Friday, July 07, 2006


My wife was watching me take this photo and said "you weren't very good at matching classes when you were little were you?" I told her to shut-up and carried on what I was doing. She was of course right. I was also no good at keeping the length of a shoelace consistent on either side. Problem is that until recently I still couldn't keep that shoelace even-length on either side. I'm much better at matching shoes though and rarely walk off with one other kid's shoe and one my shoe nowadays.

I have come up with an ingenious and cunning plan for keeping shoelaces the same length on either side. (One might even say that it is a plan so cunning that you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel.) In fact I've come up with 2 plans. Plan A is demonstrated in the white sneaker. The lace is doubled over and a knot is tied in the center before it is threaded. This allows for a little bit of slippage and misalliance on either end but so long as the knot can't slip through the eyes then you're looking sexy. Plan B knots the laces in a reef knot at stage 2 of the lacing. This is far more secure and balanced and makes it almost impossible to ever have mismatched laces again.

Although I very excited to have solved a problem that has plagued me for decades I am surprised that shoelace makers have not done a better job in helping their customers with this problem. They could have worked this out themselves and put useful little hints on the back of the packaging. They could have also colored the middle of the lace differently to help you adjust the lengths if you're not using the knot technique. One never knows how far to pull the lace back when you're trying to re-balance them and a little pre-made marker on the lace would have been very useful.

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