How to Repair your Skate shoes, Sneakers, Worn Shoes or Boots?
Skate shoes aren’t cheap and that’s a fact.
In addition, they wear out really fast, with all the skateboarding abuse.
That is why they are worth taking care of.
Especially if you are a professional skateboarder, or just skate very often out of a hobby, you know that those things just don’t last long enough.
So, you got your expensive skate shoes, proudly wear them every day, and after a month or two you notice they began to get worn out, or you see a hole in them.
But, don’t throw them away just yet!
There is still something you can do for them.
If your problem is a smaller one, like a worn through toe cap, or a hole or tear somewhere, or the side starting to separate from the sole, you can still save the shoes.
Even if you have all the money in the world and could easily afford a new pair of shoes, you still may have a favorite pair, that you just don’t want to throw away. Because of their functionality and because they are so comfortable, you want them to live as long as possible.
That’s where Shoe Goo comes in!
Shoe Goo was developed in the 70’s and is still widely used today.
It is a special glue-like, gummy and thick adhesive that seals, but doesn’t harden.
It dries into something like rubber, which means that you can patch a hole on your shoes without them getting hard as a rock, and barely movable.
Shoe Goo remains flexible when it has cured, and therefore you can use your shoes just like before, only now without any holes in them.
But it’s not only for fixing holes on your shoes.
You can use it to fix the sidewall of the shoe, in case it separates from the sole.
Actually, you can use it to fix pretty much everything regarding your shoes.
They may not look the fanciest after the procedure is done, but if you are a real skater, you wouldn’t care about the looks.
All that matters is that they are functional and comfy! Still, you have to use it at the right time. Don’t wait until it is too late, and your shoes are completely ruined. If you see any problem on your shoe, immediately repair them.
Shoe Goo has many uses, so let’s not wait any longer and start off.
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Before we get to work, let’s first clear out some basic stuff.
- First off, before starting the procedure, make sure that the surface of the shoe is clean, dry and free of any dirt.
- Clean the shoes nicely and let them dry. Next, try not to get any
- Next, try not to get any goo on your hands, as it may be hard to remove.
We will explain how to prevent that in the procedure steps.
Also, do not make the repair inside rather go outside, where there is plenty of fresh air.
There are two versions of the goo, a black, and a clear one, so make sure you get the one you need.
Fixing you shoes
Finally, let’s start the repair!
The first thing we are going to take care of is if your shoe has a tear.
Start by puncturing the seal at the top of the tube using the cap. You can test the goo on a small area outside the shoe, to get hang of the proper application technique and dry time.
Keep in mind that after applying the goo, exposure to warm water may cause discoloration, or even possible loss of adhesion when exposed to chemicals which are used in hot tubs or pools.
Surely, you wouldn’t wear your skate shoes in those places. But still, being careful is never a bad thing. Now, while fixing a tear, apply some goo directly to both sides which you want to bond together.
A nice way to spread the goo around is to use ice cubes. Yes, you heard me right. Ice is good because the goo doesn’t stick to it, and it makes spreading the goo easy, because of its smooth surface. This way you won’t get any goo on your hands.
After the goo is applied to the area, allow it some time to partially cure.
This usually takes about 2-10 minutes.
Don’t touch the goo meanwhile. Afterwards, put the ends together.
Shoe Goo hardens by solvent evaporation and forms an immediate bond, which makes it hard to reposition after both adhesive-coated surfaces are placed in contact with each other. You have to exert some pressure on it in order to establish full contact.
Try using a cloth or some other material while applying pressure, so you don’t use your hands directly.
After you are sure that the two surfaces are holding together nicely, release the shoe. Allow the repair to dry for at least 24 hours. It is best to let them dry outside during the night.
Just make sure no one steals them! The drying time also depends on the material of the shoes. The cure time increases with lower temperatures and decreases with higher temperatures.
So, depending on the material and the temperature, maximum strength of the bond may not be reached for 48 to 72 hours. It is better to let them dry out completely, than to use them too early, and risk new damage.
Make sure to close the Shoe Goo properly and not to leave any residue on the neck of the tube. If you leave it messy, you won’t be able to open it for later uses.
If you have some uncured adhesive either on the shoe or somewhere else that needs to be cleaned, you can use acetone or paint thinner. The adhesive will ball up and brush off. If the adhesive already dried, you can scrap or cut it off. Be sure to store the Shoe Goo tube at room temperature with cap tightened.
Now to the harder part.
If you have holes in your shoe, those can be fixed as well, but with a little more effort.
First off, as mentioned before, you need to do the repair outside, not get any glue on your hands and use ice cubes to easily spread the goo around.
For the beginning, place some duct tape over the hole on the inside of the shoe.
This is to prevent the goo from dripping into the shoe and also for spreading it easier on the surface.
But beware, you have to take the tape off in under 2 hours after putting on the goo, because if you don’t the goo will dry together with the tape, and it will become a permanent part of your shoe!
You want to start by squeezing some of the goo onto the area. This way you are going to have a large clump of the goo.
Make sure to cover the whole hole. Don’t spread it just yet. Let it dry for a little bit. Wait for 2-10 minutes, because the goo is very sticky in the beginning, so it is better to let it dry for a while. Afterwards, you can start to kind of mold it down.
Go around the edges with the ice cube, to connect it nicely to the rest of the shoe. Don’t mess with the middle of it too much, just even it a little bit if needed.
Make sure to get the edges nicely smoothed out, to make sure that it doesn’t come off or peel off. After you are done with the edges, go over the middle a bit, to smoothen it a little.
But you don’t want to smooth it too much, in order to have some grip on it, the same you have with the rest of the shoe. Especially if you are fixing holes in the sides of the shoe that you use for flicking your board.
The Shoe Go sticks nicely to your grip tape, so no worries about that. After you are done with that, you have to let it dry for at least 24 hours, as mentioned before.
Depending on the material and temperature, it could take longer. Store the Shoe Goo at room temperature with the cap tightened. And you are done! Enjoy your nice, hole-free skate shoes.
Tips and tricks
If you want to build up a thick wall of goo, that surely won’t get damaged, then you can apply it in layers.
Put some goo on, then wait for a couple of hours, then apply another layer and so on.
This works better than putting on a single very thick layer of goo, that takes forever to dry out.
Also, try adding shoe goo to areas that you know are going to get worn out, before any holes or tears appear. This way you are protecting your shoes before they even get damaged.
Critical areas are mostly the ollie panels on the sides and the toe cap. Shoe Goo is water resistant immediately upon application, so using the goo also makes sure that your feet don’t get wet.
But, you have to allow time for thorough hardening of the goo after application to ensure bonding and water resistance.
Another nice thing that you could use the goo for is to protect shoelaces, by applying a little goo to the lace and spread it around.
This will prevent the shoelaces from breaking.