Regardless of how many shoes a person has, they almost always have a favorite pair that they can wear almost everywhere without worrying about the overall look they are pulling off. While the favorite pair of shoe is also taken care of, it is subjected to a lot of wear and tear. From formal dinners to office meetings and casual hangouts, your favorite pair of shoes will be accompanying you almost everywhere. The multi-purpose built of shoes is one of the many reasons why you have come to fall in love with them.
Now, with excessive use, your shoes will most definitely start developing holes inside of them. These holes aren’t just going to look ugly, but they can also pose a risk to your feet. You don’t want a prickly needle to peek in through the hole and form blisters on your feet?
Knowing the repercussions of these holes, it is best that you address the elephant in the room and get the hole repaired urgently. Since these are your favorite pair of shoes, you wouldn’t r be open to the idea of getting a new pair. You know you love them and can repair them back to their former glory.
With your eye on the end target of regained shoe brilliance, here we tell you how to fix a hole within a shoe. We believe that there are two ways you can follow to cover up holes and render your shoes perfect for future use:
- Cover up the shoes with adhesive
- Or hide the holes using a patch cover
You can use any of these methods, based on where the hole is in the shoe is. If the hole is located within the sole of the shoe, then you’re better off going with the adhesive cover option. However, if the hole is on the upper covering, you should better go on with the patch cover option.
We explain both these processes to you here:
Plugging Holes with Adhesive
The first method is to plug the hole in the shoe with adhesives. We mention and explain the process in a step-by-step form to help you understand it.
1. Purchase an Adhesive Sealant
You need to start the process by firstly purchasing an adhesive sealant from any hardware store; brick and mortar or online. There are numerous popular adhesive brands which you can use for shoe repair. These brands include Liquid Nails, Shoe Goo, and Gorilla Glue.
All of these adhesives carry their pros and cons, which is why you are better off studying about them on the internet before you start using them.
Some of the things you should know about adhesives before you buy them are:
- You can use adhesives for fixing holes in most shoes including sneakers, skate shoes and leather shoes.
- The use of adhesives will leave a milky film after it dries. Hence, try using it on holes within the sole.
- Shoe Goo adhesive comes in black and clear colors
2. Remove the Insole
Since adhesives are mostly used for the sole of the shoe, the process we show for this repair will be focused on the assumption that you are repairing a hole in the sole of your shoe.
To begin this process, you will need to remove the insole of your shoe. The insole is the warm and fluffy layer present between the sturdy sole and your feet. Remove the insole by peeling it out from the heel onwards.
The insole is most of the times glued to the sole of your shoe. So, you have to carefully peel it off. Don’t try to speed up the process, as that might make things even more troublesome for you. Once you have peeled the insole, set it aside for later.
3. Use Duct Tape
Once you have peeled off the insole, you will now clearly be able to see the inside of your shoe. Since the hole in your shoe is within the sole, you will also now be able to view the hole in full as well.
Now, hold the shoe in your hand and grab hold of duct tape. When you have duct tape with you, you can stick the sticky side of the duct tape on the inside of the shoe to cover up the hole. The tap will act as coverage from the inside, and will also help give a surface for the filler to get stuck to. Without the duct tape, the filler won’t have the right surface to get stuck with.
Additionally, the duct tape will also ensure that the filler does not leak inside the shoe and spreads everywhere. You don’t want strong shoe adhesive stuck to your shoe when you head to a meeting in the morning.
If you’re out of duct tape, you can also use electrical tape for the purpose.
4. Squeeze Adhesive
With the duct tape applied, now it is time for you to apply the adhesive within the hole or holes. Get hold of the adhesive bottle, and tilt it over to where the hole is. Once the mouth of the adhesive is over the hole, you can squeeze it ever so gently to get the adhesive out. You should make sure here that the adhesive fills the entire hole, as that is necessary for the right sealant to be formed.
The adhesive should create a watertight seal over the hole, without which your job wouldn’t be complete.
Don’t get worried if the glue forms a glump over the hole. This is normal and shouldn’t worry you. Also, do not put in a lot of effort to ensure that the adhesive looks aesthetic at this point. All you should be concerned about right now is to pour the right amount inside the hole.
