The end of a shoelace is called an aglet, though the word is occasionally spelled as aiglet. This specifically refers to the metal or plastic tip at the end of the shoelace. Aglets offer both form and function, holding laces together while offering potential for colorful flair on the shoe.
The word aglet traces its roots back to the older French word aguillette, which serves as the diminutive form of the word aguille, meaning needle. Visually, the aglet resembles a needle at the end of the shoelace. The aglet is also needle-like in that it helps the wearer thread the lace through the shoe during tying.