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How to repair rubber/leather sneakers? Answered

Hello all, I want to repair my Scarpa "approach" shoes. They're called "approach shoes" as they are intended to be used for light rock climbing and/or hiking to get to the wall that one plans to climb, but, I don't use them for this purpose. The soft, rubber climbing sole wore out after only 6 months of biking and longboarding, so I had them replaced with Vibram soles about 2 years ago.
In short, after washing and leaving them in the sun to dry, the rubber toe-cap has come unstuck in several places and the Vibrams as well. (see pics)

Several shoe repair shops gave me quotes too high for my budget, but provided me with a good idea of how to proceed. They all said that the toe-cap needs to be reglued AND sewn down, otherwise it will just come unstuck again. Of course the sole also needs to be reglued.

What I want to know is: A) What type of glue and technique can should I use to reglue the toe-cap and soleand B) What type of needle, thread and stitch should I use to sew the toe-cap?

Thank you! Any help is much appreciated!



6 years ago

I used to get my climbing shoes resoled at friction fix in Fayetteville WVa, located right in one of the climbing shops. They're reasonable, usually only $30 -$35.  I'd drop them off after the weekend of climbing, and they'd Priority Mail the shoes back for $4. (The New River Gorge rocks!)

It will cost you more if the rand needs repairing. And if you're nowhere near a resole place, it will cost to ship them out, too.

If you want to DIY it, just buy a resole kit. Five Ten sells 'em, as do other rubber makers. Get the "dot" kit for approach shoes, they have something approx. tread on the bottom. The kits come with the right adhesive, too.

Good luck--I've had friends try it DIY, and they weren't too happy with the results. Doesn't look like rocket science to me, though...

One other tip--although everyone else has good ideas, the cement used to sole (and resole) climbing shoes--"Barge cement", is the correct stuff for this type of shoe. It's strong, but it can be removed easily with a solvent. One pair of my shoes was resoled four times.

If you go with "Shoe Goo" (I've used it, and it's great for some stuff) and the like, that's probably the last repair you'll do to a shoe. I doubt you'll be able to remove a worn sole that's been "gooed" on...

Try Sugru. Its durable, flexible and waterproof. Here's a link. Scroll down to the pair of boots repaired with sugru. It comes in several colors (including black). You could win some in one of the Instructables contests, or buy the stuff off the sugru website.

Gorilla Glue may be your best option for the sole of the shoe. The cap can be glued as well but you'll need a leather sowing needle and thread to sew it back down. Another fix for the toe would be some Sugru.