Ian Knot Feedback
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.
What Others Have Said
The following are excerpts from some of the many delightful e-mails and testimonials that I've received about my Ian Knot – mostly about how much faster it is as well as the process of converting from the previous technique.
If you'd also like to send feedback, please Contact Ian.
I just wanted to let you know that I have been using the Ian knot for about 7 years. Since using the Ian Knot, my sneaker laces always look neat and sleek. I love how simple the knot is. I’ve even taken to tying package bows with the Ian Knot. I always get lots of compliments and point the giver to your site. Thanks a million!
– Christel S., Arizona, USA, Oct-2023
Thanks Ian! I learned the fast knot form you, and it's saved me a bunch of time. Although, now I can't remember how to tie it the old way, but that's on me...
– Bo L., Sep-2023
This morning I used your Ian knot to tie my boots. :)
– Albert L., Sep-2023
... I learnt your speed knot over a decade ago and have used it every day since so thought even this small token of appreciation would not go astray.
– Nevhan R., Sep-2023
I use the Ian knot all the time.
– Chris, Sep-2023
I learned your shoelace knot last week after 31 years of apparently tying my shoes all wrong. They haven't come untied since. That's worth a few dollarydoos!
– Zachary S., Sep-2023
Thank you, Ian, for teaching me what none of the adults haranguing me for untied shoelaces ever did - the difference between a granny knot and a square knot. I use your Ian knot ever since I first read about it and it's amazing.
– William F., Sep-2023
I just wanted to thank you for your knot (not something I'd ever thought I'd write in an email).
Many years back, I was referred to your site from some distant corner of the internet and discovered your “Ian Knot”. For the fun of it, I challenged myself to learn this and several other knots, which has been extremely useful more often than I'd have guessed. I greatly appreciate the effort you put into not only providing a nice collection of resources, but in making them easy to absorb through diagrams and descriptions.
I learned a collection of knots through scouting long ago, but as an avid hiker, the Ian Knot especially has saved time and shoelaces. I realized yesterday while teaching knots (including yours) to a group of kids that you may not always see your impact. I'm glad to see that your site it still up,
In short, thank you.
– Jeremy S., Aug-2023
I recently learned of your “Ian’s Knot” on the British Podcast “No Such Thing As A Fish” and have marvelled in your website ever since.
– Florence H., U.K., Apr-2023
I have been using your knot for years. I should pay a fee, to you, for its use.
– Robert R., California, USA, May-2021
A few years ago I learnt your Ian knot and have used it ever since! So fast and easy, the only problem I had was when used repeatedly the shoelaces can get twisted (torsion along each lace) not really a problem for tying or tension, but for those of us that like neatness (maybe a bit too much), I had to correct it occasionally.
– Brad T., Oct-2020
I've spent my whole life doing the two loop (Granny Knot) method and have stopped buying lace up shoes as they take longer to put on. I may now go back to wearing lace up shoes as the “Ian Knot” method is so quick and easy!
– Katie C., Jun-2020
I have been using your Ian Knot(Method) to tie my shoes, ever since I saw it on a RI YouTube featuring Matt Parker. The ease of the knot has made it my favourite way to tie my shoes.
– Enoch L., Victoria, Australia, Mar-2020
I started using the classic Ian's Knot when I first saw it, and nowadays any other method of tying a doubly slipped reef knot, aka the standard shoelace bow knot, seems unnatural and dumb to me. I'm a knot enthusiast myself and I immediately recognized yours was indeed the best method of tying that ubiquitous knot, and I don't think anyone will ever beat that. Good job for inventing and sharing it! I also use the double version for tying plastic bags as you've recommended -- not only is it quicker but it also allows for fuller bags to be closed securely. That was a great tip, like many others on your site!
– Jussi H., Finland, May-2018
I have always been a conventional criss-cross lacer and standard knotter, but tomorrow I will be Double Helix – Ukrainian (combination) laced with an Ian Knot,
or Secure Ian Knot for certain farm jobs.
(I'm a narrow-footed farmer who doesn't like elastic-sided boots).
– Tim J., Western Victoria, Australia, May-2017
I saw your site around a year ago and have been tying my shoes with the Ian Knot ever since!! It is great method and I'm glad to be using it.
I accidentally stumbled upon a reference to a trick knot, used as a parlor trick by sailors, that seems to be nearly identical to the Ian Knot. I found it in The Ashley Book of Knots, page 406 illustration 2534. Ashley refers to it as “The Tom Fool's Knot” and if you created a mirror image of the picture of the finished knot you will see it's similar to your pictures of the Ian Knot on your webpage. I was following Ashley's instructions when I realized it was how I tied my shoelaces!!
Even though there is an older reference similar to the Ian Knot, by Ashely's own definition you should still be credited for its invention and it should still be called The Ian Knot. His definition is: “...that even a different form, a different way of tying, or a different use constitutes a distinct knot.” (The Ashley Book of Knots, pg 10). I believe the Ian Knot satisfies all three of those qualifications. Both the form and the way of tying are different since the The Tom Fool's Knot is used on a single cord and the Ian Knot is essentially a bend between two cords; the use is an obvious difference with one being an entertaining parlor trick and the other a practical application of tying shoelaces.
