How To Fix Shoes: Handy Tips to Restore Sheen and Shape of Damaged Shoes

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If you’re a shoe lover, there is a huge range of problems you face across your whole collection of shoes.

The more you spend on any given pair, the less likely you are to want to throw them out if something goes wrong.

You’re in for a treat today since we have collected the most common issues faced when it comes to damaged shoes and presented you with some handy hints to restore them to their former glory.

So you can see at a glance what we’ll deal with and skip ahead to your particular problem, here’s a brief look of what we’ll cover today:

Without further ado, let’s solve your shoe bugbears once and for all!

How To Fix Smelly Shoes?

Stinky shoes are a menace but the good news is, that there are a number of simple ways to bring them back to life without needing to spend any money.

  • Pop Your Shoes In The Washing Machine: Sneakers respond especially well to a quick dip in the washing machine. It’s a good idea to pop them inside a pillowcase to protect the drum of your machine. Remove the laces to prevent them from snarling up. Leave them outside to dry or air dry them indoors if you don’t have a yard.
  • Hand Wash Your Shoes: If your shoes are not machine washable, you can easily use a cloth dipped in warm, soapy water to give them a once-over by hand. Scented soap is a smart move if they are smelly not just dirty. Remove all residue carefully and dry as with machine washed shoes.
  • Avoid Wearing Shoes with No Socks: Prevention is the best cure and wearing shoes barefoot is a recipe for disaster. If you don’t like wearing sneakers with socks showing, try some no-show socks.
  • Use Baking Soda To Combat Stinky Shoes: This works well with all kinds of shoes. Pour a generous amount of baking soda inside your shoes and let them sit overnight. Ditch the powder in the morning and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. Exercise caution with leather shoes. If you overdo this method, your shoes might dry out.
  • Essential Oils For Fresh Smelling Shoes: Less is more with powerful essential oils. Choose your favorite fragrance and pop a few drops inside your soiled sneakers to rejuvenate them. If you’re wary of pouring the oils directly onto your shoes, soak some tissue paper instead and place that inside your sneakers

How To Fix Squeaky Shoes?

While squeaky shoes are hardly the end of the world, listening to that infuriating noise as you walk can be remarkably annoying!

Whether it’s caused by a mistake when the shoes were made, general wear and tear or trapped moisture, the good news is you can fight back easily against squeaky shoes.

Before anything else, you need to work out where the shoes are squeaking. If you simply walk to-and-fro rocking and moving your feet in all directions, it should be straightforward to isolate where the problem is coming from. Enlist the help of a friend if you can’t quite work out the source of the noise!

Now it’s time to consider some easy ways to stop those squeaking shoes for good…

  • Baby Powder Works Wonders! Your first port of call should be to use some good, old-fashioned baby powder. This acts to wick away the accumulated moisture that is so often the root cause of squeaky shoes. Pop some powder under the insoles, around the tongue and into the base of your shoes.
  • Vaseline: Go easy with this viscous substance to avoid getting gloop everywhere. Spread an extremely thin layer under the insole to reduce friction and eliminate squeaking.
  • Dryer Sheets: You know those fragrant strips you pop in your dryer to make your clothes smell fresh as a daisy? A cunning hack is to wipe down the bottom of your shoes with one of these to reduce the noise they make against the floor.
  • Sandpaper Your Shoes Smooth: Giving the soles of your shoes a very gently rub with some fine-grade sandpaper can stop a degree of squeaking. Make sure you don’t go over the top using this approach, though!
  • Silicone Spray Saves The Day: WD40 or similar silicone spray can be very carefully applied to stop squeaky shoes. Use a cotton ball so you can pop it on without spoiling your shoes. Do not use this method with suede shoes or you’ll ruin them

How To Fix Slippery Shoes?

Slippery shoes transcend being a simple nuisance as they can be downright dangerous.

Take action to sidestep any unwanted falls!

  • Hairspray: Giving the soles of your shoes a quick blitz with a can of hairspray can add a sticky layer that mitigates the way you slip around. The bad news? It’s only a quick fix so either keep on repeating or take more permanent action…
  • Sandpaper Again: A sheet of sandpaper is surprisingly effective for curing a range of shoe snags. Scrape the soles around exercising caution not to rub too hard. Avoid really coarse sandpaper and, with a light touch, you can step out in confidence again.
  • Use a Professional Non-Slip Accessory: If you don’t mind spending a few bucks, you can buy a simple no-slip add-on for a more long-lasting solution to slippery shoes.

How To Fix Scuffed Shoes?

Leather and suede shoes need slightly different treatment so check out how to deal with scuffs regardless of the material…

  • How To Fix Scuffed Leather Shoes: Depending on your preference and the precise type of leather shoes, you’ll need either a wax or cream to help remove any unsightly scuff marks. First of all, remove any dirt using a damp sponge then allow your shoes to dry. Remove the laces since they are likely to get in the way. Using a cloth – make sure it’s lint-free – use small, circular motions and apply the treatment over the offending area. Mop off any excess then use a brush to buff your shoes up and get them looking like new.
  • How To Fix Scuffed Suede Shoes: For most scuffs on suede shoes, a regular suede brush is generally more than fit for purpose. For more substantial damage, you can use an extremely sharp knife to carefully cut away the spoiled part. Exercise caution here if you don’t want the shoes to end up in the trash can! If you use a light hand, though, this approach can be surprisingly effective.

How To Fix Creases in Shoes?

A pair of nicely worn-in shoes can feel like an old friend but there’s a fine line between shoes that have been well worn and those that look like a total mess.

Creases usually appear across the ties or along the sides of your shoes. Making sure you nip this problem in the bud is key… Delay action and it will be too late.

