Standard Knot Feedback
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.
What Others Have Said
The following are excerpts from some of the many e-mails that I've received about the Standard Shoelace Knot – mostly about having switched to a different method, plus many from people who were tying it incorrectly as a Granny Knot, which sits crooked and tends to come loose.
If you'd also like to send feedback, please Contact Ian.
My (left handed) son needed to learn how to tie his own shoes and I found it difficult to teach him. The asymmetry of the Round the Tree method is confusing ;-/
By accident I found out about the Bunny Ears method. Much more symmetric, but still difficult to make tight.
– Bastiaan B., The Netherlands, Nov-2018
I started using the classic Ian's Knot when I first saw it, and nowadays any other method of tying a doubly slipped reef knot, aka the standard shoelace bow knot, seems unnatural and dumb to me.
– Jussi H., Finland, May-2018
Hey Ian, I ran across your site today and was reading the bunny knot page. You say there is no song or rhyme for it but there definitely is!
Over under (starting knot)
Around the tree (form first loop and run loose end around it)
Hop through the bunny hole (feed through the hole)
Pull and see! (pull loop through and tighten knot)
I saw it on an episode of Full House when I was really little and that's how I learned to tie my shoes! I bet you can even find a video of the scene on YouTube.
– Lizzy M., Dec-2017
I grew up knowing only the bunny ears method for tying laces. I am trying to learn the ian knot with some practice. My hope is to teach it to my son so he learns the Ian knot instead of bunny ears or the standard method.
– Sonia S., Pennsylvania, USA, Aug-2016
With your help, I got it down pat and finally mastered the standard shoelace knot tying method too (yes, my parents never bothered to teach me the standard knot tying technique!)
– S.T., Penang, Malaysia, Sep-2014
I never twigged that a standard shoelace knot was essentially a reef knot until reading your page on granny knots :-)
– Andrew M., Sep-2014
I like the site. I've just learned the Ian Knot after about fifty years of using the Standard Shoelace Knot; thanks for that!
– Alan P., Dec-2012
For all of my life I have done only standard shoelace knot in the wrong way (granny knot). I like very much your Ian knot and I think I'm going to use this in the future.
– Maurizio, Italy, Oct-2011
My whole life I've been unawarely tying them with a “Granny Knot”, by making a “Standard Shoelace Knot” with the loose end going around the wrong way. Which is pretty much what most people's problem is, I guess.
– J.C., Lisbon, Portugal, Jun-2011
I tried the standard knot and it came out perfect.
– Marc R., Texas, USA, Mar-2011
It's much easier to grasp than a standard knot (I think so anyway). My 4 year old boy will be starting to self-tie soon and I'm hoping he’ll be able to show his class how to do it before they all get into the old method.
– Dave C., Northumberland, UK, Nov-2010
Our family's method was something near Standard Shoelace Knot but we pass the lace in front of the loop (and not behind). So for 23 years of my life I lace up in wrong way my shoes.
– Vuk K., Italy, Apr-2010
I learned the Standard Knot today (doing a granny knot before). Tomorrow I will try the Ian Knot.
– Kai H., Germany, Feb-2010
I've been using your (Ian's) Secure Knot for a couple of years now. It has become second nature to me and has replaced the standard knot I used for over 60 years. Yes, old dogs can learn new tricks.
I am pleased every day with the way this knot works. It never comes loose on its own but always unties easily with a pull of the string. My old, standard, shoe lace knot came undone a dozen or more times a day for most of my life.
– Daryl C., Washington, USA, Nov-2009
I have always been frusterated about my shoelaces being crooked (the bow turning sideways). Your site helped me find out that...I have been doing the granny knot!! AH! NO! I was using the standard shoelace knot but instead of wrapping the lace around the loop from the back, I was doing it from the front.
– Carly S., Jan-2009
i would also like to thank you for your secure shoelace knot. before i just used the standard shoelace knot, and it untied all the time.
– Alex, Jun-2008
I'm an assistant teacher in a tap class of 7-9 year old children, which I'm sure you know they aren't the best at tying shoes. So, often I spend half the class re-tying shoes. I used to just double a standard knot, but the children complained that they're too hard to untie after class. But your secure knot seems to be working out much better.
– Jenny C., May-2008
I've been tying the standard knot all my life. I've given the “Ian knot” a try.........maybe I'll use that for a while. :)
– Shelly M., Michigan, USA, Mar-2008
I hold the first crossing tight by putting my right index finger on it while making the loop with my left hand. Then I try to keep it tight by pulling with the left hand while the right hand wraps the other end around the loop in the left hand.
– Ronald C., USA, Mar-2008
I've found that I've been tying my shoes the wrong way all my life (Standard Shoelace Knot, Start: Left end over Right end & through, Finish: Right loop, Left end around Front).
