I walk a lot, in fact the running joke among my neighbors is that I get back from my two o’clock walk just in time for my three o’clock walk. With all this walking I go through a lot of shoes. I can typically wear out the soles of new shoes within six weeks. The soles of my shoes typically wear out in the same place, and in the same fashion each and every time (see pic below).
It seemed a waste, the shoes were perfectly fine except for the soles wearing out. I would try to wear them as long as I could, sometimes until I wore a hole clear through the entire sole of the shoe. I also live in Oregon which means we get our fair share of rain and the minute you wear through the rubber sole they become completely useless in the rain unless you like going around with wet socks and cold toes.
I got tired of spending $30-$40 every couple of months to buy a new pair of shoes. I had heard about skaters using a product called shoe goo to repair the soles of their shoes. Skateboarders primarily use the same foot to strike the ground to propel them, as a result they wear out the soles of their shoes in record time. To save money they use shoe goo to rebuild the soles of their shoe and keep them from going through new shoes like Imelda Marcos.
What is Shoe Goo?
Shoe Goo is a rubbery adhesive and sealant that comes out of a tube just like jelly. Shoe Goo is not a trademarked product and several different manufacturers make and market it under Shoe Goo and similar names. It also works as a waterproof sealant and comes in two colors: clear and black. You can typically find Shoe Goo at shoe stores, shoe repair shops, Ebay, Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target. I purchased some at Target under the name Super Goo and paid $3.99 for a 3 oz tube. You can find Super Goo in their shoe section.
What Can it be Used For?
Shoe Goo is perfect for repairing several different types of shoe problems. It repairs splitting, when the rubber sole detaches from the base of the shoe and flaps. It’s also great on tears were it can act as a waterproof sealant. Finally, it’s most famous for rebuilding the soles of shoes that wear out.
Before sitting down to use Shoe Goo to fix your shoes I recommend gathering the following items: A rag, sand paper or a nail filer, an ice cube, and a tooth pick. Just like any adhesive, shoegoo vapors are harmful and should be applied outside. Also, be sure to read the safety instructions on the tube.
Use a piece of sand paper or a nail filer to rough up the surface you whish to apply the shoe goo to. This makes the adhesive stick better to the sole of the shoe.
Squeeze out some of the adhesive to the worn down area. For the spot above I squeezed out three lines of shoe goo across the worn down area. I then used an ice cube to evenly distribute the shoe goo across the area. Ice cubes are handy because the adhesive doesn’t stick to ice making it easier to apply. I also used a tooth pick to apply goo to areas needing more precision. Shoe Goo can be a little unruly and messy but you get the hang of it pretty quickly.
The pictures above show the results. It may not be the prettiest application of adhesive but it’s going to save me from spending another $40 on a pair of tennis shoes and that brings tears of joy to my eyes. You can also apply several coats of shoe goo to build up the sole. Apply one coat, let it dry for two hours, and then apply another coat. The 3 oz tube I bought is enough to repair at least a dozen shoes.
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Photo Credit: Ray