Shoelaces As Seen In The News
Shoelaces occasionally make an appearance in the news, where they have been involved in good and bad, happy and sad events. Here's some links to various news stories involving shoelaces.
External links should open in a new browser window, leaving current page active.
News Story Excerpts
Serial petrol thief caught because of his fluorescent green shoe laces
The Chronicle (UK), 11-Jan-2017
"A serial petrol thief, who targeted nine garages in five days, proved he wasn’t as bright as his footwear when he was
caught because of his fluorescent green shoe laces.
'It was the fluorescent green shoe laces on the CCTV, which the defendant was wearing, which linked him to it.' "
Chinese boy miraculously survived after being run over by a mini bus while squatting down to tie his shoelaces
Daily Mail (UK), 17-Dec-2016
"A little boy survived being run over by a mini bus after stopping to tie his shoelaces on a street in east China.
A CCTV clip published on Huai Hai TV shows a boy bending to adjust his shoes on his way to school at 8.00am on December 5."
Helen Mirren Talks ‘Fast 8’ and ‘Double Declutching’ (Video)
Houston Chronicle (USA), 27-Nov-2016
"As Mirren ascended the staircase to be greeted by the president of the film festival at the top, she looked down and noticed that one of his shoelaces was untied… and that's when her maternal instincts kicked in.
'I get very worried when people have their shoelaces undone because you can fall down and really hurt yourself if you step on your own shoelace. It can take you down,' she told DeGeneres. 'So as I walked up, I said, "Oh your shoelace is undone, let me do it up for you." '
Mirren very gracefully sank to her knees, she explained, 'and started doing up his shoelaces, at which point I forgot that all the paparazzi were out there.' "
How to Get the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0
Nike News (USA), 14-Nov-2016
"The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 in Black/White-Blue Lagoon will be available at the Nike Soho store and the NIKE+ ClubHouse at
45 Grand in New York – where consumers can learn about and trial the product – from December 1.
Later in December, the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, in both Black/White-Blue Lagoon and Metallic Silver/Black-White colorways, will become available through the NIKE+ APP and select Nike doors in the U.S."
Ian's Comment: Since the self-tightening HyperAdapt was first announced in Mar-2016 (see story below), news of the first wide release of "power laces" has gradually increased, reaching a crescendo in November just prior to the impending U.S. release date of 01-Dec-2016.
I was looking forward to getting my hands on a pair, in particular to see how the self-tightening shoelaces stack up against my own Ian Knot, the world's fastest shoelace knot. Alas, I'll have to wait a little longer until they're available here in Australia.
Barcelona appeal Lionel Messi yellow card for time wasting in Sevilla victory after his boot laces break in challenge
Daily Mail (UK), 08-Nov-2016
"Messi was booked during the second half for time wasting as he attempted to put his boot back on after it had come off
following a challenge from Sevilla's Steven N'Zonzi.
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique explained after the game that Messi's laces were broken due to N'Zonzi's foul and that is why the player could not put the boot back on immediately."
Football: Players get all tied up in match
Wide World of Sports (Australia), 31-Oct-2016
"Gators attacker Kit Loferski slid through the defence and broke into the penalty box only to be brought crashing down [by] what looked to be a crunching tackle.
But on second inspection, Loferski had her run ended by the strangest of tackling techniques.
Sliding into stop the attack, the defender's laces became entangled with Loferski's and brought her down."
Ian's Comment: Includes great slow-motion footage of the player being brought down by their shoelaces.
...Heroic Irishman on saving best pal's life after 'ferocious' shark attack
Irish Mirror (Ireland), 13-Sep-2016
"Shane's quick thinking kept his pal alive after he use[d] shoe laces connected to the fins of Dale's board to hold his leg together - improvising a kind of bandage until the paramedics could arrive.
He said: 'I realised Dale had some shoe laces connected to the fins of his board, and I was just delighted because I had nothing to work with, we had nothing to put him back together while waiting on emergency services.' "
Mom Posts Video Of Daughter Breaking Zip Ties Using Her Shoelaces to 'Escape from Kidnappers'
Independent Journal Review (USA), 05-Sep-2016
"In a video shared over 24,000 times on Facebook, Michelle O'Neal's daughter demonstrates how to break out of zip ties using just her shoestrings.
O'Neal's daughter simply unties her shoe and threads one end of [the] shoelace through the middle of her wrists. Once the shoelace is through to the other side, she wraps it around the zip tie and ties it to the end of the shoelace on her opposite foot.
