Repair Your Own Shoes

I know what you’re thinking; it’s easier to just take your shoes to the shoe repair guy. However, there are a few reasons this may not be possible. There might not be a shoe repair place in your area (as is the case in my hometown), you may not want to spend money on such an easy repair (you’ll see), or you may be really broke. Other people might also be tempted to think, “why not just buy new shoes?” First off, if your reason is “broke,” new shoes may not be in question. Secondly, I personally hate waste. I’ll toss, repurpose, or donate something when I really don’t like it anymore, or when it’s beyond repair, but otherwise I’ll try to fix it. Also, I don’t actually need shoes (I’m the last person who needs shoes…I have about 50 pairs, no joke), so it’s not a question of replacing something out of need really….sometimes I just like that pair, so fixing them is the better option.

Anyway, fixing your own shoes can be really easy. On a basic level, if the heel cap is worn, you may have gotten a spare pair when you bought the shoes (make sure you save these when you get them!) If that’s the case, just take the old ones off with a pair of pliers, and lightly hammer the new ones on. If your shoes are more broken than that, you may need to take them to a shoe repair place, but there are still some repairs you can do at home…mainly, if the sole or some other part has come apart. This is actually a really easy fix, and this kind of thing is a silly reason to throw out shoes. All you need is some shoe and leather glue (a glue gun will also work in a pinch, but shoe glue dries flatter), some newspaper, and something to use as a weight. Behold:

(Broken shoes…I also bleached the white parts when I was done).

broken shoe
(When I walk, they look like they’re talking….)

broken shoe
(It’s slightly hard to see it in this pic, but it’s the best I could get, as the glue is transparent. Basically, you want to spread a fairly even layer of glue all along the area.

(Lastly, you’ll want to put something on top of the shoe to hold the sole on it until it dries. I’m glad I finally found a use for Breaking Dawn!*)

Good luck! You can also use shoe glue to stick accents and stuff back on, or to jazz up a tired-looking pair of shoes (you could try gluing on flowers or rhinestones, for example).

*Breaking Dawn also makes a great paperweight, and it’s handy for weighing down fabric while I’m cutting out patterns!

2 thoughts on “Repair Your Own Shoes

  1. Great DIY! Besides, those classic flats are too cute to toss. Bet they look great with white brought back to life.

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