Science Says You've Been Tying Your Shoelaces Wrong This Whole Time

Life Hacks | Did You Know

Science Says You've Been Tying Your Shoelaces Wrong This Whole Time


Believe it or not, there's a study out there for almost anything you can think of, including tying your shoelaces.

When it comes to lacing up our shoes, many of us were apparently taught wrong by our parents.

Before you even ask, I will let you know that even the traditional "bunny ears" method that so many of us use has been proven to be inefficient as they're known to come off with friction or during certain movements.

Oliver O'Reilly, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, is the braniac who decided to look into whether or not there's a more effective way to tie shoelaces so they remain tied longer and you don't end up tripping on them.

"What was remarkable to us was how fast it happened."

O'Reilly, whose study was published in the journal of Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, observed two of his assistants while they ran on a treadmill, all the while a mechanical leg would stomp the ground.

The team found that a runner's foot hit the ground at seven times the force of gravity, and each time this happens, part of the laces loosen up. This is why when a person runs their laces tend to come undone after just a few strides.

"It's unpredictable but when it happens, it's in two or three strides," O'Reilly explained. "What was remarkable to us was how fast it happened," he told USA Today.

They also simulated someone walking and after 15 minutes, the bunny ears came loose every time, and faster than any other knot.

The perfect solution

The bad news is that if you keep using the bunny ears method your laces will always come undone, but the good news is that you don't have to swap your laces for velcro.

O'Reilly and his team of researchers have found a way to tie laces so they stay put no matter what, and the best part is you don't need any special skills.

Here's how to do the square knot:

Step 1: Start as you normally would by crossing your right lace over the left, then pull the left lace through the loop that is underneath.

Step 2: Make a loop with both laces.

Step 3: Bring one loop to the front then pull it through.

Tada! You're done! Not only will you not have to worry about tripping, this knot looks better too.

If you're a visual person, this video will help you better understand how the knot works:

How do you usually tie your shoelaces? Let us know in the comments!

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.