From there, she quickly moves her legs and feet as if she were pedaling a bike until the zip tie breaks apart, freeing her from the restraints."
Ian's Comment: Within 24 hours, this video had "gone viral" and had been viewed almost 50 million times!
Facebook photo of dog with mouth tied shut alerts police
The Telegraph (UK), 30-Aug-2016
"A woman has been charged with animal cruelty for allegedly tying a shoelace around her dog's mouth as punishment.
Sarah Boothby, from Illinois, posted a photo of her dog's snout closed shut with the string on Facebook, police say, along with the caption: 'When you chew up mommy's shoe laces...' "
Disabled man robbed after woman offered to tie laces
Irish Examiner (Ireland), 14-May-2016
"O'Sullivan, who knew the victim, robbed him on Lord Edward Street, Limerick, after approaching him with an accomplice. The victim, who has cerebral palsy, was asked if he needed help tying his shoelaces. O'Sullivan then took his wallet and struck him in the face. He became distressed and was helped by two passers-by, who called gardaí."
The '$1,000 shoelace' that fixed DeMar DeRozan's thumb, explained
Yahoo! Sports (USA), 13-May-2016
"One of the stars of Game 5 ... was Raptors assistant coach/director of sports science Alex McKechnie, whom TNT's cameras
caught tightly wrapping a red shoelace around DeRozan's right thumb, which he injured back in Game 1.
'I think the first thing to understand is that the process is actually a very traditional way of treating injured fingers. It's used to create pressure and compression. You start very firm and you actually release pressure as you go through (wrapping it). Once it's completely covered in the string of the shoelace you mobilize the joint so you actually get tissue drainage and mobilization and you get immediate recovery in range (of movement).' "
'Suspicious package' at Netherton school was plastic tub with shoelace hanging out side
Liverpool Echo (UK), 10-May-2016
"Police and firefighters rushed to St Ambrose Barlow High School in Netherton over fears the object could be an explosive.
But emergency services quickly realised the package was not dangerous and pupils were allowed back into their classrooms.
Headteacher Steve Hall said the children and staff were 'not put in any danger whatsoever'.
It is understood the shoelace hanging out the side of the plastic box was mistaken for a fuse."
Police: intoxicated man steals shoelaces
Delmarva Now (USA), 27-Mar-2016
"He was arrested for disorderly conduct and a search showed a pair of shoelaces in his pocket from the Rack Room Shoes store, police said. The store confirmed he did not pay for the laces."
Ian's Comment: I'm now wondering what type of shoelaces they were that seemed worth the risk of stealing.
Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 Manifests the Unimaginable
Nike News (USA), 16-Mar-2016
"Welcome the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, the first performance vehicle for Nike’s latest platform breakthrough, adaptive lacing. The shoe translates deep research in digital, electrical and mechanical engineering into a product designed for movement. It challenges traditional understanding of fit, proposing an ultimate solution to individual idiosyncrasies in lacing and tension preference."
Ian's Comment: This is the first wide release of what has been termed "power laces" since the futuristic concept debuted in the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II. Prior incarnations have been limited editions released by Nike as fundraisers for the Michael J. Fox foundation for Parkinsons research.
Update 14-Nov-2016: The Nike HyperAdapts have since been released (see story above).
Ticky-tack call costs wrestler a match
Allied News (USA), 17-Feb-2016
"It was at this point Taylor noticed the Bubblers wrestler didn't have his shoes tied all the way to the top and alerted the official, who awarded a penalty point and the bout to Reynolds.
'We didn't put a shoelace through the top eye ring of a shoe,' Wright told pennlive.com. 'Boom, the official gives the kid a point and the match is over. That's cheap. Let the kids wrestle. That's what it is about.' "
Officer: Shoelace caught on gas pedal causes pedestrian accident
WRDW TV News (USA), 30-Jan-2016
"Officers say the driver's shoelace got stuck on the gas pedal and could not stop, causing him to hit the woman, and then run into bushes."
Man in questioning attempts to choke detective with shoelace police say
KUTV News (USA), 12-Dec-2015
"Searle was left along [sic] in an interview room while the detective typed up a report and Searle reportedly turned off the light.
According to Liddiard, the detective entered the room with other officers to see what was happening. Searle allegedly attacked the detective with a shoelace wrapped around both hands, apparently in an attempt to choke the detective."
Officer tugs at shoe laces, everyone's heart
Wane.com (USA), 28-Nov-2015
"A Fort Wayne Police Department officer patrolling a neighborhood on the southeast side of the city stopped his car to talk to two children. In a matter of moments, the officer got out of his car–to help tie one of the boy's shoes."
