Now as any true sneaker freak will soon realise, there aren't too many sneakers out there that don't come with shoelaces. Besides the occasional Velcro, elastic, latches, spring toggles, or the now infamous ‘Disc System’, there's no substitute for good old fashioned shoelaces. This is mainly because they're cheap, simple, easily replaceable, yet very effective. The shoelaces run through the eyelets, which act as a series of ‘pulleys’, ensuring relatively even distribution of the tension that holds the sides of the shoe together. In theory, shoelaces are an elegantly simple device needing no further thought than pulling them tight and tying a shoelace knot.
In practice, there's a whole lot more to shoelaces. That is, unless you're one of those people who is quite content with your shoes laced as they were when they first came out of the box and tied with the same simple shoelace knot that you learned as a child. In this section, we'll cover some of the main things that are of interest both to sneaker freaks and to anyone else who uses shoelaces. As far as tying shoelaces goes, not everyone is interested in learning a new shoelace knot. For many people it was hard enough to learn the first time to never want to go through it again. Whilst the ‘Ian Knot’ makes a great party trick, and anyone who learns it can't imagine using the traditional, slower methods, it's hardly crucial knowledge.
However, anyone who suffers because their shoelaces keep coming undone would almost certainly be interested in knowing more about shoelace knots. This is usually due to them inadvertently tying an un-secure ‘slip knot’ instead of a secure ‘reef knot’. There's only a very subtle difference between the two; luckily, the solution is equally simple.