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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Shoelaces coming untied

in: Orienteering; General

Apr 12, 2017 2:08 PM # 
Sumary article from Scientific American. It contains a link for the original article. If you don't have access but would like a copy, drop me a note.

I was well aware of the difference between the weak and strong overhand knots, the latter being the well known square not. However, I hadn't actually ever paid attention to how that applied to tying my shoes, which makes me feel a little silly. Before tightening down I put in an extra overhand knot using the whole loop and tail and generally don't have any trouble with laces untying. It happens very occasionally but I figure the net aggravation is less than when having to extricate a thorn (or other debris) from my shoe+foot and being forced to wrestle with tape.

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Apr 12, 2017 5:34 PM # 
Instead of the extra overhand knot, there's a better way, but it's easier demonstrated than explained in text. But maybe somebody who knows what I'm talking about will find a link with some pictures. Stays very secure, but easier to untie when youwant to than the "double knot".
Apr 12, 2017 6:56 PM # 
I use the Surgeon's knot although I call it the "Secret Swedish O-Kansas Knot," because Spike taught it to me and I believe some visiting Swedes taught it to him (that's the legend in my head anyway).
Apr 12, 2017 7:01 PM # 
Same knot but I've always thought of it as the daycare knot since someone taught it to at my kids' daycare center.
Apr 12, 2017 7:03 PM # 
J-J showed it to me, and told me it was something like a Swedish O-Kansas Knot, maybe 20 some years ago, and I have used it ever since, with great satisfaction. I was surprised some years later when my friend Arthur Sweeton saw young Zack, maybe around 7 at the time with his shoes untied, and taught him the knot. So there are perhaps other fonts of wisdom at work.
Apr 12, 2017 9:27 PM # 
I use a similar knot from the same site, Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot. It has the advantage of being symmetrical. I don't think it's every come untied on me, although I do have to remember to retie my laces before starting, as they stretch. If I need to retie whilst on the course, it's difficult to tie with an epunch and a thumb compass on my fingers.
Apr 12, 2017 10:50 PM # 
I use the Salomon knot. Never comes undone nor does it get in the way.
Apr 13, 2017 12:37 AM # 
I use the knot that that site calls Surgeon's Knot, although I use the name "surgeon's knot" for a different knot (according to my Boy Scout knot book). I also learned it from an O-Kansas member. So I guess we were talking about the same thing in the first place, rather than the "double knot" that I learned from my mother, which has as its only advantage that uses up a lot of lace if your laces are too long.

Charlie, are you sure I said the knot was from Sweden? Maybe I said it was from Sweeton. :-)
Apr 13, 2017 12:41 AM # 
Well, you could have, except I don't think either one of us had met that fine gentleman at the time you taught me that knot.
Apr 13, 2017 3:27 PM # 
This is useful. Wish I'd picked up on it 20 years ago. Tape is a bit of hassle both before and after the race.
Apr 13, 2017 5:31 PM # 
What surprises me is the number of people who insist the knot doesn't work and that tape is the only thing that does.
Apr 13, 2017 6:31 PM # 
They probably aren't tying it correctly (see first post).
Apr 14, 2017 4:02 AM # 
They "know" that such a knot is impossible. They don't waste time learning it. Therefore the knot does not work (for them).
Apr 14, 2017 7:06 AM # 
+1 for Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot
Apr 14, 2017 7:44 PM # 
Until I went to Texas this year, that knot had only come untied on my O shoes 2-3 times over the many years I'd used it (I learned it from one of my kids when he was in elementary school). Texas's vegetation managed to untie them more than once!
Apr 14, 2017 10:44 PM # 
I tried Ian's secure shoelace knot for today's mapping, and quite like it. It stayed completely as it started, and is fairly easy to remember. It seemed hard to adjust the loops for length after tying the knot, but then again the point is to resist vegetation tugging on the loops or knot, so that's to be expected.
Apr 16, 2017 11:22 AM # 
+1 for Ian's Secure Knot from me too. The only time I have to stop for a shoe lace is when a training partner's comes undone. Main side effect is smugness.
Apr 16, 2017 7:55 PM # 
For those who are knot-incompetent and can't seem to remember a knot even 24 hours after practicing it over and over, a simpler solution than tape is to tuck the laces into the shoe (by the ankle, path of least resistance). Works pretty well, very fast, and idiot/Army-proof.
Apr 16, 2017 8:57 PM # 
Science Friday had a segment on shoe tying this week, featuring one of the authors of the article referenced in the Scientific American study.
Apr 17, 2017 12:04 AM # 
The Secret-Swedish Knot, which is also being referred to here as the "Surgeon's Knot" (though I agree with JJ that there is at least one other knot that goes by the latter name) is a pretty sure bet and works even better when you subsequently pull the laces to make the loops super small and tuck the ends under the laces. I find the comment about having to tighten the laces interesting because the thing I like the most about this knot is that it DOESN'T need to be tight to work. That is a wonderful thing in ultras where your feet will swell during the race, so it's nice to start with the shoe a bit loose.

FWIW, I've also seen it listed in multiple places as a "Swiss Knot" and that's what I call it.
Apr 22, 2017 1:18 PM # 
What a useful thread! I used to do an extra overhand knot (similar to Iamstillhungry, but with loops only); but having read this, I am now testing both Secret Swedish (right) and Ian's (left). I think I might do one of them the wrong way around, but so far, none has come loose.

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