Double Knot Feedback
Also known as the “Shoe Clerk's Knot”, this is a crude method of making a knot “permanent” or for consuming excess lace to keep the ends from dragging. Tie a Standard Shoelace Knot, then tie a half knot with the finished loops.
What Others Have Said
The following are excerpts from some of the many e-mails that I've received about the Double Shoelace Knot – mostly about how people no longer need to use it, either through learning to avoid the Granny Knot or through adopting my Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot.
If you'd also like to send feedback, please Contact Ian.
I'm that person who double knots and it seems like they still come undone, so I'm really excited to practice some of your knots.
– Laura E., Jun-2020
I'd like to know who invented those round, nylon shoelaces. You know, the ones that don't want to stay tied.
Yes, I know you can double-knot them or use whatever knots you are suggesting. But having normal laces would only require a normal knot, or bow.
– Rich M., May-2020
I am a lifetime double knot tier who often had their laces come undone. It was extra bad recently when I was wearing dress shoes with their thick corded laces with Jeans (business casual). The jeans flap against the laces and they come untied in no time.
– Ross B., Nov-2019
Thank you for your great site, I now no longer have to double knot my laces as a bodge fix for my constant granny knots!
– D., Malta, Oct-2019
I stopped using double knots entirely on sweatpants, as it's a good way to have a tangled mess.
– Rick S., Michigan, USA, Mar-2019
For 60+ years, I have been tying my shoelaces the wrong way. For 40+ years I have been cursing out an outmoded technology for fastening shoes, every time they came untied, which was often. I have double-knotted my laces and bought footwear that didn't need tying, to avoid the problem (as well as traditional shoelace footwear).
– David A., Dec-2018
I tie my shoes with a standard “double knot” - ie what is technically called the Shoe Clerk’s Knot. Yet I sometimes am able to undo the knot by simply pulling one of the laces and sometimes this does not work. I can not figure out why though!
– Ephraim G., New York, USA, Oct-2018
I learned to tie my shoelaces on a road trip with my Uncle and Aunt from Massachusetts to Georgia. I think I was 6 or 7 maybe older. The cotton laces usually held okay, but the nylon laces in hiking boots ... notorious for slipping and I have been double knotting for 50 years :-)
– Joe M., Maui, Hawaii, Sep-2016
The issue for me, being a soccer coach of youngsters, is the constant need to tie up laces. Even double knots on football boots constantly come untied.
– Michale C., Taipei, Taiwan, Mar-2016
I generally get my kids to make a double knot that keeps it all tied.
– Ben D., Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, Sep-2015
For most of my life (now in my late 30's!) I had knots that came untied, even if I tied “double knots.” Constant tripping, loose shoes, and annoyance.
– Peter L., Apr-2015
Just a quick thank you from a 50 year old that has been tying his shoe lace knots wrong for his entire life. I saw you on Going Deep with David Rees and found that simply reversing my starting knot means that I no long need to do double knots. Although, there is one downside, I now have to put up with noise with aglets bouncing around everywhere.
– Matt, Nov-2014
I double-knot (two loop knots) my laces on that same pair of shoes because the laces are too long. But I noticed that I get that infamous “granny knot” [crooked bow] when I do so, even when I go left-over-right, then right-over-left for the starter knot and first loop knot.
– Mark, California, USA, Jul-2014
I also found out why my laces always came undone and why I was always double knotting. I'm using the Ian Knot now and also like the reef knot when I just don't want loops.
– Josh C., Pennsylvania, USA, Feb-2014
I'm 39 now and your site just taught me how to tie my shoes about a month ago. Up until then, I was tying both knots left over right, and ever since I started wearing work boots with the round waxy laces, I've been retying at least 3 times a day (and this is with a double knot, BTW).
– [anonymous], Texas, USA, Jan-2014
I always thought that a double knot was necessary in order for your shoes to stay tied. These ugly “double knots” I always tied looked so sloppy. This problem was so annoying and frustrating, yet so insignificant that I never took the time to find the answer!