I thought you might be interested to see that, at one point in time, there was a knot similar to the Ian Knot though still very different. I love the work you've done with all the different knots and enjoy your site, keep up the good work.
Thank your for inventing The Ian Knot and sharing it with the world!!!
– Jeremy M., Colorado, USA, Jul-2016
I'm also an happy user and great propagandist of your omonimous knot, that I adopted after years of “bunny ears” knotting, with obvious improvements in efficiency and satisfaction.
– Matteo C., Italy, Jan-2013
I've been using the Ian's knot (or rather, the lacing technique of your name, as it produces the traditional slipping reef knot) for many years already. It's great! Some years ago i even realized that i'm no longer able to tie laces traditionally. I forgot how to do that! It took me some minutes to recall how the Standard knot is tied. :D
From time to time i show off to my friends, displaying mad shoe lacing skillz. :)
– Andrey M., Jun-2012
For all of my life I have done only standard shoelace knot in the wrong way (granny knot). I like very much your Ian knot and I think I'm going to use this in the future.
– Maurizio, Italy, Oct-2011
Thank you for the Ian knot too, it is a very clever way to do a regular knot!
– Tanguy O., France, Aug-2011
The Ian Knot is truly revolutionary. I've been raving about it to all my friends... I'm one of those who learned the bunny ears method (tied unbalanced), and so the Ian Knot is quite a step forward.
– Brian S., Jun-2011
I learned the Standard Knot today (doing a granny knot before). Tomorrow I will try the Ian Knot.
– Kai H., Germany, Feb-2010
I've been tying the standard knot all my life. I've given the “Ian knot” a try.........maybe I'll use that for a while. :)
– Shelly M., Michigan, USA, Mar-2008
Absolutely brilliant! Your Ian Knot has just revolutionized my daily life.
– Dan W., Toronto, Canada, Apr-2007
But I have to tell you that I am completely smitten with the “Ian Knot.” Brilliant. It's like magic. I never thought I would utter the following words after I passed the age of five, but I can't wait to show people how I tie my shoes! So cool. It took a few tries for it to click, but once I got it, it seemed so obvious.
– Leisha, California, USA, Aug-2006
Since learning the proper techniques today, my preschooler tied his shoes using the “Two Loop (Bunny Ears) Knot” and I have mastered your “Secure Shoelace Knot,” the “Ian Knot,” and many others.
– “Mom-in-need”, USA, Jun-2006
Thanks so much for making this great site! I finally learned how to tie a shoe lace without it coming undone. I use to use the standard shoelace knot, but your Ian knot and secure Ian knot work much better!
– Eric, Mar-2006
A friend and I stumbled across your website when trying to tackle his lifelong problem of unraveling laces (turns out he's a slave to the slip knot! He's working on fixing it. We both like Ian's Standard Knot as a good replacement.)
– Dana M., Oct-2005
I wasn't brave enough to try your “Ian” knot until I saw your digital video clip (inspiration for my little project). Your knot really is quite easy and effective, but my old ways are just so engrained, that I rarely remember to use it.
– Allison W., Wisconsin, USA, Sep-2005
I now use the Ian's Knot instead of my standard knot. Man, it is a heck of a lot faster!
– Mason K., Jul-2005
I will try [the “Ian Knot”] for a while, and will write/vote if I switch. It is quicker, and easier. A potential weakness is that at first it is harder to get a very tight bow than the standard knot. This is OK for shoes when there is no tension, but might not work for, say, parcels. The standard knot can be made very tight, keeping tension. But with practice maybe your knot can be made tight too.
– Peter G., Apr-2005
I used the quick knot and once I got the hang of it, boy, is it faster. Of course, I wasn't racing anyone but....
– Carolyn A., Minnesota, USA, Dec-2004
I've only been using it for 4-5 days now, but its speediness still gives me a chuckle each time I “tie one on”.
– Peter H., Dec-2004
Thanks to your knot, I can now wear laced shoes and obtain the respect I deserve while retaining the time-saving qualities of barefootedness.
– Rob, Alabama, USA, Dec-2004
... Ian's Knot really works, I usually buy slip on shoes, or velcro because i don't like tying my shoes, but this is faster! Thanks!
– Brittani B., Nov-2004
Now, I now look forward to tying up. It's so quick and fun. Can I do it faster this time? I'm such a show off! My wife thinks I am crazy, like a little boy who just learned to tie his shoe.
– Richard B., California, USA, Nov-2004
Seriously, why doesn't everyone tie their shoes this way? It's alot easier.
– Stephanie B., FL, USA, Sep-2004
Well, I had never any problems with my Two Loop Knot, but as I am always interested in such things I first tried your normal Ian Knot, and later the other ones too. They are very fast to knot and from what I experienced, they are some of the most secure knots I ever saw.
– Marcus P., Germany, Aug-2004
At first, I thought this was a trick that couldn't be done that someone keeps trying for the rest of their life. After a couple minutes, I saw what I was doing wrong and I did it. This is great! It makes me smile every time I tie my shoes now.
