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In SA OC 2:4, it says that the right shoe should be put on and not tied, then the left one put on and tied, and then tie the right shoe. Rama says that if the shoe has no laces, they are put on right, then left. Mishnah Berurah says that the left one is tied first because of tefillin which are put on the left arm.

But what about shoes that are closed by Velcro? Granted, i haven't seen these for people older than 8, but i'm still holding out...

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Rabbi Menashe Klein Zatzal in Mishna Halachos 13:3 in discussing shoes with a zipper concludes that it is best to close the zipper in the same order one would tie his shoes.

I would conclude from this that velcro would also be the same.

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There are two reasons to tie the left shoe first, either because the gemara in shabbos 61a says 'the same as tephilin, so too with shoes'. It is disputed there whether or not to do this at all, with many rishonim ignoring this practice, the Rambam for instance. But Rabbeinu Yona, brought in many achronim says a Yorei shomaim should do this, being that the Torah gave Kavod to both sides, the right side for placing of blood for a Metzora and chalitzah, and to the left side as we tie Tephilin on the left arm. The Levush gives another reason to compare shoe tying to tephilin being that in chulin 89a the mitzvos of tzitzis and the retzuos of tephilin were given to Avraham's children as a reward for him telling the king of Sedom 'from a string to a shoelace'. The Mishna Berurah and Pischei Tshuva say concerning gloves which need tying, that is not to put on the right first and tie the left first, being that according to the reasoning of the Levush, this din only applies to shoes. It would seem after all is said and done, this also only applies to laces, not other means of fastening. Also even according to the simplistic reading of the gemara and Rabbeinu Yona, velcro would have no place in the laws of tying Tephilin, and as such should not come in to the discussion.

  • This is all besides the fact that i don't think the Ramma would agree that one with lace up shoes should tie the left one first. As I mentioned above, the whole limud is from the tying of Tephilin. In menachos 37a there is a dispute how we know to tie on our left hand, either a drasha of yad keiha, tie it on the weak hand,i.e. the left, or ukshartem uksavtem, the hand that writes is the hand that ties, i.e. the right and by default it is tied to the left hand. The nafka mina is a lefty who writes with his right hand. – user6591 Nov 25 '14 at 2:10
  • Cont^. The Mechaber rules with the drasha of yad keiha and the person wears on the right, the Ramma rules with ukshartem uksavtem and the person is a regular righty so he wears on the left. What pertains to us is only the drasha yad keiha gives precedence to tje left hand, the drasha of ukshartem uksavtem is focusing on the right hand! Its only by default that it is worn on the left. As such, only the Mechaber would rule to put on the right then tie the left. The ramma didn't bother arguing being that it wasn't practical in his neck of the woods as everyone wore slip-ons. – user6591 Nov 25 '14 at 2:11

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