How to fix ripped Vans

Have you worn out your favourite pair of Vans shoes but aren’t quite sure how to patch that tear? Don’t sweat it – the secret to tackling life “Off The Wall” is skating hard and fast. From duct tape to shoe goo, let’s explore how to fix your Vans before you head back to the park.

How to repair Vans shoes

When your Vans rip, it can be tempting to assume the tear cannot be repaired. Before you throw your canvas shoes in the donation bin, consider mending your shoes to give them a second life, optimise your budget, and reduce waste. After all, the UK is the world’s fourth-biggest contributor of textile waste globally.

With a small piece of duct tape, electrical tape, or a dab of shoe glue, you can repair your shoes in a few simple steps. Here’s how to fix a hole in your Vans:

  1. Prepare your materials: Before fixing ripped classic skate shoes, it is crucial to clean the surface of the canvas for repair. First, remove the laces and combine a couple of drops of dish soap with approximately two cups of warm water in a bowl. 

    Upon mixing the relevant solution, take a toothbrush or other small brush and dip it gently in the water. Then, brush the top and sides of each shoe to remove any excess dirt. Once you've thoroughly cleaned the surface of each shoe, place them to dry in a cool area.

  2. Remove any excess threads: Once entirely dry, locate the torn area on the shoe and carefully remove any frayed threads from each part of the tear.

  3. Experiment with shoe glue: If the tear can be repaired with shoe adhesive, create a dab of shoe glue on a piece of cardboard. Then dip a cotton swab in the glue and apply the glue to the tear. Take extreme care to keep the edges of the tear symmetrical. In some cases, the tear may not lay flat. If that’s the case, you can rest a toothpick on the area before allowing the glue to dry.

  4. Patch up without a problem: If the tear is a little more extreme, consider using a piece of fabric instead. Simply cut a piece of canvas or fabric to exceed the size of the tear itself. Then, glue the fabric to the canvas over the tear. Plus, don't hesitate to add a pop of personality with patterned fabric on each shoe.

  5. Get up and get going: Once your tear is all set, dress up your new slip on shoes or skate shoes with a crisp pair of laces.

How to repair a Vans sole

The best way to fix the bottom of your Vans sole is to apply glue or relevant shoe adhesive. Any glue that is engineered to fix rubber or cement will work well.

All Vans are constructed through a unique vulcanization process where shoe components are welded together using heat. As a result, rubber foxing is vulcanized to the rubber sole of the shoe and melt-welded to the canvas uppers.

With extended use, the sole of your Vans may split away from the canvas uppers. Simply re-glue the areas that have pulled away. We recommend using some contact cement adhesive for a durable and long-lasting solution. If you're in a bind, then a shoe  repair glue or something similar is an excellent stopgap.

And finally, if you’ve just bagged yourself a brand new pair of Vans, protect them with our Vans Shoes Care Canvas Kit (it even comes in a travel size).

What are you waiting for? Fix up your skate shoes today, and then hit the ground running with Vans by your side.

Please be aware that self-repairs would void any kind of warranty.