Why do Hiking Boot Soles Come Off?

Have you ever gone on a hike only to find that your boots’ soles have come off?

This can be quite inconvenient, and it’s something that you want to avoid if possible.

I’ll look at why hiking boot soles come off in the first place and what you can do to prevent it from happening.

Why do hiking boot soles come off?

Boots are an important part of hiking.

They protect your feet from the terrain and elements and provide stability and support.

It’s no surprise then that it can be quite a frustrating experience when a boot sole comes off.

But why do hiking boot soles come off in the first place?

There are a few reasons why this might happen:

  • The boots are too old, and the soles have worn down.
  • The adhesive that holds the sole on has come loose. Maybe the temperature was too cold or too hot for the adhesive, causing it to fail.
  • The boot was not properly broken in before being worn on a hike.
  • The terrain was too difficult for the boots, causing the soles to come off.

Tip: In my other blog post, I explain when you should replace your hiking boots. Just follow the link.

How to recognize hydrolysis?

Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction that breaks down a molecule into smaller molecules by adding water.

In the case of boots, hydrolysis can happen to the adhesive that holds the sole on.

If you notice that your boots’ soles are starting to come off, it’s possible that hydrolysis is to blame.

To confirm this, you can look for the following signs:

  • The adhesive is breaking down and becoming gummy.
  • The sole is coming off in small pieces.
  • There is water damage to the boot upper.

If you suspect that hydrolysis is causing your boot soles to come off, it’s important to take action immediately.

Tip: Incorrect storage can quickly loosen the sole of the hiking boot. Read in my other blog post how long you should store hiking boots and how this is best done.

How to prevent your boot soles from coming off?

To prevent your hiking boot soles from coming off, you can take the following measures.

  1. Regularly inspect your boots for signs of wear and tear. If you notice the soles are starting to come loose, take them to a cobbler to have them re-glued.
  2. When you first get your boots, make sure to break them in properly. This will help to avoid any issues down the road.
  3. Be mindful of the terrain you’re hiking on. If you know it will be particularly tough, consider wearing another type of shoe.
  4. Store your boots in a cool, dry place when you’re not using them. Stuff these also with newspaper to help them keep their shape.

Hiking boot soles coming off can be a frustrating experience, but it doesn’t have to be if you take the proper precautions.

By following the tips above, you can avoid this issue entirely and focus on enjoying your hike.

Tip: If you think it is no longer worth it to have your hiking boots resoled and want to buy a new pair, read my buying guide on hiking boots beforehand.

Emergency repairs on the move

A delaminated boot sole is a boot sole that has come unstuck from the boot upper.

This can happen for several reasons, including hydrolysis, improper break-in, or wearing the boots in too difficult terrain.

If your boot sole does come off while you’re on a hike, don’t panic.

There are a few things you can do to fix the issue so you can finish your hike temporarily:

  • Use duct tape or another strong tape to secure the sole back on.
  • If you have an extra sock with you, cut off the toe and heel and slip it over your foot. This will protect your foot from the elements and help to keep the boot in place.

Does gorilla glue work to repair boots?

Gorilla glue is an adhesive that can be used for various purposes, including repairing boots.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to repair your boot sole on the go, gorilla glue can be a helpful tool.

Remember that it’s not a permanent fix, and you’ll need to re-glue the sole once you’re back home.

With a little bit of creativity, you can make do with what you have and finish your hike.

Just be sure to get your boots fixed as soon as possible to avoid any further issues.

How to fix holes in the sole on your boot?

To fix holes in your boot sole, you’ll need to patch them up with an adhesive.

You can use a few different adhesives, but we recommend something like super glue or epoxy.

Start by cleaning the area around the hole with alcohol to remove any dirt or debris.

Then, apply the adhesive to the hole and let it dry.

Once it’s dry, you can put your boot back on and continue your hike.

It’s important to note that this is only a temporary fix.

You’ll need to get your boots professionally repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

In the meantime, however, this will help to keep your feet dry and protected from the elements.

Resoling hiking boots

If you’re considering getting your boots resoled, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • The type of sole you choose will depend on the terrain you’ll be hiking on. If you hike in different terrain, it’s good to get a versatile sole.
  • The durability of the sole is also important. If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking, you’ll want a sole that can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
  • You should also consider the weight of the sole. A heavier sole will provide more support and protection, making your boots more difficult to walk in.
  • Finally, you need to decide if you want a waterproof sole. This is a good option if you hike in wet conditions often, but it will add to the weight of your boots.

When getting your boots resoled, choosing a reputable cobbler is important.

They should be able to answer any questions you have and help you choose the best sole for your needs.

Once you’ve chosen a cobbler, they’ll take your boots and send them off to be resoled.

The process usually takes a few weeks, but it’s worth the wait to have a new sole on your favorite pair of boots.

Happy hiking!

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Hi, I'm Dave. I'm an avid outdoors and sports enthusiast who loves to share my passion with others. I publish the experiences I've gained over the years on Outdoormeta to give beginners helpful tips and bring people closer to the outdoors.

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