In this world of Trump, Brexit and Fake News, you may well be wondering to yourself:

How can I trust anything I used to take for granted any more? I thought I generally had a grip on these things, but maybe not! What else am I taking for granted that’s completely wrong? Am I getting out of bed properly? Am I competent to make the journey from home to work? Are my shoes laced up properly? Am I even real? Why am I talking to myself?

Well, I can’t really help with all of it (you may wish to seek professional help) – except for one. You’re probably not doing your shoelaces up properly.

Chances are when you purchased your shoes, they had been mostly pre-laced from the factory. Whilst these methods tend to vary (especially in trainers), they tend to have one thing in common: they’re designed to make the shoes look tidy without having feet in them.

An example of a Converse shoe with 'display lacing' (ugh)

Whilst this has some advantages, it tends not to be the method which will automatically be the best fit for you.  I would advise you to visit a treasure trove of shoelacing advice, Ian’s Shoelace Site, and browse the myriad of options you have available to you – from the highly practical to the entirely decorative.

In my case, I have standardised on the Double Helix Lacing (or Spiralacing) technique, which as it happens is genuinely patented in the USA by Montgomery Kim Fisher. So, if anyone tries to sue me for lacing my shoes this way, I’ll let you know. 

The Double Helix method

One of the advantages of this method is that it’s not only practical (it allows you to apply even pressure across the shoe, and minimise wear to the laces) but also decorative, and has reflection symmetry – you can lace the left and right shoes to be mirror images of each other using the same method!

Mirror symmetry!

Just don’t mirror them the opposite way around, that just looks weird. 

Whilst this is my preferred method of lacing for standard shoes and trainers, boots I prefer to use something like Lightning lacing, which given the stiffer shoe seems to give me more flexibility, whilst still looking cool. 

Once you’ve laced your shoes properly, you should probably tie the knot properly as well. Fortunately, the BBC Ideas service has your back with a video on Why you’re tying your shoelaces wrong (I promise I didn’t tell them about this post!)

So now you can leave the house in the morning safe in the knowledge that, at the very least, your shoes are done up properly.  Pretty much everything else, though, is up for grabs.