I think I shall try to switch my starting knot around (as you say, re-learning the finishing bow looks like much more work to me), or possibly try to adopt a different knot altogether (such as your Ian Knot or Secure Knot!)
– Philip N., Feb-2008
I tie my shoes in the standard shoelace knot, but was having a heck of a time trying to teach something to an impatient six year old that I have never given much thought to myself.
– Janice C., USA, Feb-2008
I noticed that the force required to untie a secure shoelace knot depends on whether only one, or both, ends are pulled. When only one end is pulled, the knot moves, twists or distorts making it difficult to untie. The standard bow knot and the granny bow knot untie so easily that the knot doesn't move much when only one end is pulled.
– Ronald C., USA, Feb-2008
In kindergarten, for whatever reason, I couldn't get the hang of tying my shoes for love nor money! I'm guessing the teacher was trying to teach me the standard shoelace knot. Finally one day she taught me the “bunny ears” knot, and that's how I tie my shoes today, at age 58! I should probably take a look at the site and at least give some other methods a try!
– Andrew B., California, USA, Jan-2008
I want to keep the starting know tight while performing the second operation. Otherwise I end up with too much length of lace between the knot and the shoe. The one advantage of the standard knot seems to be that it is easy to tie it over the retaining finger and then to pull out the finger.
– Peter G., Dec-2007
I used to tie my laces with a standard knot. When I needed extra security I would knot the bow. But that system makes it hard to untie and looks horrible.
– Michael R., USA, Dec-2007
I also converted to using the Ian Knot, which stays tied much better than any other method I've used. It took me a while to learn the knot, and I couldn't remember how to tie my shoes this morning, but I definitely prefer it to the Standard Shoelace Knot. The fact that I couldn't remember how to tie my shoes this morning probably says more about me than the knot.
– Chris G., Oct-2007
People are pretty adamant about being 1-loop versus 2-loop people. Your site is great for indicating other ways. I personally am a 2-loop (bunny ears) person, but I do believe the 1-loop method is more robust.
– Jeanine M., New York, USA, Feb-2007
I believe a correct standard shoelace knot is a “slipped reef knot”, and an incorrect one is a “slipped granny knot”.
– Matthew F., Sep-2006
I'm tired of his teachers doing the usual “double” knot that he always undoes it wrong, leaving it a really nasty ball to try and pick loose.
I actually think your “Ian Knot” will be pretty easy to teach him vs. the standard knot, and I'm trying to “learn” it myself to the point it is second nature.
– Brent, Sep-2006
When I was a kid I used the “Standard Shoelace Knot” but it would come undone much too often. I read somewhere about a way to make it better – do step 3 twice (two loops around the right loop). It takes a little more time, and isn't particularly elegant (not even symmetrical?) but it stays tight a lot better than the standard one. I might try to switch to Ian's Secure Knot, but old habits die hard :)
– Willis C., Aug-2006
Oh, and apparently I'm one of those people who use the Turquoise Turtle Knot, which is probably somewhat unusual since most everyone I know uses a Standard Knot.
– Keller, Aug-2006
Somewhere in the 90s, the shoes I typically bought tended to have laces that would not stay in a standard knot indefinitely as they had before. It wasn't a problem with being an unbalanced slip knot; they've always been balanced properly. I suspect the shape and material of the laces was the cause. In the last couple weeks I had been more seriously trying a few different things to lock that knot, but your secure knot is perfect for what I've been looking for.
– Paul E., USA, Jul-2006
There are so many variations of the basic standard shoelace knot, which is the one I usually teach, that parents are really surprised. The beginning starting knot can be left over right and under heel to toe, or left over right and under toe to heel or right over left and under heel to toe, or right over left and under toe to heel. Then the single bow can be made on the left or the right. Then the other string can go around heel to toe or toe to heel.
However, if they are combined incorrectly, the knot ends up slipping out, turned toe-to-heel and a slip knot instead of a secure knot. Most people are not even aware that there is a difference between a secure knot and a slip knot. And then there are the people who say one is for left-handed people and one is for right-handed people. I have heard many parents who are right-hand dominant, say that they can not teach their child who is left-hand dominant how to tie their shoes. Such a simple and common task, and yet so many people can not tie their shoes so that they stay tied.
– Betsy L. (occupational therapist), Wisconsin, USA, Jun-2006
I used Standard Knot until know, and the only better idea for increased security I had was an extra knot on the top. But this has the great disadvantage that it cannot be untied easily.
– Dr. Michael P., Germany, May-2006
The way I learned to double-knot for security is to do the standard shoelace knot, and then do bunny loops on top of that.
