General Question

vanphan's avatar

How can I preserve the inside-heel part of my shoes?

Asked by vanphan (134points) December 18th, 2009

I usually wear sneakers/skate shoes. Naturally, there is wear-and-tear that comes over time with plain use: this is unavoidable and I know this.

But a common, frequent problem area is the “inside-heel” part of the shoe (I don’t know the technical term, if there is one). It always tears and is exposed long usually before the rest of the shoe is even close to wearing out to such severity. How can I reduce this?

I already use a shoe-horn, which is one of the best “simple” inventions I have ever discovered for myself. I am asking: is there some sort of tactic you use when taking off your shoes or something else that minimizes stress on the inside back heel? Maybe some of you guys not only untie your laces when taking off your shoes but also loosen them up entirely? Let me know! Thank you all.

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7 Answers

Facade's avatar

This happens because of the way you place your feet when you walk. There isn’t really anything you can do about it, unless you change your entire stance.

EdMayhew's avatar

When people from my father’s generation bought shoes they would keep them for years as they were expensive, having them re heeled and re soled by cobblers. In recent years shoes have become so cheap that people throw them when the innersole wears out.

I am lucky to have inherited from my grandfather a kit for shoe maintenance. It’s from the 1920s and it has everything you need to do this. It’s a mahogany box and in it are two recesses for holding tins of polish, space for a rag along with two brushes- one coarse for applying polish and the other softer for buffing. It also has a metal shoe horn and a boot hook, which is a long hook on a handle. It’s really lovely and though old fashioned I use it every day. You can buy all the bits that are in it from any hardware store or shoe shop, and i would recommend getting a nice box to store it all in so you don’t lose any of it.

Firstly, start with a good pair of shoes; there is no remedy for poor quality. Loosen all the laces, right the way down until the are all slack. Insert the shoehorn till it touches the sole of the shoe. A metal shoe horn is essential as the plastic ones you can get wil flex, causing the shoe to wear out quicker. If you are wearing boots you will now use the leather loop on the back of the boot to attach the boot hook. For shoes, place one hand on the shoe horn and the other under the sole at the heel, not grasping the back edge of the shoe, and push up on the heel whilst removing the shoe horn in one fluid movement. Be careful to keep the shoe horn as close to your calf as possible; pulling back away from your leg will stretch the leather and quickly break the shoe.

Keep your shoes clean – mud and dirt will dry out and sap the moisture from the leather, making it brittle and prone to damage.

Regular polishing with good quality wax polish and a stiff brush will keep the leather supple and help prevent splitting. The liquid polish or ‘scuff cover’ you get in applicator bottles is essentially paint and will dry the leather out and cause it to split quicker.

Sticking to these simple rules should help you keep your shoes for many years of comfortable walking.


Freedom_Issues's avatar

I would say no. If you skateboard, expect your shoes to go through alot of stress, and you will probably have to replace them frequently.

FutureMemory's avatar

I have the same problem with my vans.

EdMayhew's avatar

with vans the problem is usually that they are used like slip on shoes yet are designed as laceups. If you undid your laces every time you took them on and off, and tied them up nice and securely (with a double bow) when you put them on, the grip tape on your board and the definitive ‘skater shuffle’ would wear out the sole much faster than the back lining, however that would a. be a pain in the arse, and b. make you look like a dork.


PandoraBoxx's avatar

For dress shoes, there are adhesive heel liners that can go on the inside of the shoe to minimize friction. The trick would be to put these in when the shoes are new, and replace them periodically.

stratman37's avatar

First, make sure they are the right size and fit, then tie ‘em tight enough.

Apart from that, @PandoraBoxx – is right about the heel liners.

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