Introduction: How to Repair the Heel of Athletic Shoes

Picture of How to Repair the Heel of Athletic Shoes

The heel of my athletic shoes wear out before the rest of the shoe. This instructable is all about how to glue in some cloth and secure it with a few stitches.

Step 1: Glue in Cloth

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Glue in a bit of cloth over the worn out part of the heel. Remove the insert first. Then use a glue that is flexible to fasten the cloth into the heel. I used glue that was designed for gluing soles together. The choice of cloth is important. It must be durable but not too thin or too thick. I used old denim from a worn out pair of jeans.

Step 2: Stitch in Top Edge

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I think the top edge is the most likely place to fail, so I stitched that in. I used a curved needle, but it's not necessary. Use a thin sharp needle and some strong thread.

Step 3: Finish

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Put the insert back in, trim ends of thread, and take a step back to admire your work.


EstebanB22 (author)2017-10-23

any idea of how to repair this?

RajenderK4 made it! (author)2016-07-25

Another shoes repair

RobO27 (author)2016-01-21

Help!!!!! ???? this is my second pair of now seemingly unavailable Canucks trainers my dog has destroyed. Living in the UK I'd have more chance of striking oil in my garden than getting another pair. I get the inside repairs and are all goods including the initial posters stitching, mine would look more like rambo did them. Does anyone have any ideas? do you think butchering some other trainers for parts (the foam and shapes of the tendon cut out) and trying to find fabric colours from a craft shop would work with a tonne of glue? I know they're never going to be 100% but some semblance of how they looked would be great.

neffk (author)RobO272016-01-21

Yes, I think you can fix this. Won't look perfect but it'll be functional. I recommend sewing over glue. Nylon seems to work best. You can get foam from the craft store, too.

strangeseraph (author)2015-09-16

This is a lifesaver! I go through shoe heels soo fast! Time to go save some of my favorite runners!

rationalmac (author)2015-05-16

Great instructable...Thanks for posting this!

joeysdreamgarden (author)2013-05-27

Great work! I think I might have to do this with my trainers.

bethelcobbler (author)2013-05-16

Excellent job on instructing how to repair heel linings! Professionals use contact cement; it is best to apply it to both surfaces while it is still wet. This permits you to slide and position the lining into the right spot. Allow about half an hour to dry, pressing the materials together.

Jossy92 (author)2012-12-30

A piece of "MOLESHKIN" anti-blister tape which is CUT TO CONFORM to the shape of the heel seems to adhere indefinitely. However a few added stiches might help if needed. I place them in new shoes too.

patmatchue (author)2011-01-11

you can bring your shoes to a local shoe repair shop and ask for backlinings....most shoes can be repaired

if there are none in your area you can mail them to Bill's Shoe Repair in Midland Park, NJ.

neffk (author)patmatchue2011-01-11

Yes! This is what I do for my good, leather shoes. Good as new for 5-10 $. Usually a good shine is included.

Cargod63 (author)2010-04-16

If you untie your shoes before taking them off you won't need to do this repair. Nice repair for those of us who are lazy (I am one) to untie their shoes.

ali208 (author)Cargod632010-09-08

The heel of my work boots wear out quick, I do untie them before taking them off, and I pull them on not stepping into them I searched everywhere on line Googled my fingers off and couldn't find anything to help... I'm glad I finally found this.

neffk (author)Cargod632010-04-16

I have a pair of hiking boots, which I tied and untied.  There's no point in buying hiking boots and wearing without lacing them up.  Anyway, they eventually dud wear our in the back, too.  They did last a lot longer before needing repair, though.

ricehimself (author)2009-03-09

I usually put some duck tape when they start to wear out. It's very effective. You just have to replace it from time to time.

dudemanchan (author)2009-03-07

For the bottom padding of your shoe i just cut a piece of cardboard out and place it at the bottom (with some super glue) and after you wear it a little bit, it forms to the shoe (like the sole).

neffk (author)dudemanchan2009-03-07

I haven't tried this yet, but I see that McMaster sells all softs of foam rubber that could be used for inserts.

theRIAA (author)2008-04-27

thats some pro stitching there. what do you do when the bottom of the shoe wears out and the padding under your foot tears? ..same thing might work actually, just no stiching

shooby (author)theRIAA2008-04-28

I'd use either leather from a thrift store jacket, or denim with some inner tube rubber underneath, with holes drilled into it.

abnor (author)shooby2008-07-03

or just build a new shoe with those products :P

neffk (author)shooby2008-04-28

I've used knit-style cloth and it didn't work well. A sturdy cloth that is a bit slippry seems to work best. I've used nylon for other projects and had trouble with it because glue soaks through it and it expands when it gets wet. For my dress shoes, I took them to a repair shop and they used the same TYPE of repair, but with leather, better glue, and nicer stitching.

ehmbee (author)neffk2008-04-30

I'd say Cordura nylon in that case maybe? Kinda waterproof on the back, and slippery enough....stronger too, but may be a bit rough if you go with no socks.

ehmbee (author)2008-04-30

Very nice-sneaks seem to wear out just as they get comfortable....nice job.

thematthatter (author)2008-04-28

dang i thought you were going to tell how to fix the heal on the rubber sole its going to cost me 30 bucks to get my boots retreaded

leebryuk (author)thematthatter2008-04-28

Try a product called "Shoe Goo" Available at your local big box retailer

ehmbee (author)leebryuk2008-04-30

Shoe Goo RULES! good for lots of other stuff. If you can't find it, get Goop-a few different formulations, the Home and Automotive ones work great.

awoodcarver (author)2008-04-29

Nice job !! I wore sandals for years and due to a toe injury that wont heal I have to wear shoes and since I cant bend I am just slipping my feet in and the same spot is wearing out I can save the cost of a new pair for a while

lordofthedonuts (author)2008-04-28

Nice, I always wear my shoes because I'm to lazy to lace them XD Once, a friend of mine worn his shoes so much (they were 7.5 size), when he changed them he changed for 11 and a half!

Last year I went from 9.5 to 13 in 6 months.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-04-28

I never knew this was actually possible-- nice job!

I totally agree with Instructables Member: theRIAA...

thats some pro stitching there.

+1 rating.

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-04-27

Nice work! You can save a shoe for only a few cents. Great job

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