Has the sole of your favorite shoes come unglued? Don’t throw them away just yet! With the right type of shoe glue, you can easily repair peeling or detached soles and bring your kicks back to life. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Shoe Goo or Barge Cement are top choices for securely regluing loose soles and providing long-lasting repairs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about repairing shoe soles with glue so you can decide which adhesive is best for your needs and get the most mileage out of your footwear.

We’ll discuss the main causes of sole separation, and compare the leading shoe sole glues on the market when it comes to bond strength, flexibility, longevity and ease of use. We’ll also provide step-by-step application tips to ensure proper adhesion and prevent future failure. Let’s get started!

What Causes Shoe Soles to Separate?

One of the most common problems people face with their shoes is the separation of the soles. This not only makes the shoes uncomfortable to wear but also affects their durability. Understanding the causes behind this issue can help you take preventative measures and ensure the longevity of your favorite pair of shoes.

Normal wear and tear

Over time, regular use and wear can cause the adhesive holding the sole in place to weaken. The constant pressure and friction applied to the sole gradually weaken the bond, leading to separation. This is particularly common with shoes that are worn frequently or exposed to demanding activities.

Inferior materials/craftsmanship

Sometimes, the quality of the materials used or the craftsmanship of the shoe itself can contribute to sole separation. If the adhesive used during the manufacturing process is of poor quality or not applied correctly, it can fail to create a strong bond, resulting in the sole separating from the shoe.

Additionally, shoes made with cheaper materials may be more prone to this issue.

Exposure to moisture

Moisture can be another culprit behind sole separation. When shoes are exposed to water or excessive humidity, the moisture can seep into the adhesive, weakening its bond. This is especially true for shoes that are not properly waterproofed or treated with moisture-resistant materials.

It’s important to note that prolonged exposure to moisture can also lead to other issues such as mold or mildew growth.

Improper storage

The way you store your shoes can also affect their longevity. Storing shoes in damp or humid environments can cause the adhesive to degrade faster, leading to sole separation. Similarly, storing shoes in extreme temperatures or direct sunlight can also weaken the bond.

It’s best to store shoes in a cool, dry place to minimize the risk of sole separation.

By understanding the causes of sole separation, you can take steps to prevent this issue and extend the life of your shoes. Regularly inspecting your shoes for any signs of damage, avoiding excessive exposure to moisture, and storing them properly are key preventative measures.

Additionally, if you do experience sole separation, it’s important to address the issue promptly by using the appropriate shoe glue for soles or seeking professional repair services.

Choosing the Best Glue for Shoe Soles

When it comes to repairing shoe soles, choosing the right glue is crucial. The right glue should be strong, durable, and able to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. Here, we will explore some of the best glue options for shoe soles to help you make an informed decision.

Shoe Goo

Shoe Goo is a popular choice for shoe sole repairs. It is a strong adhesive that forms a flexible bond, making it ideal for footwear. This glue is designed to withstand extreme conditions and is resistant to water, making it perfect for outdoor shoes.

Additionally, Shoe Goo is easy to apply and dries clear, ensuring a seamless repair job.

Barge Cement

Barge cement is another excellent option for shoe sole repairs. It is a heavy-duty adhesive that provides a strong bond and is commonly used by professionals. Barge cement is known for its durability and ability to withstand heavy use.

It is recommended for leather and rubber shoe soles, as it creates a permanent bond that can withstand constant flexing.


E6000 is a versatile glue that can be used for various purposes, including shoe sole repairs. It is a strong adhesive that forms a durable bond and works well on different materials, such as leather, rubber, and fabric.

E6000 is also resistant to water, heat, and chemicals, ensuring a long-lasting repair.

Contact Cement

Contact cement is a popular choice for shoe sole repairs due to its strong bonding properties. It creates a permanent bond between materials and is commonly used for attaching soles to shoes. Contact cement is easy to apply and dries quickly, making it a convenient option for DIY repairs.

However, it is important to note that contact cement should be used in a well-ventilated area due to its strong odor.

Super Glue

Super glue, also known as cyanoacrylate adhesive, is a quick and convenient option for minor shoe sole repairs. It forms a strong bond and dries quickly, allowing you to get back to using your shoes in no time.

However, super glue may not be suitable for all materials, and it is important to ensure compatibility before using it for your shoe sole repair.

Remember, when selecting a glue for shoe sole repairs, it is essential to consider the material of the sole and the specific requirements of the repair. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for optimal results. Happy repairing!

How to Reglue Shoe Soles

Prepare the surface

Before regluing your shoe soles, it is crucial to properly prepare the surface. Start by thoroughly cleaning the area where the sole will be glued. Use a mild soap and water solution to remove any dirt, oil, or debris. Make sure to dry the surface completely before proceeding.

This step ensures that the adhesive will bond effectively with the sole and the shoe.

Apply the adhesive

Once the surface is clean and dry, it’s time to apply the adhesive. Choose a high-quality shoe glue specifically designed for this purpose. Apply a thin, even layer of adhesive to both the sole and the shoe surface.

Use a small brush or a cotton swab to spread the glue evenly, ensuring complete coverage. Be careful not to apply too much glue, as it can cause excess buildup and affect the overall performance of the shoe.

