Ian Fieggen (aka 'Professor Shoelace') Ian's Shoelace Site Ian's Shoelace Knot
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Shoelace Knot Comparison
Lacing Comparison

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.

Most Common Shoelace Knot:
Easiest to Tie Shoelace Knot:
Most Secure Shoelace Knot (Hardest to Untie):
  • First place for security goes to the Double Knot, although it gets this top position at the expense of being very awkward to untie.
  • Second most secure goes to the Double "Ian Knot", although this can be fickle when it comes to untying.
  • Third place goes to the Mega "Ian Knot", although this is still a little impractical to tie, even for Ian!
  • Equal fourth place would probably be the Loop the Loop Knot and the Halloween Knot, both of which have the same drawback of looking lopsided.
  • In terms of practical, secure knots, there would be very little difference between the Ian's Secure Knot, Surgeon's Knot, Turquoise Turtle Knot and the "Better Bow" Knot, all of which are simply variations of looping around or through more than once.
  • Next would come the Two Stage Knot and "FreedomKnot"™, both of which are marginally more secure than the standard knots.
  • Finally come the "Ian Knot", Standard Knot and the Two Loop Knot, all of which form the identical finished knot and are quite secure for most practical purposes. The Reef Knot forms the identical knot minus the loops and drawstrings, and should thus have virtually the same security.
  • Interestingly, the One Handed Knot has much the same security as any of the above standard shoelace knots.
  • Although the Crossed "Ian Knot" seems secure, any small disturbance of the knot will see it virtually fall apart, so it ranks last for security.
  • Least secure is the Boat Shoe Knot, which is purely decorative and does not secure the ends.
Most Symmetrical Shoelace Knot:

Identical Finished Knots

Some of these different shoelace tying methods actually form the identical finished knots. In fact, some of the knots on this site share the identical finished diagram!

Finished Ian Knot Regular Shoelace Knots:

The Standard Knot, the Two Loop Knot, plus my own "Ian Knot", all form the identical finished knot, which is known in knotting terminology as a "Slipped Reef Knot". This dispels the myth that the Two Loop Knot (or "Bunny Ears") is an inferior knot, although it may have this reputation because many people inadvertently tie it as a Granny Knot.

Finished Ian's Secure Knot Secure Shoelace Knots:

The Surgeon's Knot, the Turquoise Turtle Knot, plus my own Ian's Secure Knot, all theoretically form the identical finished secure knot, which is known in knotting terminology as a "Double Slipped Reef Knot". In fact, I've used the same final diagram for all three knots.

However, because neither the "Surgeon's Knot" nor the "Turquoise Turtle knot" is created symmetrically, they can end up looking quite different to the symmetrical "Ian's Secure Knot", especially if there's not enough slack for the laces to shift around before the knot tightens.

Choose With Confidence:

The fact that different techniques can form the identical finished knots means that you are welcome to choose whichever method suits you the best, knowing that regardless of the technique used, your finished knot will be just as reliable.

Related Links
Shoelace Knots Shoelace Knots

All of the above shoelace knots listed in more detail.

Lacing Comparison Lacing Comparison

Similar feature by feature comparison of all shoe lacing methods.

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