How to Repair Worn Out Boot Heels

Boot heels wear down after extensive use or if they are of poor-quality material. Worn-out heels on a good pair of heels can be quite annoying. However, if the rest of the shoe is in good condition, you can repair the heel to extend the lifetime of the shoes.

Repair Worn Out Boot Heels

The method of repairing heels depends on the extent of the damage and the outsole design of the shoes. If the heel is detachable from the sole, then you can replace it. Otherwise, you would need to resole the entire boot.

This article covers the steps for repairing worn-out boot heels lifts, boot heel blocks, and loose boot heels.

How to Replace Top Lifts or Heel Pads

The heel lifts are like the car tires, and the heel blocks are the rims. Often, the top lifts are the first to wear off. It is best to replace them as soon as you notice any evidence of tear and wear. Otherwise, the damage will quickly extend to the heel block and soles of your boot, which will cost more to repair.

What You Need

  • Soap and water
  • Cloth
  • Sandpaper
  • Pliers
  • Adhesive Glue
  • Replacement heel pad
  • Hammer
  • Glue applicator
  • Nail polish remover (optional)
  • Cobbler nails (optional)

Steps

  1. Find a replacement heel pad for your boot. You can easily find a replacement heel pad at a local shoe store or online shop. Ensure that the replacement heel pad has similar dimensions as the old one. Also, ensure that it has the right grip.

Replacement heel pads for boots cost around $10-$25 per pair. However, if you can’t find the right size, get the next large size and cut it down to the required dimensions.

  1. Before starting the repair work, clean the shoes to get rid of any dirt or residue that may get in the way. Then, wipe the entire shoe dry, and if need be, allow ample time for it to completely dry.
  1. Hold one corner of the worn-out heel pad with your pliers and lift them off the heel block.

Most shoes have a rubber layer right below the top lift. Examine it to see if it is worn. If not, you can fix the replacement top lift directly above it. Otherwise, remove the worn-out rubber layer and replace it with a new one.

  1. Sand down the top of the heel block to ensure it is smooth and level for a proportionate fit of the new top lift. It also gets rid of the residue glue that had attached to the previous top lifts.
  1. Using a glue applicator, apply a layer of adhesive glue at the bottom of the heel block and on the inner side of the heel lift.

Do not use bare hands to apply the glue as it may stick your fingers together, and it is difficult to remove. Work in a well-ventilated area. The adhesive glue fumes can cause respiratory irritation. You might also want to wear a nose mask when applying the glue.

  1. Lightly, place the glued side of the heel lift on top of the bottom of the heel block, ensuring that they line up. Leave the glue to dry for 10-15 minutes to enable it to adhere better. Then, push down the heel lift onto the heel for a firm hold. Hold it down for 30-60 seconds.

You may hammer down the bottom of the heel pad to ensure it holds firmly. Also, you may secure the lift in place using cobbler nails.

  1. If there are any adhesive marks left on the heel, clean them out using nail polish remover.

How to Replace Old Heel Blocks

If the entire heel block is damaged, you will need to replace it with a new one.

What You Need

  • Soap and water
  • Dry cloth
  • Sandpaper
  • Pliers
  • Adhesive Glue
  • Replacement heel block
  • Hammer
  • Glue applicator
  • Cobbler nails (optional)

Steps

  1. Find a replacement heel block. You can buy one from an online store or local store. They cost around $25 a pair. Ensure that the new heel blocks are an exact match for the older blocks when it comes to color, material, dimensions, and grip pattern.
  1. Using a damp piece of cloth, clean the shoes to get rid of any dirt or residue that may get in the way. Then, wipe the entire shoe dry, and if need be, allow ample time for it to completely dry.
  1. Examine the bottom of the heel for any boot heel nails. In most cases, they are underneath the heel pads. Therefore, use pliers to remove the heel pads. Using the pliers, grab one heel nail at a time and remove them. Then, peel off the heel block using the pliers.
  1. Smoothen out the area where the old heel block was with sandpaper. Take your time to ensure the surface is completely smooth.
  1. Using a glue applicator, apply a layer of adhesive glue on the inner side of the heel block and the area where it will attach to the boot.
  1. Lightly place the glued sides against each other, ensuring that they line up. Leave the glue to dry for 10-15 minutes to enable it to adhere better. Then, push down the heel lift onto the heel for a firm hold. Hold it down for 30-60 seconds. You may hammer down the bottom of the heel pad to ensure it holds firmly.
  1. Install boot heel nails around the surface of the heel block, ensuring that the nails do not protrude through to the inside of the boot as they could hurt your feet.
  1. Once done with the boot heel block installation, smoothen out the bottom using sandpaper. Then, polish the entire boot and the new heels to ensure the color matches.

How to Replace a Heel That is Becoming Loose

Sometimes, the heel attachment to the rest of the shoe may be weak. Or the seal may weaken due to exposure to water or other environmental elements. In this case, do not wait for the heel to come off to replace it. Reattach as soon as possible.

What You Need

  • Pliers
  • Adhesive glue
  • Cobbler nails
  • Hammer

Steps

  1. Examine the area where the heel has detached from the sole. If it is too extensive, remove the entire heel and reattach it. Otherwise, dust off the area that has come off and sand it down if need be.
  2. Using an applicator, apply the adhesive glue on both the sole and the heel block. Lightly attach them and allow 10 to 15 minutes for the glue to dry.
  3. Then, press the sole firmly against the heel and hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
  4. Hammer down the area for a firmer hold.
  5. Finally, hammer some nails through the heel into the sole to ensure it remains firmly attached to the sole.

Conclusion

Proper care for your boot heels is crucial for ensuring that they last a long time and do not cause damage to the rest of the shoe. As soon as you notice damage on the heel or heel pads replace or repair them immediately. The procedure for repairing or replacing boot heels is quite straightforward, and the required tools are readily available. Pay keen attention when buying a replacement heel or heel lift to ensure that it fits well with the boot.

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