Shoelace knot

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"Bow knot" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Rosette (decoration).
Shoelace knot
Shoelace knot.svg
Names Shoelace knot, Bow
Category Loop
Related Reef knot
Releasing non-jamming
Typical use Tying shoelaces, bow ties, decorative bows
ABoK #1212, #2403, #2404
Instructions [1]

The shoelace knot, also known as the bow knot, is a knot which is commonly used for tying shoelaces and bow ties.

The shoelace knot is designed for quick release and easily comes untied when either of the working ends is pulled. During the tying of the knot, the farther the loops are pulled, the shorter the working ends become. The shoelace knot is a doubly slipped reef knot, the original being far harder to undo. The shoelace knot differs from the reef knot by having the working ends pushed back through the knot, creating the loops which allow the knot to be untied so easily.

The two loops are sometimes referred to as "bunny ears", especially when the knot is being taught to young children.


All techniques start with a starter knot: a simple half-hitch.

  • The simplest method of tying a bow is by forming two loops and tying those loops in a half-hitch.
  • The most common method of tying a bow is by forming a loop, then circling the first loop with the other piece of string and finally pushing the bight of that string through the knot to form the second loop. This kind of knot is also used for tying bow ties.[1]
  • The fastest method of tying a bow is the "Ian knot", named after its inventor Ian Fieggen. Two loops are formed and pulled through each other simultaneously.[2]
How to tie shoelaces using an Ian knot

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How to Tie a Bow Tie". Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  2. ^ Ian's Shoelace Site: Tying Shoelaces, "Ian knot"

External links[edit]