Introduction: Cheap and Easy Shoe Repair

About: Photography teacher, woodworker, and general repair man

I bought these shoes used off the internet. They were supposedly only worn a handful of times and only cost me $30 shipped to my door saving me hundreds off buying them new. I had noticed that there was a slight separation between the leather and the rubber but I didn't think it was that bad. That is, until it suddenly fully separated while shopping.

Side note, I seem to fix shoes a lot. Probably because I buy them slightly used. But, I have a couple of other tutorials if you need to repair stacked heels or stretch your boot calf.


You will probably have most of the items needed if you do any sort of home repair. But, with that said, you will need:

Shoe Goo

1" Spring clamps

9" Bar clamp


block of wood fabric or leather

Step 1: Clean Both Sides of the Sole

Wipe down both sides of the sole. I used rubbing alcohol but I don't think that it did anything.

When both sides are clean, start balling up newspaper and jamming it into the shoe. You want the shoe to be pretty firm. This newspaper will help the shoe keep its shape while you clamp it down so that you won't have a huge mark in the middle of your shoe.It also helps to spread the compression force all over the shoe's sole to give you better adhesion.

Step 2: Apply Glue

This step is pretty dependent on the shoe that you are gluing. Something like a high heel will not need as much glue. In fact, I recommend the little mini tubes if you need to repair those (they don't dry out if you never open them so you have less waste).

For me, I needed a lot of glue because the sole has all of those ridges.I spread quite a bit on both sides of the sole. When I felt comfortable with the amount on the large surfaces, I used a toothpick to push glue back into the crevices where the sole was separating.

Step 3: Apply Pressure

Then, squish it all together. You can use rubbing alcohol or baby wipes to remove what gushes out of the seam.

On this shoe, I had enough room to use 1" spring clamps to go all around the sole.The metal spring clamps are much better than the plastic ones. The cheap plastic ones often have a pivot point where the clamp head meets the clamp body which leads it to fall off in tight spaces. The metal ones only make clamp at the very end of the points giving you accurate compression.

Then, place wood blocks on both the top and bottom (I used plates of steel) but remember to protect the shoe by placing leather of fabric over the shoe itself. Then, use your bar clamp to apply pressure to the center of the shoe (if it needs it).

Let it sit overnight.

Step 4: Finish!

Remove the clamps and newspaper. Any little bit of clue that works its way out can be trimmed with an exacto knife or left to wear off.

This shoe in particular has been worn nearly five days per week for almost six months since I made this repair!