Boat Shoe Knot Feedback

Boat Shoe Knot diagram

Often used on boat shoes (deck shoes) or moccasins with leather laces, the “Heaving Line Knot” creates decorative coils instead of knots. Each end is simply coiled around itself until all remaining lace is consumed.

What Others Have Said

The following are excerpts from some of the many e-mails that I've received about the Boat Shoe Knot.

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Visitor Feedback

I actually use the “Boat Shoe Knot” for my daughter's shoes as she hasn't quite mastered the knot yet, it's really convenient and she isn't tripping over her laces all the time.

– Kimberly B., Apr-2012

Regarding your boat shoe knot, you say: “Note that this knot does NOT secure the ends, rather, the boat shoe becomes a slip-on. This knot is simply a decorative way to consume the excess length of those loose ends.”

A variation on that knot, which does secure the ends, keeps the laces tight, and eliminates what appears to me to be a haphazard and dangling look, is to simply tie a reef/square knot first, then tie your boat knot.

– Chuck S., Maryland, USA, Mar-2012

there is an old spiral/barrel style tie that both ends of the leather laces get tied with. this shoe becomes a slip on that doesn't have to ever be re-tied.

– Melissa A., Jan-2009

This was a big trend on the east cost of the U.S. out in the Hamptons area of Long Island, Nantucket and the Kennedy's stomping ground of Martha's Vineyard - home to old-money “Preppies”. Boat shoes and loafers worn without socks are the staple in these locations in the summer.

– Jon D., Arizona, USA, May-2008

In the 80s we use to tie our boat shoes leather laces sepreate. When you where done each shoelace looked like a currly noodle hanging off each side of the shoe.

– Stacy, Jan-2008

The laces of my old Bluchers have a permanent spiral-like knot on the end of each lace. This way, a bulk of the lace is taken up in both knots and I don't ever have to lace up my shoes.

– Sandy D., New York, USA, Dec-2007

I had a pair of Dexter boat shoes that came with instructions on how to lace up the shoes and then tie off the laces by winding the shoelace on itself and tying it off on either side. You could then wear them as though they were slip on shoes.

– Ray, May-2006

This is what fashionable, boating, New Englanders do to their laces to make them shorter without looking ratty. It takes some time but it is well worth it.

– Kim K., USA, May-2006

I came across this years ago in college where lots of students wore L.L. Bean moccasins.

– Dalia R., Illinois, USA, Oct-2005

It takes a little practice, and works better with the kinds of laces that come with topsiders (the round, as opposed to flat, kind). Also, it take a little practice to get the length right. You should only have a very tiny bit of lace end sticking out of the noose.

– Georgia, Sep-2005

When I was in High School, many of us wore Docksiders, or “boat shoes”, with leather laces. My friends often would put “pigtail knots” on the end of their laces, in lieu of tying them. This allowed them to wear the shoes like loafers, without having to lace them. The knot is a coil, or series of loops, similar in appearance to a hangman’s noose, perhaps.

– Robert B., Tennessee, USA, Jan-2005

They were great for slipping shoes on and off without ties. They [the ends] were independent of each other – kind of looked like a catapiller. The directions came inside a pair of Sperry Top-siders that I bought for my teenage son.

– Cathy M., Delaware, USA, Dec-2004

I also looked on how to tie boat shoe knots the way they did when i was in school. It kinda looked like a dangling noose or tassel. The preppies used to where their laces this way when I went to school.

– Damien, Nov-2004

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This page last updated: 04-Sep-2022. Copyright © 2010-2022 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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