How to repair the soles of worn tennis shoes

Updated April 17, 2017

To prolong the life of your favourite pair of old tennis shoes, repair the worn soles with a shoe repair product. Different products that are available on the market allow you to patch holes in the sole as well as build up the more worn areas of the sole. Repairing the soles is an easy procedure that only takes a few minutes.

Clean the soles of the shoes with warm water and a mild detergent. Allow the soles of the shoes to completely dry.

If the holes in the sole have penetrated all the way through the shoe, tape the holes inside the shoe.

Purchase a shoe repair product. Two of the most popular shoe repair products are Shoe Goo and Freesole. They are available online and in shoe and sporting goods stores. Both are liquid glues that easily bond to the soles of tennis shoes. They can be used to repair holes or build up areas of the sole that are worn down and uneven.

Follow the directions on the package to apply the patching compound to the shoes. Freesole suggests making a dam around the repair area with tape and Popsicle sticks, or something similar, to prevent the glue from running. Apply Shoe Goo to the soles with a plastic putty knife. Build up the worn parts of the soles until they are level with the surrounding areas. If you are gluing edges of the sole that have split, apply the patching material to the edges and allow it to cure for two to 10 minutes until it becomes tacky, and then push the edges together.

Wipe off excess patching material with a rag and paint thinner. Remove the tape inside the shoe one to two hours after making the patch. Allow the patching material to cure for 24 hours.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild detergent
  • Masking tape
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Paint thinner
  • Rags
  • Shoe repair product
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About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.