How to Glue a Shoe Sole

a pair of slip on shoes
  • 72 hours
  • Beginner
  • 30-70
What You'll Need
Clean cloth
Soap and water
Citrus based cleaner
Craft knife
Piece of plastic
Ten-pound weight

Even quality shoe soles begin to separate from the shoe at some point in their life after incurring a certain amount of wear and tear. If you have a shoe repair shop near you, you may choose to have it repaired by a professional shoe repairman when this happens, but repairing a shoe sole is not that difficult. You can save time and money by doing it yourself. Just follow these simple steps.

Step 1 - Clean the Bottom of the Sole

Choose an area to repair your shoe where you can open a window and avoid breathing fumes from the potentially harmful adhesive. Remove any dirt or debris from the bottom of the shoe's sole, allowing you to avoid the unpleasant task of working on a dirty shoe.

Step 2 - Remove Stitching From the Toe

Use a craft knife to remove all the stitching from the toe of the shoe so that the sole can be pulled back completely. Doing so will allow you to access the entire sole. Protect your work surface from unwanted glue by spreading a newspaper or other covering on your work surface. Doing so will keep excess glue from your work surface. Clean both sides of the shoe sole with either soap and water or with rubbing alcohol.

Step 3 - Use Sandpaper and Adhesive

Sand the surface of each side of the shoe’s sole. Roughening the surface of the sole allows the adhesive to bond to the surface. Before you add adhesive to your shoe sole, be sure you carefully read the manufacturer’s directions and follow them closely. Shoe adhesive can be found at department stores and online.

Spread the adhesive on both sides of the sole with a flat knife. Get the adhesive into the cracks of the sole. If the adhesive adheres to areas where you don’t want it, use a citrus-based cleaner to remove it.

Step 4 - Use a Heavy Weight

Once the sole has been glued, fit the shoe and the sole together. Then place the shoe on the newspaper and cover it with plastic. Place a heavy object over the shoe to act as a weight so that the shoe and the sole will completely adhere to each other. Add more weight if needed.

Use a citrus cleaner to remove the adhesive from any tools you have used. To make sure the sole and shoe have adhered together completely, allow at least 48 hours of drying time.