Row over cop buying 99p shoelaces on duty escalates into dispute 'costing tax payer £500,000'
The Mirror (UK), 01-Jul-2015
"The six-figure legal battle was sparked back in 2008 when a shopper in Melton, Leics, told the officer he should not be shopping while on the beat. The 60-second exchange ended after the officer said he had been buying the laces for his police boots."
'I found Reese Witherspoon's boot!' Hiker makes 'Wild' find on Mount Hood
The Oregonian (USA), 08-May-2015
" 'The thing that stood out was the red laces,' he said. 'The brown of the leather blended into the soil and I didn't see that at all. I saw the red laces and thought it was weird that there were flowers out already. That's when it came into focus. It was kind of funny.' "
Cat who snacks on SHOELACES saved after vet removed huge string ball from its tummy
The Mirror (UK), 06-May-2015
"A peckish puss nearly got in a right tangle by secretly snacking on shoelaces.
Garry was also partial to plastic and hair-bands.
But his doting owner didn’t suspect anything wrong until the two-year-old puss went for an annual vaccine.
Vets at Brighton PDSA Pet Hospital found an extremely large mass in his stomach."
Freak shoelace accident injures young girl's kidney
ABC 7 News (USA), 06-Mar-2015
"A freak accident involving an untied shoelace sent a little Belmont girl to Stanford hospital with a very serious injury. It was a lunchtime accident last Friday, that sent 7-year-old Sophia to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford for nearly a week.
'I tripped on my shoe lace, and fell on the curve, and I hit my side on it,' said Sophia Angelini."
Burglary victims caught and tied up Washington suspect with his own shoelaces and sweatshirt
NY Daily News (USA), 18-Feb-2015
"The victims of a Washington state burglary tied up the suspect with his own shoelace until police officers arrived.
They used Porter's own sweatshirt against him, tying his legs together and binding his hands behind his back with his shoelaces."
Farmer died being dragged into grain auger as shoelace got caught
STV News (Scotland), 28-Nov-2014
"A statement from police officer sergeant Graeme Shearer was read out to Selkirk Sheriff Court.
In it he said he had unwound Mr Sharp's overalls and jeans from the metal auger blade and found the shoelace was the item that had got caught on it first."
Drowning victim may have tripped on untied shoelace - coroner
TVNZ (New Zealand), 24-Oct-2014
"An untied shoelace may have caused an unemployed man to trip and fall into the Hutt River and drown, a coroner believes.
'While it cannot be known with certainty how Mr Waiwai came to be in the water I am satisfied that the evidence before me points to him having fallen accidentally - it is possible he tripped on his untied shoelace,' she said."
Little boy, 6, run down and killed by the same school bus that dropped him home 'because someone had tied his shoe laces together'
Daily Mail, 19-May-2014
"Witnesses say that Brendan Houston, a first-grade student at Herndon Magnet School, had alighted the bus in North Highland, a suburb of Shreveport, when he realized his shoe laces had been tied together.
He stopped to fix the laces, but the bus driver, Debra Stevens, didn't see him and pulled out."
Tragic Luas crash victim squeezed my hand and talked about 'love' - witness
The Irish Independent, 11-Apr-2014
"The Luas was travelling very slowly at the time, but it tailgated the BMW. She had bent down to tie her shoelace, and when the car spun out of control, the wing mirror caught the back of her head, and that was the end of it."
Tangled shoelace causes Madison crash
WGME News 13, Portland (USA), 27-Feb-2014
"A driver in Madison had his shoelace become tangled with the gas pedal, causing him to crash into a truck."
Video: Rafael Nadal takes a nasty fall and breaks ... a shoelace
Sports Illustrated (USA), 20-Jan-2014
"When Rafael Nadal takes a bad tumble, the tennis world gasps and holds its breath. Did he hurt himself? Did his knees
Turns out there were no scratches – just a busted shoelace. The match was delayed as Nadal had to run off court to get a new shoelace from the locker room. Apparently, of all the things he carries with him on court, an extra pair of laces isn't one of them."
NBA Fines Knicks' Smith for Shoelace Incidents
The New York Times (USA), 09-Jan-2014
"After J. R. Smith was spotted untying one of Shawn Marion's sneaker laces in the Knicks' win over the Dallas Mavericks
on Sunday, N.B.A. officials privately reprimanded him and told him not to do it again.
Midway through the first quarter against the Pistons, Smith unsuccessfully reached for the laces on Greg Monroe's left sneaker as both players awaited a free-throw attempt."
