Quality shoes are an investment, so when the sole gets loose, or fabric tears, it’s smart to fix them with the best glue for shoes on the market.
Taking shoes into a shop often requires a long wait time to get them back and a hefty charge. Quit wasting your time and money when you can buy many of the same glues professionals use and handle minor shoe repairs on your own.
All the information below will teach you more about the best glue for shoes and boots repair, and offers top recommendations that will have you back in your favorite footwear in no time!
What is the Strongest Glue in the World?
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s strongest adhesive glue is DELO MONOPOX VE403728. The epoxy resin formula lifted an astonishing 17.5 tons with only a 3-gram dot of glue.
While you can’t buy this product off the shelf to perform shoe repairs at home, there are road-tested shoe repair glues that will do the job reliably.
Keep reading to learn more about glues specific to shoe and boot repair.
|Best for...||Glue Brands|
Best for Wetsuit Boots, Flip Flops, and Hiking Boots
Best for Shoe Sole
Best Super Glue
Best Cement-based Glue - great for rubber and leather shoes
What Glue Do Shoemakers Use?
Shoemakers know that not any one type of glue is best for all types of shoes. Shoes are made of many components that include:
- Synthetic material
Shoe repair professionals rely on glues and adhesives that are super strong and stay elastic, so the bond isn’t broken by the foot’s normal movement while walking or running.
Waterproof adhesives are also crucial for long-lasting repair, as well as glues with resistance to temperature highs and lows.
Inside a shoemaker’s repair kit you can expect to find these types of shoe glues for repair:
- Neoprene cement
- Epoxy resin
- Super glue
Neoprene cement can adhere to most materials, even faux leathers or synthetic fabrics that resist other types of glue.
Epoxy glue can bond soles and metals that require a slightly stiffer finish.
Urethane works best to repair split rubber soles, especially on running shoes, as the bond stays flexible.
Superglue quickly grabs and bonds nearly all materials permanently and rapidly, but is thin and not suitable for porous fabrics as it often darkens the material it touches.
How Do You Glue Your Shoes Back Together?
Here are the basic steps to gluing shoes back together, so it lasts:
Step 1: Purchase the best recommendation of glue to repair shoes of your style or type of material. When repairing soles, it’s important to select a waterproof and temperature resistant shoe glue as this area lands in puddles, snow, or on hot pavement that won’t hold with average glue.
Step 2: Clean the surfaces you wish to bond together with a cloth or brush to remove debris and old glue that can impede a strong adhesion. Roughing up smooth surfaces a bit with sandpaper will also aid in a better final bond.
Step 3: Apply the shoe glue as directed to the surface you need to repair. Some glues may require an application of glue on both surfaces, while others may only need glue on one side. Use some painter’s tape to protect areas you don’t want glue to touch and remove promptly before the glue begins to set.
Step 4: Press the loose parts together and hold until a bond forms if you’re using quick-grab shoe glue. For glue that needs more time to cure, clamp or tape the pieces together tightly. For tears or holes in the fabric, fill the gap with a small amount of shoe glue, and bring loose edges together as close as possible. A good tip is to add some masking tape on the inside of the shoe to hold sections together or create a backer for holes, which prevents the glue from dripping on the inside. Once the glue dries, remove the tape.
Step 5: Wipe or scrape away any excess glue before it has a chance to dry fully.
Step 6: Leave the shoe in a dry location until the glue has a chance to set. Even for fast-bond glues, it may take a full 24 hours or more to cure as the chemical bonds slowly strengthen over time.
What is the Best Glue to Use On Shoes?
For an overall best adhesive for shoe repair, experts often mention Gorilla Glue.
Gorilla Glue is famous for DIY shoe repair for its incredibly strong bond, 100-percent waterproof formulation, and the resistance to both hot and cold temperature extremes. The bond is very rugged and can tolerate a high level of flex without cracking, making it an especially ideal glue for repairing hiking boots, fashion boots, and men and women dress shoes.
Best Glue for Shoes and Boots Repair
The best adhesive for shoe repair depends on what materials the footwear consists of and the repair location. Tears or holes need a different treatment than a sole that has come loose.
Shoes come in a wide variety of materials, from flip-flops made of polyurethane, plastic foam, or rubber to high-quality all-leather boots with a wooden sole and heel.
Gorilla Glue, GEAR AID Shoe Repair, Shoe Goo, Boot-Fix Shoe Glue, and Barge All-Purpose TF Cement offer the best features and reliable bond for various shoe repair needs.
