How To Fix Shoes Yourself – DIY Shoe Repair

If your favorite pair of work boots, skate shoes, or tennis shoes have become worn, here are a few easy DIY methods you can do to repair them yourself. Most shoes begin to show wear when the sole starts to come off of the shoe. Another sign of wear is when a tear has started on the fabric of the shoe.

fix shoes

Best ways for repairing cracks, rips, tears, holes in shoes:

Choose an adhesive that is ideal for shoe repairs. (Shoe Goo works the best) Most shoe repair glues are easy to apply and fully cure in 24 hours.

The best method for repairing a shoe with a hole or that has become torn:

  1. Make certain that your shoe is clean and fully dry and roughen the surface for better adhesion. (Completely remove grease from your shoes or any dirt that may interfere with the adhesive)
  2. Seal holes or torn area from the inside with duct tape or similar before applying the shoe glue to the outside.
  3. Seal the hole or open seam with a bead of the adhesive.
  4. Spreading the adhesive is the hardest part because it is sticky. (A good trick to spread the glue around the surface of your shoe is by using an ice cube. The adhesive won’t stick to the ice and the glue will flow evenly where you need it. The cold temperature of the ice also helps to make the glue set.)
  5. Once the glue is fully dry remove the piece of duct tape from the inside of the shoe.
  6. Any excess material that needs to be removed can be cut off or removed with paint thinner.

To reattach a sole to a shoe that has come off:

  1. Clean the shoe and sole surfaces that are going to be glued together.
  2. Remove the sole completely if that will make it easier to work with.
  3. Apply the shoe glue to both the sole and the bottom of the shoe.
  4. Line up the sole with the bottom of the shoe evenly and have them make contact with one another.
  5. Wipe any excess glue coming from in between the shoe and sole.
  6. Use a heavy object to set on top of your shoe to add pressure to make a tighter bond.
  7. Wait 24 hours for glue to cure.

21 thoughts on “How To Fix Shoes Yourself – DIY Shoe Repair”

  1. I have a pair of Jordans that are from 1997 and the suede looks stringy I tried to brush it but it’s still the same how do I fix it or do I have to replace it??

  2. I could really use some help i have some sandals that are worn out from where the toes go on the front.
    The usual material on the front on the sole is peeling off this has happened a lot.

  3. I have an insole of a sneaker that is loose and slides back toward the heel when I walk (feels like my toes are extending beyond it.)
    The other sneaker is fine.
    What can I use to keep the insole in place?

  4. I have a pair of leather slip on wedge shoes where I have ripped the inside lining with my pinky toenail, now there is a fingertip-sized, round hole from my foot rubbing the tear.
    The entire lining is made of pigskin.
    Is there any remedy for this?

  5. I have a perfectly good pair of golf shoes that have started to wear inside where my heel sits. The fabric has started to wear and now becomes a little uncomfortable as I get close to finishing. Any suggestions?

  6. DIY Project Help Tips

    Annette Timony,
    This may sound strange, but use a hair dryer and something like a butter knife to pry the sole off.
    Wear thick gloves or oven mitts so you do not burn yourself.
    If you do not feel comfortable doing this, take them to a local shoe repair shop to see what they charge, they usually have coupons and or promo codes on their websites, so check before you go.
    -RR

  7. Annette Timony

    I picked up an awesome pair of strappy designer high heels at a thrift shop and later realized that two of the straps on one shoe have been glued in the wrong place. They were inverted (has a criss-cross pattern) which causes the strap to buckle out. How can I loosen the sole and glue the straps in the correct spot? It’s just on one side. I’d appreciate any advice.

  8. Used to use shoe goo, worked well and definitely made my skate shoes last longer but always kinda messy and took a while to apply. Thing I didn’t like though was it didn’t have the same board grip/feel and felt slick, threw off flip tricks for a bit until I got used to it…What I’ve been using now is Trick Tape, basically a patch of suede tape. Easy to apply and keeps board feel. Only been using it for a few days so we’ll see how durability goes but so far so good!

  9. DIY Project Help Tips

    Ulysses,
    It depends on the shoe material, what part of the shoe has a hole, color, and what the shoe is used for… sports, running, hiking, dress shoes… etc. Let us know and we can tell you the product that will be best for you to fix your shoes.
    -RR

  10. DIY Project Help Tips

    Rosie,
    If the wood is cracked or coming off, you can try gluing the wood back together or reattaching it back to the shoe with special SHOE GOO.
    OR
    The easiest way to repair the wood on the bottom of suede boots would be to take them to a local shoe repair shop. They can usually special order the wooden shoe soles or bottoms and install them for you.
    -RR

  11. DIY Project Help Tips

    Michael,
    Shoe goo comes in many forms, perhaps you were not using the best one for your issue. 2 part epoxy is great but dries so hard that it will eventually break down and crack. Shoe goo works best when you choose the correct product and use it as directed on the instructions.
    -R

  12. DIY Project Help Tips

    PB,
    If the heel portion of your shoe is falling off or partially removed, you can use SHOE GOO to reattach the heel.
    -RR

  13. DIY Project Help Tips

    SolesGuy,
    There is a product called Gear Aid Freesole that may be an alternative to using shoe glue. It may not repair all types of worn shoes but is more of a rubber instead of a glue.
    -RR

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