot page shows how to find out whether you are tying a balanced knot.
Q: How do you stop your shoelaces coming undone?
Q: How do you stop your shoelaces coming untied?
Q: How do you stop your shoelaces slipping?
Q: How do you stop your shoe laces coming undone?
Q: How do you stop your shoe laces coming untied?
Q: How do you stop your shoe laces slipping?
A: If you find your shoelaces are always coming undone, no matter how tightly you tie them, chances are that you are tying an un-balanced "Granny Knot". My Granny Knots page shows how to reverse your Starting Knot in order to change your knot into a balanced "Reef" or "Square" knot.
Q: Why are my shoelace bows crooked?
Q: Why do my shoelaces have crooked bows?
Q: Why do my shoelace bows sit crooked?
Q: Why do my shoelaces sit crooked?
Q: Why don't my shoelaces have straight bows?
Q: Why don't my shoelace bows sit straight?
Q: Why don't my shoelaces sit straight?
Q: How do I fix crooked shoelace bows?
Q: How do I fix crooked shoelaces?
Q: How do I make my shoelace bows sit straight?
Q: How do I make my shoelaces sit straight?
Q: Insructions: Fixing crooked shoelaces.
Q: Insructions: Fixing crooked bows.
Q: Instructions: Tying straight bows.
A: Crooked shoelace bows are usually a sign that the knot has been tied with an un-balanced "Granny Knot". This doesn't just apply to crooked shoelaces; it's also true for crooked bows on dresses, crooked hair ribbon bows, even crooked wedding invitation bows. My Granny Knots page shows how to reverse your Starting Knot in order to change your knot into a balanced "Reef" or "Square" knot whose bow sits perfectly straight.
Q: How do you lace your shoes?
Q: Are there other ways to lace your shoes?
Q: Are there different ways to lace your shoes?
Q: Are there better ways to lace your shoes?
Q: Are there cool ways to lace your shoes?
Q: Are there faster ways to lace your shoes?
Q: Are there quicker ways to lace your shoes?
Q: Are there easier ways to lace your shoes?
Q: Are there stronger ways to lace your shoes?
Q: How do you lace shoes?
Q: Are there other ways to lace shoes?
Q: Are there different ways to lace shoes?
Q: Are there better ways to lace shoes?
Q: Are there cool ways to lace shoes?
Q: Are there faster ways to lace shoes?
Q: Are there quicker ways to lace shoes?
Q: Are there easier ways to lace shoes?
Q: Are there stronger ways to lace shoes?
Q: How can you make your shoelaces shorter?
Q: How can you make your shoelaces longer?
Q: Instructions: How to lace your shoes.
Q: Instructions: How to lace shoes.
Q: Instructions: Ways to lace your shoes.
Q: Instructions: Ways to lace shoes.
Q: Instructions: Lacing shoes.
Q: Instructions: Shoe lacing.
A: There are literally trillions of possible ways of lacing an average shoe, although many of these are hopelessly tangled messes. Realistically, there's still a multitude of practical combinations, of which you'll find a number of the more useful examples in my Lacing Shoes section, each with their own benefits such as ease of use, speed, appearance, comfort, security, strength, wear and tear, length of lace used, etc.

Of these, my own personal favourite is the Over Under Lacing method.
Q: How do you straight lace shoes?
Q: How do you do straight lacing?
Q: How do you lace shoes straight across?
Q: How do you do bar lacing?
Q: How do you do Lydiard lacing?
Q: How do you checkerboard lace shoes?
Q: How do you do checkerboard lacing?
Q: How do you lace shoes like a checkerboard?
Q: How do you two color lace shoes?
Q: How do you two colour lace shoes?
Q: How do you lace shoes with two colors?
Q: How do you lace shoes with two colours?
Q: How do you do two color lacing?
Q: How do you do two colour lacing?
Q: How do you lace shoes for footbag?
Q: How do you lace shoes for hackey sack?
Q: How do you lace shoes for hacky sack?
Q: How do you do footbag lacing?
Q: How do you do hackey sack lacing?
Q: How do you do hacky sack lacing?
Q: Instructions: How to straight lace shoes.
Q: Instructions: How to bar lace shoes.
Q: Instructions: How to do Lydiard lacing.
Q: Instructions: How to checkerboard lace shoes.
Q: Instructions: How to two color lace shoes.
Q: Instructions: How to two colour lace shoes.
Q: Instructions: How to lace shoes for footbag.
Q: Instructions: How to lace shoes for hackey sack.
Q: Instructions: How to lace shoes for hacky sack.
Q: Instructions: Straight lacing shoes.
Q: Instructions: Bar lacing shoes.
Q: Instructions: Lydiard lacing shoes.
Q: Instructions: Checkerboard lacing shoes.
Q: Instructions: Two color lacing shoes.
Q: Instructions: Two colour lacing shoes.
Q: Instructions: Footbag lacing shoes.
Q: Instructions: Hackey sack lacing shoes.
Q: Instructions: Hacky sack lacing shoes.
A: These are some of the most often requested lacing variations. Whilst Straight Lacing has been around for hundreds of years, patterns using two or more colors of lace come and go with fashion trends. Many sneakers nowadays are supplied with spare laces in complementary colors, prompting many people to want to lace them using two or more colors.

