How to Repair High Heel Shoes

sandal with broken heel

Heel repairs are fairly simple for the most part; purchase parts that have instructions, glue the parts together intuitively, or take your shoes to a repair shop to make sure they're balanced correctly. You can get a couple of miles more out of your favorite pair of heels with any method. When you do have to repair a high heel, stay off your feet for a while, at least until you can get home and really assess the damage and the effectiveness of your repair.

Glue

Glue can work in a high heel emergency. You'll need something stronger than Elmer's glue, of course, but there are other options out there: Super Glue and shoe glue, for example. Be liberal with it for the best hold, but don't use so much you cause the shoes to be unbalanced. Types of glue you can use include:

  • Krazy Glue: Krazy Glue works in 30 seconds to give you a fast repair.
  • Super Glue: There are numerous types of Super Glue, each with its own attributes, such as an easy to apply gel or a stronger, longer hold.
  • Shoe Goo: Shoe Goo can help rebuild or repair a damaged heel.
  • Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue: If your heel and the sole are made from wood and held in place with nails, try wood glue to create a stronger hold.

If you're visiting a shoe repair store to get your glue anyway, pick up some more nails for the best results. If the heel was just glued on before, and there were no nails involved, scrape off the old glue before reattaching the heel with new glue. It will keep your shoes the same height and provide a more stable foundation for the repair.

Broken Heels

You may or may not have had an inkling your heel was about to break completely off. Maybe you ignored the looseness of it; maybe it broke off in one fell swoop. Either way, your shoe is now in two pieces.

Glue that broken shoe back together. When doing so, align your heel very carefully.

If You're Out: Quick Fix

Use Super Glue. It won't be a long-term fix, but if you're nowhere near a shoe repair shop, it'll get you by. The reason Super Glue is so great for an impromptu heel repair is the fast dry time; some glues may need to set overnight.

  1. Scrape off any old glue from the heel and the shoe.
  2. If you have sandpaper available, rough up the heel and the shoe to make the glue adhere better.
  3. If your heel has visible nails prior to gluing the pieces back together, coat the nails with the glue and tap the pieces back together. If you don't glue the nails, they'll slip right back out no matter how many times you reinsert them.
  4. Glue the heel to the shoe. If you can use shoe glue instead of Super Glue, that's even better.
  5. Once you apply the glue and let it dry, tug on the heel and check to make sure it's got a strong enough hold.

At Home: Do It Better

At home, your options aren't much different than when you're out and on the go. You can still glue your heel back on, but you have more glue options if you can allow overnight drying time. Don't forget to rough up the two pieces that you'll be attaching by sanding them prior to applying glue.

Loose, Wobbly Heels

Similar to the broken heels, you can repair loose heels with glue. Also, pick up a few extra shoe nails and pound a couple into each heel. Don't just pay attention to the broken one; you need them both to be balanced for safety reasons and to put the least amount of stress possible on your joints.

Worn Down Heels

Stiletto heels tend to wear down over time. You will have to visit a shoe repair shop for this, but you won't have to pay them to repair it if you don't want to. Just pick up heel tips and put them on both heels yourself by following the directions on the package. It's a surprisingly simple repair.

Failed Repairs

Knowing how to fix a broken or loose heel can help save you time and money, or it may help in an emergency. However, if that high heel repair just won't stick, and you want to save the shoes, take them to a shoe repair shop. They can advise you whether the shoes are savable, or if it's time to buy new ones.

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How to Repair High Heel Shoes