– Tommy V., Nov-2013
One thing I struggled with was that the standard double shoelace knot was too secure: it was difficult to undo and I had to pull the knot apart with my nails, something that damages the laces each time you do it.
– Nico K., Jan-2013
I seem to be having difficulty with shoelaces that have come with new shoes--good ones, expensive ones. I do know how to tie them properly (former Girl Scout, checked out by my husband, a former Boy Scout), and they lie perfectly straight across the shoe when tied. Nonetheless, they come untied frustratingly often, even when they are double-knotted.
– Maureen G., California, USA, Dec-2012
Thanks again for the Ian's Secure Knot. I actually did a test with some particularly slippery round laces by tying one shoe with my usual bunny ear granny knot and the other with the ISK. My old way came undone TWICE during the day and the ISK lasted the whole day. I even used a double knot the first time the first shoe came undone and it still came loose.
– Mike P., Dec-2012
I'm writing to say that after careful checking, I do in fact tie the correct knot and have done since childhood, but I still tie double-knots (an extra wrap of the loops) on my boots today because otherwise they still come undone.
I suspect it has something to do with the long, stiff, round cross-section laces used by Ecco. A properly tied shoelace knot isn't enough to last the day.
Just pointing out it's not a panacea!
– Barry K., Oct-2012
I did find the page on loose laces informative, as I had been suffering that issue with my work shoes for years, resorting to double knotting in an attempt to stop the slippage.
– Philip O., Glasgow, UK, Jul-2012
I am 58 and I have just discovered that I have been tying grannies all my life. Maybe I will no longer have to double knot my laces (and they still used to come untied).
– Paul G., Queensland, Australia, Jun-2012
My son frequently comes home with untied shoes, or with shoes that have been double-knotted because the knot he ties doesn't stay tied.
– Dave Y., Sep-2011
With synthetic laces, I find the Ian Knot to be a little too insecure, so I've been following it with an overhand knot as one of your suggestions (your Double Shoelace Knot). But, I don't like the fact that binds a bit much, so after seeing your tip about pulling one string to untie it, I've been using a slight variation:
- Tie a Standard Shoelace knot
- Start tying a overhand knot with the two loops, but do not finish tying it.
- Hold tightly to both sides of one of the loops, but only one side of the other loop. Pull tightly to finish the double knot.
- The resultant double know will have a small “quick release” loop sticking out of one side.
To untie, just pull the “quick release” loop.
– Brian S., Jun-2011
I tie a “double knot”, but it looks fat and ugly!
– Ike K., May-2011
Thanks to this incorrect technique, I need to retie my shoes many times a day (I don't use the double knot, for the untying is worse than constant retying).
– Maxime A., Lausanne, Switzerland, Jan-2011
Sometime during my teenage years, I started doing double knots. But my original knot was not balanced, so the double knot still came undone every so often.
– Lynette N., Massachusetts, USA, Jan-2011
Trying to convince my wife to stop doing the same granny knot then tying the double knot, it now annoys me to see her do that.
– David S., Sep-2010
I just thought Id let you know that I have always had a few problems with my walking boots and tying double knots etc.
I can safely say that “Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot” has seriously changed my life!
– Shaun D., Aug-2010
For the longest time I had ended up “double knotting” my shoelaces in an attempt to keep my laces from coming undone, and rather than untie to remove my shoes, I would just slip my foot in or out of the shoe, which causess a lot of wear and tear, I'm sure, though I'd never thought about it.
– Jessica G., 25, West Virginia, USA, Jul-2010
I also tried a double knot ... but for my purposes that just looked goofy.
– James A., Kansas, USA, Jun-2010
As a child had learned to make a double knot when the simple knot came undone so that's what I did. And that's what my boyfriend did too. But it was difficult to untie and it used a little too much lace for my shoes.
