Skip to Content

Two Shoe Repairs (and one’s a DIY!)

I bought this pair of shoes on clearance a few years back for something like $7.

I liked them because they were wide enough for my feet (Woo!), and the heel is low enough to be practical (I don’t adore walking in heels, and I’m kind of tall to begin with, so I hate to make myself too much taller.)

The problem is, one of the heel tips (the rubbery part) came off on my Aldi trip to Chicago. This was most unfortunate timing, given that airline travel seems to require miles of walking (at least at O’Hare!).

After I got home, the shoes sat, unworn, in my closet for a while, and then I remembered that there’s a shoe repair place nearby. So, I brought my shoes in, and for $11.50, I got two brand new, real rubber heel tips (the old ones were plastic).

Of course, $11.50 is more than I paid for the shoes in the first place. But, the odds of me finding another pair I liked for $11.50 were slim to none, and plus, this means I can wear these shoes instead of having to throw them away.

Repair definitely seems like the frugal and responsible option.

This past fall seemed to be The One Where All My Dress Shoes Fall Apart because both of my black ballet flats began to lose their soles.

I decided to buy a tube of Shoe Goo at a local hardware store and see if I could repair them myself. They make a kind specifically for shoes, but I just bought the basic stuff.

I spread the glue in the appropriate areas, stuck bar stool feet inside the shoes to hold them down, and let them dry overnight.

Unfortunately, it seems that I used more glue than was necessary (I should have checked to see if it was seeping out after I put the bar stools in place). And the glue dried off-white, which made the seepage pretty obvious.

So, I colored the dried glue with a black Sharpie, and it’s not very noticeable now.

From above, where most people will see my shoes, it’s not a problem at all, actually.

And since I wear my jeans fairly long, it’s not like anyone really gets a peek at the bottom-most part of my shoes.

(um, except for when I put my camera on the floor and then post the photo on my blog!)

Shoe Goo isn’t very expensive, and a single tube is more than enough to repair multiple pairs of shoes. So, I’d say this repair was a frugal win because a new pair of shoes would cost way more than $3-$5. Even thrift store shoes cost that much, and I’d really rather have my own broken-in pair of shoes than a pair of thrift store shoes anyhow!

Do you ever opt to repair your shoes?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 15th of March 2016

I recently took a pair of men's leather boots into a repair shop for a quote on new soles. They were so bad, they were taking on water. The boots are likely 10+ years old, so they didn't exactly owe me anything.

I couldn't believe the price. I'd say almost half what a new pair of decent leather boots would cost. I just couldn't justify 50% repair cost. That's ludicrous to me, but I suppose some would think that's fair.

I tossed the boots and bought a new pair. Unfortunately they're not leather, but oh well. Hopefully I get at least 5 years from these boots.


Wednesday 9th of January 2013

I use Shoe Goo frequently. It can be a delicate balance between spreading it and stopping just short of the edges to get it right. I use a ice-pop stick but I've heard it's easier to spread with an ice cube. If there is any excess I scrape most of it away then rub it with my finger until the smeary remains are rolled up and brushed away. Be sure to wash your hands well after if you do this as there are chemicals in Shoo Goo that you really don't want absorbed into your body. If you don't notice seepage until after the Shoe Goo has been left to dry you can carefully trim it off with a craft knife. I have a small tip for you- I have 4 children like you do, it can be frustrating trying to tell socks apart, especially when some socks are quite stretchy and look much smaller off of the foot. I use a permanent marker to put a small dot in the toe area of each of my oldest child's socks, two dots for the next, three for the one after that, and four for the youngest. If any last long enough to be handed down I just add a dot.


Friday 13th of July 2012

I have repaired shoes in the past, especially favorite ones or ones for a certain occasion (I do community theater and have worn many super glued shoes!). My favorite "repair" is when I needed white shoes for my friend's wedding. My favorite pair, a comfy pair of heeled sandals, was looking really beat up, so I spray painted them. They looked great, and it only cost me part of a 97 cent can of spray paint! A word of advice, though, to anyone trying this at home: mask off the part where your foot goes. Otherwise, you'll be sticking to the paint if you're wearing the shoes barefoot!


Saturday 7th of January 2012

I have always taken my shoes to the cobbler for heel tips, new soles, etc. I buy quite expensive shoes though and they need to be taken care of.

I do think that $12 for heel tips is over priced as that is a huge mark up for something that takes all of 5 minutes to do (I wait while he does them), but it's necessary.

I am also of the personal opinion that unkempt shoes look terrible.


Saturday 7th of January 2012

Oh, yes! I have glued little "tags" of scuffed leather back down on my favorites twice now. I have also had boot heels replaced, and have seen the ones you could put on yourself. My husband wears through sneakers like I never imagined possible at work so they get repaired until they disintigrate. We use contact cement for them because function is the priority, not appearance. I have used a set of woodworking clamps that look kind of like huge clothespins. They have rubber on the grip part so don't scratch. I also have restitched moccasin type slippers myself. Use a thimble!

Polishing shoes really does help. Not the instant shine stuff, actual polish which is wax based. If you haven't done it before, put clean shoes on newspaper, maybe wear thin work gloves (polish can stain your skin, nails, clothes, furniture) apply thinly, let dry a few minutes, then buff well. A shoebrush does the best job and is fast. Be careful not to get polish on the edges of the soles because it can rub off onto your floor or other ankle.

As William B said, clean shoes and shoelaces do last longer. Don't forget the cobbler for repairs to luggage, handbags, duffle bags, and as my husband recently discovered, replacing the zipper on a pontoon boat (whatever-you-call-the-thing you zip over the inflatable bladder). We also had leather patches sewn onto a pair of winter weight coveralls to make them last longer.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.