I was tying my shoes wrong. Who knew?

The shoe on the left is the correct way to tie your shoes -- so the bow lays across, in a perpendicular manner.

With my nagging foot pain, my doctor told me to get a new pair of running shoes, even though my current pair weren’t yet spent.

So last night at 7:15, I booked it over to Fleet Feet at Piper’s Alley to get a new pair before they closed.

I got more than I bargained for — I got a lesson in how to tie my shoes.

When I walked up to the shoe wall, a friendly running shoe expert by the name of Tim asked what I was looking for. I rattled off a series of injuries, doctor’s advice and a lot more than I imagine he thought I’d say.

He asked me several follow-up questions, went to the back and brought out a pair for me to try as a base.

I slipped ’em on. Tied the left shoe and then moved on to the right. I stopped as I started to double-knot it. Then I giggled a little, realizing I had double-knotted the left shoe. Who needs to double-knot their shoes to hop on the treadmill for a minute? Ha.

After Tim analyzed my gait and some other things I won’t pretend to understand, he brought out another couple of pairs. And I repeated the double-knot routine on the first pair. When I got to that step in the next pair, he yelled, “stop!” before I could finish tying it.

He then asked if my shoes came untied if I didn’t double-knot. “All the time,” I said.

Turns out I have been tying my shoes wrong for nearly three decades now.

What’s the BFD?

When one ties their shoes the way I was, the bow lays parallel to the foot. And according to Tim, the laces loosen up and work their way out of the bow.

What I learned is how to tie my shoes so that the bow lays perpendicular to my foot. It’s taken some getting used to, but here’s how you too can tie your shoes so they don’t come undone.

Double knots be damned. So long!

How to tie your shoes correctly:

Note: I am right-handed. I can’t help you if you’re a South Paw.

Step 1. Make the first half of a square knot at the top of your laces like you normally would. Then make a bow. >>

This is what it should look like when you make the second bow.

<< Step 2. Begin making the loop like you normally would. For me, that means I make a loop up over the bow and away from me. Instead, make a loop under the bow, push the lace away from you and then bring it over the bow and back toward you.

Step. 3. This part feels really weird, so you’ll probably fumble a little like I still do. But reach through the loop and bring it out to make the second bow. Your bow should now be laying perpendicular to your shoe. >>

Voila! You should now have shoes that will stay tied, helping your shoe to fit properly and — God willing — preventing injury.


Filed under Shoes, Tips & Tricks

4 responses to “I was tying my shoes wrong. Who knew?

  1. Pingback: Do as I say, not as I do: Donate your shoes « f my injury [dot] com

  2. Dustin

    This seems more complicated than the bunny ears and rabbit hole trick I learned when I was five.

  3. Pingback: Fracture is healed, but the pain lingers. WTF? « f my injury [dot] com