DIY to Make Your Ankle Strap from Buckle to Velcro and Other Options

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Ankle strap shoes made easy to get on and off

DIY to Make Your Ankle Strap from Buckle to Velcro & Other Options

While I love ankle strap shoes for so many reasons, getting them buckled can be a hassle. So I came up with this idea and even created a YouTube video to showcase the step by step instructions. I’ve also included it in this post below.

Quote of the day: “Being gifted creates obligations, which means you owe the world your best effort at the work you love. You too are a natural resource.” Barbara Sher

EVERY one of us have gifts that we can share. For me, I love to “fix” things and this blog allows me the opportunity to share that information with others. That’s why I love the idea of alterations along with making some trends out of what we already have. I always think that if you don’t change things to make them better, you can be SO limited on what you have and like in your closet.
While this ankle strap annoyance may not have been on your radar, I think it’s made my life much easier.

What is the idea? Instead of having to buckle your ankle strap on your footwear, wouldn’t it be SO much easier to have it be velcro?
BTW, I have done this with over 5 pairs of my own shoes. That’s why you’ll see a couple of pair in this post and on Instagram.

The before and after for velcro on your ankle strap shoes


Inspiration for an idea

My inspiration for this idea came when I first purchased these Payless sandals that were a girl’s size (not a woman’s size). Before this I never even thought about the buckle on my ankle straps shoes.

For me, an ankle strap keeps your shoe in place better when you’re walking. Sure, it depends on the style of shoe you usually wear, but with classic pumps and ballet flats your foot can pull out of the shoe at times.

Insider tip: Especially if you have a narrow heel, you would benefit from an ankle strap on your footwear. There are detachable ones also found here, and here.

Now I know my mom didn’t like ankle straps because of the horizontal line they create. Hopefully, we are all starting to realize that trying to look any kind of “er” can be too stressful. I want to promote having fun with our style and choosing things we like!

Materials Needed


This is an easy DIY because you really only need some velcro and scissors.
I use this industrial strength velcro because that’s what we use for all of our velcro projects. I’m not sure if the other types would work as well. But you certainly don’t have to get the giant sized box.

Insider tip: If you are unsure about how this will work on any pair of your beloved shoes, why not buy a second hand pair of shoes just to practice on? It may seem like a waste of money, but it would give you more confidence when you work on your “real” shoes.

This may not work as well for a pair of ankle strap shoes where the strap doesn’t overlap much beyond the elastic of the buckle portion. I explain this in more detail on the video, if you are unsure of what I mean. Part of that depends on how much elastic is available. Ideally, I like having at least 1.5 inches of area for the velcro.

The Process to Convert Your Ankle Strap

1-Evaluate whether this will work for your shoe in question.

2– The elastic portion holding the buckle is doubled. You want to cut the underside part so it’s not connected to the leather. This will give you a longer portion of elastic available. Remove the buckle.

3- Measure how much velcro you will need and cut accordingly both in width and length. The velcro will cover the elastic and go onto the leather also.

Insider tip: Many straps have an angled tip, so you can cut your velcro with that same angle. This makes it so the strap has as much velcro holding property as possible plus it won’t curl up.

4– Attach the velcro to the strap and elastic by removing the plastic covering on the ONE SIDE ONLY of the velcro only.

5-Now remove the clear plastic on the top portion of the velcro and attach it to the underside of the top strap.

Insider tip: Definitely use the elastic portion of the strap to hold the velcro. If you accidentally cut it off, you may be able to add some from the store.

Fixing your shoes

TADA!! You now have a much easier way to get your ankle strap shoes on and off.
The time is minimal for this project. After the first time, it only takes me 5 minutes to convert a pair of shoes. It takes the longest time to get that darn plastic off the velcro piece, LOL!

Things to Consider

Some material doesn’t hold the velcro as much as others. For all of the shoes I have used this trick for, the velcro sticks fine to the underside of the ankle strap. However, the top of the ankle strap can be a different story.
The most usual ones that the velcro doesn’t stick as much is patent leather or a embossed leather.
If this happens, I have found that superglue can help the velcro to stick to the material better.


I now have a bunch of buckles…any ideas of what to do with them? I bet some artists could create a great piece of artwork using the buckles!

Then again, one of my friends said I should put them back on the top strap. I may try to superglue it on and I will let you know.
Yet another friend said she would like it this way so the buckle didn’t catch on her maxi skirts. It goes to show that you might be able to individualize it to your own preference.

Other Options

Now there are other options if you don’t like any kind of DIY project.

1-Find an ankle strap shoe that has enough give that you don’t have to buckle it and unbuckle it every time you take it on and off. This happens with my pair of red sandals (shown in this post) from Walking Cradles. I leave them buckled and just slide it up over my heel.
2-Look for shoes that already have a velcro attachment on their ankle strap. Actually Walking Cradles have quite a few (my new leopard sandals have this feature) . You’ll also find this detail with some dancing shoes. I included many more options in the widget below.
3-There is an extender you can buy where you just have to cut off the original buckle and add this.

Change your buckle to velcro on ankle strap shoes

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo


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My Goal

Thank you for visiting my space on the internet. I like to showcase how it’s never too late to look great for women of any age, size or working with any budget.
I feel I’m here to help move beyond the fashion rules of yesterday and evolve. Style and clothes are made to give you joy. Not cause us stress because we are worried about what other’s think.

My hope is that you get ideas and inspirations from Charlotte, Lesley and myself. It’s not about copying what we wear, but about using what you already have and updating items along the way.
Most of all it’s getting us to think differently and dare I say, have fun?