Remember “First Impressions Review and Comparison: MIA “Madeline” and “Bety” Clog Sandals“? I ended up going with the MIA clogs, and have overall been pretty happy with them but for the annoying fact that one weekend during a 2-day heatwave the glue holding the leather pad on sole must have spent too long at too high of a temperature and just… gave up. The pads started sliding around and the glue would stick to my feet and it was overall untenable. Even after the weather cooled down, the glue retained its lower viscosity and made the clogs super annoying to wear as the pad was lumpy and my feet would have to reluctantly peel off the sole with every step.
It seems from Instagram comments on the first time I mentioned this that this is an issue that happens across multiple brands of clogs. If I ever get any more clogs, I’m definitely going to look for ones that don’t have glued heel pads. But I guess if I can’t, I can always just do this fix again since it seemed to work pretty well.
- Use a hair dryer to reheat the glue enough I could peel off the leather pads
- Dampen glue with diluted vinegar (~ 1 cup water 1 tsp vinegar, but probably exact ratio doesn’t matter much) and scrape it off with an old gift card or credit card
- Wait for it to dry then fill with wood filler (I used Elmer’s E855 Carpenter’s Wood Filler, 3.25-Ounce Tube, White)
- Sand excess filler away, wait another day to wear them
I decided to completely remove the pads and glue. The glue was still sticky enough that I wasn’t able to simply pull the leather off. I first had to reheat the glue with a hair dryer.
To remove the residue, I googled around for variations of “how to remove sticky residue from wood” and decided to try a solution of diluted vinegar. I believe I used about 1 cup water and 1 tsp vinegar, so not too strong. I dampened a dishcloth with the solution and alternately scrubbed the residue with it and scraped it off with an old credit card.
The credit card alone wasn’t enough to get the glue off, but I’m not sure whether the vinegar was actually necessary or if just dampening the glue with water would have been enough. At any rate, from what I read clogs shouldn’t be left to soak in water as it will destroy the wood, so I made sure to not let things get drippy.
By the time I scraped all the glue off, it revealed a small hole in each shoe where presumably the sole was nailed together. After the scrubbing it looked a little splintery, so I decided to fill it in. I googled around a bit for wood filler and decided the best first step was just a basic water-soluble option.
I cut the tip off the wood filler as large as I thought I could fit into the nail hole. It was REALLY hard to squeeze it hard enough to get any filler out, and I was definitely not able to fill the entire depth of the hole. I figured I’d do what I could and then just refill the hole if necessary.
I smoothed it out with a disposable fork we had laying around and then let it sit for about 30 minutes and then smoothed it down with some fine grit sandpaper. I let it sit for another day before actually wearing it.
I’ve since worn the clogs twice to the office since doing all this and have found the filler I used to be adequate. I don’t usually sweat much in the back part of my soles and the water-soluble property of the filler seems to not be an issue. I probably won’t wear these again in a huge heat wave just in case, but that’s a small loss (and it’s only hot about two weeks of the year total around here anyway).