Shoes, like many common clothing items, can range widely in price, durability, and purpose, but when you find a pair that fits perfectly, it can be difficult to give them up when they begin to wear out. With shoe glue, however, you can patch up minor problems, including fixing laces, sealing holes, or reattaching soles, so that you can enjoy your footwear for a few more months or even years.
Before deciding on the best shoe glue to repair your shoes, be sure to consider what type of material you will be working with. Some shoes are made of leather, while others could be rubber, vinyl, or canvas, and not all shoe glue works for all types of material. Another important factor to keep in mind is the color of the glue. If in doubt, choose a clear shoe glue that won’t attract attention.
With that said, take a look below at some of the best shoe glue options you can use to repair your footwear.
- BEST OVERALL: Boot-Fix Professional Grade Shoe Repair Glue
- RUNNER-UP: Loctite Super Glue Professional Liquid
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Shoe Goo Repair and Protective Coating
- BEST QUICK FIX: Gorilla Super Glue Gel
- BEST URETHANE: Gear Aid AquaSeal SR Shoe Repair Adhesive
- BEST NEOPRENE CEMENT: Barge All-Purpose Original Contact Cement
- BEST SUPER GLUE: Glue Masters Premium Thin Super Glue
- BEST FOR LEATHER SHOES: Aleene’s Leather & Suede Glue
How We Chose the Best Shoe Glues
We reached out to industry experts who shared their hands-on experience in shoe repair, helping us to focus on the key factors to consider when choosing the best shoe glues.
Roger LaGrone, shoe expert and founder of Alexander Noel, gave us his advice: “When looking for adhesive for shoe repairs, you want a water-resistant product that is also enduring to other weather elements such as heat and cold. Depending on the type of shoe, you may also need it to adhere to different materials effectively.” As such, our list of recommendations covers a wide range of glue types to suit a variety of materials and preferences. In our research, we made sure to provide options with different active ingredients—we provide our top picks for urethane, neoprene cement, and super glue, all of which are best suited for their specific uses.
We also include an industry favorite—Shoe Goo—highly recommended by many shoemakers, including leather specialist Dominique B. Dupuis, owner of URAD Total Leather Care. “What makes it great is the fact that it’s waterproof, durable, and flexible. It can also be used to repair a variety of materials like canvas, rubber, and leather.” With this versatility in mind, we also researched additional shoe glue brands that create a waterproof and flexible bond, since shoes are constantly bending and moving and users need a glue that can handle this type of movement without breaking.
Another critical factor to consider when curating our list of recommendations was drying time. We asked the founder and CEO of Learn About Shoes, Tim Schroeder, what his go-to shoe glue is: “Super glues are the best for shoe repair. It works effectively for most materials. This means you can use them for a wide variety of shoes, and they’ll work just fine. Loctite Super Glue is one of the best products for this. I use this glue personally, and it has worked well every time.” With this in mind, we made sure to include several super-glue options (well known for their near-instant drying times) to suit a variety of needs and budgets.
Our Top Picks
The products below were chosen for quality, price, and customer satisfaction. Stick to this list to find some of the best shoe glues so that you can get a few more years out of your favorite footwear.
The Boot-Fix shoe glue helps to ensure your socks won’t end up soaked when you wear your shoes outside in the rain, sleet, or snow because it applies easily and cures quickly in under 5 minutes. The cyanoacrylate shoe glue is ideal for fixing holes in the soles of your shoes and repairing broken parts of the shoe, and it has been made with a specifically formulated viscosity that is ideal for reattaching the sole to the bottom of the shoe.
The bond formed by this shoe glue is clear, strong, and waterproof. It’s also resistant to high and low temperatures so the adhesive shouldn’t fail due to the summer heat or the freezing cold of winter. Use this glue on boots, athletic shoes, climbing shoes, dress shoes, and most other types of footwear, and keep in mind that it works best with rubber or vinyl soles.
- Quantity: 0.7 ounce
- Drying time: Under 1 minute
- Price: $$
- Easy to apply, as the applicator tip creates a small bead
- Cures quickly; hold for just 10 to 45 seconds to dry
- Also works on sandals, sneakers, and handbags
- Flexible bond might not last under heavy stress
Get the Boot-Fix shoe glue at Amazon or Walmart.