Injured hiker drags himself down Mt Ruapehu
TVNZ (New Zealand), 24-Nov-2013
"The 19-year-old man was hiking alone on the northwest slopes of the mountain when he slipped, sliding up to 100 metres and fracturing his leg.
The man, who is living and working in New Zealand, used his shoe laces to tie his legs together and began to drag himself down the mountain, yelling for help."
Referee punishes goalkeeper after opponent helps to tie his boot laces
Metro (UK), 11-Nov-2013
"With the match between Al Nahdha and Al Ittihad all square at 2-2 host goalkeeper Taisir Al Antaif was about to make a clearance when he realised his boot lace was undone.
Unsure as to what to do (those big foam gloves make lace-tying quite tricky) Al Antaif was saved by opposition striker Jobson, who, noticing the keeper’s plight, trotted up to his rival and bent down to tie the goalie’s lace."
Ian's Comment: Amazing sportsmanship! Firstly, to re-tie the laces of an opponent. Secondly, after a penalty kick was unfairly awarded as a result, the kick was deliberately squandered, thus reinstating the gesture that would otherwise have been destroyed by the over-zealous referee. A win for both teams!
Burglar caught out by his own sweaty feet after he leaves DNA evidence at crime scene
Daily Mail (UK), 21-Oct-2013
"A prolific burglar was finally jailed after he was given away by his sweaty feet.
David Wilks, 33, left a small piece of shoelace at a crime scene and police sent it away to be DNA tested.
A court heard sweat from Wilks's feet had seeped into the shoelace and police were able to get his DNA profile."
Police hunt convicted killer who escaped using shoelace
This Is South Wales (UK), 20-Jul-2013
"A CONVICTED killer who escaped from his custody cell using a shoelace is wanted by police.
He escaped from a Dorset prison where he was being held for the manslaughter in 2005.
Four years later Stevenson went on the run for more than two weeks after fleeing from his cell at Swansea's Guildhall, minutes after he was sentenced to five years in prison for possessing a shotgun.
He was given an additional two years on his sentence after he inserted a shoelace into the cell door and used it to pull back a spring-loaded latch."
Ian's Comment: This is the same person who escaped using the same shoelace technique back in Jan-2010 (see story below) and probably the same method in 2005. When will the authorities improve the locks on their prison cells?
Police officer's shoelace favour tugs internet's heartstrings
Toronto Star (Canada), 30-May-2013
"It was only after getting a bit closer that he realized the officer was not searching the elderly man – whom Cassidy described as having a cane and a breathing apparatus that ran through his nose – but instead tying his shoe."
'Hissing' passenger tied up with shoe-laces after he tries to open jet plane door mid-flight
Daily Mail (UK), 27-May-2013
"Ten minutes before Flight 132 was due to land in Portland, Oregon, Alexander Michael Herrera, 23 allegedly tried to open the emergency door after making 'unusual' statements.
The plane's crew and other passengers in row 17 had to restrain him with shoe laces and belt clips."
Design students step into limelight with sculpture at Malaysia International Shoe Festival
The Star (Malaysia), 29-Mar-2013
"The 3m-high shoe sculpture, made of 40,000 pieces of shoelaces, drew the attention of visitors with its colourful design and sheer size.
It entered the Malaysia Book Of Records as the largest sculpture to be made from shoelaces."
Man with the world's most advanced bionic hand can now tie his own shoelaces ...
Daily Mail (UK), 11-Mar-2013
" 'Its crazy I can now tie my shoe laces for the first time in years and play with playing cards. I'm developing my use of the hand more and more daily.
It really is a whole new quality of life.' "
Play of the day: Shoelaces lead to red card
The New Zealand Herald (NZ), 01-Feb-2013
"Roda JC striker Sanharib Malki might be looking to order shorter shoelaces for future games after his current pair led to a red card in a Dutch Eredivisie League game this week.
The Syrian player (Sanharib Malki) was left tangled with ADO Den Haag striker Mike van Duinen when their shoelaces got caught while both players attempted to go for the ball."
Ian's Comment: This was an almost exact repeat of an earlier incident in 2010! (see story below)
Duct tape and shoe laces propel WRX STI to second overall in Sno*Drift Rally
Torque News, 30-Jan-2013
"The 2013 Subaru WRX STI driven by David Higgins took second overall in the first Sno*Drift Rally race after being put back together with duct tape and a co-drivers shoe laces."
