Introduction: Resole Shoes

Picture of Resole Shoes

The easy way to resole shoes. It takes about 20 minutes.
Your shoes will be more comfortable than when they were new.
What a great way to start the new year!

I'll demonstrate by resoling a pair of Crocs using contact cement and foam from interlocking floormats.

Until you add tread, the new soles are almost as slippery on wet pavement as the worn-smooth crocs were.

Step 1: Flatten Your Soles

Picture of Flatten Your Soles

We'll be gluing a half inch or so of foam onto the bottom of each shoe.
You might want to grind your soles flat with a beltsander or disk sander with the coarsest grit you can find. Instead of flat you could go nuts with amateur orthopedic theories.

My Crocs have worn down pretty flat so I'm going to skip the grinding.

Step 2: Trace Onto Sole Material

Picture of Trace Onto Sole Material

You can trace pretty tight, you'll be cutting around this line.

Step 3: Cut Out the Soles

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Cut out the sole with a sharp knife or the tool of your choice.
Leave a bit extra around the edges.
An electric turkey knife is good for cutting soft foam.
This foam is about the same density as the croc foam.

Step 4: Contact Cement

Picture of Contact Cement

This glue is amazing.
It's also good for causing headaches, brain damage, and explosions.
Use it somewhere with good ventilation and wear a mask with organic vapor cartridges.
Follow the directions. If you smell this stuff you're doing something wrong.

Step 5: Apply Glue

Picture of Apply Glue

I leave the brush in the can so it lasts forever. I cut the brush handle short so it'll fit.
Paint it on the mating surfaces of the new and old shoes.
If it's glossy at first that's enough. If it runs that's too much.

That's what the directions say, and that's how this stuff works.
If you stick them together wet they'll come apart later and pick up dirt etc.
When it has a matte look to it that's enough.
For a super strong joint I'll drive off all the naptha using ninja tricks before mating them.

Step 6: Sole Mates

Picture of Sole Mates

Line them up very carefully before mating.
If they touch first you might have to rip something to get them apart.
Then squish them together to bring all surfaces fully into contact.

That dingus sitting on the glue can is a paint can opener. Paint stores give them away for free.
It's the right tool for opening paint cans, just like the name implies. If you use a screwdriver instead, there's a good chance you'll damage the lip and your glue will dry out in the can.

Step 7: RiverDance

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Stomp around a bit and squish the surfaces together really well.
Enjoy the fine feeling you get from your new soles.

Step 8: Trim the Edges

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Trim it like your shoe theory tells you. I like it pretty close.
Then squish the sole tight all around the edge with your thumbs.

Step 9: Finish Grind

Picture of Finish Grind

If you want to sand your edges smooth, use a fresh coarse grit abrasive in the sander of your choice.
Use a light touch, some types of foam will roll and rip if you use too much pressure.

And that's it! Enjoy the cushiness of your immortal shoes!

When your new sole wears down past the tread and you want good traction again you can impress new tread in it with the edge of an iron.
Don't slip and fall.


becky posey (author)2017-10-04

i just took my old crocks to get a sole put on by a shoe repair place he kinda laughed i told him these are so comfortable and they dont make these anymore they are the rx crocs rubber not hard plastic like the new ones i love my crocs

kooth (author)2017-07-14

Great Instructable! Thanks for posting!

chadmikell (author)2017-05-08

I am going to do this, great work, great idea

T0BY (author)2016-12-06


pocketmoneyman (author)2015-04-20

Just what I was looking for. I had to grin at those 7 year old comments saying Crocs were $5 or $10, now they are $35+ and you bet I am going to try this.

FlyPot (author)pocketmoneyman2016-10-07

Saw Crocs on sale this past week for 12.99. I guess you have to pick them up in the fall/winter before they flip their stock. Although - for the same price you'd have enough material to resole Croc's for the entire family and probably make them flip flops for next summer I suppose.

