Science! It has helped explain the mysteries of the universe. The source code of human genetics. The very properties of matter. And now: shoelaces. Engineers at UC Berkeley recently analyzed how, exactly, the knot you tie in your shoelaces comes undone–short answer: the force of your foot hitting the ground + the swinging nature of your gait loosen and ultimately pull it apart. At which point you scowl and re-tie. Watch the surprisingly hypnotic video the team made of a runner’s laces seemingly spontaneously slipping apart mid-stride.
The solution? Generally, stronger knots. I endorse the reef knot, as explained in Put This On’s shoe episode by Adam Lisagor. With apologies to grannies everywhere: the traditional granny knot won’t cut it (unlike the maligned granny-style freethrow, which is making a comeback). Also an option: loafers.