The Skinny on Aglets: Metal vs. Wrapped

Posted by Mike Gossett on

The almighty aglet. Without it, the shoelace is a helpless mess. The tips would unravel like the end of a witch’s broom, leaving you with the dilemma of “do I take them out?”, knowing they’ll never go back into your shoe holes. Currently, we offer two different kinds of aglets on our laces: Metal and Wrapped. We get a lot of questions about our aglets, so I’m here to clear things up and provide some context as to why we use which aglets on certain laces.

THE METAL AGLET

The metal aglet is our most premium aglet for a couple of reasons: durability and style. They last a long time and provide a clean, premium look to any dress shoe. We currently only produce our dress laces with metal aglets on them, and we often get asked “Why don’t all of your other laces have metal aglets?” Great question, hypothetical human. We actually have a very sound reason for this. One of the variables we deal with in the shoelace industry is that the size of the eyelet, or shoe hole, varies greatly depending on the style of the shoe and brand. So bear with me as I explain the science here (for clarification purposes, aglet = the capped tip of the shoelace, eyelet = shoe hole).


First, the bigger the diameter of the shoelace, the bigger the diameter of the aglet. On the small end, our dress laces are about 4mm wide with a 3mm metal aglet. When the laces are cut, the end is condensed into the round shape for the aglet. If we do that same exercise with the sneaker laces, the 6mm diameter lace becomes a 4mm metal aglet. And here is where the challenge lies. On average, we find that most shoes (dress, boots, sneakers) easily accept a 3mm aglet through the eyelet across all styles and brands. As you get bigger aglets, we start to see them not fitting into the eyelets of most shoes. Metal aglets are considerably thicker than the wrapped aglets, so we become really limited on what shoes will accept a metal aglet in those other shoe categories. Still with me? Ok good. Now let’s talk wrapped aglets.

THE WRAPPED AGLET

I know what you’re thinking: why not just make the laces skinnier, hence making the aglets thinner? A skinny 4 mm lace just wouldn’t look right in sneakers. Too much empty space. They look half-naked, and no one wants to see that. Same with boots. In order to provide the lace styles in the widths that look the most pleasing in their respective shoes, we have to use the wrapped plastic aglet to accommodate the shoe holes. If you’ve paid attention to our products over the years, hopefully you’ve seen that we don’t sacrifice quality for anything. We work with our suppliers to use the thickest, most durable and high quality plastic wrap that we can find for our wrapped aglets.


So here’s the gist: in order to make the laces in the sizes that look and feel the best in every type of shoe, we have to vary which aglets come on the end of our shoestrings. For our metal aglet superfans out there, we’re working on some more creative solutions so you can add our metal aglets to any pair of laces if you so desire.


Got any ideas on how we can do better? Shoot us an email at hello@whiskerslaces.com! Your feedback is the secret ingredient in our creative juice – and we could always use more.

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