David Rees is one of the most fascinating men I know. He led a truly epic all-night party a few years ago at MaxFunCon East that people still tell me about. He created the iconic clip-art comic strip Get Your War On. He’s the world’s preeminent artisinal pencil sharpener. He’s hilarious, unique and insightful. And now, some poor sap has given David his own TV show.

"Going Deep with David Rees" is a deep dive into one topic per episode, and it premiers tonight at ten on NatGeo. The first episode is about digging a hole. The second is about tying your shoes.

I thought I’d created the definitive shoe-tying video, but it turns out David’s got me beat by a factor of ten. Above is a bit of his investigation of knots with a real sailor. Here he tests shoelaces with an outdoorsy guy.

Tune in tonight at ten. You’ll laugh, you’ll laugh more, you’ll learn, and you’ll wonder how David Rees got his own TV show.

Q and Answer: What Method of Lacing Should You Use for Shoes?
Samuel writes us to ask: Is there a proper method to lace shoes? I’ve noticed that some men lace them in a criss-cross style while others go straight across. Is one better than the other?
The general rule of thumb is to use straight lacing for things such as dress shoes, and criss-cross lacing for almost everything else. The reasoning is that since shoes such as oxfords are dressier, they demand something that’s cleaner and more elegant to match. 
For straight lacing, I use the European Method, which Will from A Suitable Wardrobe demonstrates how to do in this video. If you wanted, you could also use one of the variants of the Ladder Method. 
For everything else, you can use either the criss-cross method or the straight lace. I personally use the straight lace for almost everything, but will use the criss-cross method on exceptionally casual shoes (i.e. hiking boots, sneakers, or any other style that can’t be worn with a suit). 

Q and Answer: What Method of Lacing Should You Use for Shoes?

Samuel writes us to ask: Is there a proper method to lace shoes? I’ve noticed that some men lace them in a criss-cross style while others go straight across. Is one better than the other?

The general rule of thumb is to use straight lacing for things such as dress shoes, and criss-cross lacing for almost everything else. The reasoning is that since shoes such as oxfords are dressier, they demand something that’s cleaner and more elegant to match. 

For straight lacing, I use the European Method, which Will from A Suitable Wardrobe demonstrates how to do in this video. If you wanted, you could also use one of the variants of the Ladder Method

For everything else, you can use either the criss-cross method or the straight lace. I personally use the straight lace for almost everything, but will use the criss-cross method on exceptionally casual shoes (i.e. hiking boots, sneakers, or any other style that can’t be worn with a suit). 

We Got It For Free: Benjo’s Laces
When I was growing up in Southern California in the late ’80s/ early  ’90s, all the cool kids wore Adidas, and the even cooler kids wore them  with colored shoelaces. Lately, that seems to be coming back - mostly  with boots, but also with dress shoes.
Benjo’s,  one of the companies that makes such laces, sent me some to check out. I  was given a wide assortment of colors and each pair of laces was  waxed, which made them a bit stiff, but also more durable. They’re each  30” long, which means they’re most appropriate for shoes with three to  five eyelets (ballparking, as it depends on how wide your shoes are). I  put a pair of the dark green laces on my chocolate brown, suede chukkas,  and I like them.
In the next month or two, it seems like they’ll soon have some new  colors, new lengths, and some unwaxed and flat lace versions. Some will be  long enough for bigger boots such as the Alden Indys. Keep an eye on  their site.

We Got It For Free: Benjo’s Laces

When I was growing up in Southern California in the late ’80s/ early ’90s, all the cool kids wore Adidas, and the even cooler kids wore them with colored shoelaces. Lately, that seems to be coming back - mostly with boots, but also with dress shoes.

Benjo’s, one of the companies that makes such laces, sent me some to check out. I was given a wide assortment of colors and each pair of laces was waxed, which made them a bit stiff, but also more durable. They’re each 30” long, which means they’re most appropriate for shoes with three to five eyelets (ballparking, as it depends on how wide your shoes are). I put a pair of the dark green laces on my chocolate brown, suede chukkas, and I like them.

In the next month or two, it seems like they’ll soon have some new colors, new lengths, and some unwaxed and flat lace versions. Some will be long enough for bigger boots such as the Alden Indys. Keep an eye on their site.

