Heel slippage is a common occurrence with brand new leather boots. New boots are stiff and don’t flex when your feet bend while walking. As a result, your foot keeps slipping off out of the boot when you walk.
Heel slippage in leather boots compromises your comfort while walking, poses a risk of you losing the balance, falling, and getting yourself injured. So, it should not be taken lightly.
Generally, heel slippage is not a big issue and usually goes away after breaking into the leather boots. But, if it persists then it’s a high time that you should proactively fix it.
Table of Contents
When Should You Try to Fix Heel Slippage in Leather Boots
Only when you have wholly broken into your leather boots.
You must wear your boots for at least two weeks before you taking any steps to fix the heel slippage in your leather boots.
The only reason for heel slippage to happen is the stiffness of the sole and the upper, especially at the heel counter area. This stiffness is not permanent. So, be patient.
7 Ways to Fix Heel Slippage in Leather Boots
1. Buy the Right Size
You should measure your foot right with a Brannock device and buy boots that are true to your size. Buying a larger size is the biggest cause of heel slippage. Unless you can effectively shrink your boots, you probably can never fix heel slippage in large boots.
As a rule of thumb, there must be a little hesitation and a sudden thud for your feet to get into the new leather boots.
Also, while walking, you must experience a heel rise of up to 1 inch. If the heel rises more than 1 inch, you probably have chosen a bigger size. In this case, go down by half or one size.
If you always have to buy a size up or down, default to size down. You can always stretch your leather boots to your actual size. Moreover, it’s safer to stretch the leather than to shrink it.
2. Tighten Your Laces
If you own a pair of slip-on or pull-on boots, I am afraid this method is not for you. If you have boots with laces, tie them up tightly, and it should keep your heel at its place.
Don’t be creative here. People try different methods such as rabbit hole lacing, hikers lacing, etc. but I didn’t find any of them to be super useful.
I don’t even recommend you to buy lace-locks or lace anchors. They are worthless for fixing heel slippage in leather boots.
The whole idea is to tie your laces as tight as possible while maintaining the comfort of your feet. I tie my shoelaces in a way widely known as “surgeon knot.” I believe it is the best lace knot to fix heel slippage in leather boots. Here’s a handy video on how to do the knot:
3. Install a Tongue Pad
A padded tongue helps to push the feet back when you walk.
Most modern boots (especially work boots) come with a padded tongue. If your boots have the same, you can skip this step.
But, If you leather boots don’t come with a padded tongue, installing pads will help to reduce the heel slippage. Usually, it fixes it completely.
Using the pad is easy. Peel off the protective layer and place the adhesive side of the pad on the inner side of the tongue. The pad will quickly stick to the tongue. You can also trim the pad to achieve a custom fit.
4. Wear Non-Slip Socks
This step may require you to spend a little bit of money, but it is well worth it.
Non-slip socks are similar to regular socks, but they come with a rugged pattern on the bottom. This corrugated pattern increases the friction between the socks and the leather that keeps the foot in its place.
The non-slip socks serve multiple purposes. They are usually padded as well. So, if you wear them, you don’t need to install tongue pads separately.
A pair of thick work socks is also an excellent alternative to non-slip socks.
5. Change Your Insoles
These days leather boots come with insoles that have a contoured design. This contoured design keeps the heel locked into its place and prevents any heel slippage in leather boots. If your boots don’t have contoured insoles by default, consider replacing your insoles.
6. Use Heel Liners
You don’t necessarily have to change your insoles.
Instead, you can add a cushioned heel liner, and it will do the trick to fix the heel slippage in your leather boots.
A heel liner is a padded patch with adhesive on one side. You need to press it into your boots at the heel area, and it will quickly stick on it.
A heel liner is also a great solution if you have mistakenly bought boots that are a bit larger than your actual size.
7. Mind Your Gait
Look, I’m not judging you, but you must be mindful of how do you walk.
If you walk on your toes, that will probably give you a hard time to fix heel slippage in leather boots. Instead, walk on your heels.
All it means is that your heel should first come in contact with the ground and then the rest of the foot. With a deliberate practice for a couple of days, this new walking style will become your second nature.
Before You Go
I understand that heel slippage is an irritating problem, but you should address it the right way.
- First, get boots of the right size and then take sufficient time to break into them fully.
- Next, use the free methods such as knotting your laces right and improving your walking style.
- Then, only if other methods fail, move to the paid solutions such as non-slip socks, contoured insoles, tongue pads, and heel linings.
As a last resort, you should take your pair to a seasoned cobbler to fix the heel slippage in your leather boots.