I’ve been tying my shoes wrong for a while now. I knew there was a problem but I didn’t really know how to fix it. Now I’ve discovered a genius method, and I’d like to share it with you.

Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure that everyone aside from me already knows (consciously or subconsciously) how to do this.

Up until now, when I would tie my shoes, they would usually look like this:

Misaligned laces

But I didn’t want them to look like that. I wanted them to look like this:

Symmetric laces

See how the bows sit nicely and symmetrically across each foot?

I read something online about tying the bow in the “opposite direction.” This seemed to work for me sometimes, but not always. And even when it did work, it was confusing and difficult to try to tie the bow opposite from how I’m used to.

The other day, I was thinking about this problem, lamenting my problem of ugly misaligned laces, when I decided to try an experiment.

The first step in tying shoes, as I’m sure we all know, is to cross the laces over each other like a pretzel, or like arms.

Crossing the laces

Tying a bow isn’t the only step that has “handedness” (that is, it can be done in a “right” way and a “left” way). The initial cross is also handed. It can be tied where the right lace goes “in front” or “behind.” This is what determines the handedness configuration. As an experiment, I tied my cross the other way and tied my bow as normal. Voila! It worked!

Symmetric laces

If you’re struggling to understand what I mean by handedness, check out this comparison:

With the left lace in front:

Left lace goes in front

With the right lace in front:

Right lace goes in front

In conclusion, if your shoelaces, like mine, don’t sit nicely on your shoes, try tying your initial cross the other way.