– Steph, Apr-2006
I had been using the same standard knot for 50 years and tried your secure knot on my sneakers – they did not come untied for the whole day even though the ends were almost dragging the ground.
– Dave G., Florida, USA, Mar-2006
Thanks so much for making this great site! I finally learned how to tie a shoe lace without it coming undone. I use to use the standard shoelace knot, but your Ian knot and secure Ian knot work much better!
– Eric, Mar-2006
Rhyme for teaching kids standard lace knot.
Make a bunny ear and then
First you trap the rabbit,
Then you wrap the rabbit,
Then you pull him thru,
and pretty soon you've tied your shoe.
– Belinda E., Mar-2006
An an occupational therapist, I am most interested in your lacing techniques -- I usually teach your “Standard” technique with a little dog story saying “around the bend and push the doggy into the doghouse to see his mom.” (I like the way you can just push the lace through the hole with the thumb. It works pretty well with a lot of kids.
– Ellen A. (occupational therapist), New York, USA, Sep-2005
It was with the aid of your excellent diagrams, instructions and explanations, that I finally managed to teach them how to tie knots that can last for the whole schoolday!
I taught them the Ian Knot, the Standard Shoelace knot and the Ian Secure Knot over a period of about 2 weeks.
They find the Ian Knot too tricky. And the Standard Shoelace knot still comes undone even after making sure that they are not tying a Slip Knot. However, the Ian Secure Knot is the real lifesaver and really works very well for them.
My sons have gained confidence and self-esteem from this historic achievement. And I am finally relieved of the perennial worry for their personal safety in school should their laces come undone and cause them to trip.
– Jacqueline, Singapore, May-2005
Although I liked your knot, for regular shoe tying I am going to keep using the standard knot. Although I do not tie nearly as rapidly as you can--about 4 seconds for both layers--I maintain firm tension on the shoelace throughout the tie, since I never let go of either lace and can do it without looking.
– Russ, Kentucky, USA, May-2005
I tried the first knot I found on your site (tie basic knot then a “bunny ear” knot) and it works PERFECTLY. My shoes have not come untied since. Thank you thank you thank you.
– Becky, Colorado, USA, May-2005
I will try [the “Ian Knot”] for a while, and will write/vote if I switch. It is quicker, and easier. A potential weakness is that at first it is harder to get a very tight bow than the standard knot. This is OK for shoes when there is no tension, but might not work for, say, parcels. The standard knot can be made very tight, keeping tension. But with practice maybe your knot can be made tight too.
– Peter G., Apr-2005
In your instructions for Standard Shoelace Knot, you correctly describe to tie the “starting knot” as “left over right”. This is critical. If you do the starting knot “right over left” and then do the rest of the knot also “right over left” then you have a classic “granny knot” as opposed to what is correctly tied as a variation of a plain old “square knot”.
A few years ago, I realized I had always been tying my shoes as granny knots. Since I have started paying attention to this, they stay tied better.
– Mark D., Feb-2005
I love the Ian knot and if I could break myself of the lifelong “standard knot” habit, I might adopt it.
My daughter is almost 4 and she wants to learn to tie her own shoes. I've tried teaching her the standard method, but it's hard for her.
– Maia A., Feb-2005
Most people do the “standard knot”, but they do it WRONG! It seems that 95% of people have their bows laying crooked and coming undone easily.
– Dacie L., Oct-2004
As a child learning to ties shoes I could never see through peoples fingers to understand what was being demonstrated with a standard knot – so I learned the double loop method. It wasn't until I was a young adult that I learned to tie the standard knot, I believe because friends would tease me for “not knowing how to tie my shoes”.
– Sean O., Pennsylvania, USA, Sep-2004
I sold shoes one summer during college and discovered that if I laced shoes this way [“Criss Cross”], when helping a customer, and tying them correctly, as your standard knot shows (insuring the loops and laces lay neatly to the side), I was almost certain to sell the shoes.
– Jon F., Maryland, USA, Aug-2004
I've been using [the “Ian Knot”] for a week now, and I tie my shoes faster than my mother who has been tying shoes with a standard knot for 40 years.
– Lars R., Norway, Jun-2004
I tried the “Ian Knot” as well, and I think I got it right, but it seems much looser than my standard knot. It takes longer to tie as well, but that is probably me fighting my reflexes :-(
– Alex M., May-2004
My mother-in-law showed me a trick for really long laces – after you make the standard secure knot, take the long ends and make another standard knot (without out the starting knot, of course) you get 4 loops, and no shoelaces dragging and causing the knot to untie.
– Daphna F., Apr-2004
I had grown frustrated with my shoelaces always coming loose so it was useful to hear of better alternatives than the standard knot i used.
– Timo S., Tampere, Finland, Feb-2004