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.

Below are a few videos to show you similar ways on how to fix and clean your shoes yourself

How to repair skate shoes with shoe goo

How to repair leather hiking boots

How to fix shoe sole separation – pair of jordans

How to clean dirty sneakers

ALLEN VETTER - DIY Repair Assistant
Allen is a Home Maintenance/Appliance tech and the author/creator of this website. He has 30 years of experience troubleshooting and repairing all types of machinery. Contact here

More "Do It Yourself" DIY Tips, Tricks, Ideas, Repair:

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joseph July 3, 2018 at 4:01 pm

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 Sol December 5, 2017 at 1:53 pm

I have a hole in my expensive bike shoe, and you can see my toe, what should I do?


3 Cindy Orozco August 25, 2017 at 12:26 am

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.


4 Doris Reid May 21, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Can the red stripe on my Air Jordans be repaired? It is peeling.


5 LAD May 17, 2017 at 12:21 pm

I have a pair of dress heel sandals and the sole is cracking, what can I do?


6 Gary April 16, 2017 at 7:02 pm

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?


7 Carby April 10, 2017 at 2:46 am

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?


8 Cliff Lacey October 9, 2016 at 1:24 am

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?


9 Annette Timony June 30, 2016 at 11:31 pm

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.


10 DIY Project Help Tips July 1, 2016 at 6:11 pm

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.


11 Devon March 7, 2016 at 8:50 pm

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!


12 ulysses December 29, 2015 at 3:37 am

I have hole on the side of my shoe. How can I repair it so that the shoe looks normal again?


13 DIY Project Help Tips December 29, 2015 at 7:50 pm

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.


14 Rosie October 19, 2015 at 8:32 pm

My suede boots have wood at the bottom and have been wrecked, is there any way of replacement?


15 DIY Project Help Tips October 19, 2015 at 9:00 pm

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.
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.


16 Michael September 30, 2015 at 6:46 am

I repair my shoes using 2 part epoxy. It is better than the shoe goo. I never had any luck using it.


17 DIY Project Help Tips September 30, 2015 at 7:09 pm

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.


18 Priyanbada Baidya September 27, 2015 at 2:09 am

My dog chewed and tore my new shoe near the heels. What should i do?


19 DIY Project Help Tips September 28, 2015 at 9:18 pm

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


20 solessguy337 April 28, 2015 at 3:41 am

Anything else can use besides shoe glue?


21 DIY Project Help Tips April 28, 2015 at 10:34 pm

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.


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