How to Fix a Shoe

Repairing your favorite pair of shoes may be easier than you think.
Repairing your favorite pair of shoes may be easier than you think. (Image: red shoe image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

In tough times, everyone looks for ways to save money on both luxuries and necessities. Here’s one great way to save: Instead of tossing out shoes with a broken heel or peeling sole, take a second look. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the most commonly requested shoe repair is sole and heel replacement. For just a few dollars in materials and a few minutes of your time, you could save yourself some money and fix them yourself. It might be worth it to try some inexpensive home repairs that will keep those shoes in your closet—and money in your pocket.

Things You'll Need

  • 10-lb. weight
  • Shoe adhesive
  • Sandpaper
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife

Prepare your workspace by laying out clean newspapers on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area. Assemble your tools and ensure that your shoes are clean and dry.

Remove the sole of the shoe completely with your utility knife. Sand down the sole and the bottom of your shoe with sandpaper to rough up the surface and prepare it for the adhesive.

Apply the adhesive in a thick coat on the bottom of your shoe, spreading with the putty knife for an even application. Make sure you also get adhesive into any crevices or grooves for a thorough application.

Press the sole onto the bottom of your shoe and set it on the newspapers. Place the 10-lb. weight on top of your shoe to hold both pieces together while they set.

Wait two or three days for the adhesive to dry completely. After three days, your shoes should be ready to wear again.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the shoes have large holes or the sole is too worn, you may need a professional shoe cobbler to repair them.
  • Use a citrus-based cleaner to remove any excess adhesive.

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