How to tie your shoes | Terry Moore


I’m used to thinking of the TED audience as a wonderful collection
of some of the most effective, intelligent, intellectual, savvy, worldly and innovative
people in the world. And I think that’s true. However, I also have reason to believe
that many, if not most, of you are actually tying your shoes incorrectly. (Laughter) Now I know that seems ludicrous. I know that seems ludicrous. And believe me, I lived the same sad life
until about three years ago. And what happened to me was I bought, what was for me,
a very expensive pair of shoes. But those shoes came
with round nylon laces, and I couldn’t keep them tied. So I went back to the store
and said to the owner, “I love the shoes, but I hate the laces.” He took a look and said,
“Oh, you’re tying them wrong.” Now up until that moment, I would have thought that, by age 50, one of the life skills
that I had really nailed was tying my shoes. (Laughter) But not so — let me demonstrate. This is the way that most of us
were taught to tie our shoes. Now as it turns out — thank you. (Applause) Wait, there’s more. As it turns out — (Laughter) there’s a strong form
and a weak form of this knot, and we were taught the weak form. And here’s how to tell. If you pull the strands
at the base of the knot, you will see that the bow
will orient itself down the long axis of the shoe. That’s the weak form of the knot. But not to worry. If we start over and simply go the other direction
around the bow, we get this, the strong form of the knot. And if you pull the cords under the knot, you will see that the bow orients itself along the transverse axis of the shoe. This is a stronger knot. It will come untied less often. It will let you down less,
and not only that, it looks better. We’re going to do this one more time. (Applause) Start as usual — (Applause) go the other way around the loop. This is a little hard for children, but I think you can handle it. Pull the knot. There it is: the strong form
of the shoe knot. Now, in keeping with today’s theme, I’d like to point out —
something you already know — that sometimes a small advantage
someplace in life can yield tremendous results
someplace else. (Laughter) Live long and prosper. (Applause)

100 Comments

  • Those shoes are gay.

  • It turns out I've always tied my shoes correctly.

  • It may be easier to just reverse the "base knot" and do the actual knot as normal. You still get the same strong version of the knot.

  • I first saw this video a year ago, and thought it was pretty cool. Now that I have a job where I wear dress shoes, I wanted to come back and see how to tie shoes "properly" it turns out I was taught the "strong" knot the whole time. I can't figure out how to do the "weak" form.

  • I googled (ridiculous) TED talks and after browsing the list thought I should watch this one.

  • I was right my whole life and I didn't even know it.

  • My dad taught me the difference in a granny knot and a square knot before I can remember.

  • is there evidence that this actually works?

  • What you need to understand and what any good Boy Scout will tell you is that the first knot he ties is a granny not and is very difficult to untie. should the the stings come out of their bow format.  The second know that he ties is in fact a square knot and is very easy to untie even if the strings come our of the out of the loop/bow.

  • idea worth spreading

  • So proud to say I recently figured that out on my own because I got really tired of how that transverse know looked.

  • I never knew that I've been tying my shoes correctly for all my life 🙂

  • I gotta tell my mom to tie my shoes the right way from now on

  • w00t, because im left handed, i already tie my shoes the right way 😛

  • This is by far and away the DUMBEST thing I’ve ever seen. This nimrod invents a whole new way to ties your shoes because the if you tie them one way, the “bow” points “north & south,” rather than “east & west” (across the shoe.) Here’s a MUCH simpler way to fix that…IF you find fixing is necessary. If your bows end up north/south, here’s what you do: When you make the first big X, as you begin tying, you’re going either right OVER left or vice versa. If your bow is north/south, simply switch the way you make your X. Done deal. What a moron.

  • I tried to enlighten a friend about this matter but he refuses to change his ways. SIGH

  • When teaching children to tie this knot, I have them hold the loop with both their index and middle fingers. Then when going around with the loose end, they go around those two fingers first, then the thumb, and at the end, wedge the loose end between the two fingers. It makes pulling the loose end through easier because it is grasped between the two fingers. Otherwise you find yourself pushing the loose end against the end of one finger to pass through. Try it and see if it makes a difference for you!

