How to Fix the Heel of a Boot: 3 DIY Tips

I know you love your pair of gorgeous boots.

However, the more you wear it, the more you damage and wear out the heel of your boots. And this generally means taking it into a cobbler for an expert shoe repair or ending up in the garbage.

Home shoe repair is not something that most people think of when the heels of their boots go bad. However, a little DIY knowledge in repairing your boot heel can save not only your lovable boots but also your money and time.

Worn Down Heel Fix

For your boot heel tips that get worn out or damage after lots of uses, you can just replace the tips.

Get a set of replacement that matches the boot heel. These are the small rubber pieces with a metal dowel for attaching them to your boots. You can measure the width and height of your existing boot heel tip or get a multipack of various sizes. Just make sure that the color matches the one on your boots.

Now pull the tip of the heel with a pair of pliers. Make sure that you don’t grab beyond the rubber tip to prevent any damage to the heel of the boots. You might need to shimmy or rotate the tip out of place since it has a really tight fit.

Take one of the replacement boot heel tips and push the end with the metal dowel to the hole on the heel. Aim to line up the shape of the heel and tip so that it is easier to make adjustments for later.

Set the shoe on a solid surface to push the tip. Just be careful not to apply much force since it can cause your heel to break off.

Now, hold the shoe sturdy on a solid surface. Using a hammer, gently tap the bottom of the heel top to push it even further. Continue tapping until they fit together. Remember, don’t hit the hammer too hard or you could end up with a bent or broken heel.

Using your pliers, grip the sides of the tip and slowly turn the tip so that it lines up with the rest of the heel. Keep on rotating the heel tip until the curves of the heel line up.

Fixing Broken Heels

Now, if strutting down the street and the heels on your boots suddenly broke, here are some DIY tips on how to fix broken heels.

1. Reinserting Heels

In most cases, it can be possible to reinsert the broken or damaged heel back into the slots of holes. Look for a place to sit down and examine your boots carefully, the broken heel and any other pieces which may come out with it.

Look at the alignment of the nails and try to reinsert the heel. If it is too difficult for you or the heel is tight, you can ask for someone to help you with. Just make sure that you do not use too much force since it can cause the heel to completely snap.

2. RE-Attaching With Glue

Probably the most convenient way to fix those broken heels is glue. Thus it is important to have a tube ready in your bag, in case you encounter boot malfunctioning.

And not just any glue will do, you will need to use Super Glue or those that are specially made for shoes. For soles and heels that are made wood and have nails, wood glue is the better choice.

Remove as much dirt and old glue from the boots and heel. Roughen up the heel, if possible since it should help the glue to stick better.

When applying the glue, be liberal to ensure that the heel will have a longer and stronger hold, but not too much that it puts your boots off balance. When gluing the heel, make sure that you align the heel carefully.

After you apply the glue, apply good pressure and keeping it at the side to dry. Consider drying it overnight to further strengthen the glue. For the boot heels with the protruding nails, you will need to slide back the nails into the original holes, coating them with glue and holding in place until it dries. This should ensure that the nails won’t slip right back out.

Replacing The Sole

When boot soles get too thin, replacement is needed. You can buy replacement heel sole for your boot at your local shoe store or online. You can compare the length, width and thickness of the replacement sole to ensure that they are the right fit. In case you cannot find the perfect replacement that matches the size of your boots, then consider getting the largest one and just trim off the excess.

Pull the sole and heel off the shoe with pliers. Gripping the rubber on one edge, slowly pull it backward. Using a belt sander, remove any excess glue on the surface and flatten out the bottom of the boots. Ensure that the bottom is flat against the sander so it is at a level surface for the new heel.

Consider using a 120 grit sandpaper so you don’t overdo it.

Next, apply a contact glue to the bottom and the new heel and sole. Let it dry for at least 15 minutes. Do not push the heel onto the bottom yet since the glue will need time to set in. The contact glue firmly adheres to itself and creates a firm stick between the pieces.

After the glue dries, you can line up the heel with the bottom. Push it down onto the show to create a firm connection. Apply pressure for at least 30 – 60 seconds. The glue will quickly dry and stick to the bottom, so make sure that it is lined perfectly before pressing too hard.

Trim the heel around the bottom with a utility knife. Trim as close as you can to ensure that the sole and heel does not hand out the sides.

Lastly, you can secure the heel in place with cobbler nails that are 1.3 – 2.2 cm long.

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