– Rob T., Jul-2004
I've been using this knot for a week now, and I tie my shoes faster than my mother who has been tying shoes with a standard knot for 40 years.
– Lars R., Norway, Jun-2004
I tried the “Ian Knot” as well, and I think I got it right, but it seems much looser than my standard knot. I can't seem to keep the tension in the laces during the final stages, so I feel less comfortable. It takes longer to tie as well, but that is probably me fighting my reflexes :-(
– Alex M., May-2004
It reminds me of a pretzel!
– Karen N., Mar-2004
I got a book about knot tying for Christmas two years ago and that knot definitely should've been in there.
– Daniel A., Mar-2004
In the beginning of 1995, a few weeks after I bought my first compatible PC, I found your little program “IAN-KNOT V 2.0” in a local BBS here in Bremen, Germany (I had no internet then). It fascinated me at the first look. No, not the program but THE KNOT! I learned it immediately and since then I tie my shoelaces using the knot I learned FROM YOU.
– Daniel R., Bremen, Germany, Mar-2004
I tried all the different knots on your site and found the Ian's secure knot the most useful/easy. It's symmetrical loops made it easier for me to do than the plain Ian's knot. (Probably it would just need practice but anyway) My girlfriend however liked Ian's knot more.
– Timo S., Tampere, Finland, Feb-2004
worked for me. but i think it takes more thought then just doing the bunny ears way
– Anna B., Aug-2003
The Ian Knot is a topological masterpiece. It took me less than a minute to learn it. I'm not that fast yet (about 2s), but this is going to be The Knot for the rest of my life.
– Corrado B., Italy, Dec-2002
Brilliant! Proof that there is still room for innovation in some of the most ordinary tasks.
– Micah J. Nov-2002,
Although the way I make a bow on my shoes also ends up with a fully symmetrical knot, your method was so quick and beautiful that it is strange that no-one has invented it earlier. Or maybe some has, but then it is a mystery that it hasn't spread.
– Stefan E., Sweden, Jan-2001
As a long time sailor, I am aware that the three ideal characteristics of a knot are, first, that it does the function required, second, that it is easy to untie, and third, that it is easy to tie. Your shoelace knot seems to do all three.
– John B., Nov-2000
Tips for Tying the Ian Knot
While I was performing the Ian Knot, I noticed that it was easier to do when I used the “pinkies” on both hands to pin down the ends of the laces on either side while tightening, to ensure the knot wouldn't come undone while pulling the two loops through one another.
– Michael S., Dec-2016
I've found the Ian Knot to be exceptional – quick to tie and very secure and far better than the “standard” bow. I taught it to my boys and my oldest boy told me this morning he can't even remember how to tie the standard bow.
My youngest lad then asked why it was called the Ian Knot and I said “presumably it was named after the bloke who invented it”.
I tie the knot slightly differently from how you demonstrate on your site. Same principle of one loop forward and one back then drawing the loops through each other, but I use my index fingers and thumbs of both hands to grab the lace rather than pushing a loop through with right middle finger and using right middle and right thumb to draw the other loop back.
I think your Ian Knot makes a “purer” looped reef-knot than the standard method as it lines up the laces properly and overlays them when tightening. The standard method seems to lend itself to getting the laces twisted in such a way that they're actually not binding properly, causing them to come loose later.
– Jon T., Sanson, New Zealand, Apr-2013
I've now tried using your “Ian Knot” a couple of times and it is indeed quite simple and fast.
I still need more practice though, as I still haven't figured out how to best use my right fingers. Sometimes I do exactly as you explain, some other times it comes more natural for me to only use my thumb and index finger (thumb holds the right loop while index finger pushes the right lace end and pulls the left lace). Both techniques seem to be equally effective, so I may end up using whatever comes up first.
– J.C., Lisbon, Portugal, Jun-2011
I was a bit annoyed myself at how clumsy the starting knot is to make. It now takes more time to tie the starting knot than Ian's knot! Here's what I found (you probably know this already, just didn't put it on your site):
You can make the starting knot “almost” as quickly and elegantly as Ian's knot. Instead of holding the left loop facing you and right loop facing away, reverse them (left loop facing away, right loop facing towards you).
Then do the “Ian maneuver”
When you pull the loops through each other, use your ring/pinkie finger to pull out the rest of the lace through the knot, leaving only a left over right starting knot.
It's a little tricky, but after a few times, it's VERY fast. It's worth learning it for those of us who don't want to get slowed down by the starting knot.
Combine this with Ian's knot and you got a real fast and elegant way to tie shoes.
– David S., Sep-2010
Hi, I found out about the Ian Knot on Rocketboom. It took me a long time to understand how to do it. I think I can explain it better. Best to show a simple/clear way to do it at first.
(1) I'd first show a picture of the Starting Knot stretched out and the pinkies curled up grasping the loose ends. (I'd mention that the 3rd and 4th fingers play no needed role in the operation.)
(2) Then I'd simply show the right thumb and index finger diving under the right lace in the direction from the heel to the toe, and the left thumb and forefinger diving under the left lace from the direction of the toe to the heel.
