Better Bow Shoelace Knot

Another secure knot variation, again based on looping around more than once. Begin as for the Standard Shoelace Knot, only loop around twice before pulling through the loops thus made.

Completed Starting Knot

Step 1:

Begin with a regular Left-over-Right Starting Knot.

Better Bow Shoelace Knot diagram 1

Step 2:

Make the right (blue) end into a “loop” by simply doubling it back onto itself.

Better Bow Shoelace Knot diagram 2

Step 3:

Take the left (yellow) lace and pass it around to the right, going behind the right loop.

Better Bow Shoelace Knot diagram 3

Step 4:

Continue the left (yellow) end around the right loop to end up in front.

Up to this point, the knot is exactly the same as the Standard Shoelace Knot.

Better Bow Shoelace Knot diagram 4

Step 5:

Unlike the “Standard Shoelace Knot”, pass the left (yellow) lace around the back of the right (blue) loop for the second time.

Better Bow Shoelace Knot diagram 5

Step 6:

Continue the left (yellow) lace around the right loop to end up in front for the second time.

TIP: Make large loops by also wrapping around the fingertips that are holding the right (blue) loop.

Better Bow Shoelace Knot diagram 6

Step 7:

Feed the left (yellow) lace through the loop thus made.

TIP: Feed through while withdrawing the fingers that were wrapped with the loops in the previous steps.

Better Bow Shoelace Knot diagram 7

Step 8:

Keep feeding the left (yellow) lace through until a loop emerges on the right side.

Better Bow Shoelace Knot diagram 8

Step 9:

Now, simply pull the loops to tighten the knot. The whole twisted mess of the previous drawing will rearrange itself into a neat finished knot.

Finished Knot

Finished Better Bow Shoelace Knot

The finished “Better Bow Shoelace Knot” should be a tight, closed knot with a double wrap around the middle, as compared to the single wrap of simpler shoelace knots.

Technical Details

Tying Tips

The recommended method of creating this knot is to do Steps (3) through (5) with the right forefinger sitting alongside the right (blue) loop. When the left (yellow) lace is wrapped around the right (blue) loop, it is also wrapped around the right forefinger.

At Step (6), withdraw the forefinger, feeding the left (yellow) lace into the hole where the finger was. The finger helps keep the loops open, but withdrawing the finger and feeding the lace through is still quite tricky!

As an alternative, the right thumb can be used instead of the forefinger, as the extra thickness creates larger loops through which to feed the lace. Better still, wrap the loops around the tips of the thumb and two fingers that are holding the right loop. At Step (6), when the left (yellow) lace is fed through the loops, those fingertips can grab the lace and pull it through.


Steps (4) and (5) can be repeated several times to wrap the left (yellow) end multiple times around the right (blue) loop. This is useful for consuming excess shoelace.

Note that this variation only reduces the length of one end. If you want the knot to finish up even, you'll have to start off with the ends uneven. In this case, the yellow end (which begins on the right side) should start off longer than the blue end.

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