How to Fix Your Flip Flops – Flip flops are a popular and convenient shoe choice during warm weather. However, the lightweight design that makes them so comfortable can also cause them to break easily. If your flip flop straps have torn or the sole has become detached, don’t throw them away just yet. With a few simple supplies and techniques, you can often repair flip flops and extend their life.
How to Fix Your Flip Flops
When a flip flop breaks, the first step is to inspect where and how it is broken. The most common issues are:
- Torn strap: The thin straps holding the shoe onto your foot can tear with regular use over time. This makes the flip flop loose and prone to falling off.
- Detached sole: The sole separating from the upper shoe is also a common flip flop failure. This can happen if the glue deteriorates or the sole gets pulled apart from the strap.
- Worn tread: The tread on the bottom can become smooth and slippery if worn down over time. This makes the shoes unsafe for wet or uneven surfaces.
Once you’ve identified the specific issue with your flip flops, you can move onto the appropriate repair technique.
Repairing a Torn Strap
For strap repairs, simple stitches or shoe glue can often fix tears and reinforce the strap. First, thoroughly clean the strap area with soap and water and let it dry completely.
For small tears, apply a dollop of shoe glue (available at shoe repair shops or craft stores) along the tear and press the edges together firmly for 30-60 seconds as the glue sets.
For larger tears, a needle and thread can stitch the strap back together. Use a heavy duty nylon thread and tightly sew along the tear using a basic running stitch. Knot securely at the end. Finish by applying glue over the stitches for added strength.
To reattach a loose sole, start by cleaning both sides of the separated surfaces. Roughening the smooth surfaces with sandpaper will help the glue adhere better.
Apply a rubber cement glue evenly across both surfaces and let it become tacky. Then firmly press the sole and upper together for 2-3 minutes. Next, weigh or clamp the flip flop down and let it fully cure for at least 8 hours. The bond should be strong again.
Replacing Worn Tread
To refresh worn soles, you can attach new tread using adhesive pads. Cut sections of non-slip tread to fit the size of your flip flop sole. Thoroughly clean the sole and roughen it up lightly with sandpaper. Apply contact cement to both the new tread and flip flop sole. Let them get tacky, then firmly press into place, holding for 2-3 minutes. Add weight and let fully cure overnight.
With a few basic supplies and techniques, you can often repair damaged flip flops rather than throwing them away. Pay attention to where they are wearing out and address problems early. With proper flip flop maintenance and repair, you can extend their usable life each summer.