Contains 20 × shoelace knots, including my world's fastest “Ian Knot”, plus important info on preventing the “Granny Knot”, which causes shoelaces to sit crooked and come undone.
Table of Contents
Want to learn how to tie your shoes? Whether you're after shoelace tying speed, simplicity, security or style, here's twenty different shoelace knots to choose from – including several that I've created.
Do your shoelaces sit crooked? Do you retie your shoes several times a day? These are both signs of a “Granny Knot”. Learn the “one simple trick” for keeping your shoes neatly and securely tied.
All of the knots on my site were illustrated only one way – the same way that I tie them. While you are welcome to use your own variations, this page shows how to ensure that the finished knot still ends up secure.
Untying is usually easy – but not always! This page explains why shoelace knots sometimes jam when untying, plus gives some tips for preventing such jams.
With so many knots to choose from, how do you decide which to use? This page compares both their functional and visual considerations feature by feature to help you choose.
All of the Shoelace Knots on this site allow visitors to rate them from 1 to 5 stars (1=Awful to 5=Excellent). This page shows the results of those ratings.
Something for Everyone
Most people learn how to tie their shoelaces around the age of five. Why then would anyone older than that visit a website about tying shoes?
- Parents & teachers look for early learning materials.
- Teens and adults look for self-help, either through having never learned correctly as a child or due to increasing infirmity.
- People whose shoelaces come undone look for a secure answer.
- Occupational therapists look for alternatives to suit clients with different limitations or learning styles.
- Academics & lateral thinkers look for more efficient methods.
- Knot enthusiasts look for shoelace knot reference materials.
- Sportspeople look for a competitive edge.
Whatever the reason, I'm sure that almost everyone will find something useful here about shoe tying!
Recent Visitor Feedback
I used to have a problem with my shoelaces coming untied all the time. Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot solved it. I've been using your knot for several years now, and it has NEVER failed. Thank you!
– Patrick B., Apr-2021
I always struggled with tying my shoes, I suffered from the granny knot problem you identified, and then I tried your Secure Knot and it works perfectly for me. Thank you!
– Derek H., Apr-2021
Before coming across your website, I had tied the granny knot my whole life. So now, in my forties, I finally learned how to tie my shoelaces properly. Previously I had perhaps wondered a bit why I was always tying my shoes when I was out and about, but never researched the problem.
I started to learn knots for camping, and learned the usual suspects (bowline, taut line hitch, trucker's hitch, Prussik etc.) but it never dawned on me that shoelaces are also tied with a knot. But after googling for knot information I stumbled on your website and your page on the granny knot explained to me why I had always had shoelaces come undone.
I settled on reversing the starting knot on the “normal” shoelace knot, and now my shoelaces come undone only very rarely.
I also like very much the spirit of “the old web” - your own website on perhaps a bit obscure but valuable information. Very well done, and a big thank you from the other side of the world - Helsinki, Finland!
Ps. After raving at work about learning how to tie my shoelaces properly, others perhaps thought of me a bit bonkers but a coworker also realised he had been tying his shoelaces wrong, and I pointed him to your website for more information!
– Jani P., Helsinki, Finland, Apr-2021
I cannot say thank you enough for the Ian knot. My 12 year old grandson struggled to tie his shoes. He was shown the ‘bunny ear’ method without much assistance resulting in not much effort. (His mother and school thinks there may be some sort of disconnect happening in his learning). So his shoes were always tied and he just slipped his foot in and out. There had to be another way. In the past i showed him the traditional way, it was frustrating (how did we ever learn this at 5?). Then after coming across your knot, I knew this was it. After reviewing the video and maybe three tries, HE DID IT! He tied his shoes!!! The look of pride and accomplishment on his face was priceless. The rest of the night he wanted to have shoelace tying completions. We timed ourselves. He actually had to instruct me a few times. His record that night after just learning, was 3.11 seconds. I chuckled when he started to get mad because he couldn’t beat it. I asked him “did you ever think you’d be mad because you couldn’t tie your shoes in less than 3 seconds?” We both laughed and I told him how proud I am of him and how proud he must be of himself. And he is proud of himself. You could see it and his self esteem boosted. You Ian made this happen. You are such a blessings.
Now he says tying his shoes is fun. He said he thinks his best friend can’t tie his shoes but, he was going to go teach him the Ian knot.
Thank you, thank you, thank you and a great big hug.
– Jayne F., USA, Jan-2021
I’ve consulted your website scores of times since I first found it back, I believe, in the late nineties. My daughter learned your Ian Knot while at college and I often joke that her teaching me the knot made her tuition expense a bargain.
– Matt S., St. Louis, MO, USA, Jan-2021
I found your website many years ago. I love knots and I am facinated by how useful they can be. I have taught many people the Ian knot and also the Secure Ian Knot. Two of my boys and especially the one use your knots to this day. I was a Scout leader and have shared with many young men and young women over the years also. My wife still today ties a granny knot and I have tried to show her how to simply adjust the starting knot. It is funny because she has no interest in changing. That is how life is I guess, many of us get stuck doing things the way we always have and aren't willing to see something a different way and adapt. I help many people with welfare or assistance needs. I am not in their shoes and I can't really judge them for the actions that many of them continue to take since I haven't walked in their shoes. However, as an observer on the outside it sure is easy to see if you just switched the way you started the knot or spent your money the results might be amazing! Simple changes can have profound impacts. There is much to learn about life even from a simple knot and from your website. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't force them to drink. I would like to thank you for taking the time to document your discoveries and love of knots with the world.
– Layne E., West Jordan, Utah, USA, Dec-2020
I've been tying my shoes with your "double slip knot" for many years already and haven't had them untie themselves a single time! :)
– Lukas M., Dec-2020
A few years ago I learnt your Ian knot and have used it ever since! So fast and easy, the only problem I had was when used repeatedly the shoelaces can get twisted (torsion along each lace) not really a problem for tying or tension, but for those of us that like neatness (maybe a bit too much), I had to correct it occasionally.
– Brad T, Oct-2020
I didn't realise that my first knot is the reason my laces often come undone. Not anymore! And I have beautifully horizontal bows.
– Anne E., Oct-2020
I am agog in regards to my tying a Granny Knot for the 51 years that I have been on this planet, minus my formative
preschool years. Thank you for the well written and info-graphed instructions on the correct way to fix my problems (I
suppose that I was taut incorrectly as a child, to boot).
From here on out, I will look to you, Ian, to tell me what “knot” to do!
– David H., Chicago, USA, Sep-2020
If you'd also like to send feedback, please Contact Ian.