Well-loved shoes will bear the test of time — holes, cracks, and even splitting away from the sole. While you love your shoes, you might not like the wear and tear you’ve done to them.
Shoe glue allows you to extend the lives of your shoes at an affordable price, making buying shoe glue a sensible option for those who want to keep hitting the road with your classic kicks.
There are lots of shoe glues on the market offering different results. We’ve reviewed some of the most effective shoe glues, but if you want to skip ahead, here are the top there:
Top Three Picks
Shoe Goo Repair Adhesive — Best Overall Product
Shoe-Fix Shoe Glue — Best Premium Product
Gorilla Super Glue Gel — Best Value Product
Otherwise, keep reading to find out which top shoe glues can help put some life back into your worn shoes.
How to Choose the Right Shoe Glue for You
The first step in buying the right kind of shoe glue is to understand the different types of adhesives available for commercial use. We’ll skip the chemistry lesson and use plain English to explain this.
Glues are classified based on their composition, type (hot melt, thermosetting, contact), or how much load they can carry (non-structural, semi-structural, or structural).
Structural glues are used for engineering purposes, so they’re incredibly durable. They’re called “structural” because their failure would lead to devastating consequences. If you can get your hands on some of this glue, great; your shoes will probably never fall apart, but it’s unlikely.
Most of the glues you’ll come across for commercial purposes will be non-structural. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily inferior to structural adhesives, but they’ll be easier to use, and they’re likely non-toxic than structural glues.
But for our purposes — to glue our shoes back together — we not only need non-structural glues but glues that are flexible.
Unless you have a pair of shoes for decoration, you probably intend to wear your shoes. Wearing your shoes means walking around, and that movement means whatever glue you use needs to be flexible enough to accommodate your actions.
Flexibility is where lots of strong glues fail. The reason glue is adhesive is that the little molecules inside of them (which are called different things depending on the type of glue you’re using but using super glue as an example) stick together in the presence of water.
The molecules sticking together are comparable to little metal hooks holding together, eventually forming a chain.
Such a chain is rigid when it dries, so you could try to move the chain a little bit, but overall, it’s going to stay put. Bend the chain too much, and the hooks will break off, destroying the chain. This is why you can often crack and scrape off flecks of superglue, but the patches themselves will stay together.
When you glue your shoes together, you have to get a glue that’s not only strong but malleable enough to be forgiving of constant foot movement. You might not be able to use the same superglue you applied for a static art project on your shoes, as you never know when you could accidentally trip on the sidewalk and tear open the glued portion of your footwear.
How is Shoe Glue Different From Regular Glue?
Not only is shoe glue flexible, but it must bond to the porous materials that shoes are often made out of.
Glues work best on non-porous materials for the same reason it’s best to drink water out of non-porous materials like glass, plastic, or metal. The glue comes out of its tube as a liquid. When setting a bond, it needs a hard surface it won’t slip through so its molecules can more easily find their hooks.
But you don’t wear shoes of glass, plastic, or metal. You wear shoes made from leather, canvas, fabric, and other breathable material. The reason those shoes are breathable is that they’re porous, which is an issue for most glues.
That’s why you not only need to maneuver the holes in the shoe’s fabric like a pro but can flex and bend without breaking.
Types of Glues That Can Repair Shoes
Most glues with “rubber” or “cement” in the name imply they’ll be slightly more flexible than other adhesives, and neoprene cement is no different. Neoprene cement can be used to repair rubber soles on shoes, but it can be used to repair the holes in shoes and other common shoe ailments because it works on a variety of materials.
Not only is neoprene cement flexible and usable on diverse materials, but it’s durable, long-lasting, and anti-corrosive. It won’t degrade or break down your shoes over time. It also has a quick drying time in addition to all its other perks, making neoprene cement prevalent in shoe repair.
While urethane rubber is often used as a sealant, it can also help repair your shoes. If you have separated soles, holes in the shoe fabric, or general wear and tear, urethane rubber can help make your shoe wearable again.
Urethane rubber doesn’t stiffen after drying, so it maintains enough flexibility to be used as shoe glue. In addition, they resist heat — so they can be worn on the 100+ degree concrete. The adhesive is also waterproof.
