Jordan 3 Heel Tap Replacement — DIY
It's the simple things that make a big difference, which is why we created a video tutorial on how to replace the heel tabs on the Air Jordan 3. There are a few reasons you might want to swap the back tabs on your 3s, and it's pretty easy to do if you have the right tools.
The OG Air Jordan 3 featured the Nike Air insignia on the back tab., while most recent pairs (such as the Desert Elephant Jordan 3) are stuck with the Jumpman logo. Want to make your 3s look more OG? Follow along and learn how to replace the heel tab in a few simple steps!
Tools & Materials required for a Jordan 3 Back Tab Swap
- A pair of Jordan 3s
- Donor tabs (these can be taken from another shoe or purchased from a customizer)
- Seam Ripper
- Barge SuperStik Cement
- Color-matched thread and sewing needle
- Masking tape (to protect the rest of the shoe from glue)
- Heat gun
How-To: Heel Tab Swap on the Air Jordan 3
Step 1: Remove the old back tab
The first step is simple but extremely crucial; remove the old back tab. This can be done using a seam ripper. The only thing to be cautious of here is to avoid damaging the material underneath, the last thing you want is a big gash in your Elephant Print.
Once you've removed the old back tab, stash it away for later. You never know when it might come in handy!
Step 2: Sew simulated stitching on to donor tab
Using the needle and thread, apply simulated stitching all around the donor tab. This will ensure that the shoes still look 100% factory after the surgery is complete.
Finding the right color of thread here is a must, so plan on taking some of the OG thread to the store with you to aid in your thread color selection.
Step 3: Apply glue to donor tab and shoe
Our glue of choice for any custom or restoration project is Barge SuperStik cement. Apply an even coat of glue to both the back tab and shoe, then let the glue cure for at least 30 minutes, or until it is no longer tacky.
Step 4: Align back tab and stick it in place
Using a heat gun, heat up the glue to activate the adhesion, then place the back tab onto the shoe firmly. Clamp it together for at least 30 minutes while the glue sets up.
Step 5: Show off that Nike Air
Congrats, your back tab swap is now complete!
Doing something as simple as replacing the heel tab can make a big difference. Our Deseret Elephant Jordan 3s look so much cleaner with that Nike Air on the back, and your shoes can too!
Ready to give this a try? We'd love to see how your custom back tab swap turns out!