How To Glue Soles Back On Shoes: A Comprehensive Guide


Shoes are an essential part of our everyday lives. However, over time, the soles of shoes can become loose or fall off completely. This can be a frustrating experience for anyone, especially if they have a favorite pair of shoes that they don’t want to part with.

Fortunately, with the right tools and knowledge, it is possible to glue the soles back on your shoes. In this post, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to glue soles back on shoes.

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How To Glue Soles Back on Shoes

Materials Needed

Before we get started, it’s essential to gather all the materials needed for the job. You will need:


Before gluing the shoes, it is important to properly prepare the surfaces to ensure a strong and long-lasting bond. Here are some steps to follow when preparing your shoes for gluing:

  1. Clean the surfaces: Use a clean cloth and a mild detergent to clean the surfaces that will be glued. Make sure to remove any dirt, dust, or debris that could interfere with the glue’s ability to bond.
  2. Rough up the surface: Use 800 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface where the glue will be applied. This will create a better bonding surface for the glue.
  3. Wear gloves: It is important to take safety precautions when working with glue. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the glue and work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling any fumes.

Safety Tip: Avoid getting glue on your skin or eyes. If you do get glue on your skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water. For eye contact, flush with water for at least 15 minutes and seek medical attention if necessary.

Gluing The Soles Back On Shoes

When it comes to repairing shoes, gluing the soles is a common fix. Just make sure that you’re working in a clean, well-ventilated area and that you have all the necessary tools and materials before you begin. Always wear gloves and eye protection when working with chemicals, and be patient and careful during the process.

Here are some detailed steps on how to glue soles back onto shoes:

  1. Choose the right glue: There are many types of glue available, but for shoe repair, it’s best to use a strong, waterproof adhesive that is specifically designed for footwear—like Shoe Goo.
  2. Apply the glue: Apply a small amount of glue to both the sole and shoe surfaces. Be careful not to use too much, as this can cause the glue to seep out and create a mess. A thin, even layer should suffice.
  3. Align the sole: Carefully align the sole with the shoe, making sure that it is centered and straight. Apply pressure to the sole to ensure that it sticks firmly to the shoe.

Tips For Gluing Soles Back On Shoes

In addition to these steps, here are some tips on how to properly align the sole and avoid making mistakes:

  • Take your time: Rushing the process can lead to mistakes, so take your time when aligning the sole. Make sure that it is straight and centered before applying pressure.
  • Don’t apply too much pressure: While it’s important to apply enough pressure to ensure that the sole sticks properly, be careful not to apply too much pressure as this can cause the glue to seep out and create a mess.
  • Clean up any excess glue: If any glue seeps out during the process, clean it up immediately with a damp cloth to avoid making a mess or damaging the shoe’s appearance.

Gluing the soles of your shoes can be a cost-effective and simple repair solution, but it’s important to take your time and follow the proper steps to ensure the best results. By choosing the right glue, applying the glue correctly, and aligning the sole carefully, you can successfully glue the soles of your shoes and avoid making mistakes.

Remember to let the glue dry completely before wearing the shoes again to ensure a strong and lasting bond. With these tips in mind, you can confidently repair your shoes and extend their lifespan.

Best Shoe Glue For Repairing Soles: Shoe Goo

Shoe Goo is a popular choice for repairing shoes because it creates a strong, flexible bond and can be used on a variety of materials such as rubber, leather, vinyl, and canvas. It can also withstand extreme temperatures and is waterproof, making it a great option for footwear. Additionally, Shoe Goo dries clear creating a seamless repair.

Clamping And Drying

Once you have applied the glue and aligned the sole properly, it’s time to clamp the shoes and soles together. Clamping is an essential step in the process as it helps to create a strong and lasting bond between the two surfaces.

Here’s how to do it properly:


  1. Use the right clamps: Choose clamps that are the right size for your shoes. If the clamps are too small, they won’t provide enough pressure to create a strong bond. If they’re too big, they may damage the shoes.
  2. Apply pressure evenly: Make sure that the clamps are positioned evenly across the sole to apply pressure evenly. Uneven pressure can cause the sole to shift and become misaligned.
  3. Check alignment: Before tightening the clamps, check the alignment of the sole one last time to ensure that it hasn’t shifted. Make any necessary adjustments before applying pressure.
  4. Tighten the clamps: Slowly tighten the clamps to apply pressure to the sole. Be careful not to over-tighten them as this can damage the shoes.

Once the shoes and soles are clamped together, it’s important to let them dry completely before removing the clamps. Drying time can vary depending on the type of glue used, but it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended drying time.


Here are some tips on how to properly dry the shoes and soles:

  1. Find a cool, dry place: Avoid exposing the shoes to direct sunlight or heat sources as this can cause the glue to melt and weaken the bond. Instead, find a cool, dry place to let them dry.
  2. Let them dry completely: Don’t rush the drying process. Let the shoes and soles dry completely before removing the clamps. This may take several hours or even overnight.
  3. Check the glue: Once the shoes are dry, check the glue to ensure that it has fully cured. It should be hard and not tacky to the touch. If it’s still tacky, let it dry for a little longer.
  4. Remove the clamps: Once the glue has fully cured, carefully remove the clamps. Be gentle to avoid damaging the shoes.
  5. Test the bond: Before wearing the shoes, test the bond by gently pulling on the sole. It should feel secure and not move or come off easily. If the bond feels weak, you may need to reapply the glue and repeat the clamping and drying process.

