Hiking Boots Repair with Shoe Goo

Hiking Boots Repair with Shoe GooSkaters, basketball players and tennis players probably know more than hikers do about the rubbery shoe repair adhesive Shoe Goo, but that does not mean that Shoe Goo doesn't have its uses for hiking boots as well. Day hikers in particular will find that Shoe Goo can lengthen the life of their boots, while backpackers can use it for field repairs. Best of all, Shoe Goo forms a waterproof bond, ideal for conditions on the trail.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Pocketknife
  • Hatchet
  • Leaf or ice cube
  • Sandpaper
Step 1
Cut a series of scratch-like grooves or channels into the top surface of the sole with your pocket knife to reattach any loose part of the sole to the upper of your hiking boot. If the sole is completely or mostly detached, carve a grid-pattern onto the top of it, but otherwise do the best you can with a few small grooves along the top and side of the loose part of the sole. Do not detach more of the sole to cut these grooves.
Step 2
Squeeze a bead of Shoe Goo into or onto the loose part of the boot sole. Push the loose sole back down onto the boot upper or tap it down into place with the back of a hatchet or a rock if the boot is hobnailed. Use a leaf or ice cube to smear the excess Shoe Goo along the sides of the joint between the sole and the shoe.
Step 3
Inspect the sole for worn-out spots where the treads are gone. Rough up such spots with sandpaper. If you do not have sandpaper, cut channels with your pocket knife, as in Step 1.
Step 4
Squeeze Shoe Goo onto the worn areas of the sole and spread the layer out with a leaf or ice cube. Allow the layer to dry for at least two hours. Apply more layers using the same procedure until the gap in the sole is filled. Try to avoid creating an even, smooth finish, as a slightly mottled effect will help restore the grip of your boot sole.
Step 5
Wear the shoe after allowing Shoe Goo repairs to harden for at least 24 hours.

Tips & Warnings

Cut channels and notches into the sole or rough up the surface with sandpaper to create a better surface for the Shoe Goo to adhere to. Do not grind or cut away any more of the sole than is absolutely necessary to create that rough surface. Gouging out chunks of your hiking boot's sole defeats the purpose of reattaching it or resurfacing it.
Shoe Goo repairs are effective in a pinch, such as if your hiking boot falls apart on the trail. They can also stretch out the lifetime of a well-used pair of hiking boots or shoes used on light day trails. The hiking boots of backpackers face serious demands and neglecting shoe quality can lead to severe injuries. Take backpacking boots to a professional shoe repair shop or replace them for a permanent solution.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.