How to fix a pair of old running shoes with contact adhesive

This is an attempt to give my 3 years old pair of ASIC running shoes a new life by re-gluing the sole and also fixing the worn off heels section of the sole. I could throw away this old pair of running shoes but it would be interesting to see if I could fix them and re-purpose them for other uses.
There are also other reasons that encourage me to fix them. First, this pair of running shoes are still in good condition, other than the worn off sole and worn off glue that sticks the top part and the sole. Second, ASIC make really good running shoes with their GEL technology. Wearing them running were comfortable and I could run slightly longer without my legs feeling fatigue compare to other pair of shoes. Third, this was an expensive pair of running shoes when I bought them and a new pair of ASIC running shoes are still expensive now.


As I mentioned above, there are basically two things for me to fix, which are re-gluing the sole to its top and fix the worn off heels section by gluing a supplement sole on to it. Before all the gluing actions begins, lets clean the shoes first. There are several reasons why they have to be cleaned first. First, that pair of shoes are smelly and dirty with accumulated dirt. I don’t want to work on a pair of smelly shoes. Second, all the dirt and sand need to be clean first to provide an optimal surface for the glue to be effective. Third, I am going to peel the top off from the sole and those old glue from the factory need to be cleaned up by brushing them while washing them up in a pail of water plus detergent. After the cleanup, this is how they looked like below.

Fixing the worn off heels

To fix the heels, I need a replacement part for that. Shoe shops do sell those in a set of four. Instead of buying those, I peeled off the rubber from another pair of really old running shoes which still have the heels section in a good condition for reuse. I think those are better quality than those sold at the shoe shop.

Cut out the shape to match the worn off heels section.

To glue them together, I used contact adhesive. Dunlop brand by the way. These are mix of solvent and rubber which make these adhesive suitable to stick rubber material (pure or synthetic) together. The solvent in the adhesive can dissolve the surface of any rubber and premix them with the rubber in the adhesive when applying them. After the adhesive is completely cured (dried), it will hold the two rubber materials together really well. Because the adhesive is rubber based, the dried adhesive is flexible and it’s weather proof. So no worries of the sole coming off again when wearing them on wet surfaces.

The contact adhesive is not the only thing that is important. I will also need some clothes pegs to hold the shoe together while awaiting for the contact adhesive to cure. Usually contact adhesive would take 24 hours to cure and because of that the pegs are important to hold the shoe together.

Alright, let the gluing actions begins. Apply the contact adhesive on both the sole and the cut out heel replacement part. Take your time applying the adhesive and don’t rush it. This type of adhesive will not be dry fast. As I mentioned, it will take 24 hours to fully cure it or dried. After applying them, leave them apart for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes wait, stick them together and use the clothes pegs to hold the two parts together while waiting for the adhesive to cure.

After 4 hours, take the pegs out. By using my fingers, I press the rubber together making sure they are glued together really tight. The reason I did this as after 4 hours, the adhesive will attained its stickiness but still not completely cured. At that time, if I press hard, the two rubber will stick together really tight without the help of those clothes pegs. Leave them to continue the curing process of the adhesive after that. When it’s done, it looked like the picture as below. It does not look neat but then again, I am not a professional cobbler either.

Re-gluing the shoes

The same methods and strategy applies. First, take the time to apply the contact adhesive on both parts making sure all surface are covered with them. Don’t rush it.

After applying the adhesive on both sides, leave them apart for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes wait, stick them together.

As you can see from the pic above, the adhesive is still not sticky enough. Use the clothes pegs to hold them together. Leave the contact adhesive to cure for 24 hours.

After 4 hours, take the pegs off. At this time the stickiness of the adhesive is enough to hold the shoe together. I used my hand and fingers to push every corners tighter together. After 24 hours of curing, the shoes are ready to wear again.

 References, Sources and Credits


  1. This is awesome! Thank you for sharing this useful tips on how to repair old running shoes. Let me share this to my friends. Again, Thank you!

  2. Take your time applying the adhesive and don’t rush it. Reebok 15 Off

  3. Thanks for this article. Will do this for my old shoe.

  4. Well written article with images that show step by step. Good effort.


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