Clamping and drying are crucial steps in the shoe repair process to ensure that the soles stay securely attached to the shoes. By using the right clamps, applying pressure evenly, checking the alignment, and allowing sufficient drying time, you can create a strong and lasting bond.

Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the glue and allow enough time for it to fully cure before testing the bond. With these tips, you can successfully repair your shoes and extend their lifespan.

Finishing Touches

After gluing the sole back onto your shoes, you may notice some excess glue around the edges. Here are some tips on how to remove it and make your shoes look like new again:

  1. Use a cotton swab: Dip a cotton swab in acetone or rubbing alcohol and gently rub it over the excess glue. This should help dissolve and remove the glue without damaging the shoe.
  2. Use a scraper: If the excess glue is particularly stubborn, you can use a scraper to carefully scrape it away. Be gentle and take your time to avoid scratching the shoe.
  3. Polish the shoes: Once the excess glue is removed, you can use a shoe polish or leather conditioner to restore the shoes’ shine and color. Apply the polish or conditioner evenly with a soft cloth and let it dry before buffing the shoes with another clean cloth.


Even with the best intentions and careful planning, things can go wrong during the process of gluing shoe soles. Here are some common problems that may arise and tips on how to troubleshoot them:

  1. The glue doesn’t stick: If the glue isn’t adhering to the sole or the shoe properly, it could be due to a few reasons. First, make sure that the surfaces are clean and free of any dirt or debris. You may also need to rough up the surface of the sole or shoe with sandpaper to create a better bonding surface. If the glue still isn’t sticking, try using a different type of glue or adhesive.
  2. The sole doesn’t align properly: If the sole isn’t lining up with the shoe or is crooked, it could be due to uneven application of the glue. Make sure that you apply an even layer of glue to both the sole and the shoe, and use clamps or weights to hold the sole in place while the glue dries. You may also need to adjust the position of the sole before the glue dries to ensure that it’s aligned correctly.
  3. The glue dries too quickly: Some glues and adhesives can dry very quickly, which can make it difficult to properly align the sole and shoe before it dries. To avoid this problem, work in small sections and apply the glue or adhesive evenly and quickly. You may also want to use a slower-drying glue or adhesive that gives you more time to work with.
  4. The glue oozes out of the sides: If the glue or adhesive is oozing out of the sides of the sole or shoe, it could be due to using too much glue or applying it too close to the edge. To avoid this problem, apply the glue or adhesive in a thin, even layer and leave a small gap between the edge of the sole and the shoe. You can also use a toothpick or cotton swab to remove any excess glue before it dries.
  5. The sole separates from the shoe: If the sole starts to separate from the shoe after it’s been glued, it could be due to a few reasons. First, make sure that you’ve used a high-quality glue or adhesive that’s designed for shoe repair. Additionally, make sure that you’ve applied the glue or adhesive evenly and in the right amount. If the sole still separates, you may need to reapply the glue or adhesive and clamp the sole and shoe together for a longer period of time to ensure a stronger bond.

To avoid these common problems, it’s important to follow the instructions provided with the glue or adhesive you’re using. By troubleshooting common problems and avoiding them in the first place, you can ensure a successful shoe repair and a longer lifespan for your shoes.

Preventing Future Damage

In this post, I’ve gathered the best method on how to glue the sole of a shoe back on. After repairing your shoes, it’s important to take proper care of them to maintain their condition and prevent further damage.

Here are some tips on how to maintain your shoes after gluing the soles back on:

  1. Avoid water: Water can weaken the glue and cause the sole to detach again. Try to avoid wearing your shoes in wet conditions or exposing them to water
  2. Store them properly: When you’re not wearing your shoes, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. Avoid leaving them in a damp or humid environment, as this can promote mold and mildew growth.
  3. Clean them regularly: Keep your shoes clean by wiping them down with a damp cloth or brush after each wear. This will help remove dirt and debris that can cause wear and tear over time.
  4. Use a protective spray: Consider using a waterproof protective spray on your shoes to help repel water and prevent stains. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and reapply as necessary.
  5. Get them professionally resoled: If your shoes need to be resoled again, consider taking them to a professional cobbler or shoe repair shop. They can use high-quality materials and techniques to ensure a strong and long-lasting repair.

By following these tips, you can keep your shoes looking great and avoid the need for frequent repairs.


In conclusion, gluing the soles back on your own shoes is a cost-effective and easy solution to extend the life of your favorite pair of shoes. By investing in high-quality glue or adhesive and following the instructions carefully, you can avoid common problems and achieve a strong and long-lasting bond.

I hope this post gave you some helpful tips on how to glue soles back on shoes. If you enjoyed this article, you might also like these other posts related to shoe repair.