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Shoe Goo Review

I have always had an interest in health and fitness and for over 35 years have been running the roads of western Massachusetts.

Shoe Goo

Shoe Goo

It occurred to me recently that I have been using one of the most amazing repair products for over 30 years now and most of the world has probably never heard of the product. What am I talking about? Why none other than Shoe Goo. That’s right, you read correctly, Shoe Goo. I can read your mind right about now. It's saying something like, "what on earth is Shoe Goo"?

The History of Shoe Goo

Well, let me tell you a little bit about this amazing product. Shoe Goo was developed back in 1972 by Lyman Van Vliet, who at the time was an executive for the old Hughes Aircraft Company in California. Van Vliet also happened to be an avid tennis player and for those of you who play a bit of tennis you know that tennis shoes tend to be not very durable. Unhappy over the fact that the soles of his tennis shoes were wearing out too quickly, Van Vliet set out to find a solution to his predicament. Having a degree in physics, but needing a background in chemistry, Van Vliet began concocting various trial and error experiments in his kitchen trying to come up with a pliable coating that could be applied to the soles of shoes.

After going through numerous pots and pans and countless recipes, Van Vliet finally developed a polymer that had all of the properties that he was looking for. His invention was basically a gooey solvent that could be spread onto the soles of shoes and it would cure in about a day. When spread onto the areas of his tennis shoes that were wearing too quickly it became clearly evident that his new product would extend the life of his tennis shoes, which was precisely what he had set out to accomplish.

Calling his product Shoe Goo, Van Vliet decided to found a company to market his new invention. He called his company Eclectic Products.

Initially targeting the tennis market, Van Vliet placed a number of small ads in some of the tennis magazines, while his wife pounded the pavement to the local tennis pro shops. As orders began to roll in, Van Vliet set up shop in the garage of his Palos Verdes home in Southern California.

The first year for Eclectic Products (1972) saw just 22 orders, but the big break came in 1974 when Van Vliet convinced retail giant K-Mart to carry the product. With his first major account now firmly in hand the business took off.

Although developed initially for use by tennis players, Shoo Goo hopped onto the running/jogging boom of the late 1970s and quickly established a foothold in both the tennis and running communities.

By 1976 the business had outgrown the Van Vliet’s garage and a manufacturing facility was established in San Pedro, California. By the end of the decade the business was employing 15 people and had annual sales of about $2 million. By this time Lyman had quit his job with Hughes Aircraft to devote his full time and attention to the growing business.

Prolong the life of your favorite running shoes

Prolong the life of your favorite running shoes

Today, the Shoe Goo formula remains the same as the original one developed by Van Vliet. The product is now used in almost any sport or function where a shoe’s soles may wear prematurely. I have personally been using Shoe Goo for over twenty years to extend the life of my running shoes and to prolong the life of all of my footwear. With a tendency to wear out the back heel of my shoes in quick fashion, I use the product to replace the worn outer soles of my shoes.

Uses for Shoe Goo

  • Rebuild worn outer soles
  • Fix damaged heels on any type of shoe, especially running and tennis shoes
  • Used to seal waders and rubber boots
  • As a coating to protect premature wearing of shoes
  • As a coating on skateboards to provide extra traction

How to use

  • Simply clean the surface and make sure it is free of dirt and dry.
  • Puncture the tube of Shoe Goo using the cap pointer.
  • Apply the Shoe goo to the surface to be repair or bonded.
  • Spread the goo using something similar to a Popsicle stick. A tip from the company suggests using an ice cube to spread the goo. The goo will not stick to the ice and the temperature will help the goo set.
  • If bonding two surfaces together let the goo dry for a few minutes then bring the two surfaces together.
  • Allow to cure for 24 hours or longer depending on temperature and humidity.
  • Recap tube and store at room temperature.

I enthusiastically endorse this product and give it a five star rating. There is always a tube or two of Shoe Goo in my home and it has prolonged the life of many pairs of shoes over the years. In addition to repairing my shoes it comes in handy for a variety of other repair jobs around the house. Shoe Goo comes in both clear and black. The product is simple to use and very inexpensive. A tube will generally cost about $5 and as long as it is stored properly it can have a shelf life of up to one year. You can find Shoe Goo in many hardware stores, sporting goods stores, and of course on-line.

