"What is the best way to lace your shoes?," by Burkhard Polster. Nature, 5 December 2002.
The results of this research paper were picked up by Reuters and reported in The New York Times and Boston Globe newspapers. Essentially, Polster found that although most of us lace shoes using the "criss-cross" or "straight" method, the most efficient way to tie shoelaces (in order to use the least amount of lace) is the "bow-tie" method. The article includes diagrams and the mathematical explanation.
--- Annette Emerson