5. Spread the Glue over the Sole
After you have applied the adhesive, let it dry or harden for a couple of minutes. Once the glue has significantly solidified, use your finger or a small wooden stick to spread the glue on the exterior of the sole across the surface of the outside layer. Form an even layer on the outside and do not let the glue drip around.
If you’re using a wooden stick, make sure that you do not hold the sticky parts for too long. Holding the sticky part for too long will get the wooden stick stuck to your fingers.
6. Let Dry Overnight
Once all of the above is done, you can leave the shoes outside overnight to let them dry. The adhesive you have applied will take some time to completely sit into place, which is why you should give the process its due time. Don’t try to cut short the overnight drying part, as the hole will soon appear again if you haven’t been patient.
After around 10 to 12 hours, you should go and check the shoe to see whether the adhesive has now plugged inside the hole. The hole should be waterproof now, and you can check the sturdiness of the glue by pressing down on it. If the glued area is as sturdy as the rest of the sole then you should proceed on with the job. If you don’t give the adhesives the right amount of time to complete get dried, it will smear off from underneath the shoe.
7. Remove Duct Tape and Replace Insole
Finally, once you are done with the whole process, and the glue has dried off completely, you should remove the duct tape that you had earlier applied. The duct tape has no apparent purpose now, that the hole has been fixed. With the duct tape removed, you should now replace the insole with a new one.
The hole in your shoe should have been fixed now, and your shoes will be perfect for wear. Wear them as much as you want and head out to enjoy.
Patching Holes with Fabric
The second method of fixing a hole in your shoe is patching it up with a fabric. We explain the whole process for this method in a detailed step by step method here.
1. Stuff with Newspaper
This method of patching a hole in your shoe with fabric is usually followed for holes that appear on the exterior surface of your shoe. These could be on the top of your shoe, near the lace area. Hence, all of our steps will be based on patching a hole in the exterior top-most surface.
You need to start the job by filling the shoe with newspapers. Shoes with softer materials will require this step, as they are more prone to catch damage if not taken good care of.
2. Purchase Fabric
You should next purchase a fabric for patching the holes on your shoe. While purchasing a fabric make sure that it matches the current style and color of your shoes. The fabric should exactly replicate the surface of your shoe, so that is hard to identify that there ever was a hole near that spot. Buy enough fabric for covering the hole in full.
Fabrics that you can use for this job include suede, tartan, and leather. Some people take this as a chance to build a unique fashion statement, which is why they get contrasting fabrics.
3. Cut the Fabric
Once you have purchased the fabric, cut a large enough patch that can cover the entire surface of your hole. For instance, if the hole on your shoe is located on the toes of the shoe, then the fabric you cut should be the appropriate size for the entire length of the toe and not just the hole.
If you’re adding a contrasting fabric to your shoe to add a style statement, make sure that you cut a similar piece for the exact spot on the other shoe as well. The pair should look the same without any irregularities whatsoever.
4. Pin the Fabric to the Shoe
Once you have cut a fabric of the right size, you should pin it on the hole. The fabric should sit on the surface of the hole so that you can look at it and tell how it will look after the patching job has been done and dusted. The placement of your fabric should be pinned down with a pin so that it stays in position. Both shoes should have an identical patch if you are going for contrasting colors.
5. Steam Iron the Patch
Once you have pinned the patch, it is necessary that you put a damp cloth over the fabric placed on the shoe and steam iron it for 5 to 20 seconds. You must repeat this procedure 3 to 4 times so that the edges are in place on the surface of the shoe and you have nothing to worry about.
6. Sew the Patch onto the Shoe
Once you have steam ironed the patch, you should immediately sew the patch onto the shoe when it is still hot and straightened from the ironing procedure.
Begin this process by piercing a needle through the fabric and then into the shoe. Repeat this motion by then threading the needle out of the shoe and over the patch. Continue repeating this motion until the patch is perfectly sewn into the patch on all corners. The patch will now sit in place and cover the hole that has formed on the surface of your shoes.
Try to make stitches that are uniform. Irregular stitches at irregular distances would only make the thread visible. You can also use a catch-stitch or a slip-stitch for making a more unique and specific look on the sewn fabric.
The methods above should answer your question of how to fix a hole in the shoe. If the damage on the shoe is significant, then you’re better off going to a professional cobbler or getting a replacement.