  • this may have been said already, but it is all in how you start. if you start right lace over left, and your "bunny ear" is made on the left, then you need to follow this method of under and around. If you start left lace over right, make your "bunny ear" on the left you go over and around. This should not be about how you tie your shoes but rather what direction your laces should be pointing once tied. this is a matter of opinion and i doubt there is any fact supporting this.

  • This canoe invented the square knot.

  • Idiots

  • isnt this just a square knot or a reef knot? -,-

  • I see that my parents taught me correctly. I tried tying the knot both ways, and tying the "weak" knot felt backwards and unnatural.

  • i think this video is dumb, simply because if you tie your shoe how "he use to", yes the bow is vertical "bad" however you should always double knot your shoes which makes them much harder to come untied and switches the 'vertical' bow horizontal….silly video

  • I love Ted Talks….

  • I bet he felt very clever until Velcro came along. lol.

  • Actually the problem isn't caused by going wrong way, but by making the loop on the wrong side (left). Probably cuz lot of you americans are left handed like a large portion of actors are, this guy too probably. if you make the starting loop on the right side your knot will be correct.

  • good thing I wear sketchers with Velcro so I don't have to worry about tying them, they also light up so I got that going for me. pretty cool hu?

  • Thank you!! It works!!!

  • so I've been tying my shoes wrong this whole entire time, need to learn the proper way.

  • I'm so glad he demonstrated the knot tie a second time… I was busy and got lost trying to do it in real time and missed it. Thanks.

  • adult swim lls

  • Incredible. This is revolutionary way to tie shoes.

  • thanks TED or I will screw it through my entire life

  • I agree the end result is superior. The only way I can pull it off, however, is to wrap underneath TWO fingers and catch the lace between the two and draw it through. He pokes it through with the looping hand. ツ

  • Seriously, this works. All my shoes now have stupid round laces and they never would stay tied. I'd have to retie 3 or 4 times a day. Well they've been on my feet now for 16 hours and they're just as tight as when I tied them this morning.

  • this bi s bullshit

  • so inovative

  • Americlaps

  • I make the cross starting thing, then I do a "ring" on both lace ends and then bind them like the first thing

  • +Sufyaan Abdul Ahad

  • You have got to be kidding, the most intelligent and innovative, etc… people in the world don't know the difference between a granny and a reef knot. How the mighty have fallen.

    Does he go on to tell why the round laces failed when hitherto all his other shoes had stayed more or less tied up… I know why, but I just couldn't keep watching.

  • This is basically a reef knot – the most fundamental knot used at sea, vs a granny knot, which is practically a bow tie.

    My father has been racing yachts his whole life, so he taught me the correct way to tie shoelaces when I was 3, explaining why this was far better than how my granny had initially taught me.  ❤️

  • Can he slow down with those instructions!! It's like watching a cheetah run across a 5 m field at top speed.

  • Or just do the initial overhand knot the opposite way and do the bunny knot how you've always done it.

  • I've always tied my laces that way …yayy

  • My mind has been violated.

  • 1) it depends if you make the initial loop with your left or right hand. If you hold the loop with your right hand, then it's natural for the left hand to wrap the lace around over the top, which then would result in the stronger version. But this knot is weak regardless. See #2 below.

  • Tested this and I believe this is the best way.
    I've skated (longboarded) more than five marathon without having to tie my shoes with this method.

  • Nice I like it

  • Watched video. Immediately grabbed shoe.

  • i believe you have my thtapler ?

  • I've seriously never had to retie shoelaces again. Just when they come undone in the wash, but never out and about.

  • I tried this and had my feet amputated. What did I do wrong??

  • wtf what is wrong with you idiots, just make another knot on top of the first one

  • i double tie my shoes. I haven't had to tie them since october. Yes, i actually wear these shoes for PE: 1 hour a day, every weekday

  • I don't even tie my shoes like that. I do 2 bunny ears.

  • you could also loop the other string instead, does the same thing

  • I don't tie my shoes either of those ways… The way I was taught to tie my shoes was to:
    1. tie a knot (duh)
    2. make "bunny ears" (bows)
    3. tie the "bunny ears" in a knot as if they were just shoelaces.

