Original post by: Bradley Bostrom ,
To Those with Flappy Soles, A lasting repair on flappy shoe soles (that's to say the sole is separating from the upper) depends on a few things. If the separation is relatively small and is somewhat recent (the longer you wait, more dirt and other contaminants will work their way in and impede the re-glueing effort), a simple repair using Freesole may work well. For cases when some sort of shoe trauma (like a hard toe stub that resulted in the sole peeling away just at the toe of the shoe) is the cause, the failure of the glue bond is more likely to be limited to the initial damage and success is more likely. Check out this video from QuickCobbler: https://youtu.be/XYBbrfGZtmY If the separation is larger, has been around for a while, or if a gentle pull on the sole causes greater separation, than you'll likely have to remove the entire sole before a proper repair can occur because after the bond has started to come apart, it will probably continue to the rest of the sole over time (you might find yourself in a never-ending re-glue cycle). Sometimes what is actually happening when it appears the glue has come apart is that the material the glue is applied to separates from itself under stress (glue, when applied correctly, can be very strong). In both cases, peeling the entire sole off and re-glueing it is the best option, and in many cases, purchasing a new replacement sole works better. Removing a shoe's sole can sometimes be done with a pair of pliers, but without good tools, results can be mixed (and only for shoes where the sole can be safely removed – read below). Then, both the midsole/shoe upper and the sole should be sanded to remove the old adhesive, then cleaned with rubbing alcohol to create a clean surface for the glue to bond to. It's important to note that re-glueing can be very messy, and even hazardous, as many glues have toxins they release into the air and require proper ventilation. You can't put too much or too little, and typically the glue should start to dry and get tacky on both the upper and sole before bonding, and then it will require a series of clamps (that can easily damage the upper if not applied properly) to firmly hold the two together. This can be difficult to do at home. IMPORTANT: some shoes cannot be resoled without coming completely apart due to modern manufacturing techniques, or may have to be put into a special press to hold the shoe together while the new sole is applied. If this is the case, your only choice is to have a professional cobbler repair it, and it will be more costly. And some shoes will not be able to be repaired, or the cost will be prohibitive (might cost less to buy a new pair). Therefore, in cases where the sole should be completely removed, it is usually best (and a safer investment) to take your shoes to a good cobbler to have them repaired. This is typically less expensive than replacing the shoes ($25-$70, depending on the construction of the shoe), will undoubtedly yield better results, and will enable you to extend the life on your favorite shoes/boots/sandals. Good luck!