Lacing Up, Day Twenty-Two: Reef vs Granny

After literally stumbling her way through a shoe fitting at Fit2Run, Maggie got a chance to break in her new Brooks Ghost 5’s on this morning’s run. It was going to be a hot run, so we took a little extra time to gear up, hydrate and stretch. While she was lacing up, I noticed that she was double knotting her laces. Puzzled, as Brooks don’t have exceptionally long laces, I asked her if they were too long. She said the length was fine, but she always double knots her sneaks to avoid them coming loose or becoming untied when running. I found that answer odd since it is an extremely rare event for my sneaks to come untied…and this dates back to my days of playing ball at the corner park. The only time I ever double knotted was if the laces were too long.
IMG_0641

I asked her to retie them without the double knot. She proceded to do so, making a quick, nearly perfect bow that sat twisted to the laces instead of sitting sideways across them…the classic Granny Knot, which although it’s the most common way to tie a shoe, it has a tendency to work itself loose…hence why she always double knots. The Reef Knot, on the other hand, where the laces lay horizontally across the laces to either side of the shoe, never comes undone as it actually tightens while running.

Visually it’s easy to spot the Granny from the Reef knot. If your knot is crooked and not laying horizontally across your laces, then it’s a Granny Knot. The difference between the two is simply in altering the direction of the first loops you make while tying your shoes. Descriptively, a Granny knot is as follows:

Start: Right end over Left end & through
Finish: Right loop, Left end around Back
– OR –
Start: Right end over Left end & through
Finish: Left loop, Right end around Front
– OR –
Start: Left end over Right end & through
Finish: Right loop, Left end around Front
– OR –
Start: Left end over Right end & through
Finish: Left loop, Right end around Back

While the Reef knot is:

Start: Left end over Right end & through
Finish: Right loop, Left end around Back
– OR –
Start: Left end over Right end & through
Finish: Left loop, Right end around Front
– OR –
Start: Right end over Left end & through
Finish: Right loop, Left end around Front
– OR –
Start: Right end over Left end & through
Finish: Left loop, Right end around Back

If that didn’t make sense, here’s a little video on how to properly tie your shoes:

Maggie stared at me in disbelief as I showed her the different knots, asking how I knew this…hey those years of being a Cub Scout came in handy. In all actuality though, I learned the difference between the knots while playing organized sports back in high school…coach Boyle would make us run extra laps if our shoes ever came untied. It also helped that I am selectively ambidextrous and always start my knots from the left, opposite of what most right-handers do.

With her new sneaks retied, we headed out for a three mile run. I’m happy to report, Maggie not only loved her new Brooks Ghost’s, but her laces did not come loose at all. So, remember, if your laces don’t behave while running, just loop them the other way and, as the over enthusiastic coach in the video said, “get out and crush it on your next run”!

Running: 5K Plan
Run Time: 38:49
Stopped Time: 2:29
Distance: 3.13 miles
Average: 12:24 /mile
Fastest Pace: 9:51 /mile
Calories: 399
5K This Month: 25.31 miles
5K This Year: 63.01 miles

Click for Run Data

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