Frank writes (from Germany) about shoelaces:
I recently bought a bunch of shoe laces.
One of the leading German shoe-cleaning experts Rainer Ehrsfeld (http://www.schuh-lexikon.de/kolumne/kolumne.html) suggested “always have extra shoe laces with you when you travel. A  disaster, if your lace breaks on travel right before an important meeting (and  they always tend to tear exactly on these occasions, don’t they?)”.
I was not sure what brown was the right one, since it was hard to tell the colour just by a  small pic on the net, so I ordered a bunch. I mean a lot. Sort of got carried away… but they were only 1-2 bucks a piece so I figured why not buy a whole lot of them.
When they arrived, I thought: OMG what have I done! I will never need those.
But then I spend a whole great evening trying out different laces with various shoes.  I was thrilled by how a shoe changes by just changing the laces!  So this is a great way of changing the looks of your shoes for just a buck!
I agree.  I’m a big estate sale-goer, and I always buy the laces I find at the bottom of a drawer.  They usually give them to you for a quarter a piece.  As Mr. Ehrsfield suggests, I always have some extra laces (along with some collar stays and a pair of cuff links) in my toiletry bag.
My personal favorite shoe fasteners are flat dress laces, which can be surprisingly difficult to find these days, but always lend a nice tone to your dress shoes.  Waxed laces can lend a bit of extra grip, too.  Your local shoe repairman probably has a wall like the one pictured above - don’t be afraid to spend ten bucks trying out some new styles.

Frank writes (from Germany) about shoelaces:

I recently bought a bunch of shoe laces.

One of the leading German shoe-cleaning experts Rainer Ehrsfeld (http://www.schuh-lexikon.de/kolumne/kolumne.html) suggested “always have extra shoe laces with you when you travel. A disaster, if your lace breaks on travel right before an important meeting (and they always tend to tear exactly on these occasions, don’t they?)”.

I was not sure what brown was the right one, since it was hard to tell the colour just by a small pic on the net, so I ordered a bunch. I mean a lot. Sort of got carried away… but they were only 1-2 bucks a piece so I figured why not buy a whole lot of them.

When they arrived, I thought: OMG what have I done! I will never need those.

But then I spend a whole great evening trying out different laces with various shoes.  I was thrilled by how a shoe changes by just changing the laces!  So this is a great way of changing the looks of your shoes for just a buck!

I agree.  I’m a big estate sale-goer, and I always buy the laces I find at the bottom of a drawer.  They usually give them to you for a quarter a piece.  As Mr. Ehrsfield suggests, I always have some extra laces (along with some collar stays and a pair of cuff links) in my toiletry bag.

My personal favorite shoe fasteners are flat dress laces, which can be surprisingly difficult to find these days, but always lend a nice tone to your dress shoes.  Waxed laces can lend a bit of extra grip, too.  Your local shoe repairman probably has a wall like the one pictured above - don’t be afraid to spend ten bucks trying out some new styles.

Finally, a brave soul has taken on the vital issue of SHOELACE SECURITY.
Tim wrote to us that he couldn’t ever get his leather shoelaces to stay tied, until he hit upon the solution: THE SECURE KNOT.
Thanks to the shoelace encyclopedia that is Ian’s Shoelace Site, Tim found a knot that lasts throughout the day, even on his tough-to-tie boat shoes and Bean boots.  You can find exhaustive instructions here - it seems the key is making two loops, like you were going to tie the 6-year-old way, but crossing both loops over, rather than just one.  We’re going to have to give it a try.
Kudos to TIM for the excellent suggestion, and kudos to IAN for his AMAZING SHOELACE WEBSITE.
Now: we know what you’re thinking.  “But Jesse and Adam, I like tying shoelaces at home, but I love tying shoelaces on the run!”
Don’t worry.  Ian the king of shoelaces has an iPhone app.

Finally, a brave soul has taken on the vital issue of SHOELACE SECURITY.

Tim wrote to us that he couldn’t ever get his leather shoelaces to stay tied, until he hit upon the solution: THE SECURE KNOT.

Thanks to the shoelace encyclopedia that is Ian’s Shoelace Site, Tim found a knot that lasts throughout the day, even on his tough-to-tie boat shoes and Bean boots.  You can find exhaustive instructions here - it seems the key is making two loops, like you were going to tie the 6-year-old way, but crossing both loops over, rather than just one.  We’re going to have to give it a try.

Kudos to TIM for the excellent suggestion, and kudos to IAN for his AMAZING SHOELACE WEBSITE.

Now: we know what you’re thinking.  “But Jesse and Adam, I like tying shoelaces at home, but I love tying shoelaces on the run!”

Don’t worry.  Ian the king of shoelaces has an iPhone app.