Rubber boots do not require a lot of maintenance and don’t degrade quickly. The sun and water do not cause much damage to them. Generally, one pair of rubber boots can last you for years.
Over time, due to wear and tear and some sharp objects, rubber boots may develop some holes and cracks in them. These damages create a “leak” and allow the water to seep in.
Probably, the sole reason for buying rubber boots is that they are naturally waterproof and keep your feet dry and warm. A hole or crack may compromise their ability to do so.
Luckily, you don’t have to throw your rubber boots, with holes, as it’s very easy to repair them at home. Here’s how to repair your rubber boots for any holes or cracks.
3 Step Plan to Repair Your Rubber Boots
Step 1: Clean Your Rubber Boots
This one is straightforward. Clean your rubber boots for any dirt buildup, especially inside the holes and cracks. Press the cracks using your thumb so that they are fully open, and you can clean them thoroughly.
- Take a mild detergent on a loofah.
- Dip the loofah into some warm water.
- Now, rub the boots gently with this loofah.
- Clean the rubber boots under a running faucet.
Step 2: Mark the Damaged Areas
This step is all about finding and marking the holes and cracks in your rubber boots. This step is easy. A visual inspection or dipping the boots into some water will expose the leakages.
Once you have found the cracks, place masking tape around them to seal them off from the rest of the boots. Now, take a fine sandpaper and rub around the edges of these cracks.
Step 3: Fill the Cracks With a Flexible and Waterproof Glue
- Fill the cracks with glue. You need to be very careful with the type of glue you use. For our purpose, we need glue that is flexible and waterproof. I recommend Shoe Goo.
- Before you fill the cracks with the glue, place a paper or duct tape on the inner side of the boots. Otherwise, the glue won’t stick and will seep into the boots.
- Remove the paper/tape after 30 minutes or so when the glue is half dry. If you wait until the glue is fully dry before you remove the paper/tape, it won’t come off easily.
- Finally, give the glue 24 hours to dry fully. You can also rough it up with sandpaper to smooth out the area.
Tip: When applying the glue, extend it by half an inch from the cracks. It will increase the stickability of the glue, and the crack won’t spread further.
What to Do If the Soles of Rubber Boots have Come Off
It rarely happens but takes place. Sometimes, the sole of rubber boots may come apart. In this case, you can use the same glue to attach the sole back to the upper.
Make sure you put some pressure on the boots after applying the glue, or it won’t stick firmly. As it will take the glue a few hours to set, it’s not practical to apply the pressure using your hands. Instead, use something heavy to place on the boots.
Give the glue a few hours or leave overnight for tight bonding.
How to Repair Rubber Boots On the Go
You may be working far from home when a crack appears on your rubber boots. It’s rainy, and you want to fix the leak right away.
For such a situation, you need to carry Tube Patches with you. They are very easy to use. Just remove the covering and press them firmly on the cracks using your fingers. They immediately get stick to your boots and stop the leakage. This video explains it nicely:
How to Repair the Large Holes in Rubber Boots
Sometimes, you may get a hole in your rubber boots that is bigger than a coin. In this case, a shoe glue or an adhesive based patch won’t help much. It won’t stick there for long.
In this case, you need to sew a piece of rubber on the hole. I recommend don’t do it yourself and take help from a cobbler in your area.
If your boots have developed multiple large holes, it is always wise to buy new rubber work boots rather than wasting your time and energy on repairing the damaged pair. It’s not worth the effort.
Before You Go
Repairing rubber boots is not difficult at all. All you need is a shoe glue or a tube patch to do the job.
Wear and tear to your rubber boots are unavoidable, but you must do everything in your power to protect the boots from getting punctured by sharp objects. These big holes are sometimes irreversible.
I recommend you make it a weekly routine to check your rubber boots for any cracks. If you find a small crack, you can fix it right then and there before it becomes a bigger one.