My friend the astrophysicist stumbled upon this article about the relative lengths of shoe lace required by various tying methods.
This really scratched an itch I've had for a while. Whenever I tie my shoes -- I use the American standard zigzag -- the loops turn out so long that they brush the floor. I need to do a second loop to prevent that, but the second loop usually loosens up and then I'm afraid I'll trip.
The article is nice enough to show, through either formulae or a light-ray reflection graphic (I don't know about you, but I read images much better than I read math formulae) that the American uses the least amount of lace. Quite ironic that the oh-so-green Europeans use more lace (although as the graphic shows, not that much more). But the difference between the shoe-shop technique and the other two is quite substantial.
So, I relaced my sneakers to use the shoe-shop technique. And wouldn't you know it? Only one loop required.