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How to Remove Glued Insoles from Shoes: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Remove Glued Insoles from Shoes: A Step-by-Step Guide

Comfortable shoes are essential for our daily activities, but what do you do when the insoles of your favorite pair become worn out or uncomfortable? Many shoes come with glued-in insoles, making replacement seem like a daunting task. However, fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of how to remove glued insoles from shoes without damaging the footwear.

1. Gather Your Tools:

Before you start the removal process, gather the necessary tools. You’ll need a few household items, including a hairdryer, a butter knife or a flat-head screwdriver, rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, and replacement insoles if you plan on adding new ones.

2. Heat the Glue:

The first step in removing glued insoles is to loosen the adhesive. Use a hairdryer on its highest setting to heat the insoles. Hold the hairdryer about six inches away and move it around the insoles for approximately 2-3 minutes. The heat will soften the glue, making it easier to peel off the insoles.

3. Begin Peeling:

Once the glue is adequately heated, use the butter knife or flat-head screwdriver to carefully lift the edges of the insoles. Start at the heel or toe, gently working your way around the edges. Take your time to avoid tearing or damaging the shoe material.

4. Apply Rubbing Alcohol:

For any remaining stubborn glue, saturate a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and dab it onto the sticky residue. Rubbing alcohol helps dissolve the adhesive without harming the shoe material. Continue this process until all the glue is removed. Be patient, as it may take a few applications.

5. Clean the Shoe Interior:

After removing the glued insoles, clean the shoe interior with a damp cloth to eliminate any residue. Allow the shoes to air dry thoroughly before inserting new insoles or wearing them again.

6. Consider Insole Replacement:

If the reason for removing the glued insoles is wear and tear, this is an excellent opportunity to consider replacing them with new, comfortable insoles. Choose insoles that provide the right support for your feet and suit the type of shoes you have.

7. Customize with Gel Inserts:

For added comfort and support, consider customizing your shoes with gel inserts. Gel inserts can enhance cushioning and reduce impact on your feet, making your shoes even more comfortable.

8. Preserve the Original Insoles:

If the glued insoles are still in good condition, you may want to preserve them for future use. Store them in a safe place so you can reattach them if needed. This is especially useful if you plan to rotate insoles for different activities.

9. Seek Professional Help:

If you encounter difficulties or are concerned about damaging your shoes during the removal process, it’s advisable to seek professional help. A cobbler or shoe repair specialist has the expertise to safely remove glued insoles without causing harm to the shoes.

10. Preventive Measures:

To extend the life of your insoles and minimize the need for removal, take preventive measures. Rotate your shoes regularly to allow them to air out, use moisture-wicking socks to reduce moisture inside the shoes, and keep your shoes in a well-ventilated area.


Learning how to remove glued insoles from shoes is a valuable skill that can extend the life of your favorite footwear. By following these step-by-step instructions and being patient in the process, you can successfully replace insoles, improve comfort, and keep your shoes in top condition. Remember to gather the necessary tools, apply heat to loosen the glue, and use rubbing alcohol for any remaining residue. With these techniques, you’ll be able to enjoy comfortable and refreshed shoes in no time.

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