How can I repair a pair of leaky trainers/sneakers?

leaky-trainersSo first up on our new “How can I repair this?” feature, how can I repair a pair of leaking trainers/sneakers?

I’ve got a pair of canvas trainers that I love – they’re like the ubiquitous Converse ones but No Sweat ones so sweatshop-free. I’ve worn the hell out of them for about five years and now they’ve both developed leaks in the sole – little tiny cracks/tears around the ball but on one of them the upper has come away from the lower slightly at the back too. I’d rather they didn’t become just fair weather footwear – so how can I fix them?

If they were hard soled shoes, I’d take them to a cobbler to be resoled but am not sure if they’d fix soft rubber soled trainers.

What about at-home fixes? I remember reading somewhere that someone suggested using silicone sealant to fix a similar sneaker leak – anyone tried that? Any better alternatives?

Related Categories

clothes and fabric, items, repair this

Search for other related items

17 Responses to “How can I repair a pair of leaky trainers/sneakers?”

  1. Alice says:

    If they just need gluing back together then I’d have thought that either silicone sealant or bicycle puncture repair glue would work ok, both for sticking the sole back on and for filling cracks.

    Superglue sticks most things together, but because it dries hard the rubber will just tend to break again right next to the superglued bit. Flexible glues like silicone or rubber work better on flexible materials.

    If the soles have worn through though then that’s a bit trickier as you need to glue on something that’ll withstand a lot of hard wear.

    Might be worth asking a cobbler for advice. They’re skilled craftspeople and even if it’s not possible or worthwhile to pay them to repair things, they’ll often have good ideas about how you could fix things yourself.

  2. No says:

    5 years sounds a pretty long time for that style of shoe. I find mine fall apart after a year or two as the material and especially the sole is not so strong as a more heavyweight shoe.

    Layers separating might be gluable – but I tend to wear holes that I would argue are unrepairable without excessive cost/effort.

  3. Bobbie says:

    Wonder what would happen if you called the manufacturer and asked them how you could repair them? After they laugh for a while maybe they would have an idea.

  4. Oraxia says:

    I’ve not done it myself, so this is more pondering than a definite fix, but could you extend the life of the worn-through soles by spreading a thin layer of sealant and then covering the rest with cut section of bicycle inner tube? The bike tube part would make a somewhat slip-resistant sole seems like it might resist wear for at least a little while…

  5. I once bought a product called “Shoe Goo” from a sneaker/skate shop to fill in the holes and cracks in my sneakers. It worked perfectly well for the holes in the soles, but it doesn’t help the cracks on the side of the sneakers — you know, the ones that develop at the part of the sneaker that flexes the most.

    For that, I bought bike tyre puncture patches, cut a patch into neat strips, and stuck the patch strips over the torn/cracked part of the sneaker. I had to be careful not to scrub the patches off when washing my sneakers after that.

    Some cobblers may be able to stitch soles that have come off back on.

  6. I got a tube of sole fixer similar to the Shoo Goo. It is a clear rubber/silicone goo that you can use to build up worn down heals or add a new layer onto a worn out/ cracked sole.

    I treated my elder son’s and my winter boots last year to stretch an extra year out of them. I was walking 15 miles a week on concrete sidewalks all year for his school (and so was he). He is a shuffler and I’m generally pretty hard on my shoes/boots. The result – no leaks or even wear on the heels (put tape around the worn down edge and then build the heel up with goo and let cure for 24-48 hrs) or the cracks or worn down areas at the ball of the foot.

    My verdict: this stuff is indespensible and a must for frugal people wishing to extend the life of their footwear without recobbling.

    • jimmy says:

      “a tube of sole fixer similar to the Shoo Goo”? what is the name of this tube? what is the name of the manufacturer? where can i buy it?
      it would be most appreciated if you can tell me this.
      kind regards,

    • jimmy says:

      jimmy says:
      December 19, 2011 at 12:06 am
      “a tube of sole fixer similar to the Shoo Goo”? what is the name of this tube? what is the name of the manufacturer? where can i buy it?
      it would be most appreciated if you can tell me this.
      kind regards,

  7. Myrtle May says:

    I agree with those suggesting a good independent cobbler, don’t bother with the ‘chains; they’re useless. I have a pair of boots that I love and have worn to death, I was convinced that they were unrepairable, however, I took them along to the cobblers and they are now as good as new. It wasn’t cheap, but then neither were the boots and of course I paid for the skill and knowledge of the cobbler.

  8. fosquid says:

    I work in a factory and often wear out the toes on my boots so it has become common practice to paint truck bed liner on the toes of our shoes. It comes in all different colors and you can get smaller amounts.

  9. Susan says:

    I used to have Converse baseball boots that got this problem on the sole. I used the patches from a bicycle repair kit and the glue they came with and the boots lasted quite a bit longer…

  10. roger says:

    this is amazing i have about 10 pairs of shoes my parents are begging me to bin because of holes in the soles. now i get to reuse all my old shoes again.

  11. Ola says:

    Turn them into a Petri dish. Keep them dump and they’ll grow all the bacteria and funguses that collected in them over time. Then study those harmful creatures under microscope.

  12. sheldon says:

    There is a company called spiffykicks in capitol heights MD that might be able to help.

  13. Faye Arnold says:

    I have a pair of fairly new Docker leather slip on type shoes. I wear them out to get the morning newspapers and dew comes in through the front of the shoes. Wonder what could be used to seal this up???if

  14. Spray them with 3 or 4 coats of ScotchGuard. Let dry naturally before wearing them

Leave a Reply

Your name
Your email (it will not be published. If you want people to contact you, leave your email address in the message too.)
Your website (if you've got one)