Urethane rubber is a common choice in shoe repair because of how well it bends, its resistance to water, and its ability to withstand heat. Check the labels of shoe glues to see if one of the ingredients is urethane rubber. If it does, you know you’re in good hands.
Epoxy glue sets inflexibly. Superglue, gorilla glue, and other strong glues in the hardware store are made from some epoxy. Epoxies tend to dry more rigid, so you might not want to use a whole lot of it as a way to repair your shoes.
Instead, using epoxy glues as a sort of spot treatment, such as for repairing holes and minor separation from the sole, would be better than large swathes of applied glue. The more glue you have on your shoe, the more likely it will crack over time and render the results null.
In terms of the strongest and cheapest glues you’ll find, though, you’ll most likely be comprised of epoxies. Just be sure to wear gloves when applying epoxy glues, since many of them bond to hydrogen. There’s hydrogen in the moisture of your skin, and since your skin is porous, you’re especially prone to long-lasting adhesion on your skin.
Best Shoe Glue Reviews
- Shoe Goo Repair Adhesive for Fixing Worn Shoes or Boots
- Shoe-Fix Shoe Glue
- Gorilla Super Glue Gel
- Angelus Shoe Contact Cement
- Hot Stuff Thin Instant CA Glue
- Boot-Fix Shoe Glue
- Loctite Clear Silicone Waterproof Sealant
- Gear Aid Aquaseal Adhesive
- Shoe Goo, Black
- Aleene’s Leather & Suede Glue
Shoe Goo is one of the top names in Do It Yourself home shoe repair. It’s an effective, flexible shoe glue available at an affordable price.
Shoe Goo can be used to fix the gaps in worn soles. Set the glue in the hole, wait for it to set, and you’ll enjoy the blissful sensation of not having your feet exposed to the elements. Since the glue adheres to the material around it, Shoe Goo creates a water-repelling seal that’s perfect when a rainy day descends near your town.
Not only can Shoe Goo fix the holes in your shoe’s sole, but it can also reattach separated soles together. Despite being flexible, the shoe adheres firmly to itself, so as long as you place a good bit between the separated soles and allow the glue to dry, your shoes can stop flapping apart every time you take a step.
Shoe Glue can even protect your shoes from wear and tear, meaning you can apply a thin layer of shoe glue around the edges of your sole (where the sole meets the fabric) to protect the seam from splitting apart.
If you participate in high-impact events, such as basketball or construction, Shoe Glue can keep your shoes together longer than they would have lasted otherwise. If you’re a skateboarder, you can apply Shoe Glue to the bottom of your shoes for extra traction — no more worn-down soles from the board’s tread.
Designed for strong adhesion and sticking to flexible materials, shoe glue is the way to go for most shoe owners seeking to repair their shoes or protect them from damage.
- Strong bond for immediate results
- Affordable price for a lot of product — one tube can last you years
- Waterproof sealant
- Designed for flexible materials
- Shoe Goo is a temporary fix to most shoe issues, so you’ll most likely have to reapply the glue.
- It does not include a syringe or an attachment to make the glue’s application more accurate.
From a company that has been doing shoe repair for three generations, shoe-fix is the ultimate high-end shoe repair glue for long-lasting results. It’s what the professionals use.
Shoe-Fix Shoe Glue isn’t just regular super glue. It’s designed with flexibility in mind. The glue works quickly but doesn’t clamp down on items it’s not supposed to (like your fingers before you can wash it off).
Unlike other brands, Shoe-Fix Shoe Glue doesn’t expand and create noticeable crevices in the material’s it’s adhering. It also doesn’t dry thick, so most of the glue’s applications will be unnoticeable.
The Shoe-Fix Shoe Glue is not affected by heat, cold, or moisture once it’s set. If you live in an area that experiences high humidity or temperature extremes, you’ll know your shoes will not lose their bond. The glue won’t break down over time as a result.
You can use this glue on a variety of materials and shoes, including athletic shoes, climbing shoes, dress shoes, boots, rubber, and vinyl footwear, and more. It doesn’t matter if the material is porous or not — Shoe-Fix Shoe Glue will get the job done.
