Quick Fixes for Worn Out Shoes

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New Balance Hiking Shoes

I’m a big believer in buying well-made shoes. They’re more comfortable; they’re better for your feet; and they usually last longer, too. But even a good pair of shoes wears out eventually. So, what then? Most people would say you just toss them out and buy another pair. A few people might suggest taking them to a cobbler for a repair. But, I’ve discovered a third option that’s a heck of a lot cheaper: repairing them yourself.

Over the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with fixing our shoes as they’ve worn out, and I’ve found two quick fixes that really work. So far our efforts have saved three pairs of shoes from the trash. Not too shabby. Here’s the scoop:

Shoe Goo

Shoe Goo

I don’t know how it took me so long to discover Shoe Goo, but the stuff is amazing. It’s a glue that’s designed specifically for shoe repairs. Since it’s formulated to be flexible, it can stand up to all the bending that your shoes do. We had tried a few super glue repairs over the years, and they never held up. Within a few wearings we’d be right back where we started. Now, I realize it’s because the glue just wasn’t flexible enough.

I first tried Shoe Goo on my youngest daughter’s Chacos. I was thrilled when I found her a brand new pair at a kids’ consignment sale, but after wearing them a few times, the sole started to separate and flap in the front. Bummer. So, we ordered a tube of Shoe Goo, and attempted a repair. That was in the beginning of May. It’s now August, and that repair is still holding. Pretty impressive, since she wears them almost every day.

With that repair under our belts, we decided to try our luck at repairing my oldest daughter’s galoshes. One of the soles was starting to split along the side, so my husband glued it back together a few weeks ago, and so far that repair has held up to all the tromping around that we do at our weekend homestead. Now, I’m thinking I’ll see if it can repair the gash that a stick left in the side of my galoshes. The soles are still good, so it’s worth a shot.


New Insoles

Have a pair of sneakers that still have good tread, but just aren’t as comfy as they used to be? A new pair of insoles may be all they need to feel like new again. I recently bought a pair of Merrell sneakers from a thrift store that looked like they’d only been worn a few times, but the insoles were missing. That made me wonder if you could buy replacement insoles from the manufacturer. So, I jumped online, and found that Merrell does indeed sell replacement insoles. Better still: they offer free shipping on all orders. I spent $10, and now I have a set of insoles that fit my sneakers as well as the originals would have.

Merrell Sneakers

I would gladly spend $10 for replacement insoles, if it allowed me to put off a new shoe purchase for six months or more – especially if it made my shoes feel as good as they did when I first bought them. Wouldn’t you?

Now, that we’ve tackled these repairs successfully, I’m starting to wonder what other shoe repairs we could handle. I couldn’t help but notice that Amazon sells replacement soles and heels. Might be time to add some cobbler skills to my resume.

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  1. Very informative post! I’m actually looking forward to something coming loose on one of my shoes so I can try to repair it with Shoe Goo, lol.

    I recently fixed a pair of shoes by dyeing them. My dad had a beloved pair of light brown suede oxfords that had lots of life left in them but had developed several darkened spots where the suede had worn. I didn’t know anything about dyeing suede but after some research, bought some Fiebings suede dye and took a crack at it – and they turned out beautifully, using a medium brown dye that covered the darkened areas. I then did a pair of clogs I’d bought on eBay that weren’t the color I was expecting from the seller’s photos – and they too turned out awesomely. I had such trepidation about trying to dye shoes, but it was so easy that I’m now on the lookout for shoes to dye when I go to thrift stores. Ha!

    1. Ha! Then, I hope you end up with something to Shoe Goo soon 🙂 I hadn’t though of redying leather. I’ll have to add that project to my to-do list. I’ve been on a bit of a redying kick lately. It’s lots of fun to remake thrift store finds that way.

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