Understanding the Problem: Why Do Heels Wear Down?
The back heel of a shoe is one of the most vulnerable parts of the shoe because it bears the weight of your entire body every time you take a step. This makes it highly susceptible to wear and tear. As heels are constantly rubbing against the ground, it is only a matter of time before the rubber or foam material of the heel starts to wear down and disappear. This not only makes the shoe look shabby and old but also makes it uncomfortable to wear. Worn-out heels can cause the shoe to slip and slide and can also cause permanent damage to your feet.
There are several reasons why heels wear down and understanding these can help to prevent it from happening in the future. One of the most common reasons is due to the way you walk. If you have a natural tendency to walk on the outer edge or the inner edge of your foot, then the outer or inner edge of your heel will wear down faster than the rest. Similarly, if you walk heavily or tend to drag your feet while walking, it can also cause the heels to wear down quickly.
The type of shoe you wear can also significantly impact the wear and tear on the heel. High heels and stilettos, for example, are notorious for wearing down quickly because of the thin and narrow heels. The curvature of the heel also plays a role in wearing it down. If the curvature of the heel is too sharp, it can cause more pressure to be exerted on a smaller surface area, causing the heel to wear down faster. In contrast, a flared out heel usually provides more stability and will last longer before wearing down.
The surface you walk on also has a significant impact on the wear and tear of the shoe heel. Rougher surfaces such as concrete or gravel can wear down the heel faster than a smoother surface like a wooden floor. Similarly, walking on an incline or decline can cause the heel to wear down faster as your weight is distributed unevenly. Finally, the frequency of use and the age of the shoe can also impact the amount of wear and tear on the heel. The more frequently you wear a shoe, the faster it will wear down. Similarly, shoes that have been stored in a closet for a long time and have not been used can also have their heels wear down due to the pressure being exerted on the same spot for a long time.
Knowing the reasons for why heels wear down can help you take preventative measures to ensure that your shoes last longer. For example, if you tend to walk on the outer edge or inner edge of your foot, you can purchase shoes with more support on the respective side or get custom made shoe inserts to correct foot pronation. Similarly, if you tend to drag your feet while walking, be conscious of your stride and make an effort to lift your feet a little higher off the ground.
Choosing shoes with flared heels or thicker heels will result in more stability and will last longer before wearing down. Additionally, if you know that you will be walking on rougher surfaces, consider wearing shoes with a thicker sole or thicker heel to absorb some of the impact from the ground. Finally, it is always a good idea to rotate shoes periodically so that one pair of shoes is not being overused, and the same spot on the heel is not taking all the wear and tear.
Understanding why heels wear down is the first step to ensuring that your shoes last longer and remain comfortable to wear. By taking preventative measures and making some small changes to your walking style, you can prolong the life of your shoes and protect your feet from damage.
Gather Your Supplies: What You Need to Fix a Heel
Fixing the back heel of a shoe may seem daunting, but with the right supplies, it can be a simple and quick task. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to get started:
- Replacement heel tip: This is the most important item on the list. Your shoe heel will not be able to withstand everyday wear and tear without a new heel tip. You can buy heel tips online or at most shoe repair shops. Make sure to get the right size and shape for your shoe.
- Screwdriver: Depending on the type of heel tip on your shoe, you may need a screwdriver to remove it. Make sure to have a screwdriver that fits the screws on your shoe.
- Rubber cement: Rubber cement will be used to secure the new heel tip to your shoe. It is also waterproof and will provide a stronger hold than regular glue.
- Sandpaper: You will need sandpaper to rough up the surface of the heel tip and the bottom of the shoe where it will be attached. This will help the rubber cement adhere better.
- Masking tape: Masking tape will help hold the heel tip in place while the rubber cement dries.
- Pencil or marker: A pencil or marker will be used to mark the spot where the new heel tip will be attached.
- Optional items: You may also want to have a hammer, pliers or wire cutters on hand if the old heel tip is difficult to remove.
Now that you’ve gathered all the necessary supplies, it’s time to get to work.
Step 3: Reattaching the Heel
Now that the glue has dried, it’s time to reattach the heel to your shoe. First, align the heel with the hole in the shoe and make sure it’s straight. Apply a generous amount of glue to both surfaces and press them together firmly. Hold the heel in place for about a minute to give the glue time to set.
If you are using screws to secure the heel, place the screws in the pre-existing holes and use a screwdriver to tighten them until the heel is snugly attached to the shoe. Be sure not to strip the screws by over-tightening them. If the screwdriver slips or feels like it’s not working, take a break and come back with renewed force or replace the screws if needed.
After the heel is stuck securely in place, wipe away any excess glue that may have squeezed out from the edges. Use a damp cloth or paper towel to clean up any remaining glue. Leave your shoe to dry overnight before wearing them.
It is worth noting that taking your time and being precise is essential when reattaching the heel. Haste could result in an unevenly attached heel or improperly drilled holes that may ruin the look of your shoe. Remember that this is a DIY project that could save you money and the need to visit a cobbler. Therefore, proper alignment is important as it will help you avoid the costs of redoing the project or throwing away the shoes due to further damage.
Finally, you may want to apply a clear sealant to your shoes to prevent them from moisture and other elements. Reattaching the heel may have caused some wear and tear on the shoe, such as scuff marks or scratches, hence the need for a sealant to make your shoe look brand new. A sealant also extends the life of your shoe, protecting them from dirt and water damage.
