Repairing a pair of nice shoes can be an expensive proposition, depending on the brand of footwear and the cobbler you choose. However, most shoes are constructed in a similar manner, making them relatively straightforward to repair if you're not afraid to get out some tools and go to work. Re-heeling that favorite pair of captoes or loafers yourself can save you significant money you can put toward that new pair you've been eyeing.
Things You'll Need
- Standard screwdriver
- Fine-grit sandpaper
- Clean cloth
- Mineral spirits
- Shoe repair adhesive
- Replacement heel and tacks
- Edge dressing
Turn the shoe over. Slide the tip of the standard or flat-head screwdriver between the sole and the squared-off section of the heel.
Loosen the old heel with your screwdriver, using care to not poke through the good part of your sole.
Wiggle the heel gently firmly to remove it from the shoe. Pull out any exposed nails with your pliers.
Sand away any residual adhesive from the sole. Clean up any remainder with the mineral spirits and cloth.
Apply shoe repair adhesive liberally over the mating sides of the new heel and sole. Wait a few seconds for the adhesive to become tacky prior to adhering the pieces together.
Wipe off any excess shoe repair adhesive that may have squeezed out from between the new heel and sole with your cloth and a dab of mineral spirits.
Coat the heel tacks with shoe adhesive. Drive the heel tacks into the holes on the base of the replacement heel, into the shoe.
Allow the adhesive to set up for about 24 hours, or as directed by the manufacturer.
Blend the sole and new heel visually by applying edge dressing to both with your cloth. Do not get any on the upper, as the dressing will stain the leather.
Tips & Warnings
- Replace both heels at the same time for a uniform appearance and feel as you walk.
- You may require a new half-sole in situations where the heel-end of the old sole pulls away from the insole. If this happens, place a new half-sole on the bottom of your shoe to measure the proper length. Cut off the damaged section, then glue the new half-sole in its place, butting it against the remaining good half.
- Don't use super glue or craft adhesives to bond shoe pieces together. Cyanoacrylates dry brittle, while craft glues are water-soluble -- neither being conducive to a long-term repair.
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