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The science behind 'yer gonna die' from untied shoes

Original Post
amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20

A new study by mechanical engineers at UC Berkeley finally shows why your shoelaces may keep coming untied. It's a question that everyone asks, often after stopping to retie their shoes, yet one that nobody had investigated until now. The answer, the study suggests, is that a double whammy of stomping and whipping forces acts like an invisible hand, loosening the knot and then tugging on the free ends of your laces until the whole thing unravels.                                

The study is more than an example of science answering a seemingly obvious question. A better understanding of knot mechanics is needed for sharper insight into how knotted structures fail under a variety of forces.

Read more here - Shoe-string theory: Science shows why shoelaces come untied

JFM · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 1,818

Somehow we got a person to the moon without this vital information.

also: what kind of monster ties his shoes with the twisted "false knot" version? 

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,091

i am always amazed when a basketball player (or other athlete/whatever) has to stop and tie his shoes in the middle of play.  usually while the other team is taking advantage of the situation and scoring...

on  a similar note, i really hate it when approach shoes (or any shoe for that matter) comes with some sort of slippery ass shoelace that has a hard time staying tied even when double knotted.  drives me absolutely crazy.

snobbit · · Denver, CO · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 10
Casey Erin · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 50

I always assumed it was micro-fractures in the laces. 

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,091

so now here's another question - why don't they make velcro approach shoes???  that would be pretty sweet.

PRRose · · Boulder · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 0

It helps to put one more twist so that the first throw is a double overhand knot. Not only doesn't it come apart, but it doesn't have to be cinched down to remain tied.

My approach and hiking shoes all use the Salomon quick lace system. It's better than velcro.

n00b · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 40

Wait, are untied shoelaces seriously a problem that adults have? I haven't had my shoes come untied since I turned nine. I figured it was something everyone grows out of when they learned how to tie the laces well.

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,091

i have never really liked the solomon system.  you end up with that big loop of string that you have to shove under the tongue thing.  i am not a fan of their shoes in general either.  i would like a lasportiva TX4 with velcro.  same with the evolve cruzer psyche with velcro.  those would be pretty sweet.

i do agree about the double overhand thing - i use that with my boots in a couple places so that i can keep the foot area tight and the shin area a bit more loose. · · Shanghai, China · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

I saw a TED talk on this, it changed my life.

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

I heard that Ted talk while driveing.. never did figuer out how to do it right....

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240

Wait do people really still wear shoes that require laces being tied? I have been wearing sandals longer than I remember.

s.price · · the deck of Rover · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

If you can't figure out how to keep your shoes tied maybe you should not be climbing.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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