NINJA: Tying Your Shoes For The Long Run

Photo by: ThaRainbow

The Right Knot for the Job

At sea, on a mountain, or during surgery, knowing how to tie the right knot for the task at hand is crucial.  Yet, most of us only know one knot for tying our shoelaces, the basic bow.  The most common variation for making shoelaces more secure is the dreaded double knot…untying this knot is like playing Russian roulette. Sometimes it unties easily.  Other times, you end up with an intricate and nearly impossible to untie snarl.

There is a better way.

In this post, I will show you how to tie your laces with a knot that keeps them more secure than a double knot and is as easy to untie as a standard bow.

The Video

Breaking it Down

Instead of going over and under once, do it twice.  This makes a secure foundation for your knot, because the second twist holds the laces tight and helps keep them from slipping.

Now make two bows…just like when you were little.

Tie the bows in a loose over under knot…So far, so good.

Now for the tricky part.  Take the bow on the right-hand side and bend it around the outside of the loop in the center of the knot, then feed the bow through the middle of that same loop.

Tighten the knot, by pulling on the bows.  You can also pull on the loose ends of the laces to balance the knot.  If you have made the knot correctly, untying is simple…just pull on one of the loose ends and the top knot comes undone.


It’s well worth taking the time to practice and master this technique for tying laces, because it’s far more secure than a traditional single or even a double knot.  But, you need to be patient and you need to practice.  In the long run, you’ll be saving time and with practice you will be able to tie this not very quickly.

PRO TIP: For hiking or snowboarding boots, consider substituting paracord for your laces.  With paracord, you will get a much higher breaking strength and it’s always helpful to have with you in case of an emergency.  If you want a finished look, sleeve the ends with plastic heat shrink tubing.

MORE RESOURCES: Thanks to Anna for linking to Ian’s Shoelace Site in her comment.  Ian’s site has tons of information on knot tying and lacing, definitely worth checking out if you are a runner or hiker.


For related Stretch Exercise Eat posts SEE:

NINJA: The Two Numbers That Could Save Your Life

Home Remedies

Barefoot Runners of the World Unite


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2 responses to “NINJA: Tying Your Shoes For The Long Run

  1. You know what, I am really lazy when it comes to tying shoe laces. It wastes about 5 seconds of my life so I avoid it at often as possible. I have my laces loose enough so that I can slip my feet in and out of my shoes without having to un/tie them. I just use the regular method of tying them. I think because I mostly run in very light racing flats, the laces are also thin and lightweight, so tie very easily, and rarely come undone.

    Something that is equally important as your shoes remaining tied, is the way you lace them. You don’t want anything too tight or it will cause bruising on your metatarsals, or cut your circulation. You also don’t want it too loose so your shoes don’t flop about. Some people have trouble with their heel slipping out, and others like different tensions throughout the laces.

    • Anna: Thanks for the links…lock lacing looks like another smart way to keep laces from slipping. I think I will experiment w/ adding lock lacing, then tying the laces.

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