Granny Knot TV Experiment

Granny knot (pic)

Do your shoelaces sit crooked? Do you retie your shoes several times a day? These are both signs of a Granny Knot. Learn the “one simple trick” for keeping your shoes neatly and securely tied.

Live TV Experiment

Setting the Stage

Die Maus granny knot experiment screenshot 1

In February 2013 I was consulted by the German TV program Frag doch mal die Maus (translation: Just ask the mouse), who wanted some advice for an upcoming segment. This was in response to a question from eight-year-old viewer “Sanam from Düsseldorf”, who asked why her shoelaces always came undone.

A large portion of one episode, which aired in April 2013, was devoted to the Granny Knot – and included a fascinating live experiment.

Explaining the “Granny Knot”

Die Maus granny knot experiment screenshot 2

They began by demonstrating the correct Standard Shoelace Knot technique on one shoe (the blue shoelaces on the big shoe on the left) and the incorrect Granny Knot technique on the other (the red shoelaces on the big shoe on the right). With the “Granny Knot”, they clearly showed that the bow lay along the shoe (from heel to toe).

In the Gymnasium

Die Maus granny knot experiment screenshot 3

The action then shifted to a nearby gymnasium for a live experiment. Ten people had their left shoes laced with red shoelaces and tied with “Granny Knots” and their right shoes laced with blue shoelaces and tied with “Standard Shoelace Knots”. All of the participants then stepped onto treadmills and started running.

Back to the Main Studio

Die Maus granny knot experiment screenshot 4

After one hour, the ten participants came into the studio to show the results. SEVEN of the ten “Granny Knots” had come undone whereas NONE of the correctly tied “Standard Shoelace Knots” had come undone. In other words, 70% of the “Granny Knots” failed while 100% of the “Standard Shoelace Knots” passed!


The experiment was an excellent demonstration of the unreliability of the Granny Knot versus the reliability of the Standard Shoelace Knot, with the treadmills guaranteeing an outcome within a short time frame. A great result!

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This page last updated: 24-Jan-2024. Copyright © 2013-2024 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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