Boot soles coming off - always carry string!
Just had my Asolos start losing their soles, fortunately on the last day of the trip and also coming off fortunately from the heel foreward! I was the only one of four carrying a spare boot lace which saved the day. Cut it in two and tied the sole on around the instep and just made it to the exit by treading very carefully and avoiding sharp rocks. By then one sole was almost completely off and the other still just OK. Has anyone had any success re-gluing soles on themselves? A search of the internet has many people recommending 'Shoe Goo'. The trouble is - will I ever be able to trust these boots again? Although I've had them about 6 years they've probably only done about 70 or 80 days and still have heaps of life in them.
I've used shoe goo on a pair of casual shoes and it lasted very well - not sure if I'd trust it on a pair of boots though. Maybe get a pro to have a look?
For a while there Asolo was known as Desolo. I had trouble with desoling recently on a pair of inadvertent approach shoes which were actually just casual streetwear and not purposed for 5 crossings of the East Hawdon. All I had was a wee tube of superglue and to my astonishment this worked for the return journey and things are still looking good. This is after I'd had a go with F2 glue before the trip - which couldn't deal with the river crossings.
I've always believed that boot soles coming off is a result of forced drying at too high a temperature - putting wet boots too close to a fire or heater. As evidence supporting this assertion, I've always said that I've never had the soles come of a pair of boots that I've owned. Am I correct, what think ye all?
Until this trip I've never had a sole come off either. These Desolo boots (good name Honora!) have never been dried in front of a fire, indeed I've even mostly not dried them in the sun. My wife always dries hers in the sunroom and we checked them yesterday and one of her soles is also coming off. We bought them at roughly the same time 7 years ago and we reckon they've all had less than 100 days of use and have heaps of life left in them, apart from the de-soling.
I've always believed that boot soles coming off is a result of forced drying at too high a temperature - putting wet boots too close to a fire or heater. My last Vasque boots delaminated the sole and there cleaning and drying regime has only ever been hose them then store in the porch till next time. Cold wet weather and they were sometimes still damp next trip. It was only the toe back about 50mm that had come off and only the wear layer of the vibram sole. There was a puncture in the sole at this point and there were quite worn. I thought about reglueing or getting the sole proffessionally replaced but the rest of the boots were pretty tired (they were on 3rd set of laces) and Bivouac had a clearance special on Asolos in a wide fitting so I never figured out what might work The glue used by bootmakers is a heat set glue so heat is very bad for boots
I remember my boot sole coming off at the head of the Wanganui on an attempt at Mt Whitcombe. It was a long way out nursing a boot held together with cord.
Ask the Asolo retailer who could repair them. There are still some good cobblers about. Might just be a matter of re-gluing them? Will you tell Asolo? They might have some suggestions. Reputable companies don't like to see their products fail without good reason and despite the 6-7 years you say you've only walked less than a 100 days. My husband's Vasque soles cracked right through after just 120km on them. They were like new. As he expected they were replaced under warranty (despite being slightly over the 1 year), it was a clear-cut manufacturer defect/failure. We wondered what would make a Vibram sole just crack like that... the tread had an aggressive profile which may have contributed. One thing that kills soles and adhesives is animal excrement. Leaving it dry on the soles of your boots is a big no-no apparently. Keep us posted on developments.
Know someone who re-soled his Meindels with Gorilla Glue. To me, that's resurrecting the dead. if you can get more mileage from your zombie boots that way, each step's a plus. That's why I go for low-cost disposables. I always carry a length of twine: clothes line, spare boot lace, lashing repairs. Duct tape could also be useful, but is it worth the weight/volume ?.
Always have a roll of insulation tape on hand. It is especially good for handling the soles of boots. Along with numerous other repairs.
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