Knot amused

Ok, cross now. There I was, idly browsing Lifehacker instead of writing research proposals, when I found an article on how to tie your shoelaces. Now, clearly I know how to tie shoelaces. My shoes do not, after all, fall off. But I figured I’d take a look, just to see the presumably complicated knot that works a little better, but nobody’s ever going to bother with.

I was pretty much completely wrong. Instead of tying a granny knot, you tie a reef knot – but a reef knot isn’t complicated. In fact, it’s identical apart from putting the lace around the opposite side of the loop. This tiny difference means the knot tightens with movement, rather than loosening, while still remaining a slip knot.

This was ridiculous. We would not all be taught granny knots if a reef knot worked far better, and was just as easy. Clearly there must be a flaw. So I tried it out. My shoes stayed tight. The knot is also neater.

This is stupid. I am cross. How did granny knots come to be the default method of tying shoelaces? They should teach this stuff properly at school, dammit. Anyway: here’s a demonstration video:

The Lifehacker commenters point out that if you loop it twice in step 3 you get double the friction with no disadvantages. So I’ll try that out too. I am no longer going to assume I know anything about anything.