Ian Knot

Ian Knot diagram

My own Ian Knot (yes – I'm the inventor) is the World's Fastest Shoelace Knot. Make a loop with both ends and simultaneously pull them through each other to form an almost instant knot.

Quick Preview:

Ian Knot GIF animation

Before we begin, here's a small GIF animation of my Ian Knot to prove that it really is the world's fastest.

Step 1:

Begin with regular “Starting Knot” (diagram) Begin with regular “Starting Knot” (illustration)

Begin with a regular Left-over-Right Starting Knot.

Step 2:

Fold both lace ends into “loops” Fold both lace ends into “loops”

Make both ends into “loops” by simply doubling them back onto themselves. Hold the left (yellow) lace around the left thumb and forefinger, using the other fingers of the left hand to hold the lace taut. Hold the right (blue) lace between the right thumb and forefinger.

Step 3:

Twist both loops anti-clockwise Twist both loops anti-clockwise

Twist both loops anti-clockwise so that the left (yellow) loose end is at the front and the right (blue) loose end is at the back. The right middle finger pushes the right (blue) loose end to the back.

Step 4:

Cross loops, left (yellow) in front Cross loops, left (yellow) in front

Cross the loops with the left (yellow) loose end in front. The left thumb pushes the left (yellow) loose end over to the right, while the right middle finger continues to push the right (blue) loose end all the way between the left thumb and forefinger to end up inside the left loop.

NOTE: The diagram at left shows somewhat exaggerated crossed loops. They are really more “alongside” each other, which is difficult to illustrate.

Step 5:

Feed loops through each other Feed loops through each other

Each hand uses the two fingers inside its own loop to grab the loose end of the other hand's loop. The left thumb and forefinger grab the right (blue) loose end, while the right thumb and middle finger grab the left (yellow) loose end.

Step 6:

Loops emerge from both sides Loops emerge from both sides

Each hand releases its own loop and pulls the loose end of the opposite loop through its own. Take care not to pull the ends all the way through, as this will form a “knot” instead of a “bow”. In fact, this is a quick way to tie a “Starting Knot” (although the finger movements must be reversed left/right to balance the finished knot).

Step 7:

Pull tight to complete the knot Pull tight to complete the knot

Pull both loops tight to complete the knot. With practice, I can now tie my shoelaces in about one third of the time of a conventional knot!

NOTE: You don't have to follow my instructions to the letter. So long as you retain the “core” of the technique, you are welcome to use whatever finger movements are most comfortable for you.

Finished Knot

Finished Ian Knot

The finished Ian Knot is identical to either the Standard Shoelace Knot or the Two Loop Shoelace Knot. Because it was tied much more quickly and symmetrically, the laces suffer less wear and tear and thus last longer.

NOTE: If your finished knot comes out crooked, it's probably because you tie your Starting Knot the opposite way to mine. This will result in an un-balanced “Granny Knot”, which both sits crooked and comes undone more easily. See my Granny Knot page for more information.

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This page last updated: 17-Apr-2021. Copyright © 2000-2021 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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

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