Repair Soles & Upcycle Shoes with FLAT SOCKS

Worn and dirty canvas sneakers sitting outside

How to Restore Your Shoes

Are your favorite pair of shoes barely scraping by? The treads are almost flat. The rubber outsole looks like it’s about to fly away. And those unsightly stains? Fuh-get about it! Cold weather stylist Elsa of Arendelle would say to let it go, but those worn soles never bothered you anyway.

Don’t toss your favorite sneakers, flats, or heels just because they have a few scuffs. Restore or repair your shoes at home and upcycle them with FLAT SOCKS, the stylish no-show, no-slip shoe insert that replaces your socks and makes the inside of an old shoe look and feel like new.

Person holding scuffed shoe with FLAT SOCKS insert inside

What is Upcycling?

Looking for what to do with old shoes? While you can always donate gently used pairs or recycle old shoes for sustainability efforts, there might be one pair you’re not ready to part with. Consider upcycling your shoes, instead. 

Upcycling is the process of recycling, reusing, or repurposing something so that you add value to that object. In other words, you create something new out of the old.

White tennis shoe and a piece of red thread

How Do You Upcycle Shoes?

Increasing an item’s value by upcycling doesn’t mean you’re going to make bank off your old pair of Nikes. Rather, you fix your shoes so you can keep them. Upcycling shoes extends the life of the pair, and using FLAT SOCKS sockless shoe inserts as part of the process adds cushion, looks stylish, and protects the inner lining and your insole from further wear.

Is It Worth Repairing Old Shoes?

Shoe repair might sound like a task best left to a cobbler, but like most things, you can fix your shoes using the internet. DIY shoe repair gives your shoes new life and saves you from having to purchase a replacement pair.

More serious damages might require you to order replacement parts, buy a shoe repair kit, or check to see if there are any warranties offered by the brand. However, most small fixes are simple and can be done at home.

If you’re interested in how to clean secondhand shoes, then these tips can also help you restore some of your vintage favorites whether you plan to keep them or resell them online.

DIY Shoe Repair Tips & Tricks

You may have not been able to fix your toxic ex - and you shouldn't anyway - but you can fix your favorite pair of shoes. With normal wear, shoes begin to deteriorate at the heel and the outsole. Gradually, the part of the shoe that covers your foot starts to shred, too.

You might also experience fading colors, failed stitching, odors, or holes in the inner lining due to excessive foot sweat and friction. It’s hard to bid our adieus to shoes that fit so well, which is why we’ve gathered these tips on how to repair shoes yourself.

Cleaning Your Shoes

Thunk...thunk...thunk. That’s the sound of your shoes taking a spin in the laundry. Washing your shoes, or at least spot cleaning them, helps maintain their quality and may even make them appear newer once fully freshened up. Here are a few steps you can take to tidy up your shoes:

1. Remove Shoe Laces: If you’re cleaning canvas sneakers, boots, or any shoe with laces, remove the laces and place them in a lingerie bag, washing them with your next load of laundry.
2. Get Rid of Stains: Wine, coffee, and sweat stains are common reasons people might get rid of their shoes. However, you can easily remove stains by filling the inside of your shoes with newspaper and spraying the outside with an eco-friendly stain remover.
3. Clean the Outsole: Wipe away dirt, debris, and scuff marks on your rubber outsoles with DIY shoe cleaning solutions like dish soap and warm water, baking soda paste, or nail polish remover. Using a small toothbrush helps you scrub away at tedious smudges, as well.

Person cleaning leather shoe with a rag

Mending the Outsole

One of the most obvious shoe dilemmas is when the outsole or bottom of your shoe starts to separate from the rest of the shoe. This also happens in high heels when the heel snaps off its base, transforming your baddie aesthetic into a fashion nightmare. Luckily, here is how you can reattach an outsole:

1. Clean the Break: Clean or disinfect the sole or heel at each break point to remove dirt and assure better adhesion.
2. Use an Adhesive: Apply a moderate amount of silicon rubber caulk or super glue throughout the surface of the break. For high heels, you will want to use sandpaper to roughen the material prior to gluing.
3. Apply Pressure: Press the shoe and outsole together with a clamp or a heavy object and leave the shoe to dry overnight.

Person gluing together an outsole with shoe adhesive

To repair small holes in rubber, reattach broken heels, or adhere replacement parts from shoe repair kits, you can also use a designated shoe adhesive. Be sure to look for one that dries clear for a discreet fix and features a flexible, waterproof finish.

Repairing the Inner Lining

Inner shoe linings wear out over time for many reasons. Sweat and friction causes the fabric to tear, regular washing wears down material, and manufacturer glues break down overtime. You can, however, repair shoes with worn lining or insoles using either a shoe adhesive or lining the inside of your shoe with new materials.

Foam or gel shoe cushions as well as moleskin are easy, affordable ways to add extra padding to the inner lining of your shoe. Use them to cover up holes or rips in the lining and prevent certain trouble spots in your shoes from rubbing your feet the wrong way.

Are the insoles in your boat shoes or canvas sneakers too worn for comfort? Shoes with lightly wrinkled or worn insoles can quickly become a cause for blisters on the bottoms of your feet due to the breakdown of comfort materials from friction and sweat.

FLAT SOCKS add soft cushioning to your current insoles, making them excellent inserts for Sperry Boat shoes, Vans, Converse, and more. They are non-slip, and they wick away moisture, pulling sweat from your feet to keep shoes fresh and protect insoles from wear.

Woman putting on gray shoes with camo FLAT SOCKS inside

How to Keep Your Shoes from Wearing Out 

Take care of your shoes and prevent damage with regular cleaning and mending of minor repairs as they come up. Want upcycle your shoes so you can use them longer? FLAT SOCKS bolster the inside of your shoe in comfort and style with a non-slip, no-sweat design to help minimize friction and wear. Plus, you can toss them in the wash anytime to help keep the insides of your shoes clean.

Want to keep your shoes as original as possible? FLAT SOCKS come in assorted colors, so you can match the color of your original insole or pick a new hue. Browse classic designs like light grey, dark grey, black, or beige as well as prints and patterns that express your unique style including rainbow, military camo, plaid, and more.

Person walking through sand carrying shoes with rainbow FLAT SOCKS

Not every worn, torn, and tattered shoe can be saved, but these few easy and general fixes can make a big difference in the longevity of your current pair. Use FLAT SOCKS to add cushion to your current insole while protecting your beloved sneakers, heels, flats, boots, or loafers from further wear.