How to Repair Hiking Boots





Some notes on how I repaired my boots. Includes worn out heels and breaks in the leather along the boundary between the leather upper and the rubber sole.

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Step 1: Figure Out What Needs Fixing

The heels were worn out and the leather along the edge of the sole had worn through. (I think this is an indication of poor posture or fit... my feet are probably going to fall off.) The logo also catches on the lacing hooks when I walk.

Step 2: Repair Leather Along Sole

I cut the leather away from the rubber sole. This may or may not be a good idea. If you decide this is for you (and your boots) don't cut yourself in the process.

Step 3: Apply Leather Patch

Stitch edges of the leather together if you can. This is no easy task because leather is tough and one hand will have to work from within your shoe.

Glue in some leather over the cut. You should be able to slip the patch between the leather of the shoe and the rubber of the sole. Use shoe glue that is flexible. Use suede leather that is not finished on either side. The roughness helps the glue stick. Open your window so you don't pass out from the ridiculous solvents in the glue that make it dry unhelpfully fast.

When working with leather, don't use a plastic thimble. See, the purpose of a thimble is to protect the finger that is pushing the back of the needle when you're going through a tough spot. If you push hard enough with a plastic thimble, the back of the needle may puncture your finger.

Step 4: Repair the Heel

I already did an instructable on fixing the heel of a shoe. Briefly, glue in a piece of cloth and stitch it in around the top. See <a href="">here</a> for more details.

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18 Discussions


3 years ago

Hey there!
Your link at at the end doesn't show up as you probably intended it. I see:

<a href="">here</a> for more details. I don't really know how to fix it, but thought you should know.


7 years ago on Step 3

Though posted some time ago, I have some advice regarding sewing and leather. As I have old leather coat it requires sometimes repair. I always use small (or big sometimes too ) pliers a la surgeon style.


11 years ago on Introduction

Hey, those are my boots! Aren't those Lowa's amazingly comfortable? I did notice they tend to wear out a little faster than I'd like though.

The rubber on the bottom sole is fairly soft, which gives a great grip, but it also wears down faster. And I've already had to resew some of the seams on the side as well. Mind you, that's after wearing them pretty much every day for 2+ years straight - not bad!

4 replies

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Hey, those are MY boots, too! LOL
I love my Lowa's too, but yes, they show the exactly same weaknesses as on these pictures!
I was about to make a blog post about sewing shoes, when I saw this ;)

The soles are terribly worn down, so I hope I can build them up again in a way.
I've worn them about 4+ years, mostly on concrete, so I think they lasted long.

And the gore-tex is still working fine, too.

LOL it's like someone took pictures of my shoes, really! :)


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

My soles are shot, too. I might completely cut them off and start over, because the upper is still pretty good. Now that the garden is dead, maybe I'll have time to do it...


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Yes, why not?
I was thinking about building up a bit of the sole using sikaflex. At least the heal. Or adding a bit of profile/pattern on it, because they've gotten a bit slippery on wet ground (in the woods).
I just posted the sewing of my shoes here:

I'm sorry my blog is plain Norwegian, but scroll down and look at the pics, the shoes are the same model ;)

How's the gore-tex doing, because mine is still fine...?


Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

I wore them every day for several years, too. If I had only worn them for camping and hiking, they would have lasted a lot longer. There was a spot on the bottom of the sole that needed glue, too. I could see the plastic shank that runs down the length of the boot. I filled it with shoe glue and am hopeing for the best.

Wow this is really gonig to come in handy. What kind of glue did you use? E6000 is magical.

1 reply

9 years ago on Step 3

To stitch the top of your leather patch you can first use a scratch awl to punch a hole through the leather from the outside. Then you can use a tailor's stitch, with two needles going through the same hole, one needle from the inside to out, and one needle from the outside in. Alternately you can go to your local shoe repair guy and have him use a "patcher" sewing machine, designed to stitch in such tight spaces.

I've always thought thimbles and leather don't mix after, like you, I stabbed myself. Try a scratch awl instead.


10 years ago on Step 4

your html link didnt show correctly... had to point that out. just came from that instructable. good work!


10 years ago on Introduction

a palm and needle would make the sewing go easier (at least if you practice a little first) (i now use a palm and needle for all my sewing needs) (it's addictive, like parentheses)

2 replies

10 years ago on Step 3

Wow i never thought of what if the cheap plastic thimble breaks. That is a terrible fate to have to suffer!


10 years ago on Step 4

Thanks. My husband is the most destructive person on shoes I've ever seen, this will really come in handy.