Double Shoelace Knot

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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.

Step 1:

Begin with a completed shoelace bow

Begin with a completed shoelace bow, using either the Standard Shoelace Knot or any other method including my own Ian Knot. Make sure you have fairly long loops to work with.

Step 2:

Cross loops, left (blue) in front

Cross the left (blue) loop over the front of the right (yellow) loop to end up on the right side.

Step 3:

Wrap left (blue) loop around back

Begin to wrap the right (blue) loop around the back of the left (yellow) loop so that – like the Two Loop Shoelace Knot – the end can be fed into the gap between the laces.

Step 4:

Feed loop through and pull tight

Having formed another half knot, continue pulling on both loops until tight.

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.

Technical Details

Technical Name

This knot is shown in the definitive book “The Ashley Book of Knots” as #1215, “The Shoe Clerk's Knot”, where it is described as a “Bowknot with the addition of an opposing Half Knot tied in the two loops.”

Untying the Double Knot

Unlike most other shoelace knots, the Double Shoelace Knot cannot be untied by pulling on the loose ends – it just won't budge! While that's great for preventing infants from removing their shoes, it doesn't help when the time comes for normal removal.

Most people resort to picking apart the final knot so that it reverts to a regular bow, which can then be untied in the regular manner. However, if the final knot has been tied fairly loosely, there's a much quicker way!

The Double Shoelace Knot can usually be untied in one motion by pulling very firmly on only one of the lace ends (as opposed to pulling on both ends). If this fails, try pulling on the other lace end instead. If this also fails, picking the knot apart is then the only option. (This will be more difficult now that the knot has been pulled even tighter!)

Variation for Easier Untying

As suggested by Brian S., when doing the final tightening at Step (4), grasp one loop by the end of the loop while grasping the other loop by one side only. When tightened, this will leave a small loop sticking out the other side (the part that wasn't being held and tightened). When the time comes to untie the Double Shoelace Knot, pull on this small protruding loop and the knot will easily come apart.

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This page last updated: 05-Jun-2024. Copyright © 2004-2024 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

Website created by Ian Fieggen (aka. “Professor Shoelace”), inventor of the Ian Knot.

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