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Perfecting DIY dog boot? (Any cobbler gurus out there?) Answered

Hi, I have a dog who I adopted off the street who has a stub for a paw. The padding on his stub is deformed and since he has not toes/claw he is always getting this stub cut up when he runs around (just barely more than a year old and runs around like a nut). He is a real sweetheart and a big lug at the same time (100lbs) which has made it a bit more of a challenge. (I tried to put the photos inline with the post but when i tried to publish the whole post was blank so I just attached them).

Design Issues

Sleeve/leg durability
To resolve this problem I have been trying to make a shoe that will #1 Actually stay on snugly and #2 Last more than a few weeks. It has been an evolution starting off with bought doggie “booties” which were pretty much worthless, to a old indestructible (until now) hiking sock + “shoe goo” to a sewn nylon sleeve thingy + shoe goo. This is the best we have been able to come up with as he destroys (since he is so active), I was going to go to the dump to see if I could get some used airbag material as I had made a dog bed cover from the stuff before (previous dog who was hell bent on digging through her rubber foam bed) and it was friggin bullet proof.

Keeping it on
So the shoe goo + nylon sock is the closes we have come so far, the sock/sleeve part kind of works because it allows us to “strap it on” above his hock so it doesn’t slip down/off, that worked great when we were using a softer material but this more durable nylon stuff (from an old suit travel bag) seriously rubs around his hock, I am guess I will try some sort of padding (shoe insole?) around the inside where we strap it on, bulky but just using a thick sock to provide a protection wasn’t enough. I’m not in the US (or a western country) at the moment so I haven’t been able to get my hands on proper Velcro and the Velcro I managed to get he has decimated (I think mostly due to crappy Velcro but also again his just scraping up against just about everything) so I was going to try a belt of sorts but am hoping someone has a better idea.

Durable Sole that Stays on
Shoe goo is the best we have come up with so far for a sole as everything else I tried just didn’t work (tried rubber pipe stopper thingy, Ear Bulb Syringe, modified mini-plunger) either because they didn’t fit how he walks on that foot (can’t describe it but a ball type shape is needed) or they were too hard to affix to a sleeve in a way that they would stay. The best version we have come up with so far has involved the afore mentioned nylon sleeve (durability) with shoe goo smeared in layers on the end. This has been workable but the shoe goo doesn’t stick to the material as well as I would like and is starting to come off after about 2 months. As with the other issues, any suggestions would be appreciated!


Try liquid bandage put it on thick


3 years ago

First off--thanks for adopting a stray with a bad leg. I was rescued when my family gave up on me because of a torn Achilles tendon. Shoe goo is a good idea, but you could also try food grade silicone. The kind you mix yourself and shape around an object. You might be able to make a workable shape, cut it (after the silicone sets) so the foot can slide in and out easily, and then build a cloth boot around it. Then velcro to hold it on. With silicone, you might even be able to build it up thicker on that foot to balance the gait. You're awesome....keep trying!

Good luck!


I occasionally find an old scuba wetsuit. neoprene has some fair springyness. If attempting to approximate modern footwear construction, it might be: inner layer-comfortable synthetic cloth. Glue that to neoprene . glue neoprene to inner tube (for wear resistance)

I suspect that shoe goo is too thick to really saturate the nylon fabric. one primary solvent for shoe-goo is toluene (toluol) This is available as paint thinner. If you thin down shoe goo before applying coat 1, it may penetrate the pores of the nylon fabric better, and so make a better bond. There are other things that will also disolve shoe goo, including gasoline.

I didn't even think of that what a great idea! I am not sure i can
find toluene here but gasoline isn't a problem (would acetone be any
better?). What i ended up doing was putting on a few layers then
shogoo'ing on a small strip of nyolon around the top, stitching it on,
then addon on a few more layers of shoegoo on top of it and all over,
had worked reasonably well but I can tell its coming loose inside, not a
huge problem but still i think a combination of the two would be

"SOLVENTS THAT DISSOLVE SHOE GOO® ADHESIVE T he following lists common solvents that dissolve SHOE GOO® when hardened samples are immersed. The dissolution with these solvents is not instantaneous and therefore does not preclude usage in all cases. Applications where an occasional splash or brief exposure is expected may be acceptable. Test a small area before full use. Gasoline Cyclohexane Methylene chloride Toluene Chlorothane NU Perchloroethylene Chevron solvent 1100 1,1,1-Trichloroethane Propyl acetate. "

You might try google translate. These solvents might have different names in Japan. (am i correct in surmising Japan?) Also, try them on the nylon to see if they eat it. You might also check the MSDS. Wouldnt be good to mess up yourhealth or the dog's health with contact exposure, etc.

Funny, we literally just bought a used wetsuit from a secondhand
shop like two weeks ago with that exact idea in mind! My only worry is
that it will be a wee bit too thick and the shoe will slip off from
around the hock, but I do need to get on it and try it out!

i would probably only use neoprene where the foot meets the ground. Think of a canvas high top sneaker. flexible canvas up your ankle wher you need flexibility. cushion under foot, and a more durable rubber where it hits pavement. yeah, thats some craftsmanship, but...

How about a motorcycle inner tube? You could cut the inner tube to twice the length needed . Slip half the inner tube over the leg and bend the other half up and bind to the leg ,thus forming
a sort of continuous sole  where the tube is bent upwards.

If you really wanted to get fancy with the fit , you could cut rubber thonging (lacing) from an inner tube.By cutting the tube the in a helix you end up with a long piece of thonging. Punch holes and lace your booty together with the thonging. The rubber thonging stretches a bit so if you get the fit right, you may not even need velcro to make it stay on the leg.

Other ideas for a sewn on sole:
1.) Rubber ball cut in half.
2.) Cut round piece from old tires . make sure tire doesn't have steel belt. The small auto spare  tires are not steel belted Golf cart tires also aren't steel belted If you use tires for soles, you will probably need to pre-punch holes in order to sew them on .

Also , here's a link to lots of cobbler info:

Thanks for the ideas, I hadn't thought of using a motorcycle tube. The rubber ball we have tinkered with but weren't able to affix it to a sleeve properly so it kept coming off. We tried using a tire but he doesn't walk flat footed he puts weight on all sides of his foot (hence the need for a rounded solution, like a ball if i could sew it to a proper sleeve).


if you use a nail to put a series of holes along the edge of a cut ball, you could follow that by hand stitching thru those holes to a sleeve.

Thanks, after so rubber pipe stopper thingy, Ear Bulb Syringe, modified mini-plunger, and two differnt balls I've pretty much just settled on the shoegoo, its more expensive that i would like as i have to order it from the US (shipping is more than a tube of the stuff is worth, though to be fair still less than alot of these pre-made doggie shoes) mainly because I can make it the shape that i need. I found a rock that is pretty much the perfect shape and use that to get the nylon "socks" we had made and then I put on the shoegoo + sew it on + more shoegoo and for the sole that lasts pretty well.