Accident tied to shoelace
Observer Today (USA), 03-Nov-2012
"According to police, the vehicle struck the building after the driver's shoelace interfered with the brake pedal."
... traffic ASP suspended after forcing constable to tie his shoelace
India Today, 26-Sep-2012
"Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday suspended VN Tiwari, additional superintendent of police of Traffic Department for asking a constable to tie his shoelace."
Brock: Shoelace antics led to Suh stomp
Fox Sports (USA), 12-Dec-2011
"So he says, 'OK, every time you're in a pile, I want you to focus on something. I want you to untie his shoes.'
'Anytime you can, just reach in; he's got floppy shoe laces, he doesn't spat (cover them with tape) or anything, just untie his shoes. It will irritate him.'
Brock said the Packers offensive lineman untied Suh's shoes three times during the game.
'That's why he stomped him,' Brock said."
Bristol mum's horror as boy's shoelace gets stuck in Primark escalator
Bristol Evening Post (UK), 12-Dec-2011
"A PREGNANT mum says she was abused by shoppers and ignored by staff as she struggled to free her son when his shoelace
became stuck in a store's escalator.
'I was desperately trying to pull his shoe off but it was getting tighter as the lace was pulled in.' "
Shoe laces help Wigton's John Millington master RAC Rally
News & Star (UK), 09-Dec-2011
"But the event wasn't all plain sailing – the pair had to operate their wipers using shoe laces at one point after
they failed in heavy rain.
'We tied shoe laces around the wiper blade and had to drag it across the screen when the water got too much for Gwyndaf to see through the screen.' "
Van driver cleared of killing biker on Bury New Road after telling jury his shoelace became tangled on pedals
Manchester Evening News (UK), 08-Dec-2011
"A van driver has been cleared over the death of a biker after the jury heard his shoelace had got stuck around the accelerator.
Stephen Johnson, 54, couldn't get his foot on to the brake and drove straight into the path of motorcyclist Ian Brierley."
Man dies in freak shooting accident
News24 (Africa), 31-Oct-2011
"Dr Paul Möller, 60, was alone at a shooting range on Saturday morning when he apparently stepped on a loose shoelace and fell down while holding his .357 revolver.
As he fell down, a shot went off and hit him in the right temple."
Dravid's shoe-lace costs him his wicket!
"... commentator David Frost discerned that the bat had actaully [sic] brushed against the lace of Dravid's boot in the willow's follow-through and that it was most likely this unusual collision that exuded the impression of a thick nick by the ball off the bat!"
David Bowie's Manners Won Over Iman
Daily Express (UK), 29-Jul-2011
"I remember once the laces on my trainers came undone and David was down on his knees in the middle of the street tying them for me."
Michael Caine hates shoe laces
Yahoo! OMG! (Philippines), 19-Jul-2011
"[One night] my shoe lace broke. It screwed me right up. I've never worn shoes with laces since."
How the Markells met: Love at first shoelace?
Delaware Online (USA), 24-Jun-2011
"Host Joe Scarborough introduced Carla Markell ... noting the couple first met in kindergarten.
Asked what kind of introduction the young Jack Markell made, the first lady responded: 'He taught me how to tie my shoes.' "
Gosport man gets head stuck in thorn bush after trying to tie shoelaces
Hampshire Daily Echo (UK), 19-Jan-2011
"A MAN fell down a 20-foot embankment and ended up with his head stuck in a thorn bush after an unsuccessful attempt to
tie his shoe laces.
Shortly after midnight the man bent down to tie his laces at Rowner Road, Gosport, and rolled down the bank."
Laces save TA soldier from Taliban sniper
Daily Mirror (UK), 05-Dec-2010
"A soldier was saved from a Taliban sniper – by his boot laces.
Lance Corporal Michael Davies, 31, bent down to tie up his laces a split-second before he was fired on."
Beckham's Newcastle ties
Newcastle Herald (Australia), 27-Nov-2010
"Eight-year-old Harrison Jones will never forget the day football royalty bent down to tie his shoelace, even though
the junior rugby league player did not know who David Beckham was before yesterday.
'I was running around and he asked me if he could do my shoelace up and I said yes. I think it was pretty cool.' "
Movie prank led to marriage of 60 years
Bay of Plenty Times (New Zealand), 20-Oct-2010
" 'I saw this pretty girl sitting in front of me and she had long beautiful plaits which were flowing over the back of her chair. So I took my shoelace out of my shoe and I tied her plaits to her seat,' said Mr Johns.
Imez believes she may have threw the shoelace back at him."