– Loonie, Paris, France, Jun-2010
I was tying granny knots and I was double knotting them because the laces came loose all the time. I now tie my shoe laces correctly and my shoes are so much more comfortable. Thank you!
– Debbie C., Pennsylvania, USA, May-2010
I also used the double slip knot instead of the double-knot as it looks tidier and seems to work well.
– Alex T., UK, Jan-2010
I like your double knot, but your observation that people who know how to tie a proper bow don't generally need the triple-strength version is right on.
– Eric J., Jan-2010
Ian, I just want to thank you so very much for showing me how to tie my shoe laces so they will STAY tied! After reading your information, this is such a simple change for me to make after 68 years of double knots and untied shoe laces!
– Kathleen A., Kansas, USA, Nov-2009
wow, thank you so much for your extremely comprehensive site which was very helpful in FINALLY getting my 7-year-old son to tie his shoes. he chose the ian's secure knot and i also use it now to tie my athletic shoes so i don't have to do a double knot. :) highly satisfactory.
– Clare H., Georgia, USA, Aug-2009
For years my wife has told me I tie my shoes “wrong”. My mother was left handed and I'm right so I my normal knot is a granny knot. Because it often comes lose I frequently make a double knot to keep it secure.
– Ray S., California, USA, Jun-2009
I love your website. I can finally tie my shoes without double knots and have them stay tied all day. How great is that?
– Lane D., May-2009
Prior to learning the knot, all my shoelaces would untie themselves over the course of a day - sometimes even if I made a double knot (no idea how, it always was a pain to unlace them myself). The secure knot fixed this, once and for all.
– Andreas F., Mar-2009
I just felt that I should write and say that I've been using your Secure Shoelace Knot on my boots and trainers for three years now and it has never failed me yet, considering I used to have to do a traditional double knot to stop my shoes coming undone this is quite impressive.
– Daniel, Dec-2008
Finally I understand why I've had to double-knot all these years...I was taught a granny knot!
– Annie K., Kansas, USA, Nov-2008
I also learned that for an embarassingly long time I've been trying Granny Knots. My shoelaces always untied themselves, so I just gave up and started double-knotting my shoes. That was several decades ago. Now I won't have to!
– Alan S., Wisconsin, USA, Jun-2008
I'm an assistant teacher in a tap class of 7-9 year old children, which I'm sure you know they aren't the best at tying shoes. So, often I spend half the class re-tying shoes. I used to just double a standard knot, but the children complained that they're too hard to untie after class. But your secure knot seems to be working out much better.
– Jenny C., May-2008
I used to tie my laces with a standard knot. When I needed extra security I would knot the bow. But that system makes it hard to untie and looks horrible.
– Michael R., USA, Dec-2007
Yesterday I asked my cousin if she knows how to tie her shoes, so that they don't come undone. She said “Not as long as I tie them in double knots.” Now she knows how to tie them, without using double knots.
– Margo B., Massachusetts, USA, Jul-2007
I have long used the Double Knot on my shoestrings because I just hate my shoes coming untied but I always hated how it looked. About a year ago I found “Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot” and since then that is all I use... and my wife uses it now exclusively, too.
– Kevin D., New York, USA, Jul-2007
I decided to look for a good way to teach my four year old how to tie her shoe because my method a.) was not working and b.) would come undone on her if she did it herself. I double knot her shoes now since that is what I was taught to do for a child. Well, I learned your secre knot, and it is just that. Plus, it can be pulled apart by my daughter if she wants to take off her shoe. This will greatly solve the problem of her shoe either coming loose or her getting really frustrated when she cannot untie her own shoe.
– Clara S., California, USA, May-2007
When I was a kid I discovered that you could skip the starting knot if you tied a standard knot and then a double knot. No less tying time, but if you pull the right rip-cord lace the whole thing comes undone. I don't know why I ever stopped using this technique, especially after how cool it's discovery made me when I was 5.
– Dan W., Toronto, Canada, Apr-2007
I wore “brogans” all over China and was constantly either re-tying them or double-knotting them (which meant problems getting them off). I may try your shortening method.
