Soft clogs, such as Haflinger, typically last the average wearer at least two to three years before they begin to fail. However, when they do show signs of excessive wear, there is no need to discard the clogs. Relatively simple fixes exist for the three major causes of material failure on soft clogs: worn outer wool/felt (dependent on manufacturer), disconnected wool/felt and a worn felt insole liner. Fortunately, even though cobblers may be becoming a "thing of the past," minor shoe repairs can be accomplished by the average person with a bit of forethought.
Repair Outer Wool/Felt
Examine the area of wear and measure with a ruler. Extend the measurement by 1/4 inch beyond the damaged area to get a square or rectangular size and record the measurement. Outer wool/felt can wear prematurely due to an improper fit or excessive friction and can be identified by the presence of progressively thinner areas of the wool or felt leading to eventual rupture and hole exposure.
Carefully pinch the material between your fingers and cut the measured area from the clog with sharp scissors. Be sure to make a clean cut.
Take the damaged area of wool or felt that you removed from the clog with you to a fabric store. Match the fabric with a similar color and texture of wool or felt fabric and thread.
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Lay the piece of damaged fabric that you removed from the clog onto the new fabric and cut around it, leaving an extra 1/4 inch of fabric on the new patch. You can mark it with the ruler and pen if you wish prior to cutting, but the patch will be on the inside, so perfection is not necessary.
Hold the new patch inside of the clog. Make sure that the hole is entirely covered and the patch is centered under the hole. Use a small curved upholstery needle to carefully and neatly sew the patch onto the clog with moderate pressure. Trim excess material.
Repair Disconnected Wool/Felt
Examine the damaged area and determine where the seam has separated. Wool/felt can disconnect from the base of the sole over time if the clogs are subjected to extreme usage including use in high intensity running and heavy contact sports.
Apply a thin bead of standard nontoxic epoxy in a line along the area where the felt disconnected from the sole.
Clamp the area securely with a c-clamp and allow to dry according to the epoxy manufacturer's recommendation.
Repair Felt Liner
Repair the felt insole liner if frictional contact wear and exposure to sweat has worn it down. Examine the damaged felt. If any debris is present, clean and allow to dry thoroughly.
Sit the clog on top of matching fabric and trace the outline. Cut out the new insole layer.
Place the new insole piece into the footbed and adjust for comfort. Some trimming will likely be necessary, but the clog should be much more comfortable now. If desired, the new insole piece may be glued with all-purpose glue along the perimeter. Allow to dry thoroughly for at least 48 hours.
If felt insole is severely or very unevenly worn, complete removal and replacement may be necessary. In this case, several layers of replacement felt may be required.
When working with epoxy, ensure adequate ventilation. It is important that no excessive areas of extra material are left on the inside of the shoe that will rub on the foot while in use.