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I usually buy new shoes every two years or so (mostly Nikes). When walking I seem to not lift my feet high enough and because of this I get a hole the size of a cent at the rear of the sole (under my foot pad).

I'm wondering if there is an easy solution to keep my feet dry when it rains. Either seal up the hole from the bottom or from the inside of the shoe. I don't want to throw them away already, because they still look pretty good.

The only thing I tried is sticking glue inside the hole. This wasn't a good idea, because the glue gets hard and doesn't stick well to the inside of the sole.

  • Very hacky and the most easy solution: lift your feet higher! – nicael Dec 12 '14 at 14:24
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    Dude! Get....new....shoes! – GdD Dec 12 '14 at 14:30
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    @GdD That's #NotAHack – Mooseman Dec 12 '14 at 14:31
  • @nicael Haha, you silly guy. To make it clear: I don't scuff with every step. Just from time to time, if there's a step I didn't mind or I'm drunk as hell, it accumulates. – Alex Dec 12 '14 at 14:32
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    Then seems that you can't get that if you just stop drinking, you'll have few money to buy a new pair, otherwise you'll have to patch your old ones. Also, if you'll drop drinking, just think about it! - you won't have to buy a new pair or patch an old one at all! – nicael Dec 12 '14 at 14:42
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Depending on the type of hole, you can get away with using some silicon. They sell them (primarily for cars) in a container that resembles a toothpaste container. Dry your shoe thoroughly, then apply the silicon to the hole, and try to fill the entire hole. If the hole goes all the way through the shoe, then also try the duct tape on the inside to provide another layer of protection. Important thing, get the silicon in all the nooks and crannies of the hole, otherwise water will just come through. They also sell silicon in multiple colors, so for a few bucks, you can have some stylin' shoes that keep your feet dry.

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    My hole doesn't go all the through the shoe. But I'm a bit worried, that if I put a layer of duct tape in my shoe, lets say under my heel, the upper layer of the duct tape will wear off. I know that duct tape is pretty strong. But is also the upper layer durable? – Alex Feb 16 '15 at 14:00
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    Generally, it'll be strong enough. Although, if you get the cheap duck tape, it will wear through sooner. If it starts to come off, peal off the layer and reapply. If you want something super strong (yes, stronger and better than duck tape), check out Guerrilla Tape (they make guerrilla glue). It's much stronger, and should last quite a while. It's almost like gaffer tape if you know anything about that. – Andrew Feb 16 '15 at 14:53
  • For those searching, I think it's spelled "Gorilla Tape". Also, "Panzertape" is a suitable search term in Germany (but buy only the original used by the German army). – tanius Jan 4 at 1:17
  • Thanks for the check @tanius, autocorrect must have done a number and slipped past me (guerrilla auto correct tactics 😜 ) – Andrew Jan 8 at 19:46
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Use duct tape on the inside under the footpad/insert. The weight of your heel will help the tape form a good seal, keeping water out.

8

Growing up as a skateboarder I had to constantly deal with holes in my shoes. The two best ways to fill them and also make sure they are waterproof are:

  • Shoe Goo, which is available in most places including Walmart and Amazon, easy to use, takes a few hours to set up properly and works for a long time. Sets to a bit of a soft consistency which can make it more comfortable depending on where the hole is.

  • Five Minute Epoxy, which is also available in most places. This is for hardcore/huge holes. Mix the two parts of the epoxy together and get to work as it starts to dry very quickly. Again, like shoe goo it takes a few hours to set up and lasts a really long time. Dries pretty hard so it is best for holes that lie mostly on the exterior of the shoes.

  • This is not much of a lifehack as it recommends commercial products – Zach Saucier Dec 23 '14 at 19:20
  • all the other answers recommend commercial products as well so..... – celeriko Dec 23 '14 at 19:21
  • It's more so that your answer provides the conventional products to solve the problem, which is allowed, just not exactly what we're looking for on Lifehacks – Zach Saucier Dec 23 '14 at 19:24
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    @ZachSaucier I'd say the conventional solution is to buy new shoes - just knowing that a product exists for this is a lifehack. – Random832 Mar 19 '15 at 16:04
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Be prepared and buy a repair product in advance.

Mending your lether shoe using duct tape or special glue is a nice idea. There are special repair glues (like Pattex repair gel in Europe) available in your hardware store or building center. Look for the attributes:

  • waterproof
  • flexible
  • suitable for your materials

How to apply? Normally these one component glues require to clean both surfaces and make them rougher. Synthetic fiber material of your jogging shoe is rough by itsself and often also just assembled by glue. Now apply a thin layer on both interfaces. After several minutes, as described on the glue, both interfaces have to be pressed hard together.

What if the whole is biggerr and needs extra material? Choose a fabric/leather piece of the same material and proceed to glue like above. Because of the similarity to the actual production process and the propper glue, your mending will last longer. However it will still not look great.

  • I don't see any problem with you linking to a specific brand as long as you state that one needs "one like this" and you state your association to the company if existent. I see product links here all the time, thats not a bad thing on itself. – Angelo Fuchs Jan 8 '15 at 16:07
  • @Angelo Us market is unknown to me. I'm German and would link to a European product (advertising shoe repair) and is not available in US: Pattex Repair Gel. How to find the US equivalent? – Stefan Bischof Jan 8 '15 at 17:44
  • Hmmm... don't? I would link to the German one as that would be the one that I would be using. – Angelo Fuchs Jan 9 '15 at 15:19
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While there are commercial glues specially for shoe repair on sale, I found them to be expensive. And when I saw "polyurethane" written on one, I knew I could replace it. Since then:

I use single-component polyurethane based construction glue for all shoe repairs now. It settles into a rubbery substance quite similar to shoe soles, and bonds with almost everything if you clean surfaces properly before with solvent.

There are many brands of this. Here in Europe, Sikaflex 252 is a good choice. If not available, you can use Sikaflex 221 which is more a sealant than a glue (softer when settled) but still good. A difficulty is storing PU cartridges between uses.

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