Today’s post is a short one on a very simple and handy little tip I picked up a few weeks back . To get started, let me provide some context.
When I am out hiking wearing one of my particular pairs of hiking boots, I find that the laces on one of them, my right boot, can come undone quite easily. This usually happens if I’m hiking through marshy terrain.
I guess the boot getting held in the ground that bit longer probably means that the laces can come undone as they’re getting wrestled more and more from the foot as I hike.
The boot on the left foot isn't quite as bad but it too can come undone sometimes.
Now, as I mentioned, this usually happens more when hiking in marshy or boggy terrain. Of course, if I am hiking in Marshy and boggy terrain, I of course will be wearing gaiters for that extra bit of protection.
While the gaiters are a must, it does mean that it isn't easy to get at my hiking boots and the laces are usually pretty dirty and messy, after hiking in marshy terrain, by the time they have come undone. So, I have to stop, open my gaiters and get the laces retied.
Now, in fairness, the boots actually stay pretty well on my feet and the laces are such that they never fully open and leave me with a trailing lace, they are just loose.
Of course, if your hiking boot laces keep opening, it isn't great and not ideal for safety at all. I want a pair of solid boots securely attached to my feet when I’m hiking.
So, what to do!?
Maybe Get New Boots?
Now, OK, I know what you may be thinking at first. Why don’t you just get some new boots? Well, in nearly every other aspect these hiking boots are particularly good.
They’re a pair of Scarpa boots and I have been pretty happy with them. In all other functional requirements they hit the spot and they are pretty comfortable.
As any seasoned hiker will know, a comfortable pair of hiking boots is a hard thing to part with once you find it. If the lace opens up every once in a while, well I thought, I guess I can live with that.
Enter A Simple Tip
Now, you may read this next piece and go d’uh, talk about stating the obvious! However, I have been hiking for years and this very simple and, yes I will accept my mild shame and say obvious 😉 , tip never occurred to me.
It came courtesy of a very experienced hiker I hike with regularly. He’s in his early fifties and has been hiking since he was twenty so plenty of practical experience gathered over many years.
My lace came undone on a hike we were on a few weeks ago and after I explained my recurring predicament to him, he asked me, ‘how many knots do you tie in your boot laces?’ I said, ‘Two’. What was his pearl of wisdom?
Tie another Knot! Yes indeed, he said to tie a third knot. He had similar problems over the years but tying a third knot in the laces generally solved the problem.
‘Wow’, I thought! How obvious … and why the heck didn't that occur to me before lol 🙂
Well, I did as he suggested and sure enough the boot held much better. Still came loose on one occasion but definitely snugger than before.
So, if you are confronted with a similar problem of your hiking boot laces coming undone when you’re out hiking on the trail, maybe adding one more knot might do the trick to solve your problem.
To clarify, I do a ‘Standard Shoelace Knot’ first before adding two ‘Two Loop Shoelace Knots’. My guess is that you probably know what I am talking about but may not be familiar with the names of the knots. I'll look at that in a bit more detail below but first, a shot of each knot might be handy to show you what I mean
First Knot – Standard Shoelace Knot
Second Knot – Loop Shoelace Knot
Third Knot – A Second Loop Shoelace Knot
As mentioned above, you may not know the names of the knots but you probably do know them. That is you probably use them every day but don't know what they're called. I didn't know either until I found this site that explains them.
It's an interesting site to learn about all the different knot options available. I didn't realize there were so many different options available!
Interestingly, I found a link on this site too about tying a Granny Knot by accident instead of a Two Loop shoelace Knot. This could also be something that could easily be done incorrectly that could be adding to the reasons for your hiking boot laces regularly coming undone.
So, there you have it. If you find the laces on your hiking boots are regularly opening up, try adding another knot. If your laces aren't long enough, just get a longer pair of laces and you should have enough room to get that extra knot in.
Similarly, check out the different knots available in the links above. I only know two basic knots so I’ll keep working with them for now but there may well be an even better way to tie your hiking boot laces securely.
To be honest, I wasn't sure whether I should write this post as I thought that I may well be stating the obvious, and I'm sure plenty folks reading this think that to be the case, but I have been hiking for years and this basic idea never occurred to me.
With that in mind I thought I’d stick it up as a post as some folks may be experiencing the same problem and so it might be useful to them.
As I said, in all other aspects I quite like these particular boots so I wasn't overly keen on not using them just because the lace on the right boot opened every so often. A simple tip like this and I was good to go!
Just as a related note, if you are just starting on the road to buying a pair of hiking boots, check out the hiking boot buying guide and my hiking boot recommendations. That will get your search off on a sound footing!
Have you any tips for tying the laces of your hiking boots securely? Is there a special knot you recommend? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!