One Handed Knot Feedback
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.
What Others Have Said
The following are excerpts from some of the many e-mails that I've received about the One Handed Shoelace Knot – mostly about ...
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Too long a story, I'll just say I stepped off the safety mats at an ice rink, and when I tried to catch my fall, I had a zig-zag in my wrist. EMT's, Emergency Room visit, X-rays, a great surgeon, and then several weeks of one-handed non-dominant life. I very quickly realized I needed a way to tie my shoes with that remaining hand. Ta-DAHH!!!
Your One-handed knot page is great!! Got me thru those 8 weeks of healing wonderfully, and then again 2 years later when I had to have another operation for “adjustments.”
– Chuk G., NC, USA, May-2020
I have been tying my shoes that way since being shown how by a right arm amputee in 1962
– Tom A., May-2017
Thank you. I broke my arm last week. The one-handed knot is brilliant.
– Ivan I., Mar-2017
I'm having one hand operated on and I need to tie them secure for when I run.
– Robbie, California, USA, Feb-2017
I found your site while looking for ways to tie a shoelace with one hand to help one of my patients. I used your One-Handed Shoe Lace Knot step-by-step guide which worked really well.
– Andrew L. (specialist physiotherapist), Dunfermline, UK, Jul-2016
Hey I wanted to say that your one handed shoelace knot works beautifully.
I am an able-bodied young man but I've been searching for a good way to tie my vambraces (bracers to cover the forearm) and it's really hard to secure them with only one free hand and funny enough a lot of people have vambraces but no one seems to talk about good ways to tie them. I came across this knot and it's finally easy to tie on my vambraces and I'm telling everyone who finds it hard to tie on their armor about you and this knot.
– Jonathan, Ontario, Canada, Jul-2015
Thanks for the site. I have only got the use of one arm, and the one handed knot page has taught me how to lace and tie my own shoes.
– Steven L., New Zealand, Mar-2015
I just broke my arm on Sunday. Suddenly realised I had no chance of lacing up my shoes/trainers with my one good hand! Googled and got your site - voila perfect tight one-handed lace solution. Thank you so much - you've probably stopped me tripping over a loose lace and breaking the other arm :)
– Dave L., Lancaster, UK, Jan-2015
I'm pregnant, so I fit into the category of people who need to use a one-handed tie but I also have issues simply getting my shoes on and tightening them. I was looking for a secure, easy lace-up and way to tie my shoes one-handed, and also ideally can be done without looking, since shoe-putting-on often resembles a strange yoga pose wherein I look to the sky while feeling for my foot with one hand behind me.
– Ava E., Dec-2014
Thank you! You have given me hope. I have had diabetes since I was 7 years old I am now 49. I have lost my sight and Have severe feeling lost in my right hand. Your one handed knot is a god send! I know I could get Velcro shoes but pride Will not let me. Now I won't need to.
– Michael M., Nov-2014
I was looking for lacing up options for my walking shoes but I also found your information on one-handed tying. My younger brother, age 55 was born with cerebral palsy and has very limited use of his left hand. He lives alone.
I will see if he is interested in using your technique so that he has more choices in the kind of shoes he can wear. I appreciate your work. Are most physical therapists aware of this? I don't know that he has ever been offered this information.
– Peter S., Montana, USA, Apr-2014
Thanks a bunch! I injured my wrist, am off work for a few months with doc's orders not to use that hand, and have been passing much of the time hiking--and getting sore feet from my hiking boots slopping around because all my one-handed efforts weren't getting the laces tight enough. Your one-handed knot is perfect--gets my laces as snug as I could want, and is quite easy to tie even with my non-dominant hand. I really appreciate it.
– Rebecca A., California, USA, Oct-2013
I discovered your site looking for instructions on how to tie a shoelace one-handed. I am doing an activity on disability awareness at my son's school. I think I'll have the kids try it!
– Elaine C., Washington, USA, Mar-2013
I learned the method you have on your website early on in my career as an Occupational Therapist and never found that method very functional. It is very difficult to loosen and retighten the laces. There are lots of videos from amputees and stroke survivors who use a totally different, more normal looking method of one hand tying, using the opposite foot to support the lace.
– Nancy K., Nov-2011
I lost an arm 4 years ago leaving my lace-up shoes unused in the wardrobe. Since finding your website I have gleefully rediscovered those shoes using the One-handed Shoelace Knot, and have been as pleased as punch. It opens up a whole range of shoes that have been denied to me. Thank you so very much Ian!
– [anonymous], Sydney, Australia, Sep-2011
I just wanted to write to say thank you for your one-handed shoe lacing knot. My daughter is 12 years old and suffers from left side hemiparesis. She required a right brain hemispherectomy (due to a seizure disorder) when she was almost five years old. Even though physical and occupational therapy has helped her regain use of gross motor skills on her left side, she still has no use of her left wrist, hand or fingers. For years we have either bought non-lacing athletic shoes (she wears an AFO so is always in athletic shoes) or someone else in the family has to tie her shoes for her every day. What twelve year old wants to have her little sister tie her shoes for her?!? I discovered your site last week and promptly relaced a pair of my own shoes, stuck my left hand in my pocket and gave it a try. I was amazed at how quickly I got the hang of it. Abby caught on right away and is finally tying her own shoes by herself for the first time in her life. This is another step toward independence that many people would never think of as being a major obstacle. I am a member of a listserv of other parents of “hemi-kids”, most being stroke survivors, and happily shared your site with them. Thanks again from me, my daughter and any other hemi kid that may find the joy and freedom of being able to tie their own shoes.