My Lacing Shoes section contains a number of the more popular examples, including Straight Bar Lacing (= Lydiard Lacing), Checkerboard Lacing and Double Lacing.
Q: How do you shorten shoelaces?
Q: How do you cut down shoelaces?
Q: How do you make shoelaces shorter?
Q: How do you fix excessively long shoelaces?
Q: How do you stop shoelace ends from dragging?
Q: How do you keep shoelace ends off the ground?
Q: How do you lengthen shoelaces?
Q: How do you make shoelaces longer?
Q: How do you fix excessively short shoelaces?
Q: How do you make shoelaces the correct length?
A: It's rare for shoelaces to be the exact length; most seem to be excessively long nowadays. The best solution is to figure out the correct length, then either replace the shoelaces or shorten them yourself and replace the aglets.

There are alternatives that let you keep your existing shoelaces. Choose a different Lacing Method that fits the length of your shoelaces. For long laces, use a different Shoelace Knot that consumes more lace, such as many people do with the Double Shoelace Knot. This also works to a lesser extent with the Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot, Surgeon's Shoelace Knot or the Turquoise Turtle Shoelace Knot, whilst the Double Ian Knot can use up any amount of excess lace, albeit with a ridiculous looking result!
Q: What is a shoelace tip called?
Q: What are shoelace tips called?
Q: What is the name for a shoelace tip?
Q: What is the tip of a shoelace called?
Q: What is the end of a shoelace called?
Q: What do you call the tip of a shoelace?
Q: What do you call the end of a shoelace?
Q: What do you call the sleeve on the end of a shoelace?
Q: What is the sleeve on the end of a shoelace called?
Q: What is the name for the sleeve on the end of a shoelace?
Q: What do you call the sleeves at the ends of shoelaces?
Q: What are the sleeves on the ends of shoelaces called?
Q: What is the name for the sleeves on the ends of shoelaces?
A: The plastic or metal sleeves at the end of shoelaces are called Aglets (or "Aiglets"). Besides making an interesting trivia or crossword puzzle question, aglets have several functions: They prevent the lace ends from fraying, they make the laces easier to hold, and they make them easier to pass through the eyelets.

The word "aglet" (or "aiglet") comes from Old French "aguillette" (or "aiguillette"), which is the diminutive of "aguille" (or "aiguilee"), meaning "needle". This in turn comes from the original Latin word for needle: "acus".
Q: How do you fix aglets?
Q: How do you repair aglets?
Q: How do you replace aglets?
Q: How do you strengthen aglets?
Q: How do you make new aglets?
Q: How do you decorate aglets?
A: Aglets, the little plastic or metal sleeves at the end of shoelaces, are generally plastic nowadays, and are prone to damage, breakage, even loss. See my Aglet Repair page for some ways to fix them.
Q: Isn't a shoelace tip called a "flugelbinder"?
Q: Isn't a shoelace tip called a "fluglebinder"?
Q: Isn't a shoelace tip called a "floogelbinder"?
Q: Isn't a shoelace tip called a "flooglebinder"?
Q: Isn't a shoelace tip called a "flugel binder"?
Q: Isn't a shoelace tip called a "flugle binder"?
Q: Isn't a shoelace tip called a "floogel binder"?
Q: Isn't a shoelace tip called a "floogle binder"?
Q: What is a "flugelbinder"?
Q: What is a "fluglebinder"?
Q: What is a "floogelbinder"?
Q: What is a "flooglebinder"?
Q: What is a "flugel binder"?
Q: What is a "flugle binder"?
Q: What is a "floogel binder"?
Q: What is a "floogle binder"?
A: "Flugelbinder", however you choose to spell it, is NOT the correct name for a shoelace tip (which is actually called an Aglet).

This fictitious addition to the English language seems to have originated in the 1988 movie "Cocktail", during a discussion about the ordinary objects that can turn their inventors into millionaires.

(See dialogue below...)
Excerpt from the hit movie "Cocktail", from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, during which the fictitious "flugelbinders" are mentioned. The scene begins with Flanagan (Tom Cruise) playing with one of the tiny paper umbrellas that are used to decorate cocktail drinks:
Cocktail DVD
[Flanagan]  You know there's a guy who makes these?
[Jordan]  One guy? He must be exhausted.
[Flanagan]  Yes, he is. But still, he gets up in the morning and he kisses his wife and he goes to his drink umbrella factory where he rips off ten billion of these a year. This guy's a millionaire.
[Jordan] (picking up an ashtray)  How about the guy who makes these?
[Flanagan]  How about that guy? Not to mention the guy who makes these.
[Jordan]  And those little wrappers are made by another guy.
[Flanagan]  What about these plastic things at the end of these laces.
[Jordan]  Hmmm. It's probably got one of those weird names too like - aahh, "flugelbinder".
[Flanagan]  Flugelbinder, right. We're sittin' here, and we're surrounded by millionaires. You rack your brains day and night to try to come up with a money-making scheme, and some guy corners the flugelbinder market.

Go to Amazon.com to read more or to buy the DVD of "Cocktail".
Approximate price: $6.57 (USD) 34% Off
This page is mainly for the benefit of people who are searching the Internet. Should they type questions such as these into a search engine and be directed here, this page will redirect them to the answers within my site. Please feel free to Contact Me if this page hasn't answered your question.

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