My leather shoe seems to have its outer part torn right above the sole seam. Here's a picture:

Shoe with tear in the Upper near the sole

Can this be repaired?

The only thing I can imagine is to unstitch the sole, put a patch to reunite the two parts of the torn leather upper, and sew everything back together. Would that hold though?

Any other thoughts?

  • Any other thoughts?" The boot looks shot. The sole is beginning to split, and the upper looks as though it is cracking from neglect. I would recognise that it is time to lay the faithful old pair to rest. Commented Aug 6, 2022 at 17:58
  • @WeatherVane thanks for the comment. It's my grandfather's shoe, thus I would be more interested to know how to restore it. Commented Aug 6, 2022 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


In a word, Yes.

The repair can be affected in a few different ways but the tear is symptomatic of the overall condition of the leather and the 'repair' would be cosmetic, at best, lasting a short time. The boot would not be serviceable in the usual practical sense.

Edit: Here's one idea; however, it will affect the fit. The 'stent' will also help reinforce the surrounding upper. GoreTex™ may be suitable. There are a variety of different glues/cements - consult technical references for the appropriate one. Boot repair - cutaway view

… Preserve them as a cherished memento of your loved one. A specialty frame shop professional would be able to give you some ideas for display if you were so motivated.

Good luck.

  • There are a few cements, tapes, and flexible glues that would seal the hole; but, the appearance of the 'fix' would be a bit bizarre. Repairs inside the piece would alter the fit and wear of the boot.
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 13:36
  • @VicSeedoubleyew A visible 'patch' applied to one boot would be 'odd' by definition no matter what the material. Stitching leather in such poor condition is a questionable practice. Glues and tapes applied where the 'ball' of the foot naturally flexes will create a mechanically weak, failure-prone, point of increased wear. Each different kind of repair has its own compromise with appearance and practicality. If you want to try and don't mind the experiment… Why not? Good luck. If you decide to get a new pair, don't abuse them and give them preventative treatment and periodic maintenance.
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 21:04
  • 1
    Aside: I have an old leather wallet that belonged to a relative, with note compartments labelled with denominations that became obsolete in 1971. Even then it was old, and he had repaired the stitching by hand. Now the repaired stitching has broken. I had a mind to restitch again, but I will never use it, and prefer to simply keep it as a memento. Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 19:03

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