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How to Fix Old Converse

Updated February 21, 2017

Converse has been producing footwear since the company's inception in 1908. Most of the company's sneakers are simple in appearance, sporting a thick rubber sole and a thin canvas upper. Metal eyelets dot the top sides of the canvas, making lacing and removing the shoes quick and simple. Over time the canvas material may begin to fray or the soles may take on a dirty grey colour. With a few simple repairs and some light cleaning, you'll be able to squeeze more mileage out of your old pair of Converse shoes.

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  1. Make a mixture of one cup warm water and two tablespoons of baking soda.

  2. Dip a toothbrush into the mixture and scrub the soles of your Converse free of any caked on dirt or grease. For faster results, use the coarse side of a sponge or a scouring pad. Rinse the soles under running water and dry with a clean towel.

  3. Remove the old, dirty laces from your shoes. Moisten a rag with warm water and rub the canvas using a firm, circular motion. Rub the metal eyelets clean. Apply several drops of white vinegar to any tough stains on the canvas, allow vinegar to set for two minutes and then wipe clean.

  4. Secure any torn or frayed canvas using small dabs of shoe glue. Apply the dabs using the tip of a plastic knife.

  5. Make patches out of scrap fabric to cover up any holes in the canvas. Cut the patch so that it is about a half-inch larger than the hole it will cover. Spread a thin layer of shoe glue onto the patch and press it firmly over the hole for at least two minutes.

  6. Thread new laces through the eyelets on both shoes. For best results, use laces that are the same size as your old ones.

  7. Tip

    Shoe glue is sold under a number of different brand names. It can be found at your local fabric store, hardware shop or shoe retailer. Allow shoe glue to dry and harden overnight before wearing your Converse shoes. For tough stains on your rubber soles, moisten a rag with a small amount of bleach and rub clean. Clean your shoes quickly by tossing them in your washing machine. If your shoes are very dirty, avoid washing other clothes along with them.

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Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  • Rag
  • White vinegar
  • Towels
  • Shoe glue
  • Scissors
  • Scrap fabric
  • Replacement shoelaces

About the Author

Brandon Getty began writing professionally in 2008, with columns appearing in "Thrasher" magazine. He received a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lives in Stockton, Calif.

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