Gear Care & Repair
If someone else could walk a mile in your shoes, would they complain about the draft from the hole that’s developed? Or would they walk crooked because the heel was worn out? Whether you’re traipsing through a national forest, out delivering mail, outside building a house, or walking through the hospital on rounds, our shoes protect us from foreign objects and keep us warm and dry during inclement weather. So, when your shoe has some damage, your instinct might be to throw your old pair out, but it’s easier than you think to repair boots and shoes that seem completely worn out.
Want to know how to rebuild or repair your boots and shoes? Here are the four basic types of shoe repair:
- Repair delaminating soles: A delaminated sole is what happens when the sole separates, which can occur often in hiking boots or even in tennis shoes that get used often.
- Seal leaks: A crack or a hole can ruin a good pair of waterproof or rubber boots that are supposed to keep your feet dry. Seal it up with an adhesive and keep right on walking in the rain.
- Rebuild worn out soles and heels: Heavy usage leads to wear and tear on soles and heels, but these can actually build them again to last.
- Repair rands and boot panels: The top pieces of a shoe like a rand or a boot panel can be a real pain if they get torn. Luckily, they are easily sealed back together.
Completing all of these repairs is a cinch with GEAR AID’s Aquaseal SR Shoe Repair Adhesive, which is a flexible rubber glue that won’t crack or peel, even over a long period of time. It’s also waterproof, clear, and abrasion resistant so you don’t have to be tiptoeing around in your shoes. Feel free to stomp and splash just like you did before, whether your shoes are made out of leather or rubber. Best of all, this adhesive is permanent, so you can rest assured that you won’t have to keep fixing it over and over again.
For these common shoe or boot repairs, you’ll need just a few supplies to get these projects started.
- Aquaseal SR Shoe Repair Adhesive
- Isopropyl alcohol (max 70%)
- Cleaning cloth or brush
- Application brush
- Duct tape
- Sandpaper for sole repairs
- Prep and Application: 10-15 minutes
- Cure: 8-12 hours
Repair Delaminating Soles
Got a work boot sole that needs re-bonding so it’s not flapping around while you walk? Here are a few simple steps for a repair using our flexible shoe repair adhesive.
- Remove dirt with a stiff brush and clean the surface thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol.
- Apply the Aquaseal SR adhesive evenly on the sole for good adhesion.
- Using a clamp or tape, hold the sole and upper boot tightly together overnight to cure.
Pro Tip: Keep boot soles away from the campfire to prevent the manufacturer’s glue from melting and causing it to peel/delaminate. If your boots do start to peel, use Aquaseal SR to permanently fix it.
Leaks can happen and ruin a perfectly good pair of waterproof boots or shoes. Patch them up in just a few minutes with the following steps:
- Get the repair area squeaky clean with isopropyl alcohol.
- Apply Aquaseal SR over the cracks in the soles, filling it in every nook and cranny you can see.
- Set the sole on a level area and allow to fully cure (taking about 8-12 hours).
Pro Tip: Waterproof boot seams and stitches with Aquaseal SR along the seam or between the sole and the upper part of the shoe directly with a brush or toothpick.
Rebuild Worn Heels
Your boots are made for walkin’—that is, until the heels get worn out of them. Fix them up in just a few steps:
- Sand down the worn area and clean thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol.
- Place duct tape around the edge of the heel to form a “dam” that will serve as a mold for the adhesive and will harden into the new heel.
- With the boot still upside down, set the sole on a flat, level space then apply Aquaseal SR and allow to fully cure for about 8-12 hours.
Repair Peeling Rand
The rand is a thin rubber layer that goes over the top of a hiking boot and is designed to prevent injury from sharp objects. When it starts to peel, however, it can make your feet vulnerable to the elements. Here’s how to fix it right up:
- Remove dirt from the rand and clean with isopropyl alcohol.
- Apply Aquaseal SR in the rand’s gap.
- Tape firmly in place with a pen applying pressure directly on the rand. Let cure for 8-12 hours.
Repair Torn Boot Panel
A torn panel on a boot can be uncomfortable, but luckily, it’s an easy fix thanks to Aquaseal SR. Here’s what you need to do:
- Clean the panel thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol.
- Carefully apply Aquaseal SR to both sides of the torn area on the boot panel.
- Press the two pieces together and hold in place with tape overnight to cure.
Pro Tip: Relieve pressure and give your boots a custom fit with “skip lacing.” By skipping holes when you lace up your shoes, you can take pressure off sensitive areas.