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: Shoe-Fix Shoe Glue
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Shoe Goo Repair Adhesive
- BEST URETHANE: GEAR AID Shoe Repair Glue
- BEST NEOPRENE CEMENT: Barge All-Purpose Rubber Leather Shoe Waterproof Glue
- MOST VERSATILE: Glue Masters Shoe & Wood Adhesive
- BEST FOR LEATHER SHOES: Aleene’s Leather & Suede Glue
Types of Shoe Glue
There are three general types of shoe glue, each based on the active ingredients used to 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 prevent your 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 you should always 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 also waterproof once it has fully cured, making it a great option for sealing holes against water.
Neoprene cement is regularly used by shoe manufacturers 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 putting your 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 your shoes are repaired, this type of glue can be used on many other items and materials around the home. However, it should be noted that super glue isn’t as flexible as urethane rubber or neoprene cement, so avoid using super glue for larger repairs to a flexible area of the shoe.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Shoe Glue
Before choosing the best shoe glue to repair your footwear, take a few minutes to learn about the features that affect how the glue works so that you can find a product that suits your shoes.
Depending on the type of glue you choose to fix your shoes, you could be waiting around for a few seconds to a few hours for the glue to dry. 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 your shoe can easily break an adhesive bond that hasn’t fully set.
Fast drying and curing glues, like super glues, are an excellent option for small fixes, like holes in the sole of your shoes, because they dry and cure within about one minute. However, for larger repairs, such as reattaching the sole to the bottom of your shoe, it’s better to use a more flexible adhesive, like urethane rubber, and waiting 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 you are careful, there is still the chance that you can get caught out in the rain or step 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, you should be able to apply the adhesive to a clean, dry surface and bind 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 you are deciding on a shoe glue to fix your 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 your type of shoes.
While you want to be certain that your shoe glue will work for your shoes, you should also consider what other types of footwear it can be used to repair and if the glue can be used to fix other issues around your 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 you are 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, you should always refer to the manufacturer’s directions and the product information listed on the packaging.
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.
Shoe-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 five 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.
Depending on your taste in shoes, a new pair can cost quite a bit, but this Shoe Goo shoe glue helps to extend the life of your comfortable work shoes or your lucky running shoes, allowing you to keep more money in your pocket. 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 both 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 to seal leaks in galoshes, waders, and rubber boots so they are protected from the water.
For durable repairs to your hiking boots, running shoes, climbing shoes, and cleats, try this urethane rubber shoe glue that cures in eight 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, your footwear doesn’t look like it’s been repaired. 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.
This product provides a strong bond on a variety of materials, including vinyl, polyurethane, leather, cotton, 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 your home. However, kids and pets should stay away from this glue because it produces a very strong chemical odor, and it’s very flammable.
If you need shoe glue that cures in under a minute for quick fixes, then using 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 dries in 15 seconds and fully cures in under a minute.
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 can be used 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.
Aleene’s Leather & 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 that can be customized for your needs, whether you need minimal glue flow for detail work or maximum glue flow for a larger repair project.
FAQs About Shoe Glue
Before investing in shoe glue to repair your 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 that 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), does 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 you should look for specialized leather shoe glue products.