(3) Then I'd show the right thumb touching (or almost touching) the left thumb and the right index finger touching (or almost touching) the left index finger.
(4) You can picture a star or an “x” on each lace where the pincers (thumbs and forefingers) will eventually grasp the laces.
(5) Then I'd show how each thumb and index finger grasp the appropriate lace and pull through. Mention that the left pincers (left thumb and forefinger) act first -- they grasp the pertinent point of the right lace. Then the right pincers grasp the pertinent point on the left lace and both pincers pull through!
– Robert E., New York, Aug-2006
Dear Ian, after some practice I've mastered your “Ian knot”, which I find excellent and very comfortable.
I used your flip book, which works beautifully, and saw the video over and over, but I never seemed able to tie the knot without it being looser than I wanted. This seems to occur because I have to release tension on the shoelaces to form the two loops and pull both loops tight. However, I found that I could form the loops with both hands and pull them tight while maintaining tension on the shoelaces by placing my little finger on the initial “starting knot.” This method invariably produces a knot that is just right.
– Mark C., Mar-2005
I tried the method at home on my running shoes which have longer laces than my business shoes and found two aspects which I had not appreciated previously:
1) When tying the starting knot the “purple lace” (since changed to yellow) ends up being held in the three smaller fingers of the left hand. Keeping this lace taught a quick clockwise rotation of the hand then gets the loop around the tip of forefinger and thumb as you describe.
2)To simplify the tricky move described in step 4 I grab hold of the blue lace from on top with my right hand thumb and fore finger bring it round under the first knuckle (the one closest to the finger nail) over the top of the purple lace and pull it tightly in between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand. At this point the right hand can let go of the blue lace and grab the purple lace from the thumb. Now a sharp pull of both hands ties the knot. This approach of tying your knot has no slack lace steps (which I initially found tricky).
As I kept on having to go in and out of the house yesterday I had loads of opportunities to practice and I would not have got my shed built before dark if I had been using the slow old method of tying laces.
THE SHED STANDS THANKS TO THE IAN KNOT!
– Andrea M., Oxford, UK, Sep-2004
I learned your knot yesterday. Fantastic! My variation: I use the middle finger of the left hand. Somehow that seems more symmerical, since middle finger meets middle finger just as the two loops are pushed through each other.
– Tim B., USA, Jun-2001
Process of Learning the Ian Knot
I'm a physician from Switzerland and the other day, as a patient was tying back her shoes after I examined her, I noticed she used a strange and fast way of doing it... I didn't dare to ask her to show me how she did it but I was really curious so I looked for it on the internet and found your website and learned the Ian knot, which I really like!! It's both a faster and nicer looking knot as the ones I was using before (as both loops stay exactly perpendicular with the shoe), and your video of how to make it tight was very useful, too.
So thanks a lot, it's cool to see that even some basic things such as a shoelace knot can be improved after years of doing it the “traditional” way!
– Bastien C., Switzerland, Dec-2022
At first it looked like magic but once my fingers had the motion it worked, the only problem being your starter knot is opposite to mine, so I decided to mirror the loops to match my starter knot and ta-da, reverse Ian knot!
– Neil R., Jun-2022
I'm still not good at tying the Ian Knot fast yet (I'm not tying a Granny Knot, I have checked). It takes me about 2-3 seconds to initially tighten the lacing, another 4 seconds to tie the Starting Knot, another 3-4 seconds to tighten the Starting Knot to comfort, another 2-3 seconds to tie the Finishing “Ian Knot” Bow, and another 2-6 seconds to adjust and tighten the Finishing Bow to comfort. So it can between 13-20 seconds for me to tie my shoelaces. Nowhere near as fast as you (1.23 seconds per knot as per your new video which I just watched. If shoelace tying was an Olympic sport, I'd bet my money on you, sir.). But the way I tie my shoes works for me. And that's the important thing.
– Andrei R., USA, Apr-2014
I'm now trying to adapt to the Ian knot. It's definitely fast, but it does take some getting used to. My fingers keep falling back to automatic standard knot mode.. :)
– Nico K., Jan-2013
I'm actually interested in trying both of your Ian knots but that's going to take awhile. For some reason I find the diagrams difficult (I'm more of a verbal than a visual learner), so I have to spend a lot of time analyzing each step, though your flip books help.
– Paul S., USA, Jul-2011
When I used the knot before, it found it slightly tricky to follow and remember the instructions.
And I now realise that I also did the starting knot the wrong way (that information slipped through, although it is mentioned...).
-- I think one can use your method for both the starting knot and the second knot, and here's my way of remembering it:
– Andreas J., Feb-2011
I particularly want to thank you for the moment of triumph I experienced, when, after a few minutes of tangled, hand-tied mess, I mastered the Ian Knot!
– Julia P., May-2009
I decided to try the Ian Knot, but flipped to work with my backwards starting knot. It started feeling natural in just a few minutes -- what a great knot!
– Casey R., Sweden, May-2009
I also converted to using the Ian Knot, which stays tied much better than any other method I've used. It took me a while to learn the knot, and I couldn't remember how to tie my shoes this morning, but I definitely prefer it to the Standard Shoelace Knot. The fact that I couldn't remember how to tie my shoes this morning probably says more about me than the knot.