Shoppers may be surprised to learn that super glue is a popular product for repairing shoes. The chemical makeup of super glue like this Loctite clear liquid is ideal for most repair jobs because it works with most materials and creates a flexible bond once dried, creating the ideal fix for areas that see frequent movement and bending.
Loctite dries clear, so repairs made to visible areas on the shoe are less likely to stand out. The thin nozzle applicator also easily slips between cracks or crevices to readhere the bond. An equally important consideration is the versatility of having super glue at hand for other repairs around the house.
- Quantity: 0.7 ounces per bottle
- Drying time: 5 to 45 seconds to set, 12 to 24 hours for full cure
- Price: $$
- Forms a strong bond that’s also flexible; great for shoes that see a lot of movement
- Thin application nozzle can reach into small crevices for easy repairs
- Suitable for most shoe materials, including leather, rubber, and more
- Dries very quickly; users need to move fast to ensure a good bond
Get the Loctite shoe glue at Amazon (2-pack), Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, Walmart, or Michaels.
A new pair of shoes can cost quite a bit, but this Shoe Goo shoe glue helps to extend the life of comfortable work shoes or those lucky running shoes, saving some money in the meantime. This shoe glue can be used on vinyl and canvas, but it works especially well with both leather and rubber to provide a permanent, waterproof bond.
When the urethane rubber shoe glue fully cures, it forms a flexible rubber connection between the two surfaces that binds them together and helps to rebuild the shoe for a more permanent repair. Once it has fully cured, it has a clear color that won’t be noticeable, and it features strong abrasion resistance so it can be used to confidently fix heels, replace soles, or even seal leaks in galoshes, waders, and rubber boots so they are protected from the water.
- Quantity: 3.7 ounces
- Drying time: At least 24 hours (up to 72 hours)
- Price: $
- Works on multiple materials, including leather, rubber, vinyl, and canvas
- Forms a flexible bond, rather than a hard and brittle one, to retain movement
- Dries clear, a nice feature when it’s needed in visible areas
- Quite a strong smell compared to other glues
- Can take up to 72 hours to fully dry
Get the Shoe Goo shoe glue at Amazon, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, Walmart, or Target.
Shoppers looking for a near-instant shoe repair solution for a tear or break while on the go could rely on a bottle of Gorilla super glue gel. Unlike liquid superglues, which can be difficult to apply to a precise area without dripping or spreading, the gel consistency allows users more control over where the glue is applied. It also dries clear, so any small mistakes or excess glue will be barely noticeable.
This Gorilla glue can successfully bond most shoe materials, including leather and rubber, and it provides an “impact tough” adhesion, which is great for repairs on the parts of shoes that see the most stress and movement.
What Our Tester Says: Debbie Wolfe, Bob Vila writer and product tester, notes in The Best Super Glues Tested that she was “impressed with its quick bonding time and strong hold. Overall it’s an excellent all-around super glue to keep in the tool drawer for almost any household repair job.”
- Quantity: Available in 3-, 15-, 20-, or 25-gram bottles
- Drying time: 10 to 45 seconds to dry, 24 hours for full cure
- Price: $$
- Very quick drying time; great for fast repairs while out and about
- Gel consistency is easier to control when applying compared to liquid superglue
- Forms a strong and impact-resistant bond to most materials
- Limited flexibility once fully cured; not likely to be a long-term fix
Get the Gorilla shoe glue at Amazon, The Home Depot, Walmart, Target, Michaels, or Walgreens.
For durable repairs to hiking boots, running shoes, climbing shoes, and cleats, try this urethane rubber shoe glue that cures in 8 hours and forms a permanent, flexible rubber bond between the glued surfaces. This shoe glue dries with a clear color and it doesn’t crack or peel with extended use, so that even with heavy fixes, footwear doesn’t look like it’s been repaired.
Use the Gear Aid shoe repair glue to fix a favorite set of heels or reattach the sole on an everyday shoe. It’s compatible with leather, suede, rubber, neoprene, and canvas, forming an abrasion-resistant shell that is great for patching up the protective toe on a set of old work boots.
- Quantity: 1 ounce
- Drying time: 8 to 12 hours to cure
- Price: $$
- Forms a durable bond that is resistant to cracks
- Ideal for repairing hiking shoes, running shoes, and work boots
- Suitable for leather, suede, rubber, neoprene, canvas, and nylon
- Quite a small bottle that is good for only a few repairs
Get the Gear Aid shoe glue at Amazon, Walmart (2-pack), or Gear Aid.
