Reagletting shoelaces?
March 22, 2018 8:18 PM   Subscribe

When I Google replacing aglets on shoelaces, the results are all kludges involving glue, tape, or heat shrink. Is there not a way to professionally replace an aglet (specifically the clear plastic variety) on a shoelace? I want to keep the laces that came with my shoes, so I don't need the solution to be cost-effective versus simply buying new laces, as long as it's cheaper than replacing the shoes altogether.
posted by ionnin to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Clear plastic heat shrink tubing.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:35 PM on March 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

If you're looking for professional repair, I would try calling up a few shoe repair shops in your area and asking what they would charge. I would guess it will be cheaper than replacing the whole pair of shoes.
posted by rainbowbrite at 8:40 PM on March 22, 2018

There are some kits on amazon with metal agelets you can fasten with pliers.
The first kit on the results list is $5.
posted by calgirl at 8:49 PM on March 22, 2018

Best answer: Is there not a way to professionally replace an aglet (specifically the clear plastic variety) on a shoelace?

The original manufacture of clear plastic aglets is a kludge involving heatshrink tubing. You can get a better than original result by dipping the tip of the lace in glue before slipping the tube over the end.
posted by flabdablet at 10:04 PM on March 22, 2018 [7 favorites]

If you happen to know an electrician (especially one who works on industrial stuff) you might be able to get them to crimp on ferrules. The ferrules themselves are only a few cents each and are available with and without plastic sleeves but the tool to crimp them is $50-100. You'd probably ideally want the hex style crimper vs the more common square or trapezoidal style.
posted by Mitheral at 10:11 PM on March 22, 2018

here're a couple of aglet replacement kits, on etsy:
a kit

if you do go heat shrink, might look at dual wall.
posted by at at 12:01 AM on March 23, 2018

I did this with a bit of Sellotape (Scotch tape) about ten years ago on a pair of Timberlands. Still good today.
posted by essexjan at 6:51 AM on March 23, 2018

My hack is to put a couple drops of super glue on the end.
posted by falsedmitri at 7:15 AM on March 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Pretty sure clear plastic aglets are heatshrink-ed on, maybe a dab of glue underneath.

edit: Oh,or what ^ they said.
posted by theora55 at 7:36 AM on March 23, 2018

Response by poster: Thank you to all who responded. I did some more research, and it seems that the way shoelaces are tipped at the factory is to wrap them in acetate tape and apply a solvent and heat. Using heat shrink tubing for wire insulation is a good idea, but since it's flexible I'm not sure it will produce the factory-authentic finish I want. Reviews on Amazon by people who've used heat shrink for this purpose indicate that it indeed does not produce a rigid cap. I was hoping for a purpose-built hand tool for this, but I'm not finding one. I guess there aren't enough weird obsessives like me to form a market for a home shoelace-tipping device.
posted by ionnin at 8:24 AM on March 23, 2018

Stick a rigid support inside the tubing with the lace before you heat shrink it? A tiny bit of wire or rigid plastic?
posted by yeahlikethat at 9:06 AM on March 23, 2018

Best answer: since it's flexible I'm not sure it will produce the factory-authentic finish I want

That's where the glue dip step comes in. Half an inch of shrunk heatshrink tubing with a fibre-reinforced core of dried wood glue is pretty damn rigid.
posted by flabdablet at 10:53 AM on March 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'd probably go super glue if I cared about a factory look, since it's clear whereas wood glue is kinda beige. Or if I was feeling extra obsessive, I would mix up a bit of clear epoxy and use that. I would expect both PVA (wood glue) and cyanoacrylate (super glue) glues to eventually break down in that application, but epoxy lasts forever.

Epoxy: You Ain't Never Gettin' That Shit OffTM
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 8:53 AM on March 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Elmer's Glue-All would work fine, imo. PVA, dries clear, super strong. My dad sat in some once and it dried before he realized it and my mom never got it out of his jeans. Thankfully he was a carpenter and it didn't matter (and it wouldn't be the last time he sat in Elmer's. He used it instead of wood glue, said it was cheaper and worked just as well - of course this was the 70's before Titebond III existed).
posted by elsietheeel at 9:09 AM on March 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

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