Gluing a new sole onto a shoe is an economical way to repair footwear and restore traction. With the right adhesive and technique, you can attach a replacement sole piece for a fraction of the cost of new shoes or professional resoling.
Reasons for Regluing Soles
There are some common reasons to glue on a new sole:
- The original sole is excessively worn down. This causes slipping on surfaces.
- The sole has separated from the upper at the midsole or edges.
- There are holes or tears in the sole that allow moisture inside.
- You want to change the style or color of the soles.
Choosing a Replacement Sole
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Look for a sole piece that matches close to the original:
- Trace the outline of the old sole on paper to find the right size and shape.
- Seek the same density and thickness of sole material if possible.
- Opt for a textured tread design to improve traction.
- Adhere a sole that is 1⁄4 inch smaller than the upper to allow a glue overflow.
Sole Glue Selection
Use a flexible shoe adhesive like Shoe Goo or Barge Cement:
- Avoid rigid glues like superglue that won’t flex properly.
- Two-part epoxies provide a very strong, long-lasting bond.
- Cyanoacrylate glue works for small touched up areas.
Attaching the New Sole
Follow these steps for solid adhesion:
- Clean and scuff the shoe upper and new sole piece with sandpaper.
- Apply a thin layer of glue to both surfaces and let dry 5-10 minutes.
- Apply a second layer of glue and firmly press surfaces together immediately.
- Weight down the shoe and let cure fully overnight before wearing.
- Use a utility knife to carefully trim any dried glue overflow.
Regluing a quality sole can extend the life of shoes and boots. With practice, you can swap out damaged soles for new ones and customize the style. Well-bonded soles will provide miles of lasting traction and use.