Berluti Shoelace Knot

Also known as the "Double Shoestring Knot", this is a secure knot popularised by Olga Berluti: Begin as per the Standard Shoelace Knot and finish by feeding the opposite loop through the middle before tightening.

Berluti Shoelace Knot diagram 1

Step 1:

Tie a Left-over-Right Starting Knot as shown, then make the right (blue) end into a "loop" by simply doubling it back onto itself.

Berluti Shoelace Knot diagram 2

Step 2:

Take the left (yellow) end and pass it around to the right, going behind the right loop.

Berluti Shoelace Knot diagram 3

Step 3:

Continue the left (yellow) end around the right loop to end up in front.

Berluti Shoelace Knot diagram 4

Step 4:

Start to feed the left (yellow) lace into the "hole" that has just been made.

Berluti Shoelace Knot diagram 5

Step 5:

Pull the left (yellow) lace through the "hole" to form a "loop" on the right hand side. Up to this point, the knot is exactly the same as the Standard Shoelace Knot – but don't pull it tight just yet!

Berluti Shoelace Knot diagram 6

Step 6:

Wrap the left (blue) loop around the back and begin to feed it through the back of the hole in the middle.

Berluti Shoelace Knot diagram 7

Step 7:

The left (blue) loop emerges through the front of the hole and continues towards the left hand side.

Berluti Shoelace Knot diagram 8

Step 8:

Now, simply pull the loops to tighten the knot. The whole twisted mess of the previous drawing will rearrange itself into a fairly neat finished knot.

Finished Knot

Finished Berluti Shoelace Knot picture

The finished knot should be a tight, closed knot with a slightly asymmetrical double wrap around the middle, as compared to the single wrap of either my Ian Knot or any Standard Shoelace Knot.

Technical Details

History of the knot

According to the Berluti website, it was designer Olga Berluti who introduced the knot in the 1970s, taking her inspiration from the royal Duke of Windsor (who in turn popularized the "Windsor Knot" for neckties).

In fact, the knot is identical to the pre-existing "Double Shoestring Knot", which appears as #1216 in The Ashley Book of Knots by Clifford Ashley.

Different techniques

I've seen conflicting instructions for the Berluti Shoelace Knot.

The video on the berluti.com website actually shows a slightly different secure knot (the Surgeon's Shoelace Knot). There are several other "Berluti Knot" videos circulating on YouTube that also show slightly different techniques.

The technique shown on this web page is based on the original set of sketches that I found on the berluti.com website some time around 2008. Berluti have since changed to a very minimalist set of line diagrams – although still showing the identical technique.

This technique also produces a finished knot that corresponds with photos that I've seen elsewhere of Berluti shoes that have arrived pre-tied from the factory, which makes me more certain that this is the preferred technique.

Double Starting Knot

Double Starting Knot

The Berluti Shoelace Knot is often described with a Double Starting Knot (see image at right) – which I consider to be an "optional extra" for tying any shoelace knot more tightly. My diagrams therefore begin with the simpler regular Starting Knot.

Knot security

The Berluti Shoelace Knot has a slightly assymetrical security due to the way the loose ends pass under the double-wrap in the middle of the knot.

The loose end on the right side is secured under both wraps, similar to my Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot (and several other secure knots). However, the loose end on the left side is secured under only one of the wraps, similar to my Standard Shoelace Knot. This means that pulling the left end will untie the knot more easily than pulling the right end.

Overall, this makes the knot slightly more secure than other "standard" shoelace knots yet slightly less secure than many of the other "secure" shoelace knots.

NOTE: For normal activities, the Ian Knot or other standard knots should be quite secure. I believe that many people seek more secure knots because they are, without realizing, tying their shoelaces with an un-balanced "Granny Knot". Please see my Granny Knot page that discusses this in detail.

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