  • been doing it 'right' (left handed) all these years and yet my docs still loosen themselves?

  • I've been tying my shoes correctly ever since I read this six years ago.

  • 🙁

  • I've been keeping this video for a long time, because I wanted to understand and try it, but my stupid brain just wouldn't cooperate. I've watching it over and over again, and I realized that if he had just said it was like a square knot, I'd have gotten it right faster.

  • it is a square knot in a bow..Every boy scout knows this knot..

  • I randomly did it the wrong way and the right way all the time. Sometimes I thought, "Why are my shoelaces turned sideways today?" I didn't even know the 2 methods were different.

  • teraz się nie rozwiązują. super

  • He ties the base knot the wrong way. Nothing to see here.

  • Is this you teri? Last time I'm telling you knock it off.

  • the weak form is called a granny knot https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granny_knot

    you can fix it by reversing the first knot instead of the more difficult second knot

  • jeez grownups watch this not kids

  • Man I wasn't even doing the wrong knot correctly.

  • FAIL: I just tried this with 3 pairs of shoes I own. 2 dress casual and 1 running. ALL 3 when tied this way the knot goes down the middle of the shoe that the presenter says happens with the "conventional" method. WHen doing it the "conventional" method they splay out sideways and NOT down the tongue. THE EXACT OPPOSITE of this presentations claims = FAIL

  • You can actually reverse either of the two knots made when you tie shoes. If you are set on wrapping clockwise or counter clockwise to make the bow then check to see if you're starting the first knot left over right or right over left.

  • I have a different way to always get the strong knot and I think it's much more intuitive. Tell me what you think.

    Here it is : Just remember the very first crossing on which one is on top. If the RIGHT was on top, make a loop (bunny ear) on the RIGHT side. If the LEFT was on top, make a loop on the LEFT side. You always put the other (loose) string OVER the loop (bunny ear) as you can hold it in place as it intersects so the tightness you adjusted to your comfort does not change.
    tl;dr: the side to make the loop follows which was on top for the first crossing, and the loose string always goes over the loop.

  • HOW IS THIS ON TED?!

  • This video changed my life several years ago. So, deep…………

  • What about my sandles?

  • We got to get this guy laid.

  • 992nd

  • It's simply the difference between a granny knot and a square knot.

  • Wait wtf??? I tie it in two steps for my laces each one for each loop. You guys just freaking looop it?

  • 😎 Cool

  • Actual useful TED talks

  • Quite the coincidence, only a week ago I noticed I was doing the same thing. That is probably why the video title caught my eye. Odd that I've been tying it wrong since I learned the difference between a square knot and a "Granny" knot in Cub Scouts, maybe 60 years ago. For some types of laces, the Granny knot won't hold for long. It has been hard to break this lifelong bad habit.

  • www.amazelaces.com

  • Anyone else here from Doddy’s video on GMBN?

  • Camera angle cuts to a pan shot of people clapping, as he starts to show how do do the knot correctly. That's not annoying at all

  • Gonna have to try this but, truthfully, I lack mechanical skills!

  • I have velcro shoes.

  • VELCRO

  • I've been doing it the right way all my life. And it still unties itself depending on the type of string.

  • Aah

  • I tie my with 2 bunny ears still at 26, does that mean I'm wrong?

  • I just take the loops and bunny ear them after doing that knot first

  • Just saying "round" and "shoelace" in a sentence could trigger me LOL

  • I bet lots of people were tying their shoes correctly the entire time but I'm also willing to bet some of us like me can't fathom how you were tying them the other way I tried and it felt so wrong

  • I have heard some people make two bunny ears when tying their shoes but I have no idea all I know is my parents tried to teach me both ways and I only use the one shown in the video

  • Por que só o título tá em português??? e pq isso ta numa playlist do adult swim?

  • This is one of the two most effective methods I have tried. The other is Minnesota Cold's "How to tie your shoes so they never come untied or undone". I have tried many of the convoluted, complicated methods here on YouTube but these two simple ways of tying laces are the most effective.

  • I just read that these talks cost $7500 each ticket….🤔

  • Four words: Wear shoes without laces.

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