Upgrade Your Shoes with DIY Ankle Straps

If you haven’t noticed, ankle straps are everywhere this summer. They’re making an appearance on flats, heels, platforms, sandals and wedges in all kinds of colors, materials and styles. Real Simple magazine featured a bunch of shoes with ankle straps in their July issue and Refinery29.com recently picked their favorites online. I love the look of ankle straps and would love to snag a pair, however I started feeling like they can’t be that hard to make. So, instead of scouting shops or searching online, I decided to look in my closet and see what I had to work with.

Turns out, adding an ankle strap isn’t just easy, it’s ridiculously easy. To start, find a shoe that has a back to it. Other than that, there are no limits to the type of shoe (besides a boot) and style of ankle strap you can use.  Below I’ll show you how I upgraded two pairs of my own shoes, in less than 15 minutes.

What you need:

All items below are available at Harts Fabric in Santa Cruz for all you locals.

  1. Glue. I used Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive, but Krazy Glue would probably work well too.
  2. Two 4-inch strips of twill tape for loop. (I used a 1/2-inch wide Wright’s Twill Tape for the flats and 1-inch cotton twill tape for the wedges.) Note: Wider ankle straps call for wider size twill tape.
  3. Two pieces of material for ankle strap. The length of each strip depends on your ankle size and how much leftover material you want. (For the flats, I used two 19-inch faux leather trip pieces. For the wedges, I used two 9-and-a-half-inch neon yellow elastic trim pieces.)
  4. Velcro Sticky Back (optional). This is if you don’t want the tied look.

 What to do:

  1. Fold over your 4-inch twill tape piece and glue together at base to form a loop.
  2. Glue base of loop into inside back of shoe.
  3. Let dry.
  4. Run ankle strap material through loop. Tie in bow or knot.
  5. Optional velcro addition: Stick velcro onto opposite ends and sides of ankle strap material. Slip through loop. After putting your foot into the shoe and attaching the material together with velco, you can slide the attached end under the loop so it is hidden.

You can easily switch out the ankle strap material, giving you a zillion ways to change the look of your shoes. Try two pieces of material through one loop or add a strap that’s textured or beaded.

If you get tired of the look, just take the ankle strap out and fold the loop down.

Did you try this? Send me a pic at Thepennyrose@gmail.com or visit Sallyesposito.com. 

Photos by Jimmy O'Donnell