DIY hiking boot repair
October 14, 2017 9:38 AM   Subscribe

I inherited a pair of like-new Lowa hiking boots, however, the sole is separating from the rest of of the shoe - probably due to being in a hot storage space for awhile. The shoes are in excellent condition otherwise, and I’d like to do some DIY repair myself if possible, but I’m unsure what type of adhesive/product will yield the best results.

I’ve read on some threads that hikers recommend Shoe Goo, but I don’t know anyone who has used it before personally. I appreciate any tips or tricks for maximum long-lasting results. I’m hoping to wear these boots for some longer day hikes over the Thanksgiving holiday (15-20ish miles), so I want to be confident they’ll hold up.

Alternatively, I’m willing to take them to a reputable shoe repair shop in the Atlanta, GA area, if that’s really the best way to go about this. ITP recommendations preferred, if anyone has personal experience. Thanks!
posted by gollie to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've had excellent results with Freesole. Every repair I've made with it on my shoes and boots has held up great, including re-gluing the entire sole back onto a pair of Keen sandals.
posted by zsazsa at 9:49 AM on October 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have used contact cement for this pretty successfully. Everything needs to be as clean and dry as possible, and follow application instructions carefully. Done right, it can last for years.
posted by bonehead at 10:06 AM on October 14, 2017

I've only used Shoe Goo to patch up sneakers and other casual shoes, not my hikers or work boots, because as good as the stuff is I wouldn't want to count on it for a long hike or days on a worksite. You'd very likely be fine, but having a repair fail 10 miles from your car would really ruin a day. I'd go to a cobbler.

There's likely other DIY maintenance work to be done on the boot itself, if it's been in a hot space. Conditioning the leather would be a good idea, and the boots probably need a new application of waterproofing. I'd hold off on both until any repair work is done, then make sure you hit the repair areas with tons of Nikwax or whatever you use - it'll help protect the repair.
posted by ZaphodB at 10:18 AM on October 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

On my last hike the sole of my hiking boot separated from the rest, and I brought it to a shoe repair guy. Paid all of 3 Euros to have it re-attached. I'm sure that was cheaper than a bottle of whatever type of glue I could have bought myself. Looks like new!
posted by amf at 11:39 AM on October 14, 2017

Shoe Goo + a blow dryer, makes sure you get it all the way into every crevice, and give it 24 hours to set. Should be good for a long while.
posted by mannequito at 11:50 AM on October 14, 2017

Sugru? I've only used it on kids shoes... (which don't have to last that long bc kids grow) Sugru doesn't seem as temperature sensitive as Shoe Goo to me, however.
posted by mhh5 at 11:57 AM on October 14, 2017

I’ve used E6000 glue to repair rubber-soles shoes, but I’m not sure how well it would hold up to heavy use.
posted by bradf at 12:04 PM on October 14, 2017

Barge Contact Cement, but it's best to take it to the pros.

They'll likely use the same cement, but instead of just pressing the two surfaces together they are going to hammer them together, evenly, while the shoe is inverted on a last. The bond will be rather better than you are likely to obtain yourself.
posted by the Real Dan at 2:52 PM on October 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

If it is rubber to rubber use superglue and a clamp to close the gap "bonds rubber instantly".
posted by hortense at 7:51 PM on October 14, 2017

No way in hell would I trust that to do serious hiking. Unreliable shoes are not just annoying, but potentially life threatening.
posted by mikek at 10:27 AM on October 15, 2017

No matter what option you go with, I'd recommend carrying a small roll of duck tape whenever you use these shoes.
posted by TomFoolery at 2:45 PM on October 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

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