While a bit more expensive than the other glues on this list, Shoe-Fix Shoe Glue lasts longer than the other leading shoe glue brands. If you want to save money by avoiding a shoe repair shop, spending a few more dollars on this shoe glue will facilitate your make your at-home shoe repair adventures.
- Designed for a variety of materials and shoes, such as dress, athletic, and climbing shoes, along with rubber boots and vinyl shoes.
- This glue is not affected by heat, cold, or moisture.
- It does not expand after drying.
- A bit expensive for a small tube of glue.
- You’ll need to reapply more frequently if you use your shoes for physical activity, such as running.
Super Glue may be the best-known adhesive out there, but Gorilla Glue is the second most popular. It’s an epoxy glue that dries hard but can be suitable for your shoe repair needs if you use small dots of it, rather than washing large swaths of the shoe with this glue.
This formula of Gorilla Glue doesn’t run, so you don’t have to worry about applying too much glue on parts of the shoe you didn’t mean to. The anti-run formula means the glue works well for vertical applications, such as on the heel or toe.
The anti-clog cap ensures your glue won’t dry out, increasing the longevity of the Gorilla Glue. That’s a good thing because this glue dries quickly. Once applied, it only takes 10 to 30 seconds for the glue to dry — no clamping required.
This Gorilla Super Glue works on a variety of materials. For shoes, you can use it on leather, rubber, plastic, and suede. Of course, you can use the same glue for non-shoe related activities, such as gluing together wood, metal, paper, or ceramic.
It takes a lot of pressure to break Gorilla Glue, but some moisture can eventually eat its way through the glue’s bonds. The glue needs to stay dry as much as possible. If you get rained on while wearing your shoes repaired with Gorilla Glue, you might have to reapply some of the adhesives.
Gorilla Glue is affordable and available online and in most hardware stores. It’s a ubiquitous glue for a universal purpose — make things stick together. It works for broken plates, dislocated mug handles, and it can work for your shoes as well. Whether it’s reattaching the sole or closing a hole, Gorilla Glue has got you covered.
- Affordable price
- It adheres to most porous and non-porous surfaces.
- The glue has a quick drying time for this glue.
- No clamping required (though it wouldn’t hurt to do so still).
- Dries hard, so it might break after you’ve worn your shoes for some time.
- Sticks to the skin, so be careful upon application.
Unlike the other above types of glues, which come in small tubes and must be squeezed out, contact cement is typically applied with a brush, such as the Angelus.
The Angelus Shoe Contact Cement dries clear and provides a professional-strength hold, which is perfect for long-lasting shoe repair.
This contact shoe cement works in rubber, leather, plastic, and fabric, in addition to other shoe materials. Most soles are made out of hardened synthetic materials or blend of different items, so a versatile shoe glue that works in both the porous and non-porous materials is needed for sole reattachment repair.
The Angelus contact shoe cement is non-staining, which means you don’t have to worry if you accidentally get a drop or two on the more visible parts of the shoe. You can wipe it off or get some soap and water to wash it off.
If you want to close holes on your shoe tops, it’s crucial your repair isn’t noticeable, so non-staining shoe glue not only lengthens the lifespan of your shoes but make them look good in the process.
The manufacturer recommends you let the glue set for about 15 minutes up to an hour before pressing it to something else. Both surfaces need to be clamped down for an entire hour. Then the glue must be allowed to dry for at least 24 hours before wearing.
It’s a bit of an involved process, but slow and steady wins the race in this case. Fast-drying shoes tend to be harder and less flexible, making them not ideal for placing them on shoes. The Angelus Shoe Contact Cement could be shoe glue you buy once and use consistently.
- Inexpensive for the amount of glue you get
- Very flexible both upon application and once dried
- Works on a variety of shoe materials
- It takes a long time to glue your shoes together, from application to clamping to waiting to dry.
- The glue has a short shelf-life after opening the can, as the cement turns to the consistency of Jell-O after four to five months.
This glue is designed for small fractures and to get deep into a material. You could use it for large repairs, such as reattaching separated soles, but you’d have to use a lot of glue.
