Shoelace Knots – How To Tie Your Shoes

Shoelace Knots

Want to learn how to tie shoelaces? Whether you're after shoelace tying speed, simplicity, security or style, here's nineteen different shoelace knots to choose from, including several that I've created. Grab some shoelaces or a piece of rope, get comfortable and give them a try!

Don't be put off by this daunting collection – most people only need to learn one "regular" knot and perhaps one "secure" knot. It also helps to have other choices in case one particular knot proves frustrating, especially when learning to tie shoelaces for the first time.

19 Different Ways To Tie Shoelaces

SECTION 1 – Regular Shoelace Knots

Standard Shoelace Knot diagram Standard Shoelace Knot

Also known as the "Around The Tree" shoelace knot" or simply the "Bowknot", this is probably the most common method for tying shoelaces: Make a loop with one end, wrap the other end around and pull a loop through the "hole" in the middle.

Two Loop Shoelace Knot diagram Two Loop Shoelace Knot

Also known as the "Bunny Ears" shoelace knot (due to its two loops) or as the "Bowknot": Make a loop with both ends, then simply tie a knot with them. It's often tied incorrectly, resulting in an un-balanced Granny Knot.

Ian Knot = Ian's Fast Shoelace Knot diagram Ian Knot = Ian's Fast Shoelace Knot

I tie my shoelaces with my own "Ian Knot", 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. It's a truly revolutionary way to tie your shoelaces! Recommended!

SECTION 2 – Secure Shoelace Knots

Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot diagram Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot

Also known as the "Double Slip Knot", this is a secure shoelace knot with a simple, symmetrical method of tying: Cross two loops and pass them both through the "hole" in the middle. This is a shoelace knot that won't come undone on its own! Recommended!

Surgeon's Shoelace Knot diagram Surgeon's Shoelace Knot

Also known as the "Tibetan Trekking Knot" or "Sherpa Knot", this is the most common secure shoelace knot: Make a Standard Shoelace Knot, but before pulling tight, run the loop around and through the middle for a second time.

Turquoise Turtle Shoelace Knot diagram Turquoise Turtle Shoelace Knot

Also known as the "Shoemaker's Knot", this is a lesser known secure shoelace knot: Make a Two Loop Shoelace Knot ("Bunny Ears"), but before pulling tight, pass the loop and adjacent loose end through the middle for a second time.

Better Bow Knot diagram Better Bow Shoelace Knot

Another secure knot variation, again based on looping around more than once: Begin as for a Standard Shoelace Knot, only loop around twice before pulling through the loops thus made.

FreedomKnot Shoelace Knot diagram FreedomKnot Shoelace Knot

This is yet another of the secure knots on which my own Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot is based: Make an "O" and pass a loop through it from both the front and the back.

Double Shoelace Knot diagram Double Shoelace Knot

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 an overhand knot with the finished loops.

Double Ian Shoelace Knot diagram Double Ian Shoelace Knot

By hanging onto the loops and repeating the Ian Knot technique, the result is the more secure Double Ian Shoelace Knot. This is also handy for consuming excess lace to keep the ends from dragging.

Mega Ian Shoelace Knot diagram Mega Ian Shoelace Knot

This is a more secure variation of my Ian Knot: Make a double-loop with both ends and simultaneously pull them through each other. The result is super-secure, though nowhere near as fast as the regular Ian Knot.

Crossed Ian Shoelace Knot diagram Crossed Ian Shoelace Knot

This knot is a curiosity that often results from tying the Ian Knot incorrectly. Twisting the starting loops in the wrong direction results in a knot with the ends crossed within the knot. It seems more secure, but can easily fall apart.

Two Stage Shoelace Knot diagram Two Stage Shoelace Knot

This knot is made in two distinct stages: Make and secure one loop, then make and secure the other loop. The result is slightly more secure because it's less likely for both stages to come undone.

Loop The Loop Knot diagram Loop the Loop Shoelace Knot

Also known as the "Klets Knot", this method makes any regular shoelace knot more secure: Tie a Standard Shoelace Knot (or even an Ian Knot), then feed one loop through the other loop and pull it tight like a noose.

SECTION 3 – Special Purpose Shoelace Knots

Halloween Shoelace Knot diagram Halloween Shoelace Knot

A decorative knot that makes the perfect finishing touch for a Halloween outfit or for other "creepy" occasions: Tie your shoelaces with these miniature "Hangman's Nooses".

Boat Shoe Knot diagram Boat Shoe Knot

Often used on boat shoes (deck shoes) or moccasins with leather laces, the "Heaving Line Knot" creates decorative coils instead of knots: Each end is simply coiled around itself until all remaining lace is consumed.

One Handed Shoelace Knot diagram One Handed Shoelace Knot

Here's the ideal way to tie shoelaces with one hand: Lace the shoe with the bottom end permanently tied off, then secure the top end with a simple loop knot.

Reef Knot diagram Reef Knot

The Reef Knot is basically a Standard Shoelace Knot minus the loops. This is useful when the ends are not long enough to tie a regular bow, such as when a shoelace has broken and there is no ready replacement.

Equality Knot diagram Equality Knot

In Sep-2017, I teamed up with PUMA to create the Equality Knot for their initiative in support of marriage equality in Australia. The knot is tied at the side of the shoe with a secure shoelace knot, forming an Equality symbol "=" in the middle of the knot.

SECTION 4 – Starting Knots

Starting Knot diagram Starting Knot

All of the shoelace techniques shown on this site use the same "Left-over-Right" Starting Knot. Here's how to tie this basic knot, known as a "Half Knot" or "Overhand Knot".

Double Starting Knot diagram Double Starting Knot

A double starting knot holds tighter, which is great when tying slippery shoelaces or when learning new knots, especially for kids. Begin as for a standard Starting Knot, then loop around and through for a second time.

Sponsored Links