It surprises me the amount of children and adults that I see every day that don’t know how to tie their shoes properly. If you do not know how to tie your shoes properly you WON’T get any of the benefits that the shoes has to offer such as support and stability.
I have been working at a children shoe store for 5 years now, and we offer a special shoe tying class for children who want to learn how to tie their shoes. I am a firm believer that shoe laces need to be tight and laced properly, since this will prevent foot injuries and provide you the parent and your child with more stability and support.
I have fitted several children that came to the shoe store having stability issues and they were falling a lot according to the parents. I switched them from a pair of velcro sneakers to a pair of shoes with shoe laces and they started walking and running better! The parents were happy that the child stopped falling so much.
When should a child start learning how to tie his or her shoes? It depends on each child! BUT, most boys start tying their shoes when they are seven years old, while most girls start tying their shoes when they are between five and six years old. Girls are believed to have better motor skills than boys, so don’t be surprised if your daughter starts learning how to tie her shoes faster than your son. And don’t stress out if your child is not ready to learn how to tie his shoes, I have seen 10 year old boys who still don’t know how to tie.
Shoes that have shoe laces can have a positive impact in your child’s daily activities. However, in order to get the benefits of a pair of shoes with shoe laces, your child must know how to tie them, and untie them properly. You might be asking yourself: Untying?! I am trying to teach my child how to tie his shoes not how to untie them. The way your child takes his shoes off can affect the pair of shoes he is wearing. Most children yank their shoes off when is time to taking them off instead of undoing the velcro closure or the shoe laces.
This ends up stretching the heel of the shoe and wearing the heel counter of the shoe much faster. So, it doesn’t matter how supportive the shoe is, if your child doesn’t untie his shoe laces before taking the shoes off, he will not get the support features the shoe has to offer. Let’s get back at the important thing here, which is how to teach a child to tie his shoe laces.
The Best Way To Teach A Child To Tie His Shoes – Proven Method!
One of my regular families that come to the shoe store brought her child in and told me she really wanted shoes that tied, because all her friends were wearing them. The issue was, she already tried shoes with shoe laces, but had the hardest time learning how to tie them. The shoes kept coming untie so the mother decided that she either learnt how to tie them, or she was going to get her a pair of velcro sneakers.
The girl was seven year old and she really struggled with learning how to tie her shoes using the traditional method. She actually knew what to do, but her fingers wouldn’t cooperate. I told her a will teach her a new method, as long as if she was willing to put the time and effort to learn.
Step 1: Cross the shoe laces to make an X and pull them tight.
Step 2: Repeat the same step and pull until you make a little circle.
Step 3: Drop the laces.
Step 4: Take one of the shoe laces and put it through the circle, pull until there is a little loop at the top.
Step 5: Repeat the same process with the other shoe lace.
Step 6: Grab the two loops that you created at the top and pull!
Done! That is the easiest way to teach a child how to tie his shoe laces!
Why Should You Choose Shoes With Shoe Laces Instead Of Velcro?
My preference will and always have been shoe laces versus velcro shoes. Why? I have seen and you could probably see it too the clear difference in the way lace up sneakers fit around the heel of the foot versus velcro pairs. With shoeslaces you can put more pressure around the instep of the foot, locking the ankles of the child, which can prevent injuries. I also feel that laces provide the child or the adult with more stability, since the tighter the shoe laces, the more stable you will feel. The consensus is that your child will get more support and more stability from lace up shoes.
Not all shoe laces are the same though! When a child is learning how to tie his shoes, it will take him time and practice to master it.There is a pair of shoe laces that I recommend that are thicker and come with bumps, and they usually don’t become untie as often!
Do not know what is the perfect shoe lace length for your child pair of shoes? Easy! Count the eyelets of the shoe (aka holes where the laces go through) and then look at the chart below:
|Pair of Eyelets||Inches||Centimeters|
The Best Way To Tie Shoe Laces For A Child That Wears Orthotics Or Has Narrow Feet
The best way to tie shoelaces for a child that needs his shoes to feel extra tight is through the “reverse the laces technique”. You put the laces through the holes as you will normally do, and leave the two top eyelets (holes) open. You will then go to the top eyelet (hole) first and then come back to the holes you left open and then tie your shoes.Parents should try this method in their own shoes first, so they can really see the difference it males. I do this technique to every child that comes to the store wearing orthotics or with children that wear cleats, and they love it!
If you need extra clarification with pictures to learn about this technique, I created another post where you will be able to visualize it better. The post is called:
I actually tie my running sneakers this way and I feel so much more secure and stable when I am running. If your child has a narrow foot please use all the eyelets of the shoes and try the technique I describe above, it will make a huge difference in the way the shoes feel around the heels.
How To Tie Shoes For A Child That Has A Wide Foot
If your child has a wide foot, DON’T tighten the two first eyelets close to the toes. This will only put more pressure in the widest part of the foot. Basically, start making the laces tight from the third eyelet and up. Take a look at the picture below for clarification: I have my finger placed where you should start making the shoe laces tight. Starting from the bottom, the third eyelet. Don’t pull on the first or second eyelet, since you will be putting more pressure in the widest part of the foot.
In the picture below my finger is pointing at where the widest part of the foot is. If we pull the shoe laces from the first and second eyelet, we will be putting more pressure in the widest part of the foot, where the small toe is.
Emphasize to your child/children to please undo the laces or velcro when they are taking their shoes on and off. I understand this might be a lost battle for you by now but keep reminding them. It is all about making it a good habit. Once the heel counter of the shoes gets stretched out there is absolutely nothing you can do to remedy this.
Lacing and tying shoes is an imperative step in wearing shoes. I encourage parents, siblings, and teachers (teachers, too!) to make this into a game. Also, to bring focus on lacing and tying shoes, why not make the inexpensive investment of different fun shoelaces. You could even try glow-in-the-dark laces (they’re out there), and have your child practice in the dark, barring a fear of the dark.
Give your child something to look forward to in October with neon orange laces, or in December, some nice bright blue ones for Hanukkah or alternating green and red ones for Christmas. The goal is to get your child to focus on properly lacing and tying his or her shoes, and making it fun is a sure way to encourage this.
I know that some parents and children try to avoid shoe laces at all cost, specially with so many options of velcro sneakers available. Children are increasingly avoiding hard things and that in itself is not a good idea. Learning how to tie your shoe laces might sound like a simple task, but it requires effort and practice. Making our children familiar about the idea of putting effort into things is a good thing because much of what children need to do at school takes effort and practice.
If mom and dad are desperate to switch their children from velcro shoes to lace up shoes my advice will be to only do it if you are going to put the time and effort to teach your child how to properly lace the shoes.
Below you can find some of the best shoe laces for children, including the bumpy ones that stay tied better!
Are your child’s shoe laces coming untie all the time? Do you know any particular technique that is effective in teaching kids on how to tie their shoes? Please share your experiences below so we can all benefit from them!