How to Replace a Worn-Down Heel Tip

1 Like
Like if this guide is helpful
How to Replace a Worn-Down Heel Tip

High heel shoes raise the heel of the wearer's foot so that it is higher than the toes. Most commonly, high heels range from two to five inches in height. Because so much pressure is placed on the heel tip from walking, these often wear down or break and need replacing. Repairing a high-heeled shoe at home can save time and money. When the heel tip breaks off or becomes worn-down on a shoe, it can be fixed, and with proper care, will look and perform like it did new.


A History of High Heels

High heels have been around for a very long time. In ancient Egypt, most of the lower class walked barefoot. However, early murals that date back to 3,500 B.C. show upper class men and women donning footwear with high heels during ceremonies and special events. In ancient Greece and Rome, platform heels were worn, and actors used high heels to signify a higher social status.

In the Middle Ages, to protect expensive shoes from street filth, men and women wore a type of elevated shoe called pattens. In the 1400s in Turkey, chopines, another overshoe that resembled platform shoes, were invented and worn only by women. Chopines ranged in height from seven to thirty inches; not surprisingly, some wearers had to use canes or the help of an assistant to walk. Eventually, the Venetians made the chopines into a symbol of status: the higher the heel, the more power and wealth the woman possessed.

In the 1500s, high heels became more fashionable thanks to Catherine de Medici. At the age of 14 and at a height of less than five feet, she was engaged to the powerful Duke of Orleans. To make herself stand out from the duke's favorite mistress, she began to wear two-inch high heels. This added height and style and also made her seem more powerful during her rule as the queen of the French court. Her fashion trend caught on, and heels became a sign of privilege. Those who were wealthy or had authority were referred to as being "well-heeled." And, by the late 1500s, both men and women wore high heels as fashion accessories.

In the early 1700s, the king of France, Louis XIV, wore high heels that had battle scenes painted on the heels. These were known as "Louis heels" and were five inches tall. Soon after his shoes appeared, knock-offs were made. To put a stop to this, high heel laws were passed that prevented anyone from owning heels taller than his; additionally, only nobility was allowed to wear red heels.

After the French Revolution, political leader Napoleon put an end to the Louis heel as he pushed for equality among citizens. However, he was not successful for long, and when Marie Antoinette was taken to be executed, she wore two-inch high heels. In the 1790s, heel heights were lowered and a shorter wedge heel called the spring became popular. These looked like classical Roman sandals with ribbons to tie around the ankles. From then until the 1930s, there were four types of heels available: the spring, the stacked, the knock-on, and the Louis.

It was not until the 1920s that high heels became a fashion focus again. With women's hemlines reaching new heights and daring fashions becoming the trend, high-heeled footwear became popular.

It was Christian Dior's partnership with shoe designer Roger Vivier in the 1950s that led to today's pointy-toed, thin and high stiletto heel. This style was extremely popular in the 1960s with the stiletto heel on tall boots and was often paired with mini-skirts. The 1970s introduced the platform shoe. High heels made a dramatic comeback in the 1980s and 90s, when designers brought high-heeled, trendy shoes to the catwalk, to Hollywood, and eventually, to the everyday female consumer.


Supplies for Replacing a Worn-Down Heel Tip

Replacing a worn-down heel tip is not difficult if the right supplies are available.

  • Tack Hammer: This tool is a very lightweight hammer that is used for small and delicate projects. Its handle is about ten inches, and it has a rounded, small head. It is designed for pounding in small nails or tacks, such as into heel tips.
  • File: This is used for evening out the heel tips if needed.
  • Pliers: This hand tool has opposing jaws for gripping, bending, and cutting. Pliers are used to tightly grasp and take out the broken heel tip.
  • Shoe Glue: Shoe glue is a special type of adhesive for footwear. It comes in various forms and ranges in price depending on the quality of the glue. It is best to use a quality glue to preserve the high heels that are being repaired. Shoe Goo is a popular adhesive on the market.
  • Super Glue: Especially useful for quick high heel fixes, super glue is an extremely strong adhesive that can hold heavy weights for long periods of time.
  • Shoe Nails: The original high heels have nails in them, so it is possible to reuse these when repairing. If these nails are bent or missing, new nails can be purchased.
  • Rag: Used for cleaning up glue that might spill, a rag is smart to have on hand when repairing high heel tips.
  • Plastic Heel Tip: To prevent new heel tips from wearing down quickly, consider covering with a clear, plastic heel tip.


