Turquoise Turtle Knot Feedback

Turquoise Turtle Shoelace Knot diagram

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.

What Others Have Said

The following are excerpts from some of the many e-mails that I've received about the Turquoise Turtle Shoelace Knot.

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Visitor Feedback

I recently searched out your site in pursuit of the turquoise turtle knot. I found a reference to it in a book called “16 trees of the Somme” where it was deemed a useful knot for a one armed man as it doesn't come undone.
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You'll be pleased to hear that the whole family has now adopted the turquoise turtle knot as our go-to shoelace knot. The diagrams on your site we're clear and easy to follow, thanks.

– Tim H., Oct-2019

The knot is actually tied like a surgeon's knot (two turns around the opposite end) to start, then finished as you describe it, with two loops that are tucked twice (like a reef knot on steroids).

– Ralph P., VT, USA, Oct-2011

This knot is sort or like a “Slipped Surgeons Knot” except a surgeons knot finishes with a single overhand knot on top of a double overhand knot. This knot is a slipped double overhand knot on top of a double overhand knot.
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As with the slipped reef knot, this knot can be tied wrong to create a “granny turquoise turtle”.

– Bill M., NC, USA, Jun-2008

I've been tying my shoes using the Turquoise Turtle knot for several years since I read about it in a knot tying book. Last time I googled this knot, nothing came up, but I happened to look it up today and I arrived at your site, where I discovered that your method of tying the knot is different than the one I read about and in fact I think is not the same knot. I think the book I had was Handbook of Knots by Des Pawson, but I'm not sure. In any case, the tying method given for the knot in the book I read agrees up to step 4, but then instead of feeding the same loop through a second time, you feed the blue loop AND the YELLOW END through the hole. I compared this to the Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot and I'm not completely certain, but I think that the Turquoise Turtle that I know is a different knot than the other two. (My shoelaces are not very suitable to telling knots apart as they are old and fuzzy.)

Another minor point is that the knot I saw in the book had a fancier “starting knot”. Instead of passing the end through once you passed it through twice. (This probably makes no difference.)

In a few years of using this knot, I've never had it come untied inappropriately. I have, however, occasionally had it form up improperly and then not come untied when I pull the drawloop. And it very clearly has increased wear on the laces.

– Adrian M., Dec-2007

I have used the Turquoise Turtle my whole life, and I believe it is easier to teach to someone who already knows the standard knot (although far too many that I know tie granny variations of the square and are already lost causes).

– Ryan B., Jun-2007

Yeah, I used the granny knot for my whole life, wondering why my shoelaces became untied so often. My new chosen method is the Turquoise Turtle. I compared them side by side on a pair of shoes and it was quite revealing. The granny really comes apart immediately no matter from where you pull, while the Turquoise Turtle is just the opposite!

– Fred W., Philadelphia, USA, 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. I just used it because I invariably created a slipknot using bunny ears (in retrospect, after looking at your site) and for some reason I could never get the hang of the Standard Knot. People show me, and I promptly forget.

– Keller, Aug-2006

I used to use a granny knot, then another overhand knot (a one-and-a-half granny). This came untied about once a week, and once during a marathon. This puts its “mean miles to fail” in the 50-100 mile range. (Since I have two feet, thus two knots, I double the mileage). So I thought I would compare the turquoise turtle with the standard square knot.

Standard square knot: one failure in 277 miles (this happened only two miles after I started the experiment. Hmmm.)

Turquoise turtle: zero failures in 277 miles (same miles as above.)

I got this data by tying one shoe with a square and the other with the turquoise turtle, and tried to alter which foot got which knot.

– Joe S., California, USA, May-2006

i must point out to you that your description/diagram of the turquiose turtle is incorrect, almost correct, but not entirely. technicallly, a turquoise turtle must begin with a double over or under hand knot. i'm not sure where you have seen it presented as such, but this is how it is presented by des pawson in his writing (co-founder of the International guild of Knot Tyers, and thus i feel a trustworthy source).

i thought you might like to know this, and hopefully correct it on your site. besides which, when begun properly with a doubled starting knot, the turquoise turtle becomes much sturdier and less likely to come untied than is the description of it on your site.
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you may see this illustrated in pawson's The Handbook of Knots.

– Jesse P., Oct-2005

You may be interested to know that the “Turquoise Turtle” knot has been used in German boating and sailing circles for at least fifty years, and probably much longer. One reference is in Sondheim's book, “Knoten, Spleissen, Takeln”, Bielefeld, 1953.

– Michael S., Germany, May-2005

I have been struggling with secure shoelace knots for my footy boots for years. I have just bought a knot book today with a shoelace knot called the Turquoise Turtle which worked on my running shoes. Your site will encourage me to try a few more shoetying knots.

– Shaun T., Derbyshire, UK, Sep-2004

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This page last updated: 16-Apr-2022. Copyright © 2021-2022 by Ian W. Fieggen. All rights reserved.

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