Over dinner one night, I met up with my cousin Ian, who’d just come back from trekking in Nepal. He showed me several rolls of great photos and then taught me a foolproof way to tie shoes; one that precludes the need for double knots forever. He said he’d used it every day on his hiking boots, and they never came undone.
He taught me this simple trick and I’ve used it ever since. My shoelaces and my kids’ shoelaces, which were always a source of accidents and annoyance, never come untied. I’ve taught this technique to every parent I know, and they all adopt it immediately. And now you can, too.
So here’s the Foolproof Tibetan Trekking Technique for Tying Kids’ Shoelaces. If you follow these steps carefully, you’ll end up with a knot that will never untie itself, yet even a toddler can undo it with a single pull.
For best results, read through these instructions at least once before trying them yourself.
1. Begin by tying the shoe as you normally would.
2. Instead of pulling the laces tight as you normally would, maintain the space below the loops. You should now see the two loops with an open circle underneath.
3. Now take the second loop you just created and pass it through the circle a second time, in the same direction you used the first time.
4. Pull it tight.
6. To untie the shoes, firmly pull on either end of the lace.
P.S. In trying out these instructions with dozens of willing subjects, we’ve come to realize that everyone ties shoes differently. So the pictures here may not correspond exactly to the way you do it. But the principle of the double loop is the same — and the knot will work — whatever your shoe-tying technique.