– Ellen K., Feb-2007
After looking at your page describing slipping knots, I discovered that I've been tying my shoes incorrectly my entire life! In fact, I've been double knotting them to keep them tied as well. I was a Boy Scout as a kid and enjoyed tying knots and tying them correctly. So, this was quite a shock.
– Tim H., Minnesota, USA, Jul-2006
I am a lefty that has been suffering from double-knot syndrome for the last 25 years. I've ALWAYS double-knotted my shoes because a single-knot never stayed. And then they were a pain to untie and were always crooked anyhow.
– Nick, Jun-2006
I used Standard Knot until know, and the only better idea for increased security I had was an extra knot on the top. But this has the great disadvantage that it cannot be untied easily.
– Dr. Michael P., Germany, May-2006
When I was a child of about six years I still could not tie my shoes... Finally my father managed to show me the trick: the Two Loop Shoelace Knot. But I only learnd the false version of it: the slip knot. I mostly managed by tying a second knot over it. Only when I got to my thirties and became a yachtsman I realized that I had used a false version and how to correct it.
– Andreas F., Germany, May-2006
The way I learned to double-knot for security is to do the standard shoelace knot, and then do bunny loops on top of that.
– Steph, Apr-2006
I decided to look at other knots on your site out of curiosity and I think that the Ian Secure Knot is really cool/neat/interesting. I'm totally going to try and use that from now on. I always double-knotted my shoes, but maybe now I won't have to :-)
– Tracy D., Ontario, Canada, Dec-2005
What a great site! I will never double knot my shoes again now that I've discovered the “Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot”.
– Georgia, USA, Sep-2005
I am in my mid-40's, was taught the “Standard Knot” around 1965, but my bows have always mysteriously twisted 90 degrees and easily come undone. For three decades I have simply used a “double knot”, then fiddled about to untie them each morning.
– Dave, Florida, USA, Aug-2005
Anyway, in your list, you mention that the traditional double-knot (regular bow with an overhand knot in the loops) should be avoided at all costs, but it has its merits. First of all, that's how I tie my son's shoes, since he tends to pull on the loose ends. With a double-knot, he's less likely to end up with untied laces. (He's two.) Yes, they're difficult to untie, but we manage.
Also, I have a few junk shoes that I just slip on and off, and I lace them loosely and tie a double knot. Since I never plan to untie them, it's a non-issue.
– Joseph F., Aug-2005
I just undid my shoes and tried you're “secure” version of this knot. Unreal - that's all I can say. For two years I've been trying to use you're original knot on a pair of hiking boots with slick round shoe laces -- to no avail. I've always had to tie a bulky double knot of some kind that just isn't quite satisfactory. I'll definitely be sending links to you're site to friends and relatives.
– Rodney, Florida, USA, Aug-2005
Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot is great - easy and secure, definitely more secure than a traditional knot, even with the “not recommended” double knot.
– Ken B., Jun-2005
I loved the Ian's secure knot - has made the waxed round laces that my work shoes use so much more secure - as good as the double knot I used to use which couldn't be loosed without effectively untying the knot rather than just pulling on a loose end. thank you.
– Andrew M., Queensland, Australia, Jun-2005
As a man who has suffered with slippery laces coming undone at the worst moments, specially with winter and hiking boots, I know what I'm talking about. My double knots for sneakers and flat-lace hiking boots, usually ended up with terrible hard to undo knots. Boots with round polyester laces came undone no matter what. I'm looking forward to trying your knots.
– John S., Jun-2005
Many of the secure knots, both yours and the surgeons, are a major improvement over what I was using--the ugly [double] knot that stays secure but is miserable to untie, especially when wet or ice-impregnated.
– Russ, Kentucky, USA, May-2005
WOW, I've been tying ugly double knots in my shoes for as long as I've been alive.
I really like the secure knot, it comes out so nice!
