What Is a Plastic Shoelace Tip Called?

by Kevin Boone

Laces have been around for centuries for use as fastening devices, decorations, or both. Ancient Greeks and Romans used them to fasten their sandals.

Definition

Aglets are the metal or plastic sheaths at the ends of shoelaces and ribbons.

Function

Aglets keep shoelaces from unraveling, make them easier to tie, and make them easier to feed through the eyelet. They can also serve a decorative purpose.

Aiguillettes

A similar word is "aiguillette"--shoulder cords on military uniforms. Aiguillette is the French word for aglet.

Etymology

Aglet comes from the Latin work "acus," meaning "needle."

History

It's not known exactly who invented shoelaces, but Harvey Kennedy is credited with inventing them in 1790--but this has been disputed.

About the Author

Kevin Boone is a current student at Chattanooga College and graduated from Pellissippi State in 2000 with an associate degree in electrical engineering. He has written safety-related procedures and documents for organizing power system components and holds his A+ Certification for Computers.