Introduction: Replace Men’s Shoe Heel Rubber

First off all a “small disclaimer”:

  • I am not a shoe repairman or anything related to the shoe industry. Maybe there are better methods to do small reparations, so leave your suggestions on the comments box.
  • I don’t have many specific tools to repair shoes so I use common tools in this Instructable.
  • This is my first Instructable, and as you can see English is not my main language (sorry for any mistakes).

In this Instructable I will explain how I replaced the rubber heels from some men old shoes. My rubber heels aren’t even wearied, and on the corner I only had a small rubber thickness (it's very important to replace the heels before they reach the wood heel from your shoe).

I decided to did this job at home manly because of the costs. On a shoe repair supply store the price for a rubber heel pair is 9 € so the repair job will cost more than I can afford.

The repair difficulty is very low and it only takes less than an hour. So I decided to do a google search to find the repair material at the lowest price. After some searches on eBay and Aliexpress websites I found the cheapest item on eBay and I bought it from a Hong Kong seller.


  • Common pliers (I used a universal plier and a diagonal plier)
  • Electric heat gun (optional)
  • Electric sander (optional)
  • Rotary tool (optional)
  • Sand paper or file
  • Small hammer
  • Bench vise or/and wood clamps
  • Utility knife
  • Pencil
  • Hammer


After a month (shipping time from China) I started the repair job!

Step 1: Remove the Old Rubber Heels

The rubber heels are glued and nailed to the shoe so it’s a kind of a “heavy duty job" to remove them.

First use a plier (I used a diagonal plier) to remove all the nails. Be careful when you do that to not damage the nails (you will use them again to fix the new rubber heel).

If you have an electric heat gun you can heat the rubber (be careful with the maximum temperature and use in a well ventilated room) to soften the glue.

After that, you need to sand the heel wood to remove all the old glue and even the surface. In my case I had some sharp nails on the heel (see the pictures).

Step 2: Prepare the New Rubber Heels

With a pencil, trace the shape of your shoe heel.

With a utility knife cut the excess rubber. You don’t need to be very accurate at this task because you can trim the excess rubber after (it’s better to cut with a safe margin).

Step 3: Fix the Heels (nails and Glue)

Prepare a temporary support to hammer down the nails without damage your shoes. I used two small wood boards with some foam and rubber on the top to protect the inside of the shoes. I fixed this support on my bench vise.

With masking tape protect the heel from future excess glue.

Put some contact glue on the heels and wait 10-15 minutes before start to glue everything up (this is the correct method to use contact Adhesives). Nail/glue the heels on your temporary shoe support (reuse the old nails or use new small steel nails).

With some wood blocks protected with a piece of foam or an old rag strongly fix the heels. I used a bench vise and some metal clamps to apply a lot of force (the strenght of the adhesion is proportional to the force applied).

After 24h hours it reaches the maximum strength so you can safely remove all the clamps.

Step 4: Finish the Job

I used a small rotary tool to speed up the sanding process. You can do this job with sanding paper or with a small file. After you trim the excess rubber and clean/wax your shoes and your job is done!

Thank you for your attention :-)