Can Shoe Goo rescue my X-Country Ski Boots? Read how I put it to the test.
My cross-country ski boots are old and by most people’s standards, worn out. But they fit me, so I decided to try to repair them. As you can see in the second photo, one toe had pulled away from the sole of the boot quite badly. The other toe just needed sealing.
I had never used Shoe Goo before, and I read all the directions before starting. I cleaned out the gap between the shoe and the sole as best I could, and then filled that space with a layer of the goo. It comes out of the tube clear, and smells like airplane glue. Use in a ventilated space! It is liquid enough that it flowed nicely into the deepest parts of the gap, but yet has enough viscosity to not get all over places where I didn’t want it. I then clamped that boot and let it rest.
On the second boot I put a wide bead of goo all around the toe where it meets the sole. I shaped it with a finger tip, and this worked fine. I was surprised at how nicely it smoothed itself out to cover the space. Compared to spreading silicone caulking, for example, this flows on much nicer.
No problem cleaning the excess off my fingers. I wiped most of it off with a paper towel, and was able to just rub off the rest.
It says to let it dry and cure for 24 to 72 hours. So now we wait... It was dry to the touch in 2 hours.
After six hours I decided to add the top layer of goo to the shoe that needed the most repair. There is nothing in the instructions about when to apply a second coat.
After 48 hours I put the boots on and wore them around the house a bit. I pulled on the sole, not with every ounce of strength I have, but enough to know that they aren’t going to fail the first time I take them out the door.
Now we’ll have to wait for some snow, I guess. May not have to wait too long!
We had a decent amount of snow this winter. I was able to go out skiing for about a mile almost every day from mid December through the end of February. Some days I was able to be out longer.
The repair to the boots held up very well. I had concerns because these are the old 3-pin bindings, so there is a great deal of stress placed on the very place where I repaired these boots. There are a few places at the edges of the sealing where the Goo is beginning to separate from the boot, but there was no major failure of the repair.
The edges of the sealant have turned whitish and begun to peel in the thinnest areas, making me think that there is some moisture that was absorbed over the winter, but with this choice of application that is not surprising.
I think that I may do a bit of touch-up to make the boots last yet another season, but I think that will be possible to do!
I also applied some to two star-shaped blowouts in the outer layer of a pair of hiking boots. This looked ugly, but filled the holes and made the boots useable for walking around the back forty without getting soaked.
Another critical test was on a split in the side of my sneakers. This kind of repair is nearly impossible, yet I covered it with Shoe Goo and let it dry for two days. The repair lasted for two month until I was able to get new shoes. It’s actually still holding... but I’m not wearing the old shoes as much now.
I have not tried it, but the package suggests that you could fill holes in the sole with this. I now actually believe that this would work. The claim that this is both an adhesive and a sealant seems to be valid. The package states that it will work on leather, rubber, vinyl and canvas.
I never expected that a $3.00 product would work as well as this did. And the remainder of the tube is still soft and useable, so I can repair more things yet. If you need to fix a pair of shoes, GO BUY THIS PRODUCT!
Update On Jul 20, 2010: These repaired boots have now lasted through two complete ski seasons. The leather itself is starting to fail, but I'm hopeful that I can use more Shoe Goo and get one more season out of them.
Update On Aug 15, 2011: I just purchased a new tube to repair my sneakers. The old tube had become too thick to squeeze out any more. This means that the home shelf life is about two to three years. Not bad! I also discovered that it comes in black as well as the clear formula. The outermost layer of the sole of one of my sneakers had pulled loose, but the shoes were generally in good shape. Once again, Shoe Goo has saved a pair of footwear from the trash can. Hooray!