Staaahp. If you’re thinking about tossing old used shoelaces right now just because the ends have frayed, think again sweet child. That little plastic shiny piece at the end (what the pros refer to as an aglet) can be replaced. And it’s actually quite simple and not at all costly.
Level up initiated!
What You’ll Need
- a frayed shoelace end
- clear heat shrink tubing kit (available on Amazon)
- heat gun (or basic lighter)
Where To Start
What you’ll want to do first is cut off the frayed part of the shoelace. Try to remove as little as possible, but enough to give the end a solid structure to shove into the clear shrink tubing. It helps to fold it a bit when inserting into the tube and twisting as you push.
When you’ve got the tubing on about half an inch down, cut the leftover tube where it meets the lace (and save this end for another shoelace in the future to cut costs if enough is available). Next either take your heat gun to the shrink wrap until it’s fully shrunk, or wave a lighter back and forth while twisting the lace (careful not to hold it in the open flame for too long).
Before touching the plastic, allow it to cool completely.
Quick pro tip though, heat guns are pretty inexpensive and come in handy for all kinds of projects around the house. Especially for resellers, these things can be valuable for projects such as these (and work great to remove stubborn thrift store price stickers). Consider this a small bit of expert advice from us to get one and place it in the arsenal.
Honestly, that’s it. Easy yeah? You’ve just rehabbed a pair of previously worthless laces that can now easily pass through the shoe eyelets when lacing. This is especially choice for vintage laces that come with beater shoes you want to wash and give new life to. After all, they really don’t make ‘em like they used to.
Tips & Tricks
DO: use an appropriate size that will fit through the shoe eyelets. This may take some practice knowing how much each one shrinks down (you get several sizes in the Amazon kit listed above).
DO: keep all excess material as you can use them for other laces. This keeps costs way down.
DON’T: grab onto the plastic immediately after heating. It may burn you, sure, but more importantly it can misshape the form or show fingerprints in the finish.
DON’T: bogart the secret. Like sneakers, laces can have long lives ahead of them if taken care of appropriately.