Most shoes (including tennis shoes) require shoelaces; if anything, there’s an anthropological and social imperative that associates laces with growing older (presumably old enough to tie your shoes). Until the velcro industry lobbies people’s hearts and minds,we’re going to keep seeing shoelaces everywhere (:
In EP, the word used for shoelace is [o] atacador (or [o] cordão, albeit less frequently); in BP, it’s [o] cadarço (a word I had no idea existed until I caught it on a page while I was doing some research on tennis shoes for our previous Word of the Week). The verb to tie (shoelaces) is also different; EP uses atar ou apertar [os atacadores] (one can say “atacar os sapatos/tênis/etc.”, but that’s not so common nowadays), while BP prefers amarrar [o cadarço].
In EP at least, the word tends to be used in the plural when we’re making reference to shoelaces already strung on a shoe (their two ends are seen as a plural item – os atacadores).