Toe hole on Vibram fixed!

I just wanted to share my experience with you guys on how I managed to sew up a hole on my Vibram TrekSport.

I've been wearing the TrekSport every day for 8 months so far, doing pretty much everything with them. Where they get the most beaten up is during trail running, despite all the beatings they get, they are still standing strong. I even used them while trying to put out a farm fire that went out of control. They are heavy duty, hardcore durable shoes, especially the Vibram rubber, no doubt about it, but the top mesh is just a thin sock-like cloth, and it will not last forever. Eventually, the right shoe developed a hole on the side of the big toe. Look at the pictures on how I sew it up.

The materials I used were: 1) Gray colored sewing thread (fortunately the fabric used in this Vibram model is not stretchy, thus the sewing thread is not going to create discomfort or any problem for that matter). 2) The thinnest needle I could find in my house. 3) Scotch tape to get the other toes out of the way.

You can see how the finished product looks like. You can hardly notice any stitching. I attached an image of my left shoe (notice the weak, thin fabric on the side of the big toe). By the way, I expect sooner than later to find a hole on the side of the big toe. If it tears, I’ll give it a quick stitch like I did with the right shoe. I stitched the right shoe pretty solid so I'm guessing it'll last for at least 5 to 7 months until it gets unstitched. The cause of the hole was the friction created by the rubber from the second toe against the side of the big toe (by the constant flexing of my toes while running).

To finish this post I would like to add that I found a small hole on the top mesh of my right shoe and quickly sew it up with black sewing thread (check out the pic). It was caused by my dog’s sharp nails when he jumped and landed on my right instep (I know, I’ll trim down my dog’s nails). Anyway, it looks good as new. I gotta tell you, thanks to Vibram, I’ve learned how to sew. Thank you Vibram!

I encourage you to share your story with the community as far as repairing or modifying shoes. This is to discuss and find better/easier, simple ways of fixing any type of shoe problems one could get into. Don't forget to mention and recommend the products you used to repair your shoe, and tips and tricks if so. Good luck repairing your shoes!


  • For some reason, I couldn't attach the other pics. Here's the picture that shows how I repaired my Vibrams...
  • Left shoe. About to tear...
  • hole on mesh..solved
  • I like what you did, but IMO the proximity of the toes lets them rub together easily, and stuff that gets between them stays in there and grinds. So the solution I chose, and there are others here who taught me what to do, is to put a sacrificial layer of goo over the fabric, so it absorbs the wear and can be easily renewed. See other threads here on repair on tips and tricks.

    You did a beautiful job --I'm guessing you build nuclear devices at work-- I'd protect it with some goo. I've been using Freesole, there's also Aquaseal UV, a little lighter and dries very fast with exposure to light. The usual trick is to stuff the toe so the goo dries flat. I use spring clamps to hold the toes back while it dries.
  • Most of us can’t afford to discard old Vibrams. That is why I try to repair them the best I can as to lengthen their lifetime. Needless to say, I have become an expert in stitching vibrams. It's fairly easy and quick, you can do it too! Recently, I've managed to repair a couple of holes that I found on the top mesh of my vibrams. Here’s the latest torn fabric pictures, both before and after stitching.

    Update on toe hole: Fortunately, the toe hole on my right shoe which I had stitched previously has held up quite well. In fact it doesn’t show any signs of wear or abrasion. However, I will definitely look up for the Freesole shoe goo Speedyk mentioned, and apply a protective layer between toes to reduce rubbing. I might also give Aquaseal UV a try. I’ll use the applying method you described, by stuffing the toes and using spring clamps. Thanks for your helpful feedback Speedyk! I only wish Vibram would make an abrasive resistance fabric, which will avoid further stitching and goo applying.

    My next goal is to lose the shoes and run completely barefoot, that is with naked feet. That is the best possible way to get ground feedback which is important to mantain a correct stride. Wish me luck on the last stage of my transition to barefoot running! I know shoe companies won’t.
  • hole on top mesh
  • stitched up, like new...
  • another hole!
  • more stitching...
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