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How did my shoelaces come untied?


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1. Your colleagues sneaked under the desk, and untied them.

2. As derek said: silk shoelaces, or shoelaces of such special material that it will untie itself

3. Maybe you did move?

4. Sticky shoelace ends. The shoelace's ends stick to the other shoe. As soon as you move your feet apart mere centimeters, they get loose.



The better quality shoelaces will really not get untied to easily. Just spend 1-2 euro to get some new ones.

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Do you cross your feet while they're under the desk? The bottoms are made for traction, and if the lace from the first shoe gets pulled by the bottom of the other shoe, the first one gets untied. I think it would be odd to spend six hours at a desk and not adjust your feet every once in a while.


It also could be a software problem. I recommend rebooting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How did that happen? I thought an object at rest (the shoelaces) would remain at rest until acted upon by an outside force (e.g. my feet moving).

Well, to be pedantic, gravity is an outside force, so it remains at rest if the forces are in equilibrium. Also the lace's molecules aren't at rest; there are some materials that would naturally "untie themselves" or change shape over time. Also the human body is not at rest; heartbeat and breathing can cause significant movement. Also your office is likely not very still; vibration from nearby traffic and other things can have a measurable effect.


I don't think these are answers (I think other things like friction and tension from the knot are bigger factors, so even if everything was perfectly at rest internal forces could still untie a knot???), just a critique of assumptions.



Oh... so I think a serious answer might be that there are some knots whose tension keeps the knot tight, and others that pull the knot apart, and perhaps you're using the wrong kind of knot.

Edited by md65536
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But... I just spend six consecutive hours at a desk, not doing antything with my lower body, and when I finally stood up, my right shoe's laces were untied.


How did that happen? I thought an object at rest (the shoelaces) would remain at rest until acted upon by an outside force (e.g. my feet moving).


Your foot is in almost constant move even though you don't walk.

Everybody is wriggling. Changing position of body sitting.

People in hospitals that can't wriggle because they're unconscious, paralyzed, have bedsores.


Tie shoelaces on shoe that is not on your foot, and then check it after hours or days whether it's still in same state. Then you can confirm or deny that it's untying spontaneously.

Edited by Przemyslaw.Gruchala
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