– Chris G., Oct-2007
I am a knot-tier of some experience* (though a bit rusty after living in the city for 3 years), but when I first tied the “Ian Knot” it just wouldn't lay flat. Poking around the site some more I read the page on accidental granny knots page and that fixed the problem (I've always tied starting right-over-left, are you left handed?).
– Nils D., California, USA, Sep-2005
Wow! I really like both of the Ian knots. It took me a while to get the fast Ian knot (the first one I tried) because as it turns out I was tying the starting knot *left handed*. I examined the video and illustrations carefully and realized that the starting knot was backwards, then reversed all of the instructions on the site. I didn't think it would make a difference, but it really does.
– Ryan W., Jul-2005
I was working with the explanation and pulled it through thinking this would never work – it's too easy, and wow I was there !!
– Mary M., Dec-2004
“Wow... now THATS nifty!”
Thats what I said when I first did the Ian Knot successfully. It took a few tries, but after a few minutes I had it. That is fast!
– Dylan H., NY, USA, Dec-2004
I realize that I must be patient and just keep on doing the knot till the fingers get used to it. I just spent an hour repeatedly tying your knot. I was stunned at the end to realize my fingers had now forgotten how to tie the standard!
– Bob Y., California, USA, Jul-2004
I tried your instructions but couldn't quite get them to work. Then I looked closely at your knot and tried to visualise executing it in a different way. I ended up with, I believe, your knot, only quicker for me! I wish I could illustrate it here but, very approximately it goes like this:
Begin with the starting knot, obviously, then...
Hold the free ends of each lace in the “crook” of each little finger.
Pinch fingers and thumbs together, pointing forward (like an OK sign on each hand), then wind the left finger and thumb forward about the left lace and the right finger and thumb backward around the right lace until back in original position.
Right finger and thumb grabs left loop and left finger and thumb grabs right loop – pull, hey presto, Ian Knot!
– Marcus M., Herefordshire, UK, Jul-2004
Looked a little confusing. But put the laces and fingers in the starting position and everything just naturally pulled through.
– Dennis M., Alabama, USA, Jun-2004
Great instructions, very clear. I will practise and utilize this knot. I used to use the 2 bunny ear method taught to little kids up until I was in my twenties.
– David Z., Jun-2004
My first attempt resulted in my knot going 90 degrees off, which I immediately recognized as due to using an inverted starting knot. Going back to those directions and following them explicitly corrected this.
– Stanton L., Maryland, USA, Jun-2004
I studied and studied the pictures, and feared it would be too complicated or difficult. All that changed when I got a shoe and actually tried it.
– Mark H., Missouri, USA, Apr-2004
I've switched over to the Ian Knot. No more “loop around the finger, wrap around the ear, bunny through the hole” for me. Now it's simply Fwoop! and the knot is done.
– Simmon K., Apr-2004
Wow, after 3 tries, I could do it in less than a second.
– Charlie F., New Mexico, USA, Mar-2004
I found your website very interesting and was tying the “Ian Knot” in minutes with the actual knot taking a split second.
– Neal B., NT, Australia, Mar-2004
My only problem was trying to keep the starting knot tight while I worked with the loose ends. One reason may have been that you have to let go of the starting knot before you can tighten the final knot.
– Mark L., Hamilton, New Zealand, Mar-2004
The ian knot would take some practice for me, but it was very satisfactory. thanks again.
– A., Mar-2004
Tied perfectly, the first time, then I tried to overthink it! Took me three more tries to get right again!
– Drew, Sep-2003
I just need to remember that the right side goes over the thumb from the start knot and it works fine.
– Paul D., May-2003
Sticking with existing knot
I confess, I haven't quite managed the Ian Knot yet. I seem to have some kind of mental block about it. I've been told I tend to make things harder than they really are. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
– Bill C., Mar-2023
I still cannot tie your Ian knot, I think my problem is my shoe laces are not long enough to give large “ears”.
– Jeff L., England, Apr-2021
I tried the “Ian knot” but my memory of the standard knot gets in the way of starting it out.
– James B., Oct-2007
I probably will not use “Ian's Fast Shoelace Knot”, as I have to tie shoes only two or three times a day, and – due to nearly 40 years of training – I can do it quite fast. I tried “Ian's Fast Shoelace Knot” and I think with some training it will be the clearly faster method but I am too lazy to learn.
– Dr. Michael P., Germany, May-2006
Although I liked your knot, for regular shoe tying I am going to keep using the standard knot. Although I do not tie nearly as rapidly as you can--about 4 seconds for both layers--I maintain firm tension on the shoelace throughout the tie, since I never let go of either lace and can do it without looking.
– Russ, Kentucky, USA, May-2005
I love the Ian knot and if I could break myself of the lifelong “standard knot” habit, I might adopt it.
– Maia A., Feb-2005
Teaching the Ian Knot to Children
Thank you so much for the “Ian Knot”! I just discovered it today while looking up the one-loop and two-loop method to help my 6 year old learn to tie his shoe laces. I've spent my whole life doing the two loop (Granny Knot) method and have stopped buying lace up shoes as they take longer to put on. I may now go back to wearing lace up shoes as the “Ian Knot” method is so quick and easy!
