Heel Tip Repairs, Replacement & Cost
A question we’re often asked by our clients is whether rubber heel tips can be repaired or replaced, what the process involves and the cost. In addition, we’re often asked whether heel tips can be replaced yourself or is it better to get it done by a shoe repairer?
Why do Rubber Heel Tips Wear?
Heel tips are the rubber stoppers attached to the heelpieces of stiletto or high heels. Rubber heel tips are usually only a few cm in diameter and insert into the heelpieces with a dowel.
The purpose of a rubber heel tip is to provide grip, comfort or cushioning and protect the leather-covered heelpiece above.
The reason rubber heel tips wear is because your entire body weight is concentrated on a tiny area of the heel. The fact that the rubber tips can still last a long time highlight their durability.
Despite this its not uncommon for rubber heel tips to wear within only a few weeks. We’ll often advise our clients to rotate a few pairs of heels to avoid constantly wearing out and having to replace their heel tips.
Replacing or Repairing Rubber Heel Tips
So what are your options for repair or replacement of your worn rubber heel tips?
For best results particularly for expensive or designer shoes our recommendation is that you have your rubber heel tips replaced professionally by a shoe repairer.
A shoe repairer or cobbler will stock a variety of sizes and colour of replacement heel tips and will be able to select the right profile to fit your heels.
The process our shoe repairers follow for replacing rubber tips involves removing the dowel and worn heel tips, selecting new ones of similar profile and colour and using a shoe last to attach the replacement heel tips.
Once the heel tips are inserted our shoe repairers will sand the rubber tips on a finishing machine to achieve a correctly tapered finish. Any scuffs or marks on the heelpieces, can also be smoothed and buffed with the finishing machine.
If you’re interested in trying to fit your heel tips yourself we’ve provided a guide below. Please note we cannot take any responsibility for any damage to your shoes.
How to Replace Heel Tips
- Measure the diameter of the heelpiece the first step is to measure the diameter of the heelpiece to determine which size to purchase, also take note of the colour and style.
- Remove the original heelpiece a pair of pliers can be used to remove the existing rubber heelpiece, we suggest holding the shoe steady while turning counter clockwise. Take care not to pull the rubber away from the metal dowel.
- If the metal pin / dowel is stuck you can either attempt to remove it with a drill bit and risk destroying the heel or take it to your shoe repairer.
- Once the dowel is removed check for any damage to the end of the heelpiece, it needs to be smoothed, cleaned and leveled out with the dowel holder or the heel tip will fall out again. You’ll need to use a stanley knife or sander.
- When the heel is level insert the new rubber heel tip with a dab of superglue and use a hammer to secure the heel tip to the end of the heelpiece.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Heel Tips?
For the time it takes to replace your own heel tips and the potential risk of damaging your shoes its usually more cost-effective to just use the services of a reputable shoe repairer.
Heel tip replacements are a simple task for most shoe repairers taking anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes and usually offered as a while you wait service.
The average cost for this service should be between $15 – $35 for a pair of heel tips.
If you need your heels repaired we offer a professional heel tip repair and replacement service specialising in designer and luxury shoes.
We can change the heel tips if you were provided with spare rubber tips from a brand or apply our own matching rubber heel tips to your shoes or boots.