My arm is currently in a sling with a separated shoulder from a mountain bike accident, so I'm trying to learn how to do everyday tasks one handed. Shoelaces are proving annoyingly difficult. What's a good one handed shoelace knot?

Note: I'm not interested in recommendations for wearing different types of laceless shoes. I'm only interested in answers that provide details on how to tie one-handed knots in lace-up shoes, preferably without having to re-lace the shoe.

  • 2
    by using velcro shoes – amphibient Sep 4 '15 at 16:48
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    This looks neat: youtube.com/watch?v=UhmeN5w4sKg – ShemSeger Sep 4 '15 at 17:29
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    A coworker of mine swears by this no knot style of laces for all his walking shoes / hiking boots. They're called lock laces which basically means you never tie your shoes. I'd say in the event of long term injury these are probably better than one handed tying or velcro, as you can lace them into your current boots :) – Aravona Sep 6 '15 at 14:45
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because its nothing to do with outdoors – user5330 Jan 3 '17 at 9:26
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    @mattnz Tell that to Aron Ralston. – ShemSeger Jan 3 '17 at 15:18

First, I'm sorry to hear about your arm. Tying a shoelace with one hand may almost be impossible but you could follow these simple steps:

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If all else fails use velcro shoes:

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  • 3
    Excellent visuals. I didn't even bother to read it. – zer00ne Sep 5 '15 at 23:09
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    This works well for only one shoe, on the shoe opposite of your good arm, it gets kinda awkward. – ShemSeger Sep 30 '15 at 0:21

I realize this is not the answer you are looking for, but it deserves to be mentioned. As @amphibient mentions in a comment.

People with long term medical issues that make tying shoes difficult, generally use shoes with Velcro straps or shoes that slip on without laces or ties.

Alternatively, for short term issue, you can use the shoes you have now, and tie them loosely (put them in your lap where you can use two hands). A loosely tied pair of soft shoes will slip on and off without difficulty.

Hard dress shoes (for the office) are not going to work well with the loosely tied option.

For a one-handed knot that doesn't require relacing, try the one-handed variant of the "Ian Knot" from Ian's shoelace site. The result is identical to a standard shoelace knot, though I suspect it will take some practice to master.

A more straightforward option is the "one handed shoelace knot" Unfortunately this one does require relacing, but allows for a very simple one-handed knot once the lace is set up. The idea is that you "anchor" one end of the lace permanently, letting you tie off the other end by looping it back on itself. A diagram is probably more useful than my attempted explanation:

one-handed knot

Source: www.fieggen.com

The linked page has step-by-step instructions with diagrams, details, and a photograph of the knot in use.

If you have a lot of eyelets and don't mind a slightly loose fit, there is also a one-handed lacing which relies on eyelet friction alone to keep the lace tight -- you just tuck in the loose end of the shoelace rather than tying it off.

(I found the link to the anchored one-handed knot in an answer by Rajath, which was swiftly deleted for being a link-only answer. However, it seemed to me to be the best suggestion posted so far, so I thought it worth salvaging.)

  • For any question to do with shoe laces and knots, the Ian Fieggen site is the first you should check out. – Willeke Apr 2 at 9:26

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