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.
It's worth mastering the regular Ian Knot before attempting this variation!
Tie a Left-over-Right Starting Knot as shown, then make two "bunny ears" as per Step (1) of the regular Ian Knot. Start a little higher than for the regular Ian Knot, making the bunny ears longer than usual.
Now, make each side into a double-loop. The left (yellow) double-loop is formed by swinging the left thumb and forefinger around the back of the secured end. The right (blue) double-loop is formed by swinging the right thumb around the front of the secured end.
Cross the two double-loops over each other, resulting in four overlapping loops. The left (yellow) double-loop swings around the front while the right (blue) double-loop swings around the back.
Each hand uses the fingers inside its own double-loop to grab the loose end of the other hand's double-loop. Take care to only grab the loose ends, not any of the other three sides of the double-loops.
Each hand releases its own double-loop and pulls the loose end of the opposite double-loop through its own.
When pulled tight, the result is a perfectly symmetrical knot (like the regular Ian Knot) with a complex triple-wrap of lace around the middle, making it super-secure.
How much more secure?
To quantify the security, let's consider the amount of tension required to pull the loose ends so that the knot comes undone. To keep the comparison simple, lets consider that the Standard Shoelace Knot requires 1 unit of tension to untie:
- Most other normal knots also need around 1 unit of tension to untie.
(eg. Ian Knot, Standard Shoelace Knot, Two Loop Shoelace Knot).
- Most secure knots need around 2 units of tension to untie.
(eg. Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot, Surgeon's Shoelace Knot, Turquoise Turtle Shoelace Knot).
- This Mega Ian Knot needs around 3 UNITS of tension to untie!
In other words, the Mega Ian Knot is around 3 times as secure as typical "regular" shoelace knots and around 1-1/2 times as secure as typical "secure" shoelace knots.
Security versus difficulty
This knot came about by way of extensive experimentation with my regular Ian Knot (as did the Double Ian Knot, Crossed Ian Knot and several other unsuccessful variations). It is indeed the most secure knot that I've developed.
However, unlike the elegant simplicity of the Ian Knot (which can be tied almost instantly), this knot only gains its extra security at the expense of being a fair bit more difficult to tie.
If you just want a simple, secure shoelace knot, there are other easier alternatives. The Surgeon's Shoelace Knot or the Turquoise Turtle Shoelace Knot are each probably more like the knot you're already using, which would make them easier to learn, yet they both provide more than enough security (ie. they stay tied all day).
If instead you're after the ultimate shoelace knot, and are willing to take the time to practice, the Mega Ian Knot is for you. In fact, one visitor's 7 and 9 year old kids have taught this knot to their friends!
Here's what happens if, at Step 4, you pull through the adjacent loop along with the loose end. The result is a completely different knot, which we could call a "Quad Loop Ian Shoelace Knot".
This variation is very similar (but not identical) to the second stage of the "Sheepshank with an Overhand Knot", which is shown as #2568 in the Ashley Book of Knots.
As pointed out by visitor John D., this variation is useful for "shortening" the ends of excessively long shoelaces. It's superior to other alternatives like the Double Shoelace Knot or the Double Ian Knot because it can be untied much more easily.
The downside of this variation is that it's not as secure as the Mega Ian Shoelace Knot, and will untie about as easily as the regular Ian Knot.
Mega Ian Knot Feedback
Also found out it's easier to do the Mega Knot by changing the loops placement - make the second loop cross the first one, so the second one ends up being the outside loop - that way it's easier to grab the loose end loops as they end up being the inside loops.
– Sal, Mar-2019
I tried what you said and bloody hell is that mega knot tight.... It doesn't take much longer to tie but its strength is unreal... My laces are para cord in my boots.
– Dave, Feb-2017
I'm a programmer, and I really love how the Mega Ian Knot is like a generalization of the Ian Knot, but with more loops. I'm sure you know this, but you can tie the Mega Ian Knot with any number of extra loops. I've only done 3 loops (1 more than the normal Mega Ian Knot) but I don't see why you couldn't do more. Of course, difficulty and practical value goes down sharply as the number of loops increases :-)
– Casey R., May-2009
--STEP 4 should mention that the loose-end loops will pass each other on the right, as traffic does in most countries (not sure about Australia), as shown in the diagram. While tying it 'on the street' without the diagram, I started passing them the other way, with the right-hand loop coming on my side of the other (toward my torso, passing on the left) and it makes a 2-looped finished knot instead of three.
Ian's Comment: Indeed, this variation results in the same finished knot as the Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot.
– James D., Jun-2005
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