Replacing soles on inexpensive shoes

If this solution (?) is not presently patented/marketed, and hasn’t been proven infeasible, remember where you heard it first – and keep it a secret. :wink:

The soles of most cheap shoes wear out long before the shoes’ upper parts do. Of course, getting new soles put on such shoes is more expensive than buying another pair of cheap shoes. Why can’t I buy cheap shoes that fasten their soles to their uppers by means of zippers? A new sole made to fit a given size and type, or more than one type of a given size, of cheap shoe, which sole includes half of a somewhat rugged plastic zipper, should not cost more than maybe half what such a new shoe would cost – you think?

Ray (I’ll take it for $zip.)

my god but thats cheap… haha… BTW, what a studly fashion statement that would make… “I buy such cheap shoes that I want to replace the most wornout parts and keep them running (walking) for over a hundred thousand miles” However… if you wore them without the soles… would they be moccasins? Hmmm…

just kidding… I am poorer then dirt, and a hypocrite to boot (to boot… get it).

The wisest man I ever knew taught me something I never forgot. And although I never forgot it, I never quite memorized it either. So what I’m left with is the memory of having learned
something very wise that I can’t quite remember. -George Carlin

You may be onto one of those duh-double take marketing breakthroughs that made the makers of beanie babies and pet rocks rich.

One concern, though, wouldn’t the zippers around the soles be a friction problem? Of course it could create a whole new market for Dr. Scholl’s Zipper Cushions.

Pet rocks? Hey, my inventions are practical!

Friction? You mean the zipper track rasping against your sock? No, both parts of the shoe would, of course, be constructed with intervening material between the track and your sock, much as such material is placed where zippers are otherwise used.

No, I don’t exactly think of a moccasin as a shoe without any sole at all. In fact, this thought of mine arose from a $17 pair of Chinese moccasins (Newports), which have somewhat thick, soft soles for a moccasin, which I bought at Payless Shoes and have gotten my money’s worth out of at this point. But the tops, made out of synthetic material are still in excellent condition. So maybe my idea is a threat to the Chinese economy, as well as American shoerepairmen/women; but hey, until I perfect my spray-on sandals, there should be a way to retread my bottom-line scuffers until they fall off my feet.

Alternatively, I suppose you could stand in a shallow vat of sole-degluing, thread-etching fluid until the old soles fall off, and then stand in a mold, on top of a layer of new sole material, on which new glue is desposited, and through which flexible staples (?) are shot upward around the edge of the material. Ouch!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .__
Ray (Oh, sole ol’ me, oh. o/o/ )

Build a better mousetrap…

Yer pal,

You ever seen the liquid truck bed liner products advertised? Just a thought but using this liquid polyurethane product ( and there is a variety of these products out there) you could put a new sole on your shoes in a variety of colors. Some of these products can be painted directly onto the surface and built up to whatever thickness you want by adding several coats of this liquid plastic type material.

You just made a cheap pair of shoes into an expensive pair of shoes that would leave your feet wet every time you stepped in a puddle. Plus you have old crummy worn-out uppers on a brand new sole.

Don’t quit yer day job, Ray. :wink:


Hmm. Now, if I just had a day job, I wouldn’t need to buy cheap shoes.

But puddles? It doesn’t rain in California.

I could scuff up the sole to make it match the “worn-out uppers”. But, actually, the uppers aren’t warn at all. It’s just that the soles, although quite thick for moccasins, weren’t designed to wear down much, so that a fair amount of sidwalk travel did them, and their attaching threads, in.


I’d prefer to build a better mouse. Actually, I’d prefer a nearly horizontal screen and a light pen. What ever happened to light pens? They make more sense than mice – no parallax. But maybe, if they make better tomatoes with mouse genes, I could make better mice with tomato genes. If nobody has his name on such a principle, I’ll take it. Oh, you don’t think the feel of a squishy tomato would improve your screen-clicking accuracy? :wink:


No, I hadn’t heard of “liquid truck bed liner products”. If I’m in a hurry, can I just pour a desired thickness of the stuff into a pan, step on just the top of it, add something to cure it, and pare off the excess?

Alternatively, does anyone have a night job for me, where I can sneak around in disintegrating moccasins?

Ray (Oh, so low me, oh – without a sole to guide me.)

I believe it goes on at a rate of about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch at a time and takes maybe 3 or 4 hours to dry, depending on which product you’re using. Should be able to maKE little tread marks in it before it dries. Hey, it’s waterproof, cheap and comes in various colors. Beats worrying about zippers. Paint them before you go to bed at night, new soles by morning.

What if the zipper wears out? Maybe you could attach the zipper with snaps, so that it can be replaced.

Hey, just pile on a layer of Shoe-Goo for a couple bucks. They sell it in the shoe department. My shoes look like shit when they wear out. I’ll just go buy a shiny new $20 pair at that point.

Yeah, a zipper with snaps mounted to velcro.

Glued-on velcro.

Bob the Random Expert
“If we don’t have the answer, we’ll make one up.”

YES! Glued on velcro snap zippers!!! and if the actual SOLES wear out you can re-coat them with Plasti-zip… a liquid plastic available at hardware stores… usually you dip plier handles and stuff in it to coat them… but it would work perfect!

The wisest man I ever knew taught me something I never forgot. And although I never forgot it, I never quite memorized it either. So what I’m left with is the memory of having learned
something very wise that I can’t quite remember. -George Carlin

Well, before we get too many levels of replaceability, maybe we can figure how to make the overall process recursive.

But as to that truck-bed stuff, where do you buy it? Are they going to want to sell me only a quantity suffient to replace a whole truck bed?

Ray (Keep on truck-beddin’)

I heard a few days ago, from a friend who just got hers done, that tar-and-gravel roofing is on the way out, in favour of a plastic composition that sounds a lot like the truck bed stuff that funneefarmer mentioned. So check out those construction sites too.

Bob the Random Expert
“If we don’t have the answer, we’ll make one up.”

And let’s not forget old newspapers applied in layers can be a frugal replacement for those expensive cushion insoles. And while we’re on the subject - holes in your socks?
Paint your foot under the hole with:
White socks = Liquid paper
Black socks = ink or shoe polish
Argyle = YOYO

I believe you can get it as small as a quart at a time. When I checked into it a while back there were a variety of products, some of them available through JC Whitney catalog. There was one that started out as a more commercial type application.

That link should give you an idea of what the stuff is.