Teen using shoelace to light candle sets house on fire
NBC 10 News (USA), 04-Oct-2010
"Investigators said Monday that a teenager who tried to a light a candle with a shoelace started a fire that left seven
He couldn't reach the wick, so he set a shoelace on fire and tried to use it as a lighter.
Officials said the teenager threw away the shoelace in a wastebasket filled with tissues, which started smoking."
Things are picking up for the bionic boy
Telegraph (UK), 06-Sep-2010
"On July 22 my 13-year-old son, Patrick, tied his shoelaces. It was a moving occasion. For the first time in his life he
had performed this routine but intricate task, on his own and unaided.
Patrick had become the youngest of the small number of people round the world – some 1,400 or so – fitted
with the Touch Bionic prosthetic. He was the 'bionic boy'.
It can lift up to 90 kilos, perform intricate tasks (such as shoelace tying, holding spherical objects, using a keyboard), and provide a level of digital functionality previously impossible."
Boyfriend falls 11 stories and dies after trying to scale girlfriend's building
NY Daily News (USA), 09-Jul-2010
"A man who tried to scale down the side of a Harlem building [with] with shoelaces and a belt plunged 11 floors to his
death Thursday morning.
Wright tied the laces and the belt to a pipe and tried to inch his way to her top-floor window, then plummeted onto a second-floor patio roof."
Slide tackle gets laces stuck to studs
Yahoo! Sports (USA), 19-May-2010
"After a horrible first touch early on in Cruzeiro's match against Avai on Sunday, defender Leonardo Silva went in for a challenge on a charging Davi that resulted in getting Davi's laces stuck to the studs on Silva's boot."
Ian's Comment: This was almost exactly repeated in a later incident in 2013! (see story above)
Man crawls out of ravine after crash
Cowichan Valley Citizen (Canada), 05-May-2010
"When he was going to downtown Duncan his shoelace got caught under the accelerator of the vehicle and he sped out of control and off the road, ...
It came to rest approximately 200 feet down the bank."
Dog mauls boy, 11, in Tieri street
Central Queensland News (Australia), 26-Mar-2010
"A Tieri schoolboy's face was slashed and bitten in an unprovoked weekend dog attack.
The 11-year-old was walking alone down Pisces Street on Sunday afternoon when he bent over to tie a loose shoelace and was savaged by the medium-sized black and white dog."
Figure skater Nobunari Oda dragged down by his bootlaces
"Following a crash landing on the triple loop, memories of Tonya Harding's skating debacle at the 1994 Olympics came flooding back when Japan's Oda had to stop mid routine to sort out one of his bootlaces.
With the long laces trailing his boots on the ice, Oda skated up to the judges seeking permission to retie the offending piece of cord."
Ian's Comment: See also the earlier Tonya Harding story further below.
The New Yorker (USA), 11-Feb-2010
"Mandela asked for a meeting with P. W. Botha, the head of the apartheid state, which Coetsee and Barnard finally
arranged in 1989.
So anxious was Barnard, the intelligence chief, about the meeting that seconds before the two men were to shake hands, he knelt down to fix Mandela's clumsily tied shoes. (Prisoners were forbidden shoelaces, and Mandela was long out of the habit of tying them.)"
Prisoner used shoe lace to escape from Swansea court
BBC News (UK), 04-Jan-2010
"A prisoner has admitted escaping from the crown court in Swansea after using a shoe lace to tamper with a lock.
The court heard Stevenson had used a shoe lace to tamper with a latch on his cell door during the escape."
Ian's Comment: This same person escaped again using the same shoelace technique in Jul-2013 (see story above). When will the authorities improve the locks on their prison cells?
Ayrshire dog rescued after falling from icy cliff ledge
Ayrshire Post (UK), 01-Jan-2010
"Bruno somehow finished up on a precarious ledge in the Galloway Hills, beyond Loch Doon.
Brian now had to think about getting them both off the ledge.
He used boot spare boot laces to make a lead, tying one end to Bruno's collar and the other round his wrist.
'I had to virtually throw Bruno on to the ledge above,' said the fit gardener/handyman."
Hiker rescued after falling 100 feet in LA forest
Mercury News (USA), 28-Dec-2009
"Los Angeles County sheriff's officials say the man fell while hiking a trail in Eaton Canyon on Monday, injuring his
He also improvised a splint for his injured leg with his boot laces and a hammer."
