Wear and tear is normal on running shoes.
If you run often, the sole and sides of your shoes get beat up by the ground every time you run. Some people are harder on their shoes than others. But in the end, all running shoes wear out.
Still, it can be frustrating (and expensive) when shoes start to come apart at the seams before their cushioning or tread is worn down. One of the most common problems with running shoes is when the sole comes apart from the rest of the shoe.
If this happens early enough in the shoe’s life, it doesn’t make sense to just go out and get yourself a new pair right there and then. If you need to do some repair work, the best glue for running shoes is what you need.
We recommend Shoe Goo, as it’s designed specifically for shoes, can be used safely on a variety of different materials, and dries clear so it doesn’t look like your shoe has been repaired.
But that’s not the only good choice. In fact, some of these choice might already be on your workbench. Keep reading to find out what else makes our list!
Top 3 Best and Favourites
1. Shoe GOO
As you can tell by its name, this glue is designed for footwear specifically.
One of the best things about it, and why we’ve chosen it as our top product, is that it can be used safely on a variety of shoe fabrics, like leather, vinyl, rubber, and canvas. You don’t only have to use this on your running shoes.
It has some specific properties that make it a great shoe glue, one of which is that dries clear. When you fix a shoe, you don’t want to have a white stripe down the sole where you glued it back on.
Using this glue means you don’t even see where you’ve repaired it, so your shoes look as good as always.
Once it’s dry, the glue remains flexible, so there’s a low chance of the glue itself breaking. It’s waterproof and abrasion-resistant, so you shouldn’t have to do your repair job more than once.
Make sure that you use this glue in an area that is well-ventilated, as the smell is quite strong and may make you feel nauseated.
- Can be used on leather, rubber, vinyl, and canvas
- Dries clear
- Strong abrasion resistance
- The smell is strong so make sure you use it in a well-ventilated place
Best for a Waterproof Bond
2. Shoe-Fix Glue
This shoe glue was created by professionals who have been repairing shoes for decades. It’s strong enough and quick-drying enough that you don’t need to clamp the shoe to wait until the glue dries.
Once it has dried, it’s resistant to high temperatures and moisture, and will create a lasting bond. It remains flexible so your steps are not restricted, and it won’t feel or look like you have a layer of glue in the bottom of your shoe.
You can use it for your running shoes, but it’s also suitable for work boots, dress shoes, and other athletic shoes.
It comes in a small, easy-to-use dropper bottle and one bottle can fix up to 15 shoes, depending on how much glue you need for each shoe. Just apply a few small droplets to the area that needs to be stuck down and hold for 45 seconds to ensure that the bond has been made.
- Temperature and moisture-resistant
- Creates a lasting bond
- Doesn’t dry thick
- Flexible bond
- If you stick the shoe down wrong, it can be almost impossible to remove the glue again to fix the sole
3. Gorilla Glue
Gorilla Glue is a strong, all-purpose adhesive that can work on all shoes, but also on harder materials like wood and metal.
It’s versatile, but it is also the best quick-drying glue for heavy-duty bonds. The glue is waterproof and won’t be affected by rain or any other kind of water.
It dries fully in an hour or two, and you won’t be able to break that bond apart. When the glue dries, it goes clear, so you won’t even notice it on your shoes. But it also expands slightly as it dries, so you need to be careful not to use too much of it. Otherwise, it may cause your shoe to deform slightly.
If you want something that’s industrial-strength, is widely available at hardware stores, and won’t take too long to dry, this glue is a good option.
- Dries in 1 to 2 hours
- Industrial holding power
- 100% waterproof glue
- The glue expands as it dries, so you need to be careful not to use too much
Best Permanent Glue
4. GEAR AID Shoe Repair
This glue will transform a broken shoe into one that’s good as new, and create a long-lasting seal that’s considered to be permanent.
When you apply this glue, be careful. The nozzle isn’t as thin as some others, which can lead you to over-apply. Even if you do put too much glue on, it dries clear so you won’t see it when it’s dried.
The flexible rubber seal will be waterproof and resistant to abrasion, so your shoes will last you as long as they did the first time around, if not longer.
Make sure that once you’ve applied the glue to your running shoes, you clean the tube and nozzle very well. If you replace the lid while there’s still glue inside the cap or on the nozzle, you will have a permanently glued-shut tube, and will have to discard it.
- Long-lasting seal
- Dries as a clear and flexible rubber
- After you have applied the glue you need to clean the tube properly, otherwise the cap will be glued to the top and you won’t get it off
Top Super Strong Glue
5. KISS Molecular Super Bond
Using Full-Spectrum technology, this super-strong glue bonds to just about any material you can think of. It is uniquely engineered and once it’s stuck, there’s no getting it off again.
They don’t call it “Molecular Super Bond” for nothing. It bonds to your material as though it’s becoming one with it – like their molecules are overlapping. Originally created for the prosthetics industry, it has to be as strong as possible.
It can work great on running shoes. If you happen to need to glue wood, metal, leather, rubber, paper, glass, or ceramic, you can use it for that too. It dries clear, and doesn’t expand, so what you put on your shoe will stay as-is.
