How to Repair a Shoe Heel

Updated April 17, 2017

Shoes become worn and damaged with everyday wear and tear, but because heels concentrate more friction and weight on a smaller surface area, you tend to get the damage there first. Especially if the pair of shoes you need fixed were an investment pair, it’s worth a little DIY care before you toss them, whether you’re facing a worn-out tip, or a wobbly or detached heel.

Remove the metal pin that runs up the length of your heel with a screwdriver or pair of pliers. If it has broken in two, you may need to seek professional help from a shoe repair shop. Some inexpensive shoes don't have a pin in the heel--they may be entirely plastic. In that case, skip this step.

File the heel down so that it is level and even with its match.

Paint the base of the heel so that it matches with the rest of the heel. If the heel was leather and has worn off, be sure to cut off frayed edges so that everything lies flat against the heel.

Hammer on the new heel tip replacement in the same colour and size as the former one. Make sure it is hammered all the way down so you can no longer see the metal pin.

Apply shoe glue to the top of the heel and press it firmly against the sole of the shoe.

Wipe off any glue that appears through the crack with a cloth.

Wait for the glue to dry and then hammer a few thin shoe nails around the heel into the sole for additional security. Be sure not to let nails go through to the interior of the shoe.


Your best bet for finding shoe repair gear is by searching online. Shoe Goo is a popular shoe adhesive, and for replacement heel tips try, which has stock of different sizes and shapes to fit your heel. Shoe nails, or cobblers' nails, can be a little trickier to find. If you have a good relationship with a shoe repair shop, you might be able to order from them. Otherwise, you can purchase some 20mm or smaller flathead nails.

Things You'll Need

  • Shoe glue
  • Shoe nail
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Heel tip
  • Large file
  • Old cloth
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About the Author

Misty Witenberg has been a magazine and freelance writer (including "Shape," "Fit Pregnancy," "Natural Health" and "Mom & Baby") since 2004. Her experience is in fashion, beauty, travel, fitness and culture writing.