Rather, the Hot Stuff Thin Instant Glue is better suited for preventing dislocation in the first place. The glue bonds to both porous, tightly fitting materials or helps harden porous materials like fabric or leather. Hot Stuff glue works with rubber, leather, suede, and fabric along with wood, metal, and plastic for other gluing needs.
Many customers use the Hot Stuff Thin Instant Glue to harden or reharden ballet pointe shoes. The quick bond and nearly instant drying mean the dancer can get back on stage and continue practicing.
The glue is made in the USA, which could be beneficial for people who like domestic products. The Hot Stuff Thin Instant Glue does not dry thick, so the pieces you glue together will not bulge away from each other due to the glue, so you can make sure all components are correctly aligned.
If you want to fill holes and make sure the tears you see don’t progress into anything nastier, Hot Stuff Thin Instant Glue is the way to go. Just be sure to use the glue outside and with hand protection, as this adhesive is pretty heavy duty. That’s great because once it sets, it’s nearly guaranteed to be permanent, but you could burn your hands or lungs from the glue’s chemicals.
Still, top ballet companies use this glue on their dancer’s shoes. If you’re a ballet dancer — or a shoe owner concerned about the minor tears in your footwear — you should consider buying the Hot Stuff Thin Instant Glue.
- Bonds to materials within 3 to 5 seconds.
- Water thin and penetrates into hairline cracks.
- This glue can bond to both porous and non-porous materials.
- If it gets on your fingers or palm, exothermic reactions in the glue’s chemistry can burn your skin.
- Must use in a well-ventilated area, as cyanoacrylate, one of the glue’s main ingredients, is a respiratory irritant.
Shoe-Fix Shoe Glue covered you for most shoe repair needs, but you don’t use any ol’ pair of ordinary shoes for heavy-duty tasks. We’re talking about the weekend warrior home repairs, construction work, or other hours of manual labor.
Boot-Fix Shoe Glue is what you need for when regular shoe glue won’t cut it. When professional workers need a long-lasting fix, they turn to Boot-Fix Shoe Glue.
The company that makes Boot-Fix Shoe Glue would know — they’ve been crafting and perfecting the art of shoe repair for three generations. This glue has remarkable strength and precision for right when you need it. Just wait for the glue to set and dry with no extra clamping required.
If you work in a variety of extreme temperature locations, shoe glue will work for you in hot, cold, or humid environments. The flexible bond is guaranteed to stay in place, though you might have to reapply the glue every once in a while.
Boot-Fix Shoe Glue doesn’t expand when it dries or dries thick. It takes up the amount of space you expect it to with no further surprises. The bond will stay malleable once it’s completely dry.
Use the Boot-Fix Shoe Glue for athletic shoes, climbing shoes, dress shoes, as well as rubber, vinyl, and leather footwear. The long-lasting bond in the shoe will stand the test of time — until it’s time for the next shoe reapplication.
So keep your bottle of Boot-Fix Shoe Glue around. It won’t be for a while, but when that time comes, you know your shoes will get the strong, durable adhesion you need to continue working hard.
- Long-lasting and durable adhesion for your shoes.
- This glue is not affected by heat, cold, or moisture.
- It does not dry thick or expand after setting.
- A bit on the expensive side.
- This glue dries a yellowish-brown color, so be sure not to get it on the visible parts of your shoe.
- Some applications take longer to bond than others, so it might take more time than what the glue advertises depending on your boot.
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Another more affordable option for shoe glue is Loctite clear silicone sealant. Loctite is a more basic brand of superglue, but it still gets the job done at an affordable price.
Loctite can be used to seal up nearly everything. It’s traditionally used to repair door frames, appliances, toys, windows, vents, gaskets, outside of fireplaces, and more at-home needs. However, it can also be used to repair shoes and boots.
The adhesive is strong and durable, albeit not the most flexible glue on this list. Still, it gets the job done, binding to rubbers, plastic, vinyl, tile, and more. Once the glue sets, there will be no peeling or shrinking, though it could crack because of the constant motion you’ll put your shoes through.
No worries, though, reapply the Loctite Silicone Sealant again for waterproof protection. Your shoes should be able to get you through a variety of environments — rain or dry, hot or cold. The Loctite not only keeps your shoes together but ensures your feet don’t feel the harsh external elements as well.
