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Shoe Tying Methods

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There are essentially two standard methods of tying shoes, (and then there is my own non-standard method). You have the one loop method, the two loop method (bunny ears), and my own version for kids that have significant delays, and can’t succeed with the other methods is the Push and Tie (PAT) method (I had to think up a name for this post). There are some other more complicated techniques that you could check out on Ian’s Shoelace Site, but we are going for simple here, not complicated. I also started a board on pinterest just for shoe tying, so go check that out too.

The one loop method:

  • Make a cross
  • Take the top lace under the cross and through the hole
  • Make a loop in one lace
  • Wrap the other lace around the loop and push some lace through the hole that is made at the bottom to make a second loop
  • Pull both loops tight shoe tying one loop method copy

The two loop method (bunny ears):

  • Make a cross
  • Take the top lace under the cross and through the hole
  • Make a loop out of both laces
  • Cross the loops
  • Move the top loop under and through the hole
  • Pull both loops tight shoe tying two loop method copy

Push and Tie (PAT) method:

This is my own method that I use as a last resort, or if a child is really young, but really wants to have success. My son says he used this method in preschool, so I must have shown him how to do it, but I don’t remember.

  • Make a cross
  • Take the top lace under the cross and through the hole
  • Repeat the two steps above so that you have a loose knot
  • Take the end of one lace and pass it back through the knot where it came out
  • Do the same with the other lace
  • Pull those laces so that your bow loops are the right size
  • Pull the loops tight shoe tying push and tie (PAT) method copy

Next week I will be giving tips that I use when working on tying shoes. Last week I shared a printable practice shoe to use placed in front of the child.

You can find poster downloads of the shoe tying methods in the shop.

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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

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  1. If you use a white shoelace and another color, it’s a whole lot easier to visually discriminate! I have used this method for years. my daughter could tie her shoes before age 3! :) (and it worked with other kids, so I know it wasn’t just my daughter! :0

  2. Hi Tonya, these steps with the pics are great! When I opened them the picture quality was a little blurry. Is there any way I could get a digital copy of the originals (with better picture quality)? Thanks :)

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