Barge all-purpose cement is a staple product with shoe manufacturers and cobblers because it provides a strong bond on a variety of materials, including leather, cotton, neoprene, and rubber. It takes only 15 minutes to cure, so you can apply a thin layer of glue to the sole of your shoe without having to wait around for hours for your favorite pair of shoes to be ready.
This neoprene cement shoe glue dries clear. Once it has cured, the adhesive bond is waterproof so the shoes can be worn in the rain. It also works to repair weather stripping, car doors, windows, and other items around the home. However, kids and pets should stay away from this glue because it produces a strong chemical odor, and it’s highly flammable.
- Quantity: 32 ounces
- Drying time: 10 to 15 minutes
- Price: $$$
- Cures in just 15 minutes, which is ideal for quick shoe repairs
- Forms a waterproof bond to help keep everyday shoes dry
- Large container can last through several repair jobs on shoes or other items
- Pricey compared to similar shoe repair products
Get the Barge glue for shoes at Amazon, Walmart, or My Shoe Supplies.
For a shoe glue that cures in under a minute for quick fixes, this super glue is a great option. The glue is made with a cyanoacrylate resin that reacts with moisture in the air and in the objects being glued to form a permanent, industrial-strength bond that cures in just 10 seconds.
This shoe glue has a wide range of purposes outside of shoe repair, including building models, gluing finished puzzles, binding woodworking pieces together, and more. The glue works on rubber, wood, metal, glass, and plastic, though it shouldn’t be used on fabrics or clothing. The shoe glue has a thin viscosity that should be applied carefully, and it dries with a clear color that isn’t noticeable.
- Quantity: 2 ounces
- Drying time: 10 seconds
- Price: $$
- Small squeeze bottle is easy to store and use for quick fixes
- Very fast curing time of just 10 seconds
- Can be used for shoe repair or a variety of home repairs and projects
- Not suitable on fabrics or clothing
Get the Glue Masters shoe glue at Amazon or Glue Masters.
Aleene’s leather and suede glue is a nontoxic, permanent glue designed to repair tears or rips in leather or suede. It dries clear and provides a long-lasting bond, and the glue won’t soak through or stain leather or suede. While this glue isn’t designed to be an adhesive for repairs to the soles of shoes, it works well for minor repairs on leather shoes and boots.
This glue comes with a multisize applicator tip to customize the amount of glue to match the repair. It can be set to minimal glue flow for detail work or maximum glue flow for a larger repair project. Once applied, excess glue should be wiped away quickly with a paper towel for best results.
- Quantity: 4 fluid ounces
- Drying time: Unspecified
- Price: $
- Does not stain, but dries clear and flexible
- The thin applicator is ideal for minor repairs
- Multiple applicator sizes can be customized for a range of projects
- Unspecified drying and curing time
Get the Aleene’s shoe glue at Amazon, Michaels, or Aleene’s.
What to Look for When Buying Shoe Glue
Before choosing the best shoe glue to repair footwear, take a few minutes to learn about the features that affect how glue works to find the product that suits shoes’ materials and uses.
Types of Shoe Glue
There are three general types of shoe glue, each based on the active ingredients that create the adhesive, including urethane, neoprene cement, and super glue, which contains cyanoacrylate.’
Urethane or urethane rubber shoe glue is a strong, waterproof adhesive. It’s also resistant to heat and cold, which can help keep repaired shoes from falling apart in the winter. This glue is primarily used to repair shoe soles that have become separated from the shoe or that have been badly damaged.
This type of glue binds the two parts of the shoe together with a strong adhesive formula, but what makes it very effective for larger repairs is that it remains flexible after the glue has cured so that walking, running, or climbing shouldn’t break the adhesive bond. Urethane shoe glue is suitable for use on leather, suede, rubber, neoprene, canvas, and vinyl material, though it’s always best to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations when using a specific product.
Another type of shoe glue that is great for large repairs is neoprene cement. This glue is used on a wide variety of materials to bond with rubber, vinyl, polyurethane, leather, cotton, and other synthetic and woven fabrics that are frequently used to make shoes. Like urethane shoe glue, neoprene cement is waterproof once it has fully cured, making it a great option for sealing holes against water.
Shoe manufacturers regularly rely on neoprene cement to provide a strong, waterproof bond between the sole and the bottom of the shoe. However, it should be noted that neoprene cement is flammable, so it is important to stay far away from an open flame when applying the glue and avoid setting the shoes near sources of fire such as a lighter, match, or campfire.
