It does not seem like a complicated thing to tie your shoes. A simple bow tie is all it takes, right? For everyday use, that is all you need. For running, it just is not enough. I’ll show you how to tie your shoes so that you never have to worry about a knot that won’t come out or a shoe lace that always comes untied.
You could run for 3 or 4 years and never have a problem, but that first time you will still curse your shoes out. A regular bow tie can easily come undone, which leads to an unsafe situation. If your shoes are not tied, then your foot will move around a lot more inside the sneaker. This will only gets worse as the laces loosen more with each step that you take. You also run the risk of stepping on your laces, having somebody else step on your laces, or getting your laces caught in your environment somewhere. This tends to lead to falling down, which is a good thing to avoid.
First, the basic way that you tie your shoes will almost always be the same. You cross the laces to create a base. Loop one lace, and then wrap the other lace around it and under it to create a second loop, as in the video below. Pull the loops tight, and you have a basic bow tie knot, which is good enough for walking around town in.
The first time your shoe comes untied, you are going to be tempted to double knot your shoes. For years, I would double knot my shoes before every race and then tie the loops of the laces down. Double knotting can be done two ways.
The first way is when you cross the laces to create a base, and then cross the laces again to create a second base on top of it. The problem with this, other than that it is very difficult to untie, is that even if you create a bow tie underneath the laces can still be pretty long if the knot above both bases comes undone. You will not lose the structural integrity of your shoe, but you can still step on a lace and trip.
The second way to double knot your shoe is to reknot your loops after tying a normal bow tie knot. After you finish tying the normal bow tie, you can double knot the shoe by flattening the loops and then treating them as straight (but thick) laces to tie another bow on top of it. Your shoes will very rarely come untied after doing this, but you can also have a very difficult time getting the knot out when you are done. If you run through a few puddles, it will be next to impossible to get this knot out. When you finish a race, the last thing your swollen feet are going to want is to wait for 15 minutes while you contemplate getting your shoes off without cutting the laces.
The way that I tie my shoes is to use a runner’s knot. I have no idea if that is what it is really called, but it seems to magically work so that’s what I call it. Watch the video below, and then I will explain the difference between this knot and a basic bow tie.
To tie this knot, you cross your laces to create a base, the same as with the bow tie. You also create your first loop the same way. When you go to wrap the second lace around the loop, however, you want to bring the lace around twice. You will then have two small circles around your first loop to create your second loop through. Watch the video again to see what to do.
I have never had this knot come undone. The only danger with this knot that I have discovered since I started using it 4 years ago comes when you untie the knot. Normally, you can just pull the two loose ends of your laces straight out to untie the shoe. If you pull the loose end of the lace through one of your loops, though, then you will create a small knot that will be mildly difficult to get out. It is easy to avoid doing that, and you will learn your lesson the first or second time that you do pull the lace through a loop. This knot also uses a little bit more length on your laces than a bow tie, so if you have short laces or cut one of the laces then you will want to use the longer end of your shoe to do the second loop with.
There are other ways to tie your shoes, and I will explore at least one or two more ways in the (hopefully near) future. In the meantime, though, do you have a favorite way to tie your shoe? Have you ever tried this method? Let me know what you think of this knot after you have used it a time or two.
(Note: The shoe in the videos is a Vitruvian running shoe.)