How to Fix Ripped Vans

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Tattered and torn canvas shoes can be fixed up in just a few easy steps.

The Van Doren Rubber Company opened its first store in 1966, specializing in shoes specifically designed for skateboarders. After the '80s film "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" with Sean Penn sporting checkered Vans, the shoes quickly became a global sensation. Since then, the company has expanded its product line, and the shoes are appreciated not only by skaters but by the general public as well. If your favorite pair of Vans has a tear, don't fret; a little dab of glue or a patch can keep you from tossing the shoes in the donation pile.


Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap

  • Bowl

  • Toothbrush

  • Scissors

  • Shoe glue

  • Piece of cardboard

  • Cotton swab

  • Toothpick

  • Fabric

Step 1

Remove the laces from your Vans. Prior to fixing ripped shoes, it's important to clean the surface of the canvas. Add 2 drops of dish soap to a bowl filled with 2 cups of hot water. Mix the solution. Dip the toothbrush into the sudsy water. Clean the top and sides of the Vans to remove excess dirt and grime. Allow the shoes to dry.


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Step 2

Locate the torn area on the shoe. Snip any part of the tear that is frayed. Press the edges of the tear together.

Step 3

Squirt a dab of shoe glue on a piece of cardboard. Dip the cotton swab in the glue. Apply the glue to the tear. If the tear is not lying flat, use a toothpick to press down the glued area. Let the glue dry completely.


Step 4

Create a patch if the tear cannot be repaired. Cut a piece of fabric so it is just a bit bigger than the tear. Glue the fabric onto the canvas directly over the tear. If you don't like the look of one shoe with a patch, consider gluing additional pieces of fabric to both shoes for a fashionable look.


Wrap a piece of duct tape around the used handle of the toothbrush to signify that it was used for cleaning. Purchase new laces to match your clean and repaired Vans.



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