Want to learn how to tie your shoes? Whether you're after shoelace tying speed, simplicity, security or style, here's twenty-one 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.
21 Different Ways To Tie Shoes
SECTION 1 – Regular Shoelace Knots
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 overhand 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.
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”.
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.
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”.
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 4 – Other Knot(s)
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.
SECTION 5 – Starting Knots
All of the shoelace knots shown on this website use the same “Left-over-Right Starting Knot”. Here's how to tie this basic knot, known as a “Half Knot” or “Overhand Knot”.