Whether you decide to go all the way and use screws or opt for glue, ensure that your heel is firmly attached to the shoe. Even the slightest gap in between could cause the heel to come off again later, a costly and often avoidable mistake.
In summary, fixing your heel at home is a simple DIY project that doesn’t require much experience. With the right tools, a bit of guidance, and some patience, you can fix worn down, damaged or detached heels yourself. Remember to assess the damage, clean the surfaces, use appropriate adhesive or screws, and let the glue dry before reattaching the heel to your shoe. And lastly, don’t hesitate to seek help from an expert in case you encounter any difficulty during the process.
When to Seek Professional Help: Signs Your Shoes Need a Cobbler’s Touch
Shoes are an essential element of fashion, comfort, and the overall look of an outfit. We wear them every day, and they often experience wear and tear due to constant usage. While some damages are repairable at home, others require the touch of a professional cobbler. In this article, we will discuss some signs that indicate it’s time to leave the DIY route and take your shoes to a cobbler.
1. Worn Out Soles
Soles are the foundation of the shoes. Whether it’s a casual sneaker or a formal dress shoe, soles protect your feet and provide the grip required for walking. As they experience constant pressure, it’s common for soles to wear out over time. If you notice that the soles of your shoe have thinned or worn out, it’s time to seek professional help. A cobbler can assess the damage and replace the soles with new ones to bring back the comfort and safety of your shoes.
2. Damaged Heels
Heels provide the elevation and balance required for some shoes. Whether it’s a block heel, a stiletto, or a wedge, they add style and support to your footwear. Unfortunately, heels are prone to damages such as cracks, chips, and breaks over time. If you notice any of these, it’s time to seek the help of a cobbler. They can repair or replace the heel of your shoe, making them look good as new.
3. Loose or Broken Straps
Straps are crucial for shoes that require a snug fit. Whether it’s a sandal, a mule, or a pump, straps keep your feet in place for a comfortable and stylish experience. However, straps are prone to wear and tear, and if left untreated, they can lead to injuries or accidents. If you notice that your straps are loose, broken, or frayed, it’s time to seek professional help. A cobbler can repair or replace the straps, ensuring that your shoes fit well and look great.
4. Worn Out Insoles
Insoles are the interior part of the shoe that comes in direct contact with your feet. They provide comfort, arch support, and shock absorption for your feet, making your shoes comfortable and safe to wear. Unfortunately, insoles are prone to wear and tear, especially if you walk for long hours every day. If you notice that the insoles of your shoes are worn out or torn, it’s time to seek professional help. A cobbler can replace the insoles with new ones, making your shoes comfortable and safe again.
In conclusion, shoes are a valuable investment, and it’s crucial to keep them in good condition for a prolonged lifespan. While some damages are repairable at home, others require the touch of a professional cobbler. If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, it’s time to seek professional help. A cobbler can repair your shoes, bringing back their comfort, style, and safety.
Preventive Measures: How to Avoid Premature Wear and Tear on Your Heels
Prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to your shoes. The back heel of a shoe is one of the most vulnerable areas and is prone to wear and tear. However, by following a few preventive measures, you can prolong the life of your shoes and prevent the need for repairs. Here are five tips on how to avoid premature wear and tear on your heels:
1. Quality Shoes
The quality of your shoes matters a lot when it comes to durability. Investing in high-quality shoes is a simple yet effective preventive measure against premature wear and tear. High-quality shoes tend to use better quality materials and are designed to last longer. The cost of a high-quality pair of shoes is usually higher than those of low-quality shoes, but in the long run, it saves you money and reduces the need for frequent repairs.
2. Proper Fitting
Having a proper fitting shoe is crucial in preventing premature wear and tear on your heels. A shoe that is too big or too small causes your foot to slide inside the shoe, wearing out the back heel faster. If the shoe is too big, you might also find yourself walking with an uneven gait or with your feet slipping out of the shoes, leading to further damage. Make sure you measure both feet correctly and try on different sizes before purchasing a shoe.
3. Alternate Shoe Wear
Wearing the same pair of shoes daily can expedite wear and tear, especially on the back heel. Alternating your shoes gives each pair time to rest and recover, allowing them to last longer. The average lifespan of the back heel of a shoe is about six months, but with proper rotation of your shoes, you can extend that lifespan. Alternating between two different pairs of shoes is ideal; however, if you have more shoes, you can alternate among them to reduce the frequency of wearing one particular pair excessively.
4. Appropriate Walking Surface
Walking on rough, uneven surfaces, or rocky terrain is not only uncomfortable but also has a detrimental effect on your shoe’s back heel. The best way to avoid this kind of damage is to be conscious of the type of surface you are walking on. If you must walk on rough terrain, consider wearing shoes that have thicker and more durable soles. While this may not entirely prevent the wear and tear, it would slow it down.
5. Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is essential in preventing premature wear and tear on your heels. Minor damages such as scratches, nicks, or holes can quickly become major issues if ignored. Therefore, inspect your shoes regularly for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice any damages such as a worn out back heel, take your shoes to a cobbler for prompt repair. Cobbler services may include shoe resoling, patching areas with wear and tear, and attaching heel taps, if necessary. Do not wait until the damage is irreparable before seeking cobbler services.
By following these preventive measures, you can help extend the life of your shoes and reduce the need for frequent repairs. Remember, taking care of your shoes should be a priority, considering that shoes play a vital role in protecting your feet. Your shoes not only represent your style but also affects your posture and the overall health of your feet.