Super glue is the most commonly used type of glue for shoe repairs and it’s the least expensive, making it an excellent option to fix most types of shoe damage. The active ingredient in super glue is cyanoacrylate, which reacts with moisture to form strong bonds between the two surfaces in contact.
Super glue acts fast and cures almost instantly, so there’s no waiting for the shoe glue to dry. After its use to repair a shoe, this type of glue can be used on many other items and materials around the home. However, it should be noted that superglue isn’t as flexible as urethane rubber or neoprene cement, so avoid using superglue for larger repairs to a flexible area of the shoe.
Depending on the type of glue chosen to fix shoes, the waiting time for the product to dry can range from a few seconds to a few hours. Once that happens, it’s always a good idea to wait out the remaining time until the shoe glue has fully cured because the flexible movement of a shoe can easily break an adhesive bond that hasn’t been fully set.
Fast drying and curing glues, like super glues, are an excellent option for small fixes, like holes in the sole of shoes, because they dry and cure within about 1 minute. However, for larger repairs, such as reattaching the sole to the bottom of a shoe, it’s better to use a more flexible adhesive, like urethane rubber, and wait until it is fully cured. Always refer to the manufacturer’s directions to identify the drying and curing time of a specific product.
Almost every type of outdoor footwear is designed to withstand coming into contact with water because even when the wearer is careful, there is still the chance of getting caught out in the rain or stepping in a puddle. With this in mind, it’s important to invest in a shoe glue that has also been designed to withstand moisture.
Common shoe glue types, like urethane, neoprene cement, and cyanoacrylates, are waterproof, but the effectiveness of this feature is typically reliant on the specific product formula and the success of the glue application. Following the instructions provided by the manufacturer should lead to the application of the adhesive to a clean, dry surface and binding the two pieces of material together. Provided that the application is done correctly, the repair should be sealed against water damage.
Type of Shoes
When deciding on a shoe glue to fix a favorite pair of work shoes or an old pair of dress shoes that you need for just one day, consider the material with which the shoe is made. Shoe glue manufacturers will usually list the materials that their glue can be used to fix, so if leather is not listed on the package details or manufacturer’s website then the product isn’t a good choice to fix your leather boots.
Leather, suede, rubber, neoprene, canvas, cotton, and polyurethane are all commonly used materials in the construction of shoes, and there’s a different glue to use for each type. This is because some glue products work best with rubber, while others are better for materials like suede. To get the best outcome for your shoes, it’s important to find glue that is made specifically for fixing that type of material.
While being certain that a shoe glue will work for an intended shoe repair, it also helps to consider what other types of footwear a product can repair and if the glue can be used to fix other issues around the home. Versatile products with a wide range of purposes won’t sit around on the shelf collecting dust until the next shoe repair.
Versatility should also be a factor when considering the type and extent of the damage to the shoe. Some shoe glue can work on many different materials but isn’t capable of forming a sufficient bond for big fixes. To find out the various types of material uses and fixes the shoe glue is designed to handle, always refer to the manufacturer’s directions and the product information listed on the packaging or website.
Before investing in shoe glue to repair favorite shoes, take a look at these frequently asked questions and their answers below.
Q. What type of glue do shoe manufacturers use?
The type of glue used by shoe manufacturers ranges depending on the type of shoe, the location of the company, and their preference for one type of glue over another based on the design of their products. However, many manufacturers will rely on neoprene-based glue to ensure that the bond is waterproof.
Q. How do you glue shoes?
Follow these basic steps to properly glue your shoes.
- Wash and dry the shoe so the glue is not obstructed by dirt and debris.
- Prepare your shoe glue according to the manufacturer’s directions, if applicable. Some types of glue (cyanoacrylate, for instance), do not require preparation.
- Apply a thin layer of glue to the damaged area.
- Press the damaged parts back together, ensuring that the glue has an even dispersion across the entire divide.
- Allow the shoe to dry and cure according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Wear and enjoy your repaired footwear.
Q. Is shoe glue the same as super glue?
Some shoe glue can be considered to be a type of super glue; however, not all shoe glue is the same, and other common types include urethane and neoprene cement.
Q. What is the best shoe glue for leather boots?
Most types of shoe glue can be used on leather boots, but to get better results, look for specialized leather shoe glue products, like Aleene’s Leather & Suede glue.
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