When they’re not on your feet, they should be tied together. Not only are they less likely to get lost or separated, but the functional gains can be considerable.
Over the course of your life, you will likely find yourself, on more than one occasion, relocating one or more pairs of your shoes while they are not on your feet.
Having your shoes on your feet is a good way of not losing them. Mostly, the only time you lose your shoes while they are on your feet is if you lose your feet, or if you are hit by a car. In both cases, at that point you will not care much about losing your shoes.
But what about all the other times, when they’re not on your feet? Like when you’re carrying your climbing shoes/climbing shoes/wrestling boots while you’re walking in your street shoes; or when you’re carrying your street shoes while you’re walking on the beach, or when you’re carrying any other shoe while you’re gum-booting it in the rain? Maybe you’re flip-flopping with your hiking boots to the mountain! Or maybe you just took your shoes off for some barefoot activity, and you don’t trust the other participants not to grab your shoes on the way out.
If you aren’t wearing your shoes, you can’t do much to guarantee they won’t be lost or stolen. But you can take steps to ensure you don’t lose just one. And that is by tying them together.
Because you’re more likely to notice one swinging behind you, if just one falls out of your bag, and it is tied to the other, and you’re more likely to notice if both fall out together on the ground. And if a monkey grabs just one, then you can still grab the other one and have a tug-of-war fighting chance, and if you lose there’s still the chance that the monkey gets tangled and will give up.
Because if you lose one shoe, you might as well have lost both of them, unless you always buy the same kind of shoes, and are fortunate enough to alternatingly lose the left and right ones. But most of those, I suspect, that are unlucky enough to regularly lose one shoe are not so lucky to retain the matching shoe of the other shoe they didn’t lose. No, with unlucky folk, I imagine they are lumped into two categories: those that lose their left shoe, and those that lose their right shoe. If you can manage to fall in love with another unlucky shoe-loser, but loses the shoe side that you don’t, then you’ve probably found your soulmate, and you should have children. You can expect that the children will never lose any of their shoes, or else regularly lose both shoes — in which case, they will be right where the rest of us are — those of us that tie our shoes together.
Because if you’re going to lose a shoe, you might as well lose both of them. That way, you won’t be walking through life with one extra shoe, and those two shoes can be lost together.
It’s true, you could find another use for the remaining shoe: you could use it to hold drinks (it’s the perfect size for a beverage can or bottle), you could fill it with dirt and plant seeds in it, you could make mismatching scarecrows, or strange life-sized dolls.
But really, what would you do if a dog or a raccoon stole your shoe? Why, I’d take off the other shoe and throw it at the offending critter! That way, you’ll either get both shoes back, or both will be gone. It’s all or nothing stakes, in the world of shoe retention!
And there are other reasons to tie your shoes together:
1. If you do not have a bag, then you can sling them over your shoulders, keeping both hands free. I don’t recommend wrapping them around your neck, because it’s too easy for them to get caught in a ferris wheel, merry-go-round or some other kind of scary machine. Also, it’s too easy to sneak up on you and strangle you. So be careful.
2. You can store things in them. You could shove your wallet down into the toe, and/or slide a can of beer/soda into each one
3. If you are attacked by dogs, or anything, really, shoes that are tied together are a far more effective weapon than single unattached shoes. They can be used like nun-chucks or a flail.
4. If you are trying to keep someone from getting away, you can use them as a bolo. Maybe they just robbed you, or someone else. Or they are heading in the wrong direction, and you need to stop them but you don’t feel like running and you lost your voice…
5. You can use them as an entirely new kind of weapon, which functions like a gauntlets combined with a long garrote, by sliding the shoes onto your hands and wielding both shoes and shoelace in harmony. You can now strike and block with shoe-protected hands and also strangle, trip, hold and tangle. Hit him in the face with your shoe! And then drag him away…
But I will bring us back to our original point: by tying your shoes together, you are reducing the chance of losing either shoe, while ensuring that if you do lose a shoe, you will lose the other one too. It should also be noted that this recommendation is for shoes while you are not wearing them. Unless you have developed a very specific leg-intensive fighting style, it is inadvisable to tie together the shoes you are currently wearing.
To avoid confusion on this point, a shoelace should usually be tied to something — preferably another lace. Just remember, if you’re not wearing them, to them to the lace of the other shoe; and if you are wearing them, tie them to the lace of the same shoe. There is probably a clever rhyme for this rule, but at the moment it is escaping me…
Post Script: I have just been struck by another use for shoes that are not being worn — they could serve as excellent scorpion breeding receptacles. Just leave them out in the appropriate habitat, and when there are scorpions in all of those shoes, Put one upside down on top of the other so that both scorpions wil now share a chamber. True, you won’t know if you’re successfully combining males or females, but maybe you could somehow monitor or filter the desired sexes. And if you are keeping them long-term, then it would make sense to tie the shoes of desired mating pairs together.