Shoe repair equipment & supplies

Written by kimberly hawthorne
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Shoe repair equipment & supplies
Shoe repair is a quick and inexpensive project. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

You probably have a favourite pair of shoes that are beginning to fall apart. Maybe there is fraying around the edges of the seams or your toes stick out through a gap in the front where the sole has come loose. You don't have to throw them away or spend a chunk of money to have them fixed. Repairing your shoes is simple and less expensive than you might think.

High Heels

The heel of women's high heeled shoes has a small rubber sole covering a metal pin. The rubber sole wears away quickly, allowing the heel tip to become worn, dented and marred. Repairing this type of damage cost only a few bucks. First, remove the existing pin with needle-nose pliers or a vice. If you cannot get a good grip on the pin with pliers, use a utility knife to trim the plastic around the pin. Once the pin is out, use the rough side of a fingernail file, sand paper, or a metal file to smooth and flatten the shoe's heel. Spray paint the end of the heel with a colour that matches the shoe. Attach a new rubber sole to the tip with shoe glue.

Athletic Shoes

A little baby powder fixes squeaky sneakers in a matter of minutes. Remove the insole and fill the bottom of the shoe with the powder. Tap and knock the shoe around a bit to make sure the powder gets into all the nooks and crannies, dump out excess powder and reinsert the insole. Outer soles that have come loose require shoe glue and a clamp to become good as new. Inexpensive repair kits are available for tears in leather and canvas shoes.


Boots have a hard sole as opposed to the rubber sole on sneakers. Hard soled boots tend to wear unevenly on the heels and boot tips are easily damaged. Rub leather conditioning cream onto boot tips with a clean cloth and follow the directions on the product. Apply a colour matching polish and buff. It is important to keep on top of heel wear as they are easier to fix when damage is first noticed.

Rub the boot heel with sandpaper, or a belt sander to level out the bottom of the boot heel. If the heel is severely uneven and beyond repair you may be able to find a cheap pair of boots with the right sized heel at a second-hand store or garage sale. Remove the heels from both pairs. Remove the nails from the purchased pair of boots and glue them into place on your boots with shoe glue. Once the glue has set, hammer new boot nails into the holes left behind by the old nails. Special glues are available for all kinds of shoes.


Nothing puts a pair of sandals out of commission faster than a broken or loose strap. Straps that come loose from where they are attached, between sole layers, are easy to fix with a shoe nail and glue. Separate the two layers of sole just enough to allow space to work. Attach the strap to the bottom layer, inside the space you created, with shoe glue and hammer in a shoe nail. Reattach the two layers, above and below the strap with glue and a clamp according to the directions on the glue.

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