– Katie C., Jun-2020
Just today, my eight-year-old nephew asked me to teach him the Ian knot. While I had forgotten the knot algorithm's name (I would argue that the knot is the same as the standard knot with the difference being the algorithm used to produce it) I ended up teaching everyone in the house how to tie their shoes.
– Scott S., Alabama, USA, May-2018
I've just taught my five-year-old son to tie his shoelaces with the Ian Knot (and learned it myself as well – it's been a revelation!).
– Matt E., Auckland, New Zealand, Sep-2016
I grew up knowing only the bunny ears method for tying laces. I am trying to learn the ian knot with some practice. My hope is to teach it to my son so he learns the Ian knot instead of bunny ears or the standard method.
– Sonia S., Pennsylvania, USA, Aug-2016
After a couple more weeks, I now seem to have one Ian-knot tying six-year-old and a secure-Ian-tying four-year-old. For early-childhood pedagogy, we call the Secure-Ian “Double Bunny Ears,” and the Ian “Mouse Ears” (think of once you overlap the two loops as in your illustration). It was painless to teach them--one sitting.
– James D., Jul-2005
It was with the aid of your excellent diagrams, instructions and explanations, that I finally managed to teach them how to tie knots that can last for the whole schoolday!
I taught them the Ian Knot, the Standard Shoelace knot and the Ian Secure Knot over a period of about 2 weeks.
They find the Ian Knot too tricky. And the Standard Shoelace knot still comes undone even after making sure that they are not tying a Slip Knot. However, the Ian Secure Knot is the real lifesaver and really works very well for them.
My sons have gained confidence and self-esteem from this historic achievement. And I am finally relieved of the perennial worry for their personal safety in school should their laces come undone and cause them to trip.
– Jacqueline, Singapore, May-2005
THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! I have worked in an elementary school for years and tie shoes all day. I can do it in a flat second now and try to teach the Ian Knot where possible. My 7 year old can do this knot easily and his “Chuck Taylors” stay tied all day.
– Dana R., Feb-2005
By the way, the Ian knot is WAY easier to teach the little hands of a kindergartener.
– Irwin C., Alberta, Canada, Sep-2004
... your tying style was easier to teach the little girls I babysit.
– Lauren P., Sep-2004
From the “M” position I tell them that the spy on the left (the thumb) circles front to meet the other “spy” (the R index finger) in the middle (he circled “around the back”). They swap “ropes” and trade places.
– Cindy, Sep-2004
My kids think its great now they can tie their laces so fast and not have them come undone 5 minutes later. Your fastest knot should be taught on the national curriculum for schools!
– Kevin L., UK, Jun-2004
Hey, I was shocked to see how easy and quick it is. I teach physical education at an elementary school and I will be using your method next fall to teach the little ones!
– Tammy L., Jun-2004
Thanks Ian, my 3 yr old has mastered the Knot and I have encouraged other mums with interested kids to check it out. I had a ball and my team of 15 people enjoyed an activity to see who could do your Ian Knot the fastest!!
– Katrina L., Victoria, Australia, Apr-2004
I managed to teach all three of my children in a matter of minutes, and my son is now going to amaze his friends at camp this weekend! The explanation and accompanying photos could not have been more clear.
– Linda, Nov-2002
My oldest was taught by her first grade teacher, my 2nd child by his older sister! I promised my youngest I would get on the internet and find out how to teach someone to tie their shoes. Within minutes I learned your method and a few minutes more I was able to teach my son. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
– Lisa E., USA, Jun-2002
Kids With Learning Difficulties
I cannot say thank you enough for the Ian knot. My 12 year old grandson struggled to tie his shoes. He was shown the “bunny ear” method without much assistance resulting in not much effort. (His mother and school thinks there may be some sort of disconnect happening in his learning). So his shoes were always tied and he just slipped his foot in and out. There had to be another way. In the past i showed him the traditional way, it was frustrating (how did we ever learn this at 5?). Then after coming across your knot, I knew this was it. After reviewing the video and maybe three tries, HE DID IT! He tied his shoes!!! The look of pride and accomplishment on his face was priceless. The rest of the night he wanted to have shoelace tying completions. We timed ourselves. He actually had to instruct me a few times. His record that night after just learning, was 3.11 seconds. I chuckled when he started to get mad because he couldn't beat it. I asked him “did you ever think you'd be mad because you couldn't tie your shoes in less than 3 seconds?” We both laughed and I told him how proud I am of him and how proud he must be of himself. And he is proud of himself. You could see it and his self esteem boosted. You Ian made this happen. You are such a blessings.
Now he says tying his shoes is fun. He said he thinks his best friend can't tie his shoes but, he was going to go teach him the Ian knot.
Thank you, thank you, thank you and a great big hug.
– Jayne F., USA, Jan-2021
My 6 year old son has had difficulties in learning to tie his shoes and it took four tries and 5 minutes to tie your knot - not to mention that it did not come undone all day!
