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How to Repair Shoes

Tags: shoe shoe goo

You can save yourself money and a trip to the Shoe store by repairing your old shoes instead of buying new ones. With the right tools, you can repair loose shoe soles, holes in your shoes, and unsightly scuffs and stains. By putting in a little time and effort, you can hold onto your favorite shoes for years to come!

EditSteps

EditReattaching a Loose Sole

  1. Wipe down the bottom of your shoe and the loose sole with a wet rag. Clear away any dust or dirt that’s gotten lodged in between the sole and the bottom of your shoe. After cleaning your shoe, let it dry completely.[1]
    Repair Shoes Step 1.jpg
    • If there's old glue from the sole stuck to the bottom of your shoe, dip the rag in acetone nail polish remover and scrub at the glue until it comes off.
  2. Scratch the loose sole and the bottom of your shoe with sandpaper. Use a coarse sandpaper that’s between 40-60 grit. The scratches will give the shoe repair glue something to stick to. [2]
    Repair Shoes Step 2.jpg
  3. Apply shoe repair glue to the loose sole and the exposed bottom of your shoe. Apply the glue with a round paint brush. Paint the glue on with the brush so there’s an even layer over the whole top surface of the loose sole and the exposed bottom of your shoe.[3]
    Repair Shoes Step 3.jpg
    • You can find shoe repair glue online or at your local shoe store.
    • Read the label on your shoe repair glue for specific application instructions. Some shoe repair glues require you to let them dry for 5-10 minutes after you apply them.
  4. Press the sole into the bottom of your shoe and hammer it into place. Turn your shoe upside down and hit the hammer down onto the area of the sole you’re attaching. Hit the bottom of the sole several times with the hammer, moving the hammer slightly each time so you get the entire section of the sole you're reattaching. [4]
    Repair Shoes Step 4.jpg
  5. Use a clamp to hold the sole in place for 24 hours. Use more than 1 clamp if you’re reattaching a large section of the sole. Attach the clamp to your shoe so one end is pressing down on the top of your shoe and the other end is pressing up on the bottom of the sole.[5]
    Repair Shoes Step 5.jpg
  6. Remove the clamp from your shoe after 24 hours. Check to see if the sole is completely glued to the bottom of your shoe by gently pulling at the edges of the sole with your fingers. If the sole doesn't budge, your shoe is fixed and ready to wear.
    Repair Shoes Step 6.jpg

EditPatching Holes with Shoe Goo

  1. Clean the area around the hole in your shoe with a wet rag. Wipe off any dirt and grime near the hole. Once the area around the hole is clean, dry the area with a dry rag or paper towel.[6]
    Repair Shoes Step 7.jpg
    • Shoe Goo works best for holes in the soles of shoes. If you want to repair a hole in the top of your shoe with Shoe Goo, keep in mind the hole will still be noticeable even after you fill it in.
  2. Use 120-grit sandpaper to scratch up the area around the hole. Rub the coarse side of the sandpaper back and forth over the hole until you see scratches starting to form. The scratches on the sole will help the Shoe Goo stick to the sole.[7]
    Repair Shoes Step 8.jpg
  3. Remove the insole and apply a piece of duct tape over the hole. Use a piece of duct tape that’s large enough to cover the entire hole. The duct tape should go on the inside of your shoe. The duct tape will prevent the Shoe Goo from getting inside your shoe when you apply it.[8]
    Repair Shoes Step 9.jpg
  4. Turn your shoe over and cover the hole with Shoe Goo. Shoe Goo is a thick, clear adhesive that hardens when it dries. Squeeze the tube of Shoe Goo and slowly move the tube across the hole as the Shoe Goo comes out. Stop squeezing once the entire hole is covered with Shoe Goo.[9]
    Repair Shoes Step 10.jpg
    • You can find a tube of Shoe Goo online or at your local shopping center.
  5. Use an ice cube to spread the Shoe Goo in an even layer over the hole. Shoe Goo doesn’t stick to ice. If you missed any spots, cover them with Shoe Goo using the ice cube. Spread the Shoe Goo with the ice cube until it’s in a flat, even layer over the hole.[10]
    Repair Shoes Step 11.jpg
  6. Let the Shoe Goo dry for 24 hours. Don’t rush the drying process or the Shoe Goo may not adhere properly. Place your shoe in a safe spot where nothing will disturb it for 24 hours.[11]
    Repair Shoes Step 12.jpg
  7. Sand down the Shoe Goo with 120-grit sandpaper. Brush the sandpaper back and forth over the Shoe Goo until it’s flush with the rest of your shoe sole. Make sure there aren’t any bumps in the Shoe Goo or you’ll be able to feel them when you’re walking in your shoes.[12]
    Repair Shoes Step 13.jpg

EditFixing Scuffs and Stains

  1. Use a pencil eraser to remove scuffs on your suede shoes. Make sure the pencil eraser has never been used before. Place the eraser on the scuff mark on your shoe and gently rub it back and forth until the scuff is gone.[13]
    Repair Shoes Step 14.jpg
  2. Fill in small scratches on your leather shoes with a felt-tip marker. If your leather shoes are black, use a black felt-tip marker. If your leather shoes are brown or another color, find a felt-tip marker that matches. Place the tip of the marker on the scratch and carefully color it in so you don’t get marker on the rest of your shoe.[14]
    Repair Shoes Step 15.jpg
  3. Remove scuffs on your patent-leather shoes with petroleum jelly. Dip the end of a cotton swab in petroleum jelly. Gently rub the petroleum jelly into the scuff on your shoe until it fades away.[15]
    Repair Shoes Step 16.jpg
  4. Use white vinegar to remove salt stains on your leather shoes. Dip the corner of a wet rag into a bowl of white vinegar. Rub the soaked rag onto the salt stains on your shoes until they’re gone.[16]
    Repair Shoes Step 17.jpg

EditThings You’ll Need

EditReattaching a Loose Sole

  • Rag
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Shoe repair glue
  • Hammer
  • Small round paint brush
  • Clamp

EditPatching Holes with Shoe Goo

  • Rag
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • Shoe Goo
  • Duct tape
  • Ice cube

EditFixing Scuffs and Stains

  • Pencil eraser
  • Felt-tip marker
  • Petroleum jelly
  • White vinegar

EditSources and Citations


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