Ok, so this Lazy Old Geek bought these hiking boots at a good price at WalMart about a year ago. Now, I try to walk with my dog, Marcus three to four miles a day, so I usually get about two years out of hiking boots and usually wear out the soles. However, the soles of this pair are holding up pretty good but the leather on top started to crack. Winter is coming and these openings allow water to get through.
I tried to patch them with silicon RTV. Now the RTV I have is probably 30 years old. It didn’t go on very well. While it was pretty flexible, it cracked easily and didn’t seal any better.
I thought about hot glue but decided against it as the high desert around here can get up to 110F (though I’m not likely to be walking out in it).
I apologize for the pictures. I thought they would show up nicely in sunlight but I was wrong.
Step 1: Repair
Well, I guess there is epoxy but didn’t want to mess with it. I’d recently bought some Gorilla Glue. Well, I read a little about it and thought it’s probably not the best application for it. I was also worried about the warning about it expanding 3-4 times its original volume.
CAUTION: If you try this and have some holes that go all the way through your boot, be careful. Since the glue expands, it may expand into where your foot goes. I had a little bit of a problem but it wasn't enough to irritate my foot. You might have to put some faux foot in there before you glue it to keep it away from your real foot.
So I decided to try the Gorilla Glue anyway. As per instructions, I wetted my boots and applied a thin layer to cover the cracks and holes. Then I took some Duct tape to hold it in place. I let it dry for several hours.
Step 2: Finished!
After pulling the duct tape off, this is the results. The glue sealed the holes a lot better than the RTV did. And it’s still fairly pliable.
I tried it out for a day. I got some new cracks, so I re-applied the Gorilla Glue. After the second coat, it seems to be holding up okay.
Now this is my first experience (that I remember) with Gorilla Glue but it won't be my last.
Step 3: Followup November
Well, my boots starting cracking again. (see pictures). So I reapplied the Gorilla Glue and put on some duct tape.
But I tried something different. I left the duct tape on. It would loosen where it was just sticking to the boot so I trimmed that away. Where the Gorilla Glue was sticking to the duct tape, it stuck.
I am not sure if this makes much difference but it seems to work better. It lasted through a walk in the rain.
Hopefully, it will last through the rain and snow and cold and extended the useful life of my boots.