Shoes are an essential part of any wardrobe, and comfort is king. So when you start to have issues with your shoes, like scuffing or flaking, it’s good to address it as soon as possible.
So what do you do? As far as solutions go, sewing cloth onto the affected area will usually do the trick, or some combination of duct tape and fabric, depending on how permanent you want the fix to be.
While the aesthetic appeal of the shoe might not be compromised if the flaking is in the interior, what will be compromised is how it feels to walk around. The level of comfort you will experience with shoes that are essentially falling apart from the inside is less than ideal, to say the least.
This type of flaking tends to occur with shoes that use faux leather. This is due to the fact that it is often a cheap, synthetic material that visibly deteriorates after an extended period of use.
The flaking can also occur in different parts of the interior of the shoe. Namely the heel, the sole, and the lining. So your approach to fixing it will vary depending on the area which has been affected.
With that said, I’m going to break down some of the best solutions for tackling flaking in different interior parts of the shoe.
A super simple way to deal with flaking on the inside part of the heel is through some basic stitch work.
For this fix, you’re going to need a needle and thread (which closely matches the color of the shoe), glue, and a patch of denim or cloth. The important thing with the patch is that it is durable, and will stand up to continued use. However, make sure it isn’t too thick since this can alter the way your foot fits in the shoe.
First up, you’re going to place the patch of cloth against the inside of the heel, in order to take measurements. This means marking with a pencil or pen (it doesn’t matter as nobody will see this part of your shoe) and then cutting to the correct size.
Now take your glue and attach the patch to the inside of the heel making sure it is perfectly aligned. Sew up the top part of the patch to secure it into place.
Alternatively, if you don’t think your sewing skills are quite up to scratch, you can opt for some strong fabric glue. That way, there’s a good chance the patch will stay in place without the need for a thread and needle. Of course, if you throw your shoes in the washing machine sometimes, you’ll need to ensure the glue is machine washable, otherwise, the patch might come unstuck.
Using fabric glue alone is also a great temporary solution. If you just need your shoes for a few more games of tennis or a few miles of running or walking, then glue alone should suffice. Whenever it comes to fixing garments of clothing, glueing is a great temporary fix, and sewing a more permanent one.
Plus, as I alluded to earlier, at the end of the day, nobody will really see the inside heel of your shoe – especially not while you’re wearing them – so this fix is a great, simple option.
As an alternative to denim or cloth, and a way of removing the need for both glue and sewing, you can use moleskin self-adhesive fabric. Moleskine is easy to get your hands on, and will pad out your heels to make them comfortable to wear. Plus it’s cheap and removes the need for glue or sewing making it by far the easiest solution.
Along the same lines, you could even use an iron-on patch for the job. Simply take the iron patch and with a heat gun, seal it to the inside of the heel of your shoe. When doing this, you should tilt the shoe so that the heel is facing upwards to get a better seal.
Flaking in the lining, the part which lines the inside of the hole in your shoe, is easily dealt with.
All you’ll need for this fix is some reliable duct tape. While this solution definitely isn’t intended for the long-term, if you just want to get back up and running in your shoes then this is a great go-to fix.
It doesn’t get much more simple than this to be honest, so this fix is accessible to everyone.
Just tape up the damaged area and that’s it. The only thing to bear in mind is whether you’re looking for a short-term or long-term fix, and the aesthetic of your shoes.
If you’d be content with a temporary fix to tide you over until you get a new pair of shoes, or have time to make a more permanent fix, then this will do perfectly.
However, it’s worth considering that if you apply duct tape to the lining of one shoe, it will create a mismatched aesthetic with the other, so you can either place tape on the same part of each shoe or perhaps even paint the duct tape to blend in with the color of the shoe.
Much like the heel of the shoe and the lining, the sole can be repaired relatively easily with some strong glue and some duct tape. This is great if you have problems with your shoes since it means with a few basic materials, you can fix-up every part of your shoe’s interior.
Glue and tape
One of the most important aspects of fixing the sole of your shoe is finding the right glue to use. The glue needs to be strong enough to work on the inside of a shoe, so it’s worth looking at something like Shoe Goo or Gorilla Glue for example.
Another reason why you should choose glues like this over others is that they can be clear. This means you won’t have to worry about discoloring the insole of your shoe and leaving visible marks.
The first thing you’ll need to do for this fix is to give yourself access to the sole of the shoe. You can do this by peeling the insole off and removing it from the shoe completely. Set the insole to one side, and maybe even consider replacing it if you notice signs of flaking or general wear and tear. If the insole is attached to the sole of the shoe, you can leave it there while you are fixing the sole.
Now, grab your duct tape and cut a strip to size. If there’s a hole or tear then make the strip big enough to cover them, if it is just general flaking then either make smaller strips if they are spaced out or one larger strip to cover them if they are more closely together.
Once you’ve placed the duct tape over the affected area(s), check that it has been covered completely.
If you only had problems with the interior part of the sole, then you can be done now. However, if the cut or tear goes through to the outside of the shoe, you’ll need to apply a layer of glue from the outside to completely cover it.
Then spread this glue out evenly, and leave your shoes overnight so that the glue can set properly.
As an alternative to duct tape and glue, you can always rely on some fabric patches to help deal with any flaking issues on the sole of your shoe.
The method for doing this is much the same as it is for the heel part of the shoe.
The only difference is that due to the fact that the sole is on the bottom of your shoe, sewing might not be an option.
This means you will have to go with glue so that you don’t accidentally damage the shoe. Simply cut out the fabric to the desired size – enough to cover the affected areas – and spread an even layer of sturdy glue on the underside. Then lay the fabric on the sole of the shoe and leave it to set.
The sole of the shoe is a difficult area to fully mend, and you might find that this solution doesn’t last as long as you might hope. However, it will do the trick, and provided you have a good insole, there shouldn’t be a problem in the long run.
The last option you have if you have a problem with the sole or the insole of the shoe, is, of course, to replace the insole. This is a good option since you can decide the level of padding you want for your feet, and you can easily cover any flaking that has occurred inside your shoe.
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