Everything Kids

Science Just Solved the Mystery of Why Your Kid's Shoes Are Always Coming Untied

Turns out, poor tying isn't necessarily to blame for your kid's perpetually untied laces!  

Child tying shoelaces AlohaHawaii/Shutterstock 
If you feel like you're never going to get ontop of your kid's perpetually untied shoelaces, you are not alone! It's just one of those ongoing struggles all parents face — and one we're often chalking up to poor tying in the first place. But according to new science, how well you knot up those laces may not be the actual reason they keep coming undone.

Mechanical engineers at the University of California Berkeley used a slow-motion camera and a series of experiments to look into the dilemma. In their study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A, they concluded that "shoelace knot failure" happens in a matter of seconds, and it occurs due to the force of your L.O.'s foot on the ground, which stretches and relaxes the knot, combined with the force of a swinging or walking leg, which pulls at the laces, notes the BBC. Interesting!

The researchers also say that sure, there are some laces that might be better for tying knots, but they're all susceptible to failure. Oof. While this isn't exactly a solution it should serve to reassure parents that when it comes to kids' constantly straggly laces, there's not much you can do other than throw your hands up — and retie!