Clamp and cure

After applying the adhesive, it’s important to clamp the sole and the shoe together to create a strong bond. Use clamps or heavy objects to hold the sole in place firmly. Make sure that the pressure is evenly distributed across the entire sole.

Leave the shoe undisturbed for the recommended curing time specified by the adhesive manufacturer. This allows the glue to dry and bond properly.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have clamps, you can use rubber bands or strings to secure the sole to the shoe. Just make sure to apply enough pressure to ensure a tight bond.

Remember to follow the instructions provided by the adhesive manufacturer for the best results. Different adhesives may have varying curing times and specific instructions for application. It’s also important to note that not all shoe soles can be reglued successfully.

If the sole is severely damaged or the shoe is beyond repair, it may be time to consider getting a new pair. However, regluing the soles can be a cost-effective solution for minor repairs and can extend the lifespan of your shoes.

For more detailed information and step-by-step tutorials, you can visit websites like www.shoerepair.org or www.shoemall.com.

Tips for Maximum Bond Strength and Longevity

Roughen smooth surfaces

When it comes to gluing shoe soles, one of the key factors that determine the bond strength is the surface preparation. Smooth surfaces can be challenging for adhesives to adhere to effectively. To maximize the bond strength and longevity, it is recommended to roughen the smooth surfaces before applying the shoe glue.

This can be done using sandpaper or a wire brush to create a textured surface that allows the glue to grip onto the sole more securely. By roughening the surface, you are providing more contact points for the adhesive to bond with, resulting in a stronger and more durable bond.

Use adhesive primer

In some cases, especially when dealing with certain types of shoe materials such as rubber or certain plastics, using an adhesive primer can greatly enhance the bond strength. Adhesive primers are designed to promote adhesion by chemically altering the surface of the material, allowing the adhesive to bond more effectively.

Applying a thin layer of adhesive primer before applying the shoe glue can significantly improve the bond strength and ensure a longer-lasting repair.

Apply pressure while curing

Applying pressure to the glued area while the adhesive is curing is crucial for achieving maximum bond strength. This can be done by using clamps or by placing heavy objects on top of the glued area. The pressure helps to ensure that the adhesive spreads evenly and forms a strong bond between the sole and the shoe.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the amount of pressure and curing time required for the specific shoe glue you are using.

Allow full cure time

One common mistake that people make when gluing shoe soles is not allowing enough time for the adhesive to fully cure. Curing time varies depending on the type of shoe glue used, but it is generally recommended to wait at least 24 hours before subjecting the repaired shoe to stress or wear.

Rushing the curing process can compromise the bond strength and may result in the sole detaching from the shoe prematurely. Patience is key when it comes to achieving a strong and long-lasting bond.

Avoid moisture during curing

Moisture can negatively affect the bond strength and curing process of shoe glue. It is crucial to keep the glued area dry during the curing time. Moisture can interfere with the chemical reaction of the adhesive, leading to a weaker bond.

Additionally, moisture can also cause the adhesive to take longer to cure or prevent it from curing properly. Ensure that the repair area is kept away from water or excessive humidity to achieve the best results.

Following these tips can help you achieve a strong and long-lasting bond when using shoe glue for soles. Remember to always read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the shoe glue you are using to ensure the best results. Happy repairing!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does shoe glue take to dry?

The drying time of shoe glue can vary depending on the type of glue used and the environmental conditions. Generally, it takes anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for shoe glue to fully dry and cure. However, some fast-drying glues may allow you to wear your shoes within a few hours.

It’s important to carefully read the instructions provided by the manufacturer to determine the specific drying time for the glue you are using.

Can I reglue shoe soles more than once?

In most cases, it is possible to reglue shoe soles more than once. However, it is important to note that the success of regluing largely depends on the condition of the sole and the quality of the glue used.

If the sole is severely damaged or the glue is not strong enough, it may be more difficult to achieve a long-lasting bond. It is recommended to thoroughly clean and prepare the surface before applying the glue, and to use a high-quality shoe glue for the best results.

What’s the best glue for rubber shoe soles?

When it comes to gluing rubber shoe soles, it is important to use a glue specifically designed for rubber materials. There are several popular options available, including Shoe Goo, Barge All-Purpose Cement, and E6000 Craft Adhesive.

These glues are known for their strong bonding properties and flexibility, making them ideal for repairing or attaching rubber soles. It is always a good idea to read reviews and do some research to find the best glue for your specific needs.

Will shoe glue work on all sole materials?

Shoe glue is typically designed to work on a variety of sole materials, including rubber, leather, and synthetic materials. However, it is important to choose the right type of glue for the specific material you are working with.

For example, if you are gluing leather soles, it is recommended to use a leather-specific adhesive. Similarly, if you are working with synthetic materials, look for a glue that is compatible with synthetic materials.

Reading the product label or consulting with a professional can help ensure that you select the appropriate glue for your specific needs.


With the right preparation and application techniques, shoe sole glues like Shoe Goo provide an effective and long-lasting fix for separated soles. Following the recommendations in this guide will help ensure you achieve an incredibly tough, flexible bond that can stand up to repeated wear.

So don’t resign yourself to trashing those worn out shoes just yet – with a quality adhesive and a little elbow grease, you can restore them to like-new condition. Happy regluing!

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