Technique: Keeping Your Shoelaces Tied

Nothing makes me more angry than having to stop and re-tie shoes during a race.  It doesn’t usually happen during 5K’s because the laces tend to keep themselves together for that short amount of time.  But for anything over that, it’s kind of nice to not have to worry about it and focus on the run.

Over the years, runners develop their own techniques for fixing this potential problem (and many others.)  Here are a few lace techniques that I have used over the past four years without fail:

Knot the end of your laces

By tying one overhand knot near the end of each lace, you accomplish two things:

1)  When your shoes are untied and loosened, you’ll never have to deal with re-lacing the shoes again.  The knots keep the laces from pulling through the eyelets.

2)  When you tie your shoes and pull on the bow, it will stop once the knots hit.  This is important because it keeps your laces from pulling out and the shoe coming untied.  For added security (especially before a race) you can finish with a double knot or,

Secure your loops under your shoe laces

I have NEVER had my shoes come untied with this setup.  It’s quick, simple to do and does not affect your foot in any adverse way.  You don’t feel it and it won’t leave you with a blister.

Another situation where securing your shoelaces this way is useful is for cycling/bike commuting.  You will never get your laces caught in your chainrings, where the results could range anywhere between annoying and dangerous.

I’ve successfully used the combination of end-knotting and loops-under-laces with multiple shoelace types including flat, round, and bubble laces.

The Ian Knot (via Runner’s World)

This is a pretty neat knot and the Runner’s World link includes a video which helps show you how to tie it.  It cinches down tight and keeps your laces from slipping.

If you want to know even more about this and many other knots from the inventor of the Ian Knot himself, check out Ian Fieggen’s website.

So, there you go.  A few techniques for keeping your laces tied using something beyond the double granny knot…

Do you tie a different knot or have a different method of keeping your shoes tied?  Let us know!

By |2016-10-22T20:26:57+00:00September 21st, 2011|Categories: How To|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

About the Author:

Editor-in-Chief of The Run Commuter by night, paralegal by day. Father of three boys. Husband to the world's greatest bicycle advocate. Avid runner. Lover of beer and urban gardening. Can be found running with a backpack around the streets of Atlanta, Georgia. Contact Josh at


  1. stephaniedevlin
    stephaniedevlin January 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    i now follow these suggestions and thinking of my laces during a run is a thing of the past! great tips.

  2. Kay April 9, 2013 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Great Tip! I was using a similar set-up but used to tuck the long laces on the sides of my shoe…that didn’t always work :( I ended up buying laceguard ( ) which helped me bunch up the laces into a bundle. Never had to tie again…would just put it on before a run and go…. though free is better! :)

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