– Tammy A., Texas, USA, May-2009
I have now used the one handed shoelace knot, and it works like a charm. You should write that this knot is useful for these elastic laces.
I think that the laces will not be worn out the same way if I use this knot to tighten them rather than stretching them using a permanent knot.
– Carsten K., Copenhagen, Denmark, Mar-2009
I am currently a student studying Occupational Therapy. This week I was assigned to demonstrate to the class how to tie a shoe one handed. I came across your site and found it to be most useful.
– Laiby L., Mar-2009
I lost the use of my left hand and arm a year ago due a stroke. Your one-handed shoelace tie is a lifesaver! It works great!
– David K., Apr-2008
1. The bottom knot is more aesthetic if the lace is knotted first then threaded from underneath then it is hidden (i.e. Start by knotting the lace then lace from one of the eyelets nearest the toe, so the knot is underneath, and thus out of sight)
2. Work with the short end not the longer end ensures a tighter knot. I find that after forming the first loop, that the temptation is to pull the longer part of the lace which does not tighten the lace and often means the longer lace is pulled, until it comes through the “knot”.
– Julie S. (occupational therapist), South Cheshire, UK, Mar-2008
Just wanted to thank you for the one-handed method! My 7 year old son had a stroke a birth and cannot use his left hand for fine motor skills such as tying shoelaces. He was so proud of himself to finally be able to accomplish this task and wear shoes without velcro!
– Joy A., Florida, USA, Feb-2008
Your One Handed Knot is going to make life a little better. I lost the use of my right (non-dominant) hand 2 years ago and went to slip-on's. Not my favorite.
I use stretch laces on regular shoes but the fact that I can't tie my own shoes at 54 just bugs the heck out of me. I'm off to tie-up all those shoes I haven't worn in years.
– [anonymous], Jan-2008
I only wish I had learned some of these shoe lacing methods years ago! Now, you see, I am an amputee, and I have only one hand. I was very glad to see the section one one-handed shoe lacing and tying.
– Lisa C., Nevada, USA, Dec-2007
Thank you Thank you Thank you from the occupational therapists and students at Illinois School District 102. We often use your techniques and demos when teaching basic and alternative ways of shoe tying. Many of our kids have learned from visitng your website alone and we can send the parents to your website to help thier kids practice.
I do have a request. We often have young children with hemiplegia who need to use one-handed shoe tying. One girl in particular on my caseload had a stroke as a toddler and does not have good hand use but is very much typical in every other way (the only special services she gets are OT and PT). She can tie using the one-handed knot, but is bothered by the fact that it doesn't look like a bow and that it is lopsided. She is in the 2nd grade and just wants to be like her friends. We tried doing another loop on the opposite side, but it looks flat in the middle. Do you know of any way to make a more “normal” looking bow with only one hand? Can you make that a priority in adding new methods to your website? It would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
– Kim R., Illinois, USA, Sep-2007
Ian's Reply: At the time I had no good solution. More recently I've added a video for my “One-handed Ian Knot”.
– Ian Fieggen
Our grandson, age 8, has hemiparesis, a mild form of cerebral palsy which renders his right side very weak. He has been in therapies all his life, now intensely so after knee surgery. He WANTS to learn to tie. He is a visual learner so I just forwarded your diagrams and am excited about the possibilities.
– Rosie B., Indiana, USA, Mar-2007
My 12 year old son has mild cerebral palsy on his left side and has never been able to tie his own shoes, since the motor skills in his left hand are poor. It's very frustrating for him, because he competes well in sports and in the classroom (fits in very well with his peers) by using just his right hand/arm, but was always embarrassed when a shoelace came undone and he had to ask for help.
We tried “quick-tie” pull gizmos that fitted to the eyelets, and velcro, etc. but I could still see that he felt really bad at not being able to perform this task that many five-year-olds can master.
When I came home last night with your one-handed-knot directions, we immediately relaced our shoes (mine as well, so I could learn the method too!) and went to work.
Fifteen minutes later he had learned the method and was ecstatically tying and untying his shoes for his mom and me. Now all we need to do is go out and find MUCH shorter laces!
Thanks so much for making one kid happy!
– JPW, USA, Feb-2007
I tried to teach a young man a way to tie his shoes with a different one-hand method (he only had use of one hand), but he was unable to learn it -- the one you show might have helped, but he has since left school.
– Ellen A. (occupational therapist), New York, USA, Sep-2005
This is very useful for disabled people e.g. one armed, BPI injury, stroke etc.
I was taught this “trick” at the occupational health dept at the Promenade Hospital Southport UK 30 years ago. Many thanks to them!
– Phil M., Derbyshire, UK, Jan-2005
If you'd also like to send feedback, please Contact Ian.