(Original link on the Mercury News website now dead)
Illinois doctor delivers air male
American Medical News (USA), 21-Dec-2009
"After John Saran, MD, delivered a baby boy on a Southwest Airlines flight on Dec. 4, patients at his Naperville, Ill., office started showering him with shoelaces. Dr. Saran used a shoelace and a sweatshirt string to clamp the baby's umbilical cord."
The luckiest boy in Swansea
This Is South Wales (UK), 02-Nov-2009
"A Swansea teenager who disappeared 100ft over a cliff to chase one of his beloved new trainers is recovering at home – with a new pair of daps.
... Felix had kicked some stones over the edge of the cliff, accidentally sending one his new £20 Quicksilver trainers flying because the laces were untied."
Broken bench lawsuit can move forward
The Jersey Journal (USA), 02-Nov-2009
"A Bayonne woman who injured herself after her shoelace wrapped around a bolt sticking up from a city park bench does
have the right to sue the city – even though a Superior Court judge dismissed the case.
Bolger's laces looped around the bolt when she tucked her leg under herself and turned around to keep an eye on her other daughter.
When Bolger rose from the bench, her shoelace snagged on the protruding bolt and she crashed to the ground, suffering 'facial trauma' that sent her to the emergency room, according to court records."
ECISD bus runs over teen
Odessa American (USA), 28-Sep-2009
"An eighth grader at Nimitz Junior High School was severely injured Monday afternoon after getting ran over by a school bus on Odessa's southside, ...
Chris, 14, said he and Alexis were playing on the sidewalk after getting off the bus when Alexis tripped on his shoelaces and fell under. He said bus 659's right rear tire ran over Alexis' shoulder and collarbone, while his face struck the pavement from the impact."
Baby born in car was in bigger rush than traffic
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (USA), 01-Aug-2009
"Just a few more minutes and Ari Payton Smith might have been born in a nice, soft bed in the clean confines of Magee-Womens Hospital in Oakland.
But Ari wouldn't wait. So she was born in the front passenger seat of her great-grandmother's Pontiac Aztek, ...
One passer-by – 'the shoelace guy' – offered help.
'There was a guy who stopped who wanted to know if he could help,' Pat Rullo said. 'I was looking for a string or something to tie off the [umbilical] cord. The next thing I knew, there was a shoelace in my lap, and I never saw him again.' "
Fox steals more than 100 shoes
"A fox has been unmasked as the mystery thief of more than 100 shoes in the small western German town of Foehren,
authorities said Friday.
Although many were missing laces, the shoes were in good condition and their owners were delighted to reclaim them, he said, adding that no reprisals were planned against the culprit."
Girl survives punctured trachea
UPI, USA, 25-Feb-2009
"A 6-year-old student at an elementary school in Tennessee fell on a pencil when she tripped over her shoe lace and put
a hole in her trachea.
School officials said the girl was carrying the pencil when one of her laces became untied."
Burglar left hanging upside down after trapping shoelace
Telegraph, UK, 22-Aug-2008
"An hapless burglar was left hanging upside down against a window after trapping a shoe lace during a break-in.
The thief, John Pearce, had got his foot caught after smashing his way through the glass."
Bolting to a World Record
Time, USA, 16-Aug-2008
"Usain Bolt of Jamaica broke his own world record in the 100 meters to win the Olympic gold medal.
And he did it with his shoes untied: his left laces were flopping around at the finish."
Man hit by police cruiser was tying shoe, friends say
The Columbus Dispatch, USA, 05-Aug-2008
"Columbus police said the 25-year-old Boback Pourfarhadi fell and was lying in the roadway when Minerva Park Officer Jason Gross, who was driving south on Westerville Road, ran over him.
But the friends -- two women and a man -- told the elder Pourfarhadi that Boback had bent over to tie his shoelace and that they were waving at the officer to slow down because they thought he was speeding, he said."
Dad delivers his own daughter in a van
Chippewa Valley News, USA, 04-Apr-2008
"At one point, he asked a doctor there if they had anything he could use as a makeshift shoelace. The doctor handed him something, and Jason laced up the loose shoe.
It turned out to be umbilical cord tape – the stuff doctors use in the delivery room to tie off the cord."
Ian's Comment: I love the irony of Jason using his shoelaces to tie off the umbilical cord, then being given umbilical cord tape to tie up his shoes!
Andy's High Regard For Doctors
60 Minutes, CBS News, USA, 23-Mar-2008
"He did not know how to tie his shoelaces. His laces always ended up with the loops parallel to the shoe instead of with the bow across. This is a doctor who knows how to do the most sophisticated things with the organs inside a human body but can't tie his shoelaces?"
