How To – Repairing An Old Pair Of Shoes

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    Did you ever have an old pair of favorite shoes that have been beaten up so bad but you continue wearing them around the house to do work? Well this pair of sneakers use to be great. They have steel toes so they are safe to wear when doing projects but the seams have started to become detached at the sole.

    Sitting around with not a lot to do on a weekend I started cleaning and was about to throw these old shoes out when I found a three pack of super glue that I had bought at the dollar store. With nothing to lose I sat back and started to repair them while watching tv.

    What do you really have to lose? A dollars worth of super glue?

    Now before you say this is pretty useless why not just go buy another pair of shoes for $20? That was the first thing I attempted and probably the reason I kept the shoes for so long. It seems that the company that makes them Wrangler is no longer manufacturing them.. maybe because they had problems with the shoe but  more likely because they didn’t want to continue producing steel toe sneakers.

    Unfortunately for me I find that steel toe sneakers are a great product they are light enough that you can climb a ladder and get on the roof but also if you are working on ground level you don’t have to worry if you drop a board or hammer. At about $25 a pair they were a great value costing about 1/4 the price of shoes roofers wear and at least half that of the next available shoes that are made of leather.

    Most importantly I wouldn’t be ruining a brand new pair of shoes when I was working in the garden or garage so saving them was probably worth the hour and $1 it took.

    So, lets get to the repair

    Gluing your shoes back together with Super Glue is not really difficult but you need to take some time while doing it.

    The important part is lining up seams where they were originally. You also want to glue the edges of the seams where they broke together and not use overlap repairs if possible because that will cause the rest of the seam to become misaligned and not fit together tightly.

    If you know anything about welding then you want to take the spot weld approach and glue 1/4 inch parts of long seams in the center and in quarters first to align the seams before you lay down a long bead of glue.

    Also when working with super glue you have to be careful not to get the glue on your fingers.

    Use a small metal screwdriver or other small tool to hold the seam together where you have applied the glue. Keep pressure on the spot for at least 60 seconds and you can slightly roll the tool so it won’t get stuck to the shoe.

    Once you have completed some spot gluing around the shoe to align the seams on both sides you can glue larger 1 or 2 inch sections.

    Using Tape is probably not a good idea because it will get stuck to the shoe.

    Allow the glue to dry at least 12 hours before wearing the shoe.

    After wearing the shoe for a few hours examine the glued seams and you may need to do some touchup repairs in places that did not hold.

    Cleanup

    Once you are done you are likely to have got some glue on your fingers. The best remover is acetone which you can find in Nail Polish remover or in Brake Rotor Cleaner or possibly a few other cleaners in your garage.  If you don’t have any then you can try a hand cleaner like goop or even hand lotion but don’t sit and pick the glue off your fingers or you will endup removing skin… thats no fun.. just hit the store the next day or let it wear off over the next few days.

    Final Note

    There are some times where you just have to fork out the cash and give up on your favorite shoes.

    In my case I was saving myself probably $25 for a pair of shoes no longer available in stores but you might be saving an expensive pair of designer high heels for the wife or girlfriend and become the hero.

    Oh and with that last thought in mind you probably want epoxy to glue a heal back on or bring it to a shoe repair place if the shoe costs $500 or something like that… You don’t want to be the reason she falls down a flight of stairs … heh gees.

    Whatever the reason don’t expect your repairs to last forever. You might get a few weeks or months out of them and thats not so bad.

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