Another useful thing is the life-extending cap and tip. There’s nothing worse than going to find your shoe glue only to discover that it’s gone dry or hard and you can’t use it.
- Full Spectrum technology
- Adaptable adhesive
- Life-extending cap
- There’s no indication of how long it takes to dry
Best Thin Viscosity
6. Glue Masters Premium Thin Super Glue
If you prefer a thin glue for finer work or easier gluing, then this is the best thin-viscosity glue on the list.
Using Industrial strength cyanoacrylate resin, it can glue your running shoes together again in just 15 seconds.
It’s versatile, so you can use it for a variety of things, not just your shoes, although some people find that it doesn’t bond as well to certain plastics. Be careful when applying it, as it’s thin and you may accidentally apply too much.
The small tip makes it easier to control how much you’re applying, but you’ll need to keep your concentration. To make this glue last longer, you can store it in the refrigerator. But remember to clean the nozzle after each use.
- Balanced thin viscosity
- Industrial strength cyanoacrylate resin
- Bonds in under 15 seconds
- Versatile in application
- Some people may find that it doesn’t bond well to plastic
Top All-Purpose Glue
7. Rhino Ultra Glue Gel
If you imagine a rhinoceros, it’s strong and tough, which is exactly what this glue is. This commercial-grade product sticks to just about anything, including plastic, metal, wood, canvas, fabrics, and anything else you can think of.
You can use it for small repairs, like your running shoe sole that has come loose. Or you can use it for larger projects that need a seriously tough bond. When you use this adhesive, the bond resists heat, water, abrasion, impact, and even vibrations.
Rhino Glue has been triple-distilled, which makes it even more adhesive than normal.
- Bonds quickly
- Water and impact resistant
- Dries clear
- Triple-distilled adhesive
- It may be expensive if all you need is to glue your running shoe
Best Big Bottle
8. MMOBIEL B-7000
If you do a lot of gluing, you might need a bigger bottle of quality glue. If you wear your shoes out so often that you need to glue them a lot, you may have to correct your form!
You can choose from 2 different sizes—0.5 ounce or 3.7 ounce. One tube will last you a long time if you look after it properly. A precision tip allows you to glue both large items and small ones with the same care.
You can also use this on just about anything – it’s even safe to use with smartphones or tablets if you need to. It can be used on porous or nonporous surfaces equally effectively.
It dries clear, but some people may not be able to wait 24 to 48 hours for it to dry fully. The surface dries within 6 minutes, but the bond only solidifies properly after a full day or more.
- Choose from 3 different bottle sizes
- Versatile adhesive
- Precision tip
- Dries clear
- Takes up to two days to dry fully
How do I repair my running shoes with glue?
Before you apply glue to repair a shoe, clean the surfaces you will be gluing with alcohol or a damp cloth.
Leave this for a few minutes so that the shoe can dry completely. You can use abrasive paper to roughen the surface that needs to be repaired, as this will help the glue bond better.
Make sure you’re in a room that’s ventilated, and that you’re working at room temperature.
You want to avoid trying to repair your shoes in extreme temperatures – whether very hot or very cold.
Prepare the space where you’re going to be repairing the shoes and make sure that there’s no dust or other contaminants on the surface area. You can lay some paper out to catch any bits of glue that may drip off the shoe.
Remove the insoles of the shoe and stuff them with paper, as this helps give the shoe some rigidity when you’re applying pressure to the shoe to get the glue to bond.
To prevent the cap from becoming glued to the bottle after you’ve used it, clean the nozzle and apply some petroleum jelly to the threads.
Apply the Glue to the Sole:
When you’re applying the glue, squeeze it onto the sole or larger surface of the shoe and then use a brush to spread the glue evenly. If you’re going to be repairing a small tear or hole, you may want to pour some glue onto a pin and use that for application.
When you’re applying the glue to the sole of your shoe, you’re not going to glue the toe cap. The toe cap will be glued right at the end of the process, which we’ll cover below.
Use acetone or a citrus-based solvent to wipe away the excess adhesive. If you’re worried that acetone may damage the shoe, then use a citrus-based solvent, as they are gentler and can be used on most materials.
Clamping the Shoe:
Quickly apply pressure with your hands for two or three minutes to hold the upper and sole in place. This will allow the glue to set and dry.
After two to three minutes, apply pressure to the shoes for the next 24 hours by either using a clamp, rubber bands or tape. Take the time for this step, even if your glue says it dries in minutes. You want the repair job to be durable, and giving the glue time to set up is critical for that.
When the shoe has cured for 24 hours, glue the toe cap and use the same steps above to let the glue bond. Apply pressure to the toe cap—using a clamp, rubber bands or tape—and then leave the shoe for another 24 hours so that glue can cure in the toe cap.
After you’ve glued the toe cap and waited 24 hours, check the shoe to see if any glue squeezed out. You can use pliers or micro-shears to remove any traces of glue from around the shoe.
It’s important to remember that in the first 24 hours up to 70 to 75 % of full adhesion will be achieved. The remaining 25 to 30% of adhesion will be taking place 36 hours after that.