– Allan, Oregon, USA, Feb-2005
My daughter teaches children with disabilities. She mentioned that she has had success with this knot and some of her kids.
– Matt S., Missouri, USA, Dec-2004
Yesterday evening my son (age 8) asked me to show him “that super-fast knot”. We spent 15 minutes going through the technique and now he uses it as well. The remarkable thing is that he has never really been able to do the standard knot with any kind of consistancy, so mostly he just slipped into or out of his sneakers. Or at least he did so before today. Now he carefully unties his shoes before putting them on so he can tie the bows with the Ian Knot. His primary motivation was to become “the fastest kid at school at tying his own shoelaces”.
– Jens K., Oct-2004
After one or two false starts (that is, my son screaming in frustration), my 12-year old son has mastered the Ian knot.
He will still need to practice in order to pick up some speed, but he can do it!!! I even caught him practicing on his own, with no urging.
My son will soon share your technique with his occupational therapist, thus helping many.
– Lynne C., New York, USA, Aug-2004
Ian, as a mother of a child with fine motor skills in the 8th percentile and visual motor skills in the 16th percentile, your site was a revelation. Andrew had been working with an occupational therapist for over 6 months on various things, one of them being tying his shoes. Within minutes of studying your flip book and gentle instruction by me, he tied his own shoes. You should have seen how proud he was :)!
– Laura D., Mar-2004
Showing the Ian Knot to Others
I've been using your method of tying shoe laces since I was 8 ish years old! My childhood friend taught me. I just shared this website with her, and we're both very happy to know who invented this method! Awesome website too.
– Isabelle B., Illinois, USA, Mar-2022
It was such a neat and fun surprise to learn the history behind the knot I've been using to tie my shoes for 25 years!
I first learned your “Ian's Knot” from a friend in high school in Fairbanks, Alaska. I saw him use the knot and thought it was so slick and cool I asked him to teach it to me. That was the mid nineties and I've been using it ever since. I now live in Ontario, Canada and have taught it to my kids and they use it as well.
It has been rare for me to ever see anyone else using the knot. Now we know, if anyone asks us, that it is “Ian's Knot”!
– Brandon S., Ontario, Canada, Dec-2021
I was a special needs teacher for many years ... and now work as a teaching assistant. But since discovering your knot I have been an advocate of it to anyone I meet when the subject of laces comes up.
– Sean C., Manchester, England, Apr-2021
I've consulted your website scores of times since I first found it back, I believe, in the late nineties. My daughter learned your Ian Knot while at college and I often joke that her teaching me the knot made her tuition expense a bargain.
– Matt S., Missouri, USA, Jan-2021
I love knots and I am facinated by how useful they can be. I have taught many people the Ian knot and also the Secure Ian Knot.
Two of my boys and especially the one use your knots to this day. I was a Scout leader and have shared with many young men and young women over the years also.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to document your discoveries and love of knots with the world.
– Layne E., Utah, USA, Dec-2020
Just want you to know I absolutely love your Ian shoelace knot. I ran into it 5 years ago and have been using it ever since. I've thought it to both of my kids, and I'm using it in my work (software development) as an example of curiosity and continuous improvement.
– Rommert B., Utrecht, The Netherlands, Sep-2020
I've been using the Ian Knot for a while. It is *so* fast. I use it to amaze children and co-workers alike. Your instructions were very well done and it only took me about five minutes to learn it and a few days to become proficient at it.
– Daniel E., Feb-2005
My wife learned the “Ian” knot from our shoe repair man 5 or 6 years ago. She and I have used it ever since. It's a great knot!
– Richard, Oregon, USA, Feb-2005
I've been showing my students and colleagues, and they are amazed. I do it fast so they can't really see what I am doing, and you can see this startled look of disbelief on their faces. They give their heads a little shake and usually say “Do it again”. I think at first they are expecting the normal tying method, but it goes by so fast they aren't sure what they just saw.
– Ken W., British Columbia, Canada, Jan-2005
I've shown a couple of friends who were of the narrow-minded variety that thought tying a faster knot meant tying the same knot faster. HAH! After losing a few bucks they insisted on a slow demo so they could learn the secret.
– Ian D., British Columbia, Canada, Oct-2004
Actually, might send it to eldest son, 15, and daughter 14, since he never undoes his shoes, and she never does hers up.
– Eleanor, Merseyside, UK, May-2004
I've already converted about 15 people and I've shown quite a few more. Everybody I've shown is, at the least, amazed by the speed of the knot. See they're not expecting much when I tell them there's a new knot around town but then they watch me and I'm done before they can blink.
– Will F., New York, USA, Apr-2004
As I write, half of my colleagues have their shoes on their desks.
– Russell C., Mar-2004
My husband mailed me your site (we have been arguing over the best way to tie shoes for years). I'm happy to report that I got your Ian knot on the first try. Geez, I though hubby and I were the only weirdos who worried about shoelace knots :)
– Alicia S., USA, Sep-2003
I was at a store buying a Christmas present on Saturday when a young woman saw her untied shoelace and said, “Damn, it never stays tied.” I showed her The Ian Knot and sent her to your website for further training. She was cute ... and if I weren't already married, I think the knot would have gotten me a date! (I'm old and ugly; your knot is THAT good.)
