Measuring shoe laces

I need a new pair of shoe laces because one lace broke. So I unthread the whole one and measure it from aglet tip to aglet tip with my handy dandy metal measuring tape. 38 inches.

So I go to several stores, looking for 38" shoe laces. I find 36" laces. I find 40" laces. I do not find 38" laces.

Am I measuring them wrong? Should I not be including the aglet when I measure? Or should I just go to a shoe store instead of Kmart?

Go to a shore store.

FTR: The aglet counts.

Also, sometimes the eyelet count is used instead of overall length. Athletic laces are usually longer for a given number of eyelets vs. other laces.

About what I figured. Thanks, Philster.

FTR, the reason I asked is because there are some peculiar things going on in the clothing industry. For example, my foot has not changed size in decades, but where I used to wear a 4½, I now wear a 6½.

The shoes in question are a pair of sneakers, but I’ve never seen a spare shoe lace sold by the eyelet count, unless I’m looking in the wrong spot on the package. Which is always possible.

The 36" and 40" laces will be one inch per side shorter or longer than what you had. Perhaps one of those lengths would work nicely?

I too have found that replacement laces only seem to be available in a limited range of lengths. Even ShoeLacesExpress, which has about 48,000 different types of laces, offered 36" & 40" but not 38" in the three types I randomly checked.

I have found that good shoe stores have a better selection than other merchants.

Most likely the reason that you can’t match the size of your existing shoelace is that they stretched with use, so they were probably shorter when new.

This. Most laces will stretch out over their life, especially woven cotton and braided fabric laces like you get with casual sneakers. Unless you’re already cutting it close with lace length, go with the 36"–it’s probably what you started with, after all.

Just go with the 36". In my opinion, the shortest lace that works is the best. Why have all that extra lace flopping around?

There is usually a guide to convert inches to eyelet pairs on the back of the packages. Even ShoeLacesExpress offers this conversion chart:

As to length, and those recommending shorter: For dress/casual footwear, I suppose shorter is neater. But… Shorter isn’t better for true athletic uses. To really tighten laces for true athletic endeavors, you have to have extra lace to grab and tighten (as a general rule – please spare me examples where you can manage with wee little laces).

I counted last night. 5 pairs of eyelets it is, and that’s 36". Obviously, it’d stretched since I got the shoes at Thanksgiving. Many thanks!

I used to be in the shoe business, and, IIRC, a 4 1/2 is the same as a 6 1/2. I think that 4 is the same as a 6, but a 3 isn’t the same as a 5. I think a 4 in children’s is the same as a 6 in ladies. This info is from the mid 70s to early 80s, so, standards may have changed.

Best wishes,