Just when your shoes or boots start to feel comfortable, you notice a split on the side of the sole. Or a heel begins to separate. You can take the culprit to a cobbler to have the sole repaired or the heel of the boot glued, or you can do it yourself in seconds. There are a couple of options. Shoe Goo and an advanced or commercial grade cyanoacrylate (superglue).
Shoe goo is the favorite of the skaters as it will glue most things together and fill in some serious voids left by the road scraping parts of the shoe.
Super Glue and Krazy Glue are cyanoacrylates – that’s the chemical basis of Super glue or Krazy Glue. Advanced or commercial grade superglues have characteristics that make them a better solution than commercially available superglues.
Both types of products (Shoe Goo and super glue type glues) have their uses. Both types of glue will last quite a long time, so they are good to have on hand as they will not spoil and will be available when you need them. Both will dry flexible.
Shoe Goo can be purchased at hardware stores and some sports stores and certainly online. It is quite thick and comes in transparent black and white. In fact, it can be used to rebuild a worn heel into a boot or running shoes. It can be used to reattach a split to the shoe sole or heel, but since it’s so thick, I find a product like a high-end super glue (a commercial grade cyanoacylate) more useful.
To rebuild a heel with a sticky substance for shoes, you must first use some sandpaper to scrape the surface. This gives the glue something to stick to. Once done, just squeeze some out of the tube and shape it with a stick. Most Shoe Goo packages come with a stick to apply. If applying in layers to build a little thicker, allow 5-6 hours between applications. Allow 24 hours before walking in the boot or shoe. It dries glossy, but will disappear once you start walking.
If the sole has separated somewhere, you can carefully squeeze out some glue and then press the two surfaces together. This is not the best glue for this type of application as it can get messy, but it can be done with care. When you press the two surfaces together, some will come off and you can scrape with a piece of wood or metal to smooth the edge. Also let it rest for 24 hours. It will be flexible when cured.
How and when to use an advanced cyanoacrylate for a ‘shoe repair’
If you have a sole or heel that is starting to separate, the Shoe Goo can get dirty very easily and if you are trying to repair a very nice pair of dress shoes or boots this may not be the material to use. If you use super glue or Krazy Glue, you can also have problems because they often become brittle when dry and once you start walking in your shoes or boots, it is very likely that they will break again.
Commercial grade cyanoacrylates are made from the same base as super glue, but without the solvents they will dry transparently and flexibly. They are extremely easy to wear and being almost instantaneous, you don’t have to wait to wear the shoe or boot.
Some examples of types of situations in which you could use this type of super glue: the toe of the sneaker or running shoe begins to break; the heel of a boot begins to separate or falls off; two layers of leather in dress shoes begin to separate.
One of the benefits of this type of product is that it will be absorbed. This means that if you place a drop on the edge of a crack or joint that is just beginning to split, it will enter that space. You will be drawn to it. This means less clutter.
So for a split in a shoe, try to hold the shoe or boot so that the split is open as much as possible and so the glue can run into it. Place the tip of the spout on the edge and gently squeeze a drop into the gap. If it’s quite long, you may need to run the tip of the bottle along the gap line while gently squeezing out some glue. Set the bottle aside and press the two surfaces firmly together. This type of glue takes only a few minutes to set. Give it a few more minutes and you can walk in your shoes or boots. Be careful, as some of the glue may come off when you press the two surfaces together; support the shoe so that it does not spill onto the upper or other parts where a stain can be seen.
This makes for a great emergency solution – you’re ready to go to work or party and find your dress shoe heel is loose. Scoop out your commercial grade super glue, apply it, and in seconds you’re good to go.
Both types of glue It will be waterproof when cured. With these two types of glue and a bit of tape you can fix almost anything.