  • Tissue Paper After Use: It’s often easy to neglect preventive shoe care but stepping in before a problem occurs is a smart move. Once you’ve finished up with your sneakers for the day, ball up some tissue paper and stuff it into the toes overnight. This helps them to preserve their shape.
  • Use Shoe Trees: Investing a modest sum in a shoe tree is money very well spent. One will service all your shoes and keeping their structure by using a shoe tree from time to time is a surefire way to banish creases.
  • Use a Fabric Protector Spray: Another way to stop creases in your shoes from worsening is to make sure you properly treat them with a fabric protector spray. Use a brush with nylon bristle to whip out any lingering dirt from the creases first. Spray as directed on the bottle. This works particularly well for suede or canvas sneakers.

How To Fix Ripped Shoes?

If you’ve ripped your canvas shoes, there’s some good news…

Fixing ripped shoes is really not that difficult.

What You Need?

  • Scissors
  • Popsicle Stick
  • Shoe Goo
  • Sponge
  • Towel
  • Latex Gloves

Ways on How To Fix Ripped Shoes

  1. Cut away any loose strands and threads from the ripped area so the shoe goo you’ll be using sticks on more effectively.
  2. Use a slightly dampened sponge to rub down the torn spot.
  3. Apply some shoe goo along the ripped part of the shoe. We’d recommend wearing latex gloves so you can still work with precision but protect your hands at the same time. Remember that less is more here and apply only a very small amount.
  4. Use the popsicle stick to spread the shoe goo nicely over the damaged part of the shoe and be cautious not to get this anywhere else on the upper.
  5. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours. Ideally allow the shoes to sit unused for 2 or 3 days.

How To Fix Holes in Shoes?

We’ll limit the solution of this problem to showing you to how to fix a hole in the shoe sole.

This is a common occurrence that often causes people to jettison their shoes and head to the store but there’s no need for that!

What You Need?

  • Duct Tape
  • Sand Paper (120 Grit)
  • Paper Tissue
  • Ice Cube
  • Shoe Goo

Ways on How To Fix Holes In Shoes

  • Scratch away any surplus material around the damaged area.
  • Use some wet tissue to clean down the outsole the dry it off completely.
  • Roughen the edges of the hole with your sandpaper. This will help the  shoe goo to stick more effectively.
  • Remove the insole and stick some duct tape over the hole from the inside. Make sure you get total coverage so the shoe goo doesn’t end up working its way inside your shoe.
  • Fill the hole from the outside with the shoe goo making certain to cover the entire area.
  • Use the ice cube to spread the goo evenly around. Using this method will also promote the goo setting a treat.
  • Allow your shoes to rest for 24 hours and the job’s done!

How To Fix Shoes That Are Too Big?

Have you ever been frustrated by finding a pair of shoes in a sale but discovering they’re a size too big?

Perhaps someone bought you some killer shoes as a gift but they seem rather slack?

Fear not, there are a few easy ways to combat this…

  • Use Some Insoles: This is perhaps a statement of the obvious but the best insoles are the first weapon you can use if you want bigger shoes to fit. Insoles work well if the shoes are far too big all over.
  • Get Some Pads For The Balls of Your Feet: If the shoes in question are just a little too roomy and a set of full insoles would be overkill, consider getting some nifty pads that fit inside your shoes just under the toes.
  • Go Old School – Use Tissue: Stuffing some tissue inside is a crude but effective approach. Cotton also works well popped down in the toe area and is a handy trick if your feet tend to slide into the front. It’s only really a  useful avenue of attack if you don’t plan to do much walking, though.

How To Fix Suede Shoes that Got Wet?

If you have suede shoes, you’ll be only too aware how vulnerable they are.

Suede is far from waterproof so what do you do if you get caught in an unexpected rogue downpour?

  • First thing’s first, screw up some tissues into balls but avoid newspapers or magazines or the ink might run into your shoes.
  • Pack the tissues tightly into the shoes making sure it’s all the way up to the toes.
  • Let them dry naturally again in a cool dry place.
  • Resist any temptation to put them in front of a fire or any other source of heat

How To Fix Cracked Leather Shoes?

If your leather shoes or boots start to develop some cracks and you don’t fancy an expensive professional repair job, it’s time to take matters into your own hands…

What You Need?

  • Saddle Soap
  • Mink Oil
  • Shoe Dauber
  • Dish Towel
  • Metal Spoon
  • Dry Brush
  • Shoe Cream

Ways on How To Fix Cracked Leather Shoes

  • Use a dry brush and thoroughly clean your shoes so you start with a blank canvas.
  • Rub some saddle soap into the leather using your shoe dauber. Work it in until the leather gets nice and flexible. Make sure you remove any excess.
  • Put some mink oil on your shoes with the dish towel stuffed inside to help with rigidity. Use the back of the spoon to work it in. Use a very light pressure until the cracks start to visible decrease.
  • Finish the effect by liberally applying cream all over the shoes and you’re good to go!

How To Fix LED Light Up Shoes?

If you invested in some light-up shoes with LEDs for your children and they suddenly stopped working, don’t panic!

Try these quick fixes before throwing them away in despair…

  • Unplug the battery from the LED wire then plug it back in again. This solves a surprising number of incidents much like restarting your PC!
  • Try giving the shoes a full burst of charge for several hours which is another effective approach often overlooked


We trust you’ve found the answer to how to fix your shoe problem whatever it might be in this treasure trove of nifty tips!

Come back soon for more information-packed articles helping you out with all elements of foot and shoe care.

Feel free to drop us a line anytime if there’s anything you’d like us to cover here on the site. We’re very responsive to messages and always more than happy to help.

Pamela Couch

I am a designer, shoe-obsessed lifestyle expert, and founder of, a shoe boutique located in Downtown Atlanta. I love shoes and I love being able to share my passion for them with others.