There are many different ways that you could try for tying shoes, and different options are easier for different people. No matter whether you are trying to teach a child the best shoelace knot or you are looking for a new way to tie your shoes that is less likely to come undone, learning how to tie your shoes does not have to be difficult.

Keeping track of different shoelace knots like the ian knot, the granny knot, the bunny ears, or the circle method can be frustrating, but we are here to help. Here at Shoe Adviser, we’ve put together a guide to some of the best options for how to tie your shoes. No matter what your question is, Shoe Adviser has your answer. Read on below to find out everything you ever wanted to know about tying shoes!

How do you tie your Shoes Step by Step?

There are four main options that you can use for tying shoes. Each one of these has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you can just pick whichever shoelace knot you find easiest to get your head around without needing to worry about whether or not it is the “best” one. Let’s go through them one at a time.

Option 1: Tying a Simple Knot

Place your shoes on a flat, stable surface, and stretch out the shoelaces, one shoelace on each side of each shoe. If you are trying to teach shoelace knots to someone else, point the toe of the shoes towards them to make it easier for them to see your hand movements and also the entirety of the laces.

Then, take the laces and tie a simple knot. Thread one lace over the other one, and then pull them tight to make a knot in the middle of the shoe. Take one shoelace in your hand and make a loop with it, holding it between your thumb and forefinger.

Using your other hand, wrap the other lace around the loop. Make sure that you wrap the shoelace towards you rather than away from you, and also make sure that it is over your fingers. Next, pull the shoelace through the hole in the loop to form a second loop. There should now be a gap between the looped lace and the wrapped shoelace. Pull the wrapped shoelace through the gap, so it also comes through the hole, and make sure that it forms a second loop. Take one loop in each hand and pull them tight, pulling the shoelaces tight into a well-tied shoelace knot. Congratulations, you have just tied your shoelaces!

Option 2: The “Bunny Ears” Method

The “bunny ears” method for how to tie a shoelace knot is another easy one that can make a lot of difference to the process of learning to tie shoes properly.

To start with the “bunny ears” method, place your shoes on a flat and stable surface. Spread out the shoelaces, one lace on each side of each shoe. Just like with the simple knot method, you should now tie a basic knot by taking both shoelaces and threading one over the other, and also pulling them tight to make a knot at the center of the shoe.

Take one shoelace and make a “bunny ear” loop with it. The loop should be relatively small, and the loose tail of shoelace left over should be longer.

Taking the other lace in your other hand, you should also make a “bunny ear” loop with this one. Then, take the two “bunny ear” loops and tie a basic knot with them. Place the loops on top of each other, then tuck the top loop around behind the other and thread it through the hole that this twist has made. Pull the two loops tight, finishing off the process of tying your shoes with the bunny ear loop technique.

Option 3: The Circle Technique

To start with the circle technique for tying your shoes, tie a basic knot. Take both of your laces and thread them together, 1 over the other, and then pull them tight. This should make a neat knot in the middle of the shoe.

Then, you are also going to tie a second knot over the top of the first knot, but you are not going to pull the second tight just yet. That might sound like a strange way to tie a knot but hang in there. It will all make sense soon! Thread a shoelace into the circle made by leaving the second knot loose. Make sure that it comes all the way through the circle, up and also over to the side. Keep it fairly loose, but also be careful not to let it slip all the way out of the circle as you continue with this shoelace knot technique. Then, you are also going to thread the other shoelace in through the circle from the other side. This lace is also going to come up through the circle and poke out of the other side of the shoe. There should now be two loops sticking out of the knot in the middle.

Take a loop in each hand, and pull it tight, so it is secure. Don’t touch the knot around the middle, just the loops. This way requires a bit of care, as you need to pull both loops equally at the same time, but once you have tightened it, you will have mastered tying a shoelace knot with the circle method!

Option 4: The “Ian knot” or “Magic Fingers” Method for Tying Laces

To tie your shoelace knots using the “ian knot,” otherwise known as the “magic fingers” shoelace knots method, you start out much like the other methods listed above.

Place your shoes on a flat, stable surface to start to tie shoelace knots with this method. Stretch out your laces on both sides of the shoe, making sure that you have got space around them to work properly. Again, if you are showing someone else how to tie a shoelace knot, point the toes of the shoes in their direction at this stage so that they can see everything clearly without having to peer around your arms to get a sense of what is going on.

As with most of these options for how you can tie shoes, you are going to start by tying a basic knot. Take both laces and thread them together, and then pull them tight into a nice neat knot in the middle of the shoe. Then, grab a shoelace in your right hand, holding it with your thumb, forefinger, and pinky finger. Trust us, this will make more sense soon!

Next, you are going to want to do the same thing with the other shoelace and the other hand. Bring the two loops together, and pass the right loop through the left loop to make an X shape. Then, pull a loop around the back of the other, and pass it through from behind. Pull the laces through the loop using your thumb and forefinger, tightening up the knot neatly.

How do you keep your Shoes Tied?

No matter how hard you try, you might find that your shoelaces keep on slipping undone. You might think that you have tied the perfect knot, but the laces still slip out of the knot and trail behind you. If that sounds like a familiar experience, then you might want to know what sort of knot you can use to keep your shoe laces tied.

Some of the best options do not even require you to try tying a different knot! Try just tucking the ends of your laces into the laces running down the front of your shoe, which will stop them from working their way loose as you walk. Alternatively, wrapping an elastic band around the knot itself can work well to hold it in place and keep your shoes properly tied.

Another reliable approach to keeping your laces tied is simply to add a second knot. Just grab the two loops of your first shoelace knot and tie the two of them together in another knot to hold everything in place. This should be very effective for preventing your laces from coming untied, but it might be a little harder to get undone than the other options when you try to take your shoes off at the end of the day!


No matter how you normally try tying your laces, at least some of the options we’ve listed above should be new and different for you. None of these are objectively better or worse than others, so you should just pick the shoelace tying method that makes the most sense to you, or that you feel would be easiest for you to teach to someone else if you are planning on teaching a child to tie their laces.

Tying laces can be tricky for some people, so if you have been struggling to keep them tied, don’t lose heart. Try out a few different methods for tying your laces and see if any of them clicks for you! If you can’t get on well with your normal method, perhaps trying something different is what you need in order to make everything make sense for you. Feel free to experiment and see what feels the most comfortable to you; there are so many options for your laces that there is no such thing as “doing your laces the wrong way,” so if something works for you, then it is worth sticking with!

About the Author

Hey, I'm Lilly Harvey. If there's two things I'm passionate about in life, it's shoes and writing!

Combining both my passions with my Fashion Design degree, I've helped create Shoe Adviser to help readers choose the best shoes for them, enjoy!

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