How to Repair TOMS


UPDATE: Check out how my TOMS repairs have held up!

Over Spring Break I almost finished unpacking all of my boxes. And one of those boxes was a big box of stinky shoes. Note to self: Do not leave several pairs of shoes closed up in a box for several weeks. Towards the top of the box I saw my beloved first pair of TOMS. I think they were the stinkiest. I threw them in the washer with a load of laundry and one of these. A couple of hours later when I meandered back into the garage to toss my clothes into the dryer, I remembered my TOMS and promptly brought them upstairs to the kitchen to dry. Where once again, I forgot about them until the next day. I was sitting in the kitchen working on another project (crayons I tell you!) with a hot glue gun. My TOMS were lying in a heap on the floor, staring forlornly at me.

I must say, it’s a miracle that these things have survived this long. I got them almost two years ago and wore them allllllllllll the time for the first year or so. During the summer, I decided that they made fantastic gardening shoes. And painting shoes. I think that’s how this happened….Or maybe this….

In any case, these comfy shoes needed some serious repair. I had huge holes on the outsides of BOTH shoes (how??) like the bottom picture. The toes were barely pieced together and the heel on the right shoe had completely separated from the upper canvas of the shoe. So, here’s how I fixed them. I got this idea from my friend Lauren, but I’m sure it’s been all over Pinterest too.


Toms needing repair (duh šŸ™‚ )

Fabric glue

Hot glue (not necessary, but useful for large holes)

Some type of heavy fabric to patch holes. I managed to get a 18 inch strip of lightweight canvas from my local fabric store for free.

Fat Quarters. Most fabric stores should have these pre-cut portions of fabric all ready to go for you. I bought two for $3 apiece. You can wear your toms to the store to match the fabric, or just guess like I did.




1. Wash your TOMS. I think their website says to use a soft brush and a bowl of warm water, but I just throw mine in the washer. Maybe this is why they are so broken. Maybe not. I would recommend listening to the TOMS people, they probably know more than me :p

2. Let AIR dry. I put my toms in the dryer once, and I’m pretty sure that’s why the leather soles in the inside are all messed up. Who knows. It’ll probably take about a day and they might smell like wet dog for a little while. But once they’re dry, they smell really good. I think it’s the laundry soap. It rocks.

3. Patch any holes. I did this by cutting small pieces of canvas and gluing them together. You can use fabric glue, but a small amount of hot glue works much faster. Fabric glue is probably a better hold, but it took too long for me to dry. I’m not very patient. I liked to have three layers of canvas to patch my holes. But, the holes on mine were very large and my canvas was very thin. After I had my patch made, I put a small amount of hot glue on the inside of the shoe around the hole and stuck the patch on. After it dried I used teeny tiny spots of hot glue to secure any loose corners. Be careful when working with hot glue! It burns if you touch it prematurely. I may or may not have burned a layer of skin off my thumb by accident….

Also, I decided after I patched the hole to reinforce it a little more. I did this by covering the outside part of the patch with hot glue. I started along the outside edges and filled in, kind of like coloring in a circle. But with a hot gooey substance. I figured this would seal the holes better.

4. If your heels are worn out like mine, you could try this step to repair them. I initially tried fabric glue, but it took WAY too long and it wasn’t really working because of the straight rip. So instead, I put a line of hot glue on the bottom of the rip and pressed the top into the glue and held until it was dry. This worked really well for mine because it was a straight rip along a seam. I couldn’t figure out a good way to patch it. If you have any ideas, please share šŸ™‚ As you can see, I got a little crazy with my glue gun and it’s rather messy. I didn’t mind because how many people look at the heel of your shoe, anyway?

5. Use small amounts of hot glue to glue any loose fabric on the toes. Put tiny glue dots close to the toe seam where the canvas contacts the rubber outsole. Press canvas into glue where it normally folds over the toe. The key to using hot glue is using small amounts. That way, when it dries, you’re not left with big hard bumps of glue. Obviously, this did not go well on the heel.

6. If desired, glue rectangular patches of canvas over the toes. This will make them more sturdy, but it is not necessary. You’ll be covering this area anyway, so it’s okay if it’s crooked like mine. Next is the fun part! Take your fat quarters and figure out which part of your toms you want to cover. I chose to use the diagonal line going across the width of the shoe as a guide. Lauren followed that line exactly, but I chose to go more towards the back of the shoe (by the little white TOMS flaggy thing) so that my fabric would cover my patched holes.

7. Fold your fat quarters in half with the wrong side facing out. Lay the fabric over the shoe and move it around until you’ve decided how you want to place it. Once you’ve decided on a position, wrap the fabric all the way around the shoe and trace the rough shoe shape. I used a black crayon. It’s definitely a good idea to go bigger than what you think you’ll need, because you can always trim off the excess later. Sorry, it’s kind of hard to see in the picture.

If you’d like, you can wrap the fabric around your second shoe and do the trace/cut thing again. Or, you can lay your cut piece of fabric (still folded!) on the fabric you have left and trace around that. That’s what I did. It worked pretty well. Again, I recommend going bigger than what you need. Mine was a teensy bit too small.

8. Fold your fabric pieces so that they are now right side out. Place them over the shoe, being careful to line them up properly. This is where that diagonal line really comes in handy. I glued the outer edges with hot glue just to keep the fabric from slipping. I then ran fabric glue under the fabric just above the diagonal line and pressed the fabric down. Around the toes I used hot glue because I figured it might hold better. Once you’re satisfied all of your edges are glued, you can set it aside to dry. On some fabrics either glue may leave a wet appearance. Take care to only glue above the rubber sole where the canvas naturally is.

The other way is to completely coat the surface of the toms with fabric glue, but only on the parts that will be covered by fabric. Set the fabric on, adjust, and let dry.

9. Repeat with other shoe. Let dry.After they’re dry (my fabric glue says let set for at least 24 hours before wearing), trim off any excess fabric.

10. Enjoy your new shoes!!


2 responses »

  1. Pingback: TOMS Repair Update « Making My Way Home

  2. Pingback: Excitement! « Making My Way Home

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s