Ian's Comment: This sounds like a "Granny Knot", which sits crooked and comes undone, and for which there is a simple solution on my Granny Knot page.
25 years jail for escaped drug dealer
ABC News, Australia, 04-Mar-2008
"A Canadian man, once dubbed the shoelace escapee, has been sentenced to 25 years jail for one of Western Australia's
largest heroin importations that dates back 14 years.
Lau was once dubbed the shoelace escapee because when he fled the state authorities claimed he used a shoelace to manipulate a lock on a door."
'Shoe tree' toppled
Union Tribune, San Diego CA USA, 09-Jan-2008
"For some reason, people tossed their shoes onto the massive tree, which graced hole No. 2 at Morley Field Disc Golf
Course for about three decades.
Wicked winds knocked the old tree to the ground. It had died years ago, but it was never cut down because of its
All of the shoes were gone, but there were two pairs of laces – one turquoise, the other white – strung around the branch."
Smashed vases go back on display
BBC News, UK, 09-Nov-2007
"Three 17th Century Chinese porcelain vases accidentally smashed when a museum visitor tripped are back on public
display after being restored.
They were smashed into hundreds of pieces when Mr Flynn tripped over his shoelace."
Ian's Comment: See also the original story further below.
Clinton told to "tie her shoe"
The Messenger, Fort Dodge IA USA, 10-Oct-2007
"Hillary Clinton was reminded Tuesday that even an undone shoelace can somehow be tied to the health care issue.
'We've been at this, in Iowa especially, a year,' said the man, adding, 'And lastly, would you tie your shoe so you
don't trip over it?'
Then, proving that even a candidate seeking the highest office in the United States can take a bit of friendly advice, she sat down and tied her shoelace. The audience loved it."
Police release more details in accidental shooting
Capital News 9, Albany NY USA, 12-Sep-2007
"It started as a routine job for an Albany drug task force, but it ended in a bizarre scene.
The officers tied him up with shoelace because they didn't carry handcuffs into the field either. O'Reilly escaped the shoelace restraints and ran away before being caught."
Family Suing After Son Drowns
KNDO/KNDU News, Washington USA, Aug-2007
"Nearly a year later, the family of a Kennewick boy who drown[ed] in an irrigation pipe is suing the Kennewick
Loch was sliding through a culvert with friends in the Beer Falls area off Clearwater in Kennewick last October when his shoelace got caught and held him under the water and he drown[ed]."
Diana's wolf whistle to Simon
The Sun, UK, 26-Jun-2007
"Duran Duran star Simon Le Bon has told how Princess Di wolf-whistled at him 'like a brickie' as she admired his bum.
'I jumped off a running machine because my shoelace was undone'.
'She wolf-whistled at me across the room and yelled like a brickie, 'Nice legs!' "
Driver caught on tape
The Bakersfield Californian, USA, 04-May-2007
"Erica, her brother and their mother were on F Street crossing Poso Drive at 7 p.m. when Erica stopped, apparently to tie her shoes. The mother and brother continued across the street. Erica looked up, saw them ahead of her and ran to catch up.
A westbound car hit Erica and briefly carried her on its hood before she fell beneath its wheels."
Drummer BOBBY JARZOMBEK Breaks Wrist, Is Forced To Sit Out PAINMUSEUM Festival Gig
"Just one of those things – I was re-arranging my rehearsal studio in Hollywood when my shoelace got caught in the 'U' part of a guitar stand (the part that the neck sits into) that was laying on the floor."
Shoelace costs museum dear as vases are shattered
The Guardian, UK, 31-Jan-2006
"According to witnesses, an unfortunate visitor tripped over his shoelace and fell on to three Qing dynasty vases,
The man kept pointing to his shoelace, saying, 'There it is; that's the culprit.' "
Ian's Comment: See also the follow-up story further above.
Harding's Travails Give Olympic Skating Final Spin
The Washington Post, USA, 26-Feb-1994
"Tonya Harding arrived late to the Winter Olympics, never completed a short or long program in practice, ended up a disappointing 10th after the technical program, had a shoe lace snap in tonight's warmup, broke into tears on the ice, never tried her triple Axel and ended up watching Nancy Kerrigan skate from backstage, struggling for breath after vomiting into a trash can."
Ian's Comment: This incident was a bit of poetic justice that came after Tonya was involved in a consipracy to have her team rival, Nancy Kerrigan, knocked out of competition by breaking her leg.
Please Contact Ian if any of the above links doesn't work or if you have another link that you feel would make a good addition to this list.