FlyPot (author)2015-02-21

Great idea to use the foam block flooring but as others have stated, I wouldn't put the effort into a pair of Croc's that could be replaced in 10 minutes for 10 bucks. This would be a good idea for a pair of loved leather moccasins though. You must really love those Croc's.

darrenhall (author)2013-03-01

Cool instructable and I bet they even hold up ok in the wet with that glue - - big respect.

hikerdw (author)2013-01-24

Nice work. Thanks for posting such a useful set of instructions. It has given me an idea on how to install a very grippy sole to my hiking boots for a one-time scramble up Longs Peak this summer.

technosasquatch (author)2012-10-26

think something like this might work for replacement insoles?

dundalei (author)2011-04-05
mikeasaurus (author)2008-01-03

you resoled $5 shoes?

TimAnderson (author)mikeasaurus2008-01-03

what's the source for $5 crocs? These were $10 clones I bought in Oaxaca. I saw them for $6 in Guatemala, but couldn't find my size.

I was at a big lots today in Santa Clarita, California and they had fake crocs in all sizes for 6 dollars. Even better, they had legitmate brand name ones for 10 dollars.

callmeshane (author)2008-01-06

A useful thing.... I with my HUGE feet... 12EEE (WIDE and long) well getting any shoes that fit is a major trauma. So I decided to resole my boots... I applied a nice thick layer of silicon "glass" type rubber / sealer over them...... Bad move. INSIDIOUSLY slippery on any even slightly wet surfaces....

T3hpw9ag3 (author)callmeshane2008-03-25

thats nothing, I am only 13 and my feet are already a size 13. My dad wears size 16s

mg0930mg (author)T3hpw9ag3 2009-11-12

My dad wears an 11 1/2. I'm 14, and wear a 13. Lol.

Robot Lover (author)mg0930mg2010-01-23

my friend is 12 and he wears 14! lol!

Robot Lover (author)2010-01-23

are you resoling crocks?! lol!

masterochicken (author)2010-01-23

Will contact cement work on vulcanized rubber?

yes. It works on most things that aren't oily.

uncoolpizza (author)2009-12-19

hey nice job, thanks for posting this!
good tip about melting tread in with an iron. i tried doing that on a very very slippery pair of sandals by cutting in with linoleum carving tools. it works but should work better, i think i'll try melting in next- maybe with a soldering iron?

EldarKinSlayer (author)2009-03-18

Great Instructable, I was just thinking of using road alligator (Truck Tire Tread) for a sole. I still may but will look into the rubber tile too. Thanx

dglp (author)2008-08-02

1) where does one get interlocking floor tile? 2) You're walking a bit taller now.

moxiepurple (author)dglp2008-10-12

You can find it at Home Depot and Lowes, you can also find it in more colors as a play mat for kids and places like Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, and Target. I'm sure there are other places as well.

higherlife (author)2008-06-07

I love it. I have tried this before except the opposite using soles and remaking the top part. I have used them for about a year and they hold up well.

eriklares (author)2008-03-28

broken in shoes with new soles!! man, thats a dream come true, i gotta try this with an old pair of vans.

missmonny (author)2008-03-24

Fantastic. Who would have thought to use floormats. You did a really good job. My crocs are still in one piece but now I know what to do when they aren't!!

sugareedesigns (author)2008-01-22

i have been wondering how to do this for a while, and what to use as the sole. rubber interlocking floormats, looks definately the way to go on this!! great tip! im going to get to work on my torn apart mocasins!!!

leebryuk (author)2008-01-03

I think this is cool. I have had to throw many a pair of shoes away thanks to gigantic feet. It was hard finding size 15 shoes, but it's much easier now. And it's a great way to re-use something that would end up clogging up a landfill. Don't let the man get you!

xrobevansx (author)2008-01-01

not to be a stickler, but how about some "finished" shots of the shoes? Nice Instructable!

keng (author)xrobevansx2008-01-01

that's it in step 9.

xrobevansx (author)keng2008-01-01

I meant a few different angles and such.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-01-01

What the heck! At first me and my cousins were looking at step 7 like what the heck is this??? We were laughing for years and eternities, and we are still laughing. On our grave stones they will say, "I am still laughing." Hahaha just kidding. Great Instructable. :-)

About This Instructable




Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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