Steps for Replacing a Worn-Down Heel Tip with Nails

The cheapest way to repair high heels is by reusing the nails that were already in the heel tips. However, if these are missing or bent, new flathead nails that are 20 mm or smaller can be purchased from the local hardware store. To replace a worn-down heel tip, there are only a few steps that need to be taken.

Step

Procedure

Step 1

Remove the metal pin that goes up the length of the heel with a pair of pliers. If the high heel shoe does not have this pin, skip this step.

Step 2

Remove the existing heel tip with a pair of pliers using a left to right twisting motion.

Step 3

Insert the new heel tip into the vacant hole.

Step 4

Hammer the tip all the way into the heel using the tack hammer.

Step 5

If needed, paint the heel tip so that it matches.

This procedure is quite simple, but there are other methods.


Steps for Replacing a Worn-Down Heel Tip with Glue   

Similar to replacing worn-down heel tips with nails, some prefer using glue, especially for on-the-go, quick fixes.

Step

Procedure

Step 1

Remove the metal pin that goes up the length of the heel with a pair of pliers. If the high heel shoe does not have this pin, skip this step.

Step 2

Remove the existing heel tip with a pair of pliers using a left to right twisting motion.

Step 3

Using shoe glue or super glue, place the heel tip on top of the hole and hold firmly to create a bond.

Step 4

If needed, paint the heel tip so that it matches.

It is important to note that some may combine the steps by gluing and then nailing in new heel tips to form a more secure hold.


Steps for Replacing a Wobbly or Detached Heel

Although heel tips are the most susceptible part of a high heel that will need replacing, the heels themselves can become wobbly or detached, and so it is helpful to know how to repair these as well. The same supplies are used.

Step

Procedure

Step 1

Apply shoe glue to the top of the heel and press firmly to create a secure bond.

Step 2

Wipe off any excess glue that comes through the cracks with a clean rag.

Step 3

Once the glue is dry, hammer in a few shoe nails around the heel. Take care not to let the nails go through to the shoe's interior.

Repairing a wobbly heal can help prevent further damage to the high heels.


Buying Heel Tip Repair Supplies on eBay

A large selection of heel and heel tip repair supplies can be found on eBay from many sellers. Since eBay boasts competitive pricing and many opportunities for free shipping, the site is a smart option for buyers who want an extensive and convenient shopping experience. Finding heel repair supplies on eBay is easy.

First, go to the category labeled Fashion. From here, it is easiest to enter into the search box the words, heel tip repair. You will be met with a large selection of high heel tips and kits. Depending on preference, you can browse through these different categories to find exactly what you want.

Because there are many options, it is a good idea to limit your search by brand or price range, if known. You may also want to type in the brand you are looking for in the search box. By being very specific, your choices are quickly narrowed down and the site is more manageable to navigate. Other options include searching by seller or specified buying formats, including auction only or buy it now. You may also want to limit your search to only looking at those sellers who offer discounted or free shipping.

Purchasing on eBay gives both the seller and the buyer peace of mind when engaging in a transaction. By allowing both to rate and leave feedback for one another, other potential customers can decide to work with those whose ratings are the highest and whose feedback is exceptional.


Conclusion

High heels have come a long way since their introduction in ancient Egyptian society. The influence of high heels has spanned generations and cultures, and their association with feminine fashion has remained steadfast. Although heels are symbolic of a strong woman, the tips of this footwear are not as strong. However, with the proper supplies and a little know how, the heel tips can easily and effectively be repaired at home at a minimal cost.

Explore more guides