A common and very bad mistake - unless the shoe fits perfectly and even has some room, don`t hope that it will stretch. Leather may stretch, but not to your size. Bite the bullet and never make that mistake again. Ive been down that path too many times.
If you use leather laces, that top hook can often slip, and the eye just gives that extra security. Also, if you wrap your laces around your ankle, that eye lets you wrap the laces in the same direction, without the u-turn on the hook.