Shoelace Knots

Shoelace Knots icon

Want to learn how to tie your shoes? Whether you're after shoelace tying speed, simplicity, security or style, here's twenty-five different shoelace knots to choose from – including several that I've created.

NOTE: Don't be put off by this daunting collection – most people only need to learn one “regular” knot and perhaps one “secure” knot. Other choices can also help when teaching children, particularly if the child is frustrated by the “regular” shoelace knot technique.

25 Different Ways To Tie Shoes

SECTION 1 – Regular Shoelace Knots

Standard Shoelace Knot icon Standard Shoelace Knot

Also known as the “Bunny Rabbit” or the “Loop, Swoop and Pull” knot, this is probably the most common method for tying shoes. 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 icon 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 icon Ian Knot = Ian's Fast Shoelace Knot

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. Recommended!

SECTION 2 – Secure Shoelace Knots

Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot icon 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. Recommended!

Surgeon's Shoelace Knot icon 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 icon 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, but before pulling tight, pass the loop and adjacent loose end through the middle for a second time.

Better Bow Shoelace Knot icon Better Bow Shoelace Knot

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

FreedomKnot Shoelace Knot icon 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.

Berluti Shoelace Knot icon Berluti Shoelace Knot

Also known as the “Double Shoestring Knot”, this is a secure knot popularized by Olga Berluti. Begin as per the Standard Shoelace Knot and finish by feeding the opposite loop through the middle before tightening.

Double Shoelace Knot icon 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 a half knot with the finished loops.

Double Ian Shoelace Knot icon 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 icon 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.

Two Stage Shoelace Knot icon 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 icon 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 – Starting Knots

Starting Knot icon Starting Knot

Most of the shoelace knots shown on this website begin with the same “Left-over-Right Starting Knot”. Here's how to tie this basic knot, known as a “Half Knot”.

Double Starting Knot icon Double Starting Knot

The Double Starting Knot holds tighter, which is great when tying slippery shoelaces or when learning new knots – especially for kids. Begin as for a regular Starting Knot, then wrap around for a second time.

Ian's Starting Knot icon Ian's Starting Knot

Ian's fast way to tie the foundation of most shoelace knots, using a mirrored “Ian Knot” technique with the ends then pulled all the way through. Recommended!

SECTION 4 – Special Purpose Shoelace Knots

Moccasin Shoelace Knot icon Moccasin Shoelace Knot

Commonly used on moccasins and slippers, this knot is decorative only and does not hold tight. Two loops are crossed at the middle, then secured with a simple half knot.

Ian's Fast Moccasin Knot icon Ian's Fast Moccasin Knot

Ian's faster technique for tying the decorative shoelace bow commonly used on moccasins and slippers. A “loop” and a “noose” are simultaneously formed and pushed through each other.

Boat Shoe Knot icon 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.

Halloween Shoelace Knot icon 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”.

One Handed Shoelace Knot icon One Handed Shoelace Knot

Here's a simple knot for tying shoes 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 icon 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. Also known as a “Square Knot”.

Equality Knot icon Equality Knot

Created in conjunction with PUMA in Sep-2017 in support of marriage equality in Australia. Consists of my Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot (with its central “Equality” symbol “=”) symbolically tied at the side of the shoe.

SECTION 5 – Other Knots

Crossed Ian Shoelace Knot icon Crossed Ian Shoelace Knot

This knot is a curiosity that often results from tying the Ian Knot incorrectly. Twisting the 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.

Support Ian


Click to buy U-Lace elastic shoelace segments (USA)
Click to buy tough shoelaces from Ironlace (USA)
Click to buy shoelaces from Big Laces (UK)
Click to buy handmade shoelaces from Cute Laces (USA)
Click to buy shoelaces from Kicks Shoelaces (Australia)
Click to buy shoelaces from Loop King Laces (USA)

This page last updated: 11-Nov-2023. Copyright © 2003-2023 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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

Ian's Other Websites:
Ian's Software SiteSoftwareIan's Graphics SiteGraphicsIan Fieggen's SiteIanChris Fieggen's SiteChrisFieggen Family TreeTree