BEST OVERALL: Gorilla Clear Glue + Waterproof
Gorilla glue shoe repair tops the list for DIYers who need a clear-drying product that won’t alter the shoe or boot’s appearance. The product is the best glue for boot soles as it’s both waterproof and can handle temperatures from freezing snow to hot summer pavement without losing its bond.
Gorilla glue shoe repair adheres boot and shoe soles and nearly every material found on running shoes. The best part is this glue grabs hold quickly, which reduces the chance of slippage that may allow materials to become misaligned before drying completely.
- Stable and secure at all temperatures
- No-run formula
- 100-percent waterproof
- Dries in seconds and requires no clamping
- Adheres to most shoe material surfaces
- Dries clear and won’t alter color
- Holds up through the washer and dryer
- Doesn’t adhere as strongly to wood
- Requires a heavy application to achieve a strong bond, which can look messy
- Must allow for the full curing/drying time before wearing the footwear or the bond could fail
Best for Wetsuit Boots, Flip Flops, and Hiking Boots: GEAR AID Shoe Repair
The GEAR AID Aquaseal adhesive is the best glue for boot soles, climbing and running shoes, sports cleats, and water or beach shoes. The urethane adhesive excels at bonding materials such as neoprene, rubber, leather, canvas, suede, and even Gore-Tex fabrics.
GEAR AID Aquaseal is ideal for filling small holes and securing soles that have split, and also works as a protective barrier on the toe plate of shoes that also adds a bit of grip. The glue remains flexible when cured, so it doesn’t impede the function of your footwear.
- Forms a strong, permanent bond
- Dries clear and remains flexible
- Won’t crack or peel over time
- Waterproof and abrasion resistant
- Works well to build up areas of unevenly worn down soles
- Bonds to neoprene and rubber especially well
- Tube dries up fast after first use
- Materials must be very clean and dry before application
- Curing time is closer to 48 hours (not 24) for an average layer of glue
Best for Shoe Sole: Shoe Goo
The best glue for shoe repair on soles, Shoe Goo is made specifically to handle the stresses of walking, climbing, and running. It works well on any type of footwear and won’t alter the color of fabrics as it dries clear.
Shoe Goo can reattach soles as well as broken wooden or synthetic heels securely. The glue remains flexible, waterproof, and permanent for long-lasting and reliable repair.
- Bonds and seals soles or insoles permanently
- Excellent for skim-coating over cracks or worn areas
- Dries clear
- Will not stiffen or crack over time
- Works equally well on canvas, vinyl, wood, leather, and rubber
- Dries very fast
- Once the tube is open, the contents are hard to store without drying up
Best Super Glue: Boot-Fix Shoe Glue
Boot-Fix shoe glue works equally well for shoes, but is more tailored to deal with the cracks, breaks, tears, or splits common in boots made of rubber or vinyl. The adhesive is thick, so it stays where you want it.
Boot-Fix also creates a fast hold that avoids the need to clamp or tape the repair after allowing the adhesive a few minutes to set. The glue doesn’t expand nor crack when dried, so your repair looks professional and neat.
- Clear and flexible bond
- Bond not affected by heat or cold
- Bonds fast (no clamping)
- No glue expansion
- Works especially well on rubber and vinyl
- Works best on materials that are not porous
- The glue is very liquid and prone to run and drip
Best Cement-based Glue – great for rubber and leather shoes: Barge All-Purpose TF Cement
The best glue for shoe repair, especially on leather or rubber shoes, is Barge All-Purpose TF Cement that features a professional-grade, waterproof bond that also works well on wooden heels.
Barge glue creates a permanent bond that dries clear, so your leather repairs look seamless. The adhesive can bond fabrics like canvas or synthetics together yet remain flexible so it won’t crack or pull apart during wear.
- Dries in 20 minutes
- Forms a tight bond on most shoe or boot materials
- Remains flexible
- Clear color won’t alter fabric or leather appearance
- Must use in well-ventilated area
- Not a fix for cracks or tears in material
- Needs time to rest before placing surfaces together, and you must align it perfectly the first time
The smart way to keep your shoes and boots useable and looking great is to always keep a stash of the best glue for shoes on hand for quick DIY repairs.
There is no need to drag broken shoes to the cobbler for repairs. Instead, fix split soles, loose heels, holes, uneven wear, rips, or cracks with little hassle, time, and cost by using any of the best adhesives for shoe repair options above!