– Bridget G., Apr-2005
I'm 17 years old and for my entire life, I've been tieing crooked knots and trying to twist them straight, and tieing them many times over when they came undone. I had resorted to double knotting, which took forever and clumped my laces into odd jumble of knots. I never gave it enough thought to look for a flaw in the initial tieing.
– Zaker K., USA, Mar-2005
I have always “double knotted” and even that would come undone. I am now, newly, just tying one knot for the ENTIRE day! What a treat.
– Susan L., Pennsylvania, USA, Mar-2005
I've been double knotting my laces and I hated the way that looked.
I simply reversed the way I was doing the initial tie, 'cause I couldn't figure the rest of it out.
– Pat F., Feb-2005
I have a 3.5 year old who loves to run and can never keep his shoelace tied by the day's end.
I have tied double knots so his shoelace wouldn't come undone but would later have a terrible time undoing it. Your secure knot is a lifesaver ha!
– Audrey, USA, Feb-2005
My daughter (a teacher) ... tells me that her answer up to now on the children's shoes is to do a double-bow (your double-knot) so hopefully she'll see there is a better answer, especially for ease of undoing it
– Adrian F., UK, Jan-2005
I was invited to a lovely party tonite. And knowing ... or at least believing strongly ... that alcohol would be involved this evening ... I tied a double knot in the laces of my nice dress shoes. I did so because I knew I'd be drinking (as per the above party notes) and I don't like it when my shoes come untied at parties.
Then I got home.
After I spent a good while unpicking that damn double knot I declared ... There must be a better way!
– Dale S., Jan-2005
One of the other knots on your site, the “Better Bow”, has been my knot of choice for years. It never comes loose. I show that to people all the time - both kids and adults. It's SO much better than the old school double knot thing.
– Ken W., BC, Canada, Jan-2005
Your Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot really is great! I had resorted to double-knotting my laces because they kept slipping, but that resulted in a huge knot. Your knot has the same secureness, plus a small size. And your knot is immensely easier to untie!
– Rob M., Oct-2004
I hated double knots because the cuffs of my pants would catch behind them.
– Graham Miles, Ontario, Canada, Jul-2004
I used to have to always double knot my shoes.. I was doing it wrong.. Now I don’t have to ..
– Fraser, May-2004
I'm almost 72 years old and have used a double knot on my shoe laces for my whole lifetime because the laces kept slipping. Now I know why!!!
– Robert K., Apr-2004
I'm 38, and have been tying the Granny with a double knot on top for my whole life. Wow. I just emailed your site to my whole family, who I'm sure is doing it the same way!!
– Brenda R., Minnesota, USA, Apr-2004
I've been “double knotting” my shoe laces for a while because I have a way of sitting with my foot under my leg and fidgeting so that the laces on one or the other foot come undone. I think the secure knot may be a better answer.
– Andrew G., BC, Canada, Apr-2004
I was so hopeless at shoelaces that in high school I used those fozzie bear knot holders sold for children. it's nice to see by your list I've been using the “bunny ear” method, and I've found that if you bunny ear it again it stays pretty good.
actually, the way I tie the double bunny ear it does come out easily. I can't describe it, only just tie the second in the same direction as the first, and when you pull the end of the tie the whole thing slips.
– A., Mar-2004
The way almost all children do it is with two long bunny ears knotting them together twice, often into a granny, and then a third knot to keep them tied.
– Arthur J., California, USA, Sep-2003
Actually, I'm considering offering lessons ... to ALL the school teachers and ALL the camp counselors that interact with my kids! They seem to think that tying the loops in a second, double knot to assure is some kind of benefit - little do they know I'm cursing them, their ancestors, and all their future generations each time my kids come crying that they can't get their shoes off! I even had one occasion where my son had spent SO much time and strength pulling at the strings that the resulting knot was hopeless, and I cut the laces to extract him from his sneaks! ARRRGGGGHHHH!
– Barb H., Jul-2003