When applying the shoes, be sure you’ve cleaned the shoe’s surface of dust, grease, dirt, and other contaminants. The shoe needs to be squeaky clean for the Loctite glue to do its magic.
Once it’s applied, wait for the shoe to dry for at least an hour before wearing your shoe. If you want to be extra careful, you could wait up to 24 hours for the best results. Tentatively walk with your shoes around the house or neighborhood. You might not get everything on the first go-around, so it’s good that the Loctite bottle has plenty of glue to spare for your repair needs.
- It is a resilient shoe glue that can be used on a variety of materials and fabrics.
- Affordable glue that you can find online and in nearly any grocery or hardware store.
- This glue quickly sets and dries.
- Not flexible enough for shoe repair, so you’ll need to reapply the Loctite glue at some point.
- Instantly bonds to skin, so be careful when applying the Loctite glue on your shoes.
If you give your shoes a regular beating every time you wear them, you’ll probably need an extra durable shoe glue — one that can keep up with whatever activity or stress you throw at your shoe.
Gear Aid Aquaseal Adhesive could be the right glue for you. It not only repairs shoes but repels water as well, creating a sealed, leak-proof environment for your feet. This glue is perfect for running, hiking, and climbing shoes. It even works on cleats and other sports shoes.
The durable urethane adhesive bonds permanently to your soles, so the one application you do could be your last. The glue dries clear and flexible, so it won’t crack over time. Be sure to use gloves when applying the glue, though, as it can bond to your skin.
The Gear Aid Aquaseal Adhesive is also especially suitable for shoes you use around water. If you work in the field a lot, such as around a lake or river, you’re used to muddy soil. You don’t want to get your feet wet for fear of infections, so getting a proper shoe glue that can protect your feet from water intrusion is crucial for your health.
Super Glue, Gorilla Glue, and other epoxies are strong adhesives, but they’re not enough to fight off the world’s toughest material — water. Even the strongest glue can dissolve when wet, so the Gear Aid Aquaseal Adhesive is what you need to ensure water doesn’t ruin your workday or hiking trip.
When your favorite pair of shoes or boots show signs of wear, you need a glue that works hard to repair your footwear while remaining flexible enough not to require constant reapplication. Gear Aid Aquaseal Adhesive is that glue. Whether it’s on leather, suede, neoprene, rubber, or canvas shoes, you know you’re in good hands.
- Usable on outdoor boots or shoes.
- Protects your shoes from water damage; creates a waterproof seal.
- It can be used on a variety of materials, such as leather, suede, rubber, canvas, or neoprene.
- Affected by temperature. This glue takes longer to dry when it’s cold outside, so it’s not ideal if you’re hiking in cold environments and need to repair your shoes.
- While it won’t crack for a while, this glue will sometimes peel away from the application site.
With expensive investment shoes like an $800 pair of black leather shoes, you want to make sure that no amount of glue you put on the shoe will cheapen its looks. Clear glue, such as the regular version of shoe glue, can provide that look, as the off-white color will look more noticeable against your shoe’s impressive black.
This is why you need a black glue to repair expensive black shoes. Not only will the glue repair whatever ails your shoes, but it will look less obvious that you repaired your shoes at home.
The black Shoe Glue isn’t limited to only black dress shoes. If you want to make sure your glue doesn’t look noticeable against any pair of black shoes you own, then investing in this brand would be worth it.
Shoe goo is one of the most popular shoe repair companies out there, and their black version of their most popular product means camouflaging the reason you used the glue in the first place. Some people don’t care that their shoes fall apart and look repaired — others do.
If you fall into the latter camp, buying more discreet shoe glue for your black shoes could make you more comfortable wearing your shoes in public.
This shoe glue is a contact adhesive and sealant, meaning you can not only use it to, say, reattach a disconnected sole but cover your shoe’s seams to stop water from getting in. You could also use it to tighten up the look of frayed laces, so the glue’s usage isn’t limited to the shoe’s body itself.
Women can use this shoe to reaffix broken heels. The black Shoe Goo comes at an affordable price, and you get a good bit of glue with every purchase. With the anti-clog cap, the adhesive could last you for years, meaning you can pull it out every time you have another tear, rip, or disconnection with your black shoes.
