I got these Tom's over two years ago and I think they've fared pretty well considering I wear them at least 4-5 days a week. The last couple weeks however, I got some pretty large holes that progressed very quickly, and not wanting to see my Tom's go to the trash, I was determined to fix them. I have seen several tutorials online, but I didn't want to use Modge Podge on mine.
I first patched up the holes with iron-on patches to give it more stability. The color doesn't matter since it will be covered up later. I ironed it thoroughly by following the instructions and I found it was helpful to stuff the shoe with a towel while I ironed it.
Attempt #1 (disclaimer: FAIL)
I made a pretty rudamentary pattern by tracing my Tom's toes. Then I sewed the piece all the way around so none of the edges would fray. Then ironed the patch flat.
Using some iron-on adhesive, I iron the green fabric to my Tom's toes.
Unfortunately it didn't work. The adhesive wasn't sticking because the fabric was too thick, I think. So off to the second attempt:
Attempt #2 -- Use a raw piece of fabric and iron it (with iron-on transfer) directly to the toe of the Tom's. Use an X-acto knife into the rubber sole to cut off the extra.
Iron the fold of the toe nicely (it is a Tom's after all). On one of my shoes, the toe-fold was a little too big and wasn't sticking, so I cut a tiny piece of iron-on adhesive and placed it right in the fold.
Ta Da!! The toes are a tad bit stiff, but I think that just comes from the patches and extra fabric on them, and it doesn't bother me at all while I'm walking.
After a few days, I've noticed the edges are starting to come up a little. I think I'll just glue them down with fabric glue, or maybe just super glue. My mom thinks I'm totally crazy to put this much attention into a "dead" pair of shoes, but I just love them too much! I guess that's just my dad in me!