Introduction: Ukrainian Lacing With an Ian Secure Knot

Everything in this instructable is included in the video. Skip ahead to 4:58 if you just want to see how to tie the Ian Secure Knot with Ukrainian Lacing.

There are two parts to using a shoelace. How you lace the shoe, and how you tie the knot. Ukrainian Shoe Lacing offers many advantages over traditional lacing. There are no tails to drag on the ground, get dirty or trip over. They can't accidentally become a tangled mess that can't be untied. Ian Fieggen's shoelace website is a virtual encyclopedia of all things shoelace. He probably has the clearest instructions on Ukrainian Lacing.

But the lacing is ultimately only as good as the knot that ties it together. The knot that is usually recommended for tying Ukrainian Lacing is a standard shoelace knot (also called a 'Bowknot') or maybe a Two Loop Shoelace Knot. The trouble is these knots aren't very good because they become untied rather easily. Fortunately Mr. Fieggen's website also has written instructions for tying a more reliable knot that he calls Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot and he has a great YouTube video here. However the usual method of tying Ian's Secure Knot won't work with Ukrainian Lacing without a slight modification which this instructable is designed to demonstrate.

Step 1: How Shoelace Knots Become Untied

Although you can certainly use the Ian Secure Knot with any type of lacing you want, it is particularly secure when combined with Ukrainian Lacing. To understand this we have to know how shoelaces become untied. The graphic above shows the physics behind knots untying themselves with movement. When moving the free ends of the lace will develop an inertia that constantly pulls on the shoelace knot, eventually loosening it to the point the knot hits a point of catastrophic failure and quickly unties. With Ukrainian Lacing there are no free ends to to pull on the knot, making a knot that is already difficult to become untied accidentally even more secure.

Step 2: The Details

This sequence of photographs shows the basic steps of tying the Ian Secure Knot in a shoe with Ukrainian Lacing. Steps 5 through 7 are the additional steps necessary. Starting at step 5 you must unwind each loop between the first and second eyelets on each side and pull them free.

In step 1, notice that the captive knot must be at the level of the second row of eyelets, not on the first. Just re-work the laces if the starting captive knot appears at the top eyelets.

Step 3: How Does It Look?

These are some examples of Ukrainian Lacing with the Ian Secure Knot in different shoes. When tied the shoes look pretty much like normal shoelaces except there are no tails hanging out of the knot. Some of the photos show the tied knot next to the untied lacing. Even untied there is nothing to trip over or damage the laces.

The quickest way to re-lace your shoes to the Ukrainian style is actually just to unlace the top two sets of eyelets, tie the captive knot (starting knot) and then tie the ends together at the top of the shoe (see Professor Shoelace's video at the 2:37 mark).