– Pete S., USA, Dec-2002
I showed the Ian Knot to my husband last night; you should have seen his face when I pulled it shut. He couldn't belive I tied it that fast. I had to teach him; he thought I had trick shoelaces!
– Lindsey R., Jul-2002
Age is No Barrier
I'm 48, and I never learned to tie my shoes correctly. I did the two loop method. I considered looking for a children's book to teach me, then figured it's got to be on the net. I tried the Ian Knot and the Secure Knot,and I love them both. Now I feel like I have secret (superior) knowledge to everyone who did learn when they were kids.
– Kathy W., Maryland, USA, Sep-2005
Now that I'm 80 years young I finally found a way to tie my shoe laces in a fast and easy way using your knot. It's now possible to “Get me to the church on time”.
– Fr. Richard, Georgia, USA, Dec-2004
I converted to the “Ian Knot” 2 years ago, and it works exactly as advertised, a neat invention ! Until I ran a google search on a lark, I was a forty-something guy still tying laces with “bunny ears”;
– Mike E., Illinois, USA, Dec-2004
I tried your knots and love them.
My mother who is 80 is also willing to learn your knots.
– Nancy H., Texas, USA, Oct-2004
Who would have thought I could relearn a childhood skill at the age of 54.
– Graham M., Ontario, Canada, Jul-2004
Its never too late to learn! I'm 80 years old and love progressive thinking like yours.
– Jule K., Illinois, USA, Jul-2004
I am a 44 year old professional engineer and father of two, and for all these years I knew that there must be a better way to do tie my shoes.
– Colin C., Hastings, UK, Jul-2004
I have been using the Ian Knot for a year or so. I use it on my swimming trunks, my shoes, and my daughter's dresses! It took a while to change my old habit of tying. I'm 47 years old. But I've done it now. The Ian Knot has become the way I tie.
– Russ M., Aug-2002
Forty-two years old and learning how to re-tie my shoes, only on the internet!
– Jake D., Dec-2002
Where were you when I was 5 and confused, I'm now 44 and have been forever frustrated by knotted laces. At last, a better way, I can't decide to call you my new knot guru or the lace Yoda.
– Gordon, Canada, Apr-2002
Specific Applications of the Ian Knot
Surgical masks have upper and lower strings. They are meant to be used only once. That is why their strings have quite much more friction compared to shoe strings. On a surgical mask, I start the Ian knot with a double starting knot, which alone can hold the mask in place, at least the seconds that it takes me to finish the knot behind my head. Finally, the knot is not pulled open, because the mask itself can be ripped off so that its strings break away (Ian knot won't).
– Arto K, Finland, Jun-2019
I have been working as a Firefighter/Paramedic for 8 years now, and I have always used tactical boots with zippers on the sides,
and never had much issue or need to deviate from standard lacing.
I tried a few different methods, which helped some, but still left me tying and untying both the starting knot and the finishing knot (which is no easy feat in a dark room in the middle of the night), and then I found it, the “Ukrainian method” and immediately my problem was solved! With a few modifications, it has become absolutely perfect for my needs (not to mention it looks 1000% better than the ugly zippers). I have the aglet's both tied in separate overhand knots inside the eyelets of the top of the boot. The next loop down I have the Ukrainian captive starting knot (which makes ALL the difference for the rapid donning.) Going downward I have an “Over Under lacing pattern” which aids significantly in the rapid tightening and loosening, (The X marks the spot to pull!). And then if all those aren't amazing enough, then comes the “Ian Knot”, which is the cherry on top, the icing on the cake, and the grand finale all rolled into one amazing lightning fast move! Now all my needs (more like strong wants) are met. I no longer worry about the laces coming out of the eyes or dragging on the ground when loose. I no longer worry about quickly tightening. I no longer worry about rapid tying or untying. All of it is solved.
– David D., Michigan, USA, Sep-2017
I just returned from a vacation to the bahamas and bought a pair of pants that have to be tied in front and back. I tied an Ian knot behind my back!
– Dominique W., Apr-2004
I travel through airports frequently and due to hightened security I frequently have to remove and re-tie my shoes. I think your knot will save me some time.
– Jim H., Ohio, USA, Mar-2004
Also, being a beginner triathlete, I'll try to use the Ian Knot on T2 (transition #2 – where you change your bike shoes to running shoes and have to tie the laces). I hope I'll shave some seconds off using the Ian Knot!!!
– Gennady S., Aug-2003
Ian Knot Inspired Poetry
The loose laces got on my nerves day by day
I became a nervous wreck, nearly passed away
Thanks to the Ian Knot
I fortunately I did not
Thank you Ian anyway
– Klemens K., Mar-2009
Ian, your shoe knot!
Your knot has saved me time.
Worthy of Haiku.
– [anon], Nov-2004
The Ian Knot is really hot
In time, it saves me quite a lot
Congratulations, thus, I send
To Ian Fieggen, wunderkind
– Andrew M., Apr-2004
If you'd also like to send feedback, please Contact Ian.