- The black glue color disguises any at-home gluing attempt, meaning people are less likely to see that your shoes are broken.
- It is a strong, flexible sealant designed to repair a variety of shoe maladies.
- This glue is at an affordable price while giving you a lot of glue.
- Not only bonds but seals your shoe
- It does not come with an attachment to facilitate more precise applications.
- It cannot be used with lighter color shoes.
Leather and suede are a special subset of shoe materials. They’re organic, meaning they need to be moisturized and maintained constantly for maximum aesthetic beauty and functionality.
However, no matter how carefully you treat them, you still sometimes tear your leather or suede shoes. If they’re expensive shoes, you don’t want to throw them away or donate them, but you might not be in a position to take them to a shoe cobbler either. In such a case, using a shoe glue dedicated to leather and suede would be your best bet.
Luckily, Aleene’s Leather and Suede Glue is one of the best glues for this purpose. It’s fast-acting and strong, meaning you can use it for both dress and work shoes. Its purpose extends beyond shoes, as you can use it to repair leather purses, couches, jackets, and other items.
The glue dries in less than five minutes depending on how much you apply (of course, more glue takes longer to dry, but basic shoe repair shouldn’t take too long). If you’re worried about a tear in your leather shoes getting worse, applying some Aleene Leather and Suede Shoe Glue will nip that tear in the bud.
Leather and suede also need non-staining glues as well. While other shoes dry yellow or brown, this one dries in a way that makes it unnoticeable. It’s a great shoe for people who love their leather shoes.
For those who want their leather shoes to be an investment, purchasing leather-specific glue such as this one from Aleene’s allows you to prolong your beloved shoes’ lifespans.
- Shoe glue specifically designed for leather and suede.
- Affordable price
- Dries quickly
- You can only dry clean the leather after applying this glue.
- It can only be used with dry-cleanable leather only.
- It cannot be used to repair the sole of a shoe — rips in leather or suede.
You may also want to chck out best shoe stretchers.
You’ve read a lot of shoe glue reviews in this article, so we’ve narrowed down the winners to the below three.
Best Overall Product: Shoe Goo Repair Adhesive
Shoe Goo is a big name in the shoe repair industry — and for a good reason. Its shoe glue is comparable to none when it comes to performance, price, and longevity of the glue.
Shoe Goo exceeds the tenants of shoe repair. The glue is not only flexible but firm, meaning that if you were to, say, reattach a disconnected sole, the sole will remain adhered to the rest of the shoe but be unaffected by the constant movement your walking puts the glue under.
Shoe Goo is also resistant to water. Whenever you apply the glue, you create a slight waterproof barrier between your feet and the external world. That waterproof seal is great for people who work in aquatic sports or in marshy environments, as wet feet make you susceptible to toe infections.
Finally, Shoe Goo is affordable. One tube, with a proper anti-clog cap, should last you for years to come. If you break through your shoes often, you’ll find that one tube repairs your shoes without you feeling like burning through tubes of shoe glue.
Best Premium Product: Shoe-Fix Shoe Glue
For the Shoe-Fix Shoe Glue, there’s a reason it’s one of the top leaders in the shoe repair market. It’s a reliable product for those needing casual yet long-lasting adhesion for your footwear.
Some shoes need more work than others. If you’re frustrated with super glue always breaking, Shoe-Fix three generations of shoe repair knowledge could help you not only fix your shoe but make sure the sole doesn’t become separated again.
The glue dries quickly, is flexible, and provides a sturdy bond. It’s a bit more expensive than the other glues on the list, but you’ll get your money’s worth.
Best Value Product: Gorilla Super Glue Gel
If you want a good-quality epoxy to quickly and easily fix minor shoe damage, Gorilla Glue is for you. While it’s not very flexible, it will spot repair most common shoe issues. It’s cheap and thus affordable for most people, making it a shoe glue you can use to fix other items around the house.
Don’t get frustrated with shoe glues that promise results but don’t deliver. Using one of the glues on this list will make sure your shoe’s soles remain attached, the holes stay plugs, and your shoes are wearable for years to come.