A Dream of Shoe Lacings
June 22, 2020 4:52 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to lace your shoes? Let Mathologer (Burkard Polster professor of maths at Monash University in Melbourne Australia) tell you about his proof by dream.
posted by zengargoyle (17 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
No, when describing a shoe with 100 eyelets he does not say "Goth Shoes", he says "God's Shoes". But I had to listen a couple of times and turn on Closed Captioning because "Goth Shoes" makes so much sense.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:54 PM on June 22 [8 favorites]


Neat! Reminded me of the most impactful Ted Talk I have ever listened to: How to tie your shoes.
posted by bruinfan at 5:00 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


Burkard Polster professor of maths at Monash University in Melbourne Australia

When I think shoes and Australia, I very quickly arrive at my optimum solution to the shoelace issue: Blundstones. Except for the occasional dress shoes at weddings and funerals, I haven't tied any laces in about a decade now.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:22 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]


I'm strictly a spray-on shoes guy.
posted by sexyrobot at 5:59 PM on June 22 [11 favorites]


I have a pair of those toe-shoes, and they are like the time cube of footwear.
posted by mhoye at 6:05 PM on June 22 [5 favorites]


I once spent a summer wearing what were basically flip-flop bottoms with some kind of space age adhesive on them that let them stick to your feet all day, and then be peeled off in the evening and then rinsed under water at which time all the dirt and other stuff would literally fall off of them, and then when they were dry they were sticky enough again to be on your feet all day again.

That was a fun summer. I was in my early 20s. I went on 3 week road trip with my pet ferret.

I've tried to find the same product again, but apparently the expected quality has degraded to where they only last weeks instead of 2.5 months or however I had that first pair for.

I wish I'd bought 300 pairs back then.

Those did not lace, obviously.
posted by hippybear at 7:32 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]


I used to know Burkard pretty well as we did similar sorts of maths! I once spent a pleasant afternoon in Adelaide where we videoed each other spinning on a chair, then created a stereoscopic 3D video of it by putting two copies of the video next to each other, but with the time slightly out of sync with each other. Viewing the pair cross eyed it looked convincingly 3D. Burkard was always fun to hang out with as he always had something slightly crazy, but fascinating, on the go.
posted by drnick at 7:34 PM on June 22 [9 favorites]


I was given his book on the mathematics of juggling many years ago, and I keep thinking to return to it. Thanks for the reminder!
posted by klausman at 9:13 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


Neat! Reminded me of the most impactful Ted Talk I have ever listened to: How to tie your shoes.

Wait until you see this method. It's changed my life forever.
posted by Ouverture at 9:32 PM on June 22 [8 favorites]


I learned the method linked by Ouverture from Stand Up Maths (Matt Parker) on his appearance at the Royal Institute. I have been tying my shoes that way for over a year. Once I learned it, I never wanted to tie my shoes any other way. May not be “the best” but it is certainly the fastest.
posted by daq at 10:32 PM on June 22


Wait until you see this method. It's changed my life forever.

Glad to see someone linked to Ian's Shoelace Site. I'm particularly fond of his list of lacing methods, and the site contribution photos.
posted by myotahapea at 12:16 AM on June 23 [2 favorites]


My toes used to go numb or get painful while running. Then I found a chart of different ways to lace your shoes and experimented with them one by one for a week or so at a time until I eventually found one that solved my problem.
posted by lollusc at 2:44 AM on June 23 [3 favorites]


(It's like a combination of 1 and 3 on this chart)
posted by lollusc at 2:47 AM on June 23


Yay! The Ian knot! That’s how I tie my shoes.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 4:49 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


This is delightful. (And not just because everything about this guy reminds me of a mentor that I adore.)

I've always been a fan of what I think of as the marching band lacing. It's not efficient in any sense, but it looks cool.
posted by eotvos at 8:32 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


I’m also a fan of what eotvos calls the marching band lacing. While mathematics are fun, like all human apparel shoes are also fashion objects. Hence any attempt to determine the objectively best way to lace your shoes while ignoring aesthetics misses half of the picture.
posted by delegeferenda at 9:31 AM on June 23


Numberphile (weed) --> 3Blue1Brown (pills) --> Mathologer (smack)
posted by stinkfoot at 12:13 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


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