Adventures with Untied Shoes

Monday, February 25, 2019. A Look At The Art Of Tying Shoes.

Do You Have A Method To Keep Your Shoes Tied During Your Competition?

Equipment malfunctions in track and field often center around the laces of the runners shoe. This feature's purpose is not to poke fun at a runners misfortune of having their laces come untied. Rather it points out there are no excuses in a meet. Runners whose laces have come untied have finished their race and even won the race or Medaled. In fact at the 2013 State Meet a runner not only won her race she set a State Record despite having one shoe untied. It is reported that at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, Jamaica's Usain Bolt set a World Record with one of his shoes untied. However Wisconsin Track Online is not recommending running with untied shoes as a way to set a record or new 'PR'.
In 2010 a sophomore runner finished 1st in the 1600m at a large early season invitational despite having one shoe untied for most of the race. Another runner had stepped on her laces at the start causing the laces to become untied. The photo above was shared with the runners mother who laminated a copy and attached it to the runners gym bag as a reminder. The runner 'pictured' above won Gold Medals at the WIAA State Meet.

Tied 2018 WIAA [Shoes OK at end of race]

Untied 2018 WIAA [Silver Medal Winner]

Untied 2013 WIAA [State Champion and record setter]

Food For Thought

Shoe lacing 101

A better Way To Tie Shoes

Lacing with Ankle Support

Lydiard Lacing: How to Avoid Injury

If you have a method please send to share

Just a final thought: What if you had 'self tying' shoes? Nike and designer Tinker Hatfield in 2016 put out a pair for basketball. The price has come down from the mid $700 range during 2016 to somewhere between $300 and $400 as of January, 2019. Other companies have marketed self tying shoes. However self tying track and field shoes have not emerged. That means that athletes will still depend on their 'skills' of tying to insure that their shoes stay secure during their competition. Background-[Wired September, 2016 article on the innovation behind the self tying shoe] .