Knot List: Shoelace Bow ‐ Step-by-Step
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Shoelace Bow TyingWrap one end round the other to tie a Half Knot. Pull tight. Form a loop with one end. Then form a loop with the other and wrap it around the first loop to complete the bow. Tighten and make the loops and ends all roughly the same length.
Shoelace Bow Details
Uses: The Standard Shoelace Bow is the most widely used method of tying a shoelace.
Structure: The Standard Bow is really a Square (Reef) Knot but the second Half Hitch is tied with bights rather than the ends.
Lock Knot: Shoelace bows tend to come undone. The loose ends can trip you up and a loose shoelace is certainly inconvenient - with the possible exceptions of bedtime or when removing your shoes for an airport security inspection. The Shoelace Lock reduces the frequency with which a shoelace slips loose. It is an additional Half Hitch tied with the loops of the bow.
Surgical Half Knots: Hugh Saxton wrote to describe an alternative. Tie the first Half Knot with an extra turn – the Surgical Half Knot (Frame 9 of the Square (Reef) Knot). Then tie the Bow using the same technique – again using an extra turn. I have tried it now for months: the first Half Knot reduces slipping; the bow holds well; and it is easier to undo. Seven years after he wrote, I have finally illustrated it properly as the Double Surgeon's Shoelace Bow. Hugh: thank you for your patience!
Options, More Shoelace Knots and Further Reading: For tips, details, options, lacing techniques, and more, visit Ian Fieggen's Shoelace Site.
Disclaimer: Any activity that involves ropes is potentially hazardous. Lives may be at risk - possibly your own. Considerable attention and effort have been made to ensure that these descriptions are accurate. However, many critical factors cannot be controlled, including: the choice of materials; the age, size, and condition of ropes; and the accuracy with which these descriptions have been followed. No responsibility is accepted for incidents arising from the use of this material.