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Everytime you run does your shoelace comes undone? Here's the reason

When running, your foot strikes the ground at seven times the force of gravity. The knot stretches and then relaxes in response to that force


  |  Updated On : April 15, 2017 10:02 AM
Everytime you run your shoelaces come undone? Here's the reason

Everytime you run your shoelaces come undone? Here's the reason

New Delhi :  

This mysterious problem of undone shoelaces is never ending. We walk a step and we see our shoelaces untying each other.

Although there is no such remedy for your shoelaces to be strong enough to keep itself tied for the whole day but there is a reason indeed.

Science has finally discovered the reason behind the loosening of your laces.

According to the study, the way our feet hit and leave the ground while running or walking cause a 'stomp and whip' effect, thereby disentangling the knot, tugging on the end until the entire lace gives way. However, stomping or whipping forces by themselves are not enough to untie the shoe, as both forces must take effect.

“When running, your foot strikes the ground at seven times the force of gravity. The knot stretches and then relaxes in response to that force,” said a researcher.

“As the knot loosens, the swinging leg applies an inertial force on the free ends of the laces, which rapidly leads to a failure of the knot in as few as two strides after inertia acts on the laces.”

To see this self-loosening of laces up close, the team pointed a camera at the sneakers of the study co-author Cal Berkeley running on a treadmill. Then they watched slow motion footage that shows exactly how the shoelace comes undone.

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First, the repeated impact of the shoe on the floor during walking serves to loosen the knot, then, the whipping motions of the free ends of the laces caused by the leg swing produce slipping of the laces. This leads to eventual runaway untangling of the knot.

Also howcome sometimes shoelaces stay tied perfectly for a long time before suddenly coming undone.

The study had a reply for this as well, “It’s not until you get one little bit of motion to cause loosening that starts this avalanche effect leading to knot failure.” 

Well one day the study on shoelaces could also open many doors and have major implications for studies on DNA.

First Published: Saturday, April 15, 2017 09:43 AM


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