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My sneakers often wear out in the lining, especially at the heel, before the rest of the shoe. So, I mend the inside of the back of the heels with either clear First Aid tape - or white First aid tape (which matches my white sneakers).
Save the heels of your family's new shoes from running down by doing this tip: turn shoe upside down with bottom of heel facing you.
Using a hot glue gun, apply a thin coating of glue along the outline of the heel, then a couple of squiggly lines within the center of the outline to even out the surface. Let cool a bit and give warm glue a little tap with your thumb to flatten a bit. Allow to cool and set completely before wearing. The ground you tread upon will wear away the glue before it wears away your shoe. Try it.
To make your shoes last longer, put a thin piece of rubber on the bottom of the soles. You can have a shoe repair person do this. It will help them last longer and should help you have better traction, especially in icy, cold climates!