You’re four miles into a 10k, tracking perfect splits to PR by a few seconds when disaster strikes. First you notice your left shoe. It is not feeling quite as secure as it was moments ago, but you try to put it out of your mind. A few minutes later you hear a plastic clicking sound, which fills you with a sense of doom. A quick glance at your feet reveals the inevitable truth. Your shoelaces are untied.
Do you stop and tie them, losing time and possibly your PR? Do you keep running, hoping that it doesn’t get any worse and that you don’t face plant right before crossing the timing mats? I say no to both options. Instead you should travel back in time and read this post so that your shoelaces never (hopefully) come untied again.
I learned how to tie my shoes correctly at the age of 25 from my friend Helene. I know. You thought you learned in Kindergarten. So did I, but it turns out there is a better way to tie your running shoes so they stay tied and don’t ruin your run!
The correct process is very close to the traditional “around the tree” system, but incorporates an extra loop. In my opinion it is better than double-knotting because this knot can be untied by just pulling on one of the laces, and it is also very durable (I’ve never had my shoes come untied when using this method). Internet research has revealed that this knot is sometimes known as the tibetan trekking knot or the sherpa knot, so it gets additional bonus points for having a cool name.
Disclaimer: These directions are from me personally. I am left-handed. If these directions are difficult or feel counter-intuitive to you, try reversing the lefts and rights!
So that’s how I manage my shoelaces!
Have you ever had a race derailed by a flapping lace? What is your strategy for keeping shoes tied during runs and races?