© 2012 Bill De Giulio


Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 24, 2014:

Hi Joe. I definitely have the problem where the uppers and midsole are fine but I wear thru the heel. Shoe Goo has really helped me to prolong the life of my running shoes. Thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the hub. Have a great weekend.

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Joe Dowgiallo from Maryland on October 24, 2014:

Thanks for writing about this product. I fear there is a growing trend among shoe companies to make their product require replacement in order to keep sales constant, but this is really terrible for a runner because of the wear and tear that makes shoe lifespan so small.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 13, 2014:

Hi Flourish. That's how I came across Shoe Goo years ago through running. It's come in handy for countless other applications over the years. Many thanks for the vote and pin. Have a great week.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 13, 2014:

My dad is a runner and has used this stuff for years. Voted up and pinning.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on October 17, 2013:

Thanks Hugh. It's great stuff. Hope it works well for you. Have a great day.

Hugh Morrison from London, England on October 17, 2013:

Good review. I'd heard of the product but assumed it was just ordinary glue - I'll definitely try it now.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 10, 2013:

Hi rajan. You can find it in most sportiing goods stores and I believe that Target stores also carry it. It's a handy product. Thanks for the commnets, vote, share, etc. Hope your brother can send you a tube. Have a great day.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 10, 2013:

Bill, you are right, I haven't heard of this product though it's been in the market for so long. But it seems to be an amazing product. Thanks for sharing. Any idea which stores in the U.s. carry this? I might ask my brother in the U.S. to send ma a tube.

Voted up, useful and awesome. Shared as well.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on April 04, 2013:

Hi Tom. It really is a great product and has many uses. I've been using it for almost 30 years now. Thanks for stopping by to read and thanks for the vote up.

Tom Schumacher from Huntington Beach, CA on April 03, 2013:

Nice hub! I've used Shoe Goo for years; specifically, I make sure to pack it for hiking/backpacking trips. It's come in handy on more than one occasion. The stuff really works and it's fairly easy to work with. Voted up.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on February 25, 2013:

Hi iguidenetwork. You should be able to find it in Target or any sporting goods store. Or, as you said it can be bought on the internet. Thanks for the visit, comment, vote, etc...

iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on February 25, 2013:

Yes, you're right, I've never heard of that before. I hope I could spot this on stores nearby my place. But then, there's the Internet. Thanks for introducing this product! Up, interesting and useful. :)

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on January 12, 2013:

Hi Gus. You can find it pretty much anywhere. Didn't know that Walmart had it now. That's good news. It works wonders for me. Thanks for the visit.

Gustave Kilthau from USA on January 12, 2013:

Hi Bill - Got some of this stuff over at the WalMart place. Handy to have it around, for we are missing shoe repair places close enough to holler to. Cost 4 bucks for the tube of it, but so far it has done some sole-gluing on 4 knock-around shoes, with plenty more goo to go yet in the tube. Good article here - should help lots of folks.

Gus :-)))

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on December 10, 2012:

Hi Susan. With three boys this may be the best $5 investment you ever make. I hope it works wonders for their shoes. Thanks for stopping by.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on December 10, 2012:

I've heard of shoe goo before and have wondered if it really worked or not. Now I know thanks to you and will have to get some. I know all 3 of my sons will love this stuff too.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 19, 2012:

Thanks Colin. Shoe Goo has many uses as you have pointed out. Thanks for stopping by.

Colin from Temecula, CA on November 19, 2012:

I used to use that stuff like it was going out of style! Skateboarding....

The sides of your shoes get all ripped up from "ollie's" and "kickflips" haha. I used to tear up shoes so bad they'd be nothing but shoe-goo and laces. Great product.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 17, 2012:

Hi Brenda. Thanks for stopping by. For $5 or so you can't go wrong. I use it all the time on sneakers, work shoes, etc. Give it a shot.

Thanks for the read and comment.

Brenda Kyle from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on November 17, 2012:

Awesome, I may be able to fix a few shoes now. I have heard of it, never used it. The price looks reasonable too. Great hub with history.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 17, 2012:

Hi Crystal. It seems that most people have never heard of Shoe Goo. It's a pretty handy product, very cheap, and so easy to use. Give it a try sometime.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on November 17, 2012:

Never heard of it, but definitely needed it plenty of times! I'll be on the lookout for this so I can have some on hand when my next shoe disaster strikes.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 17, 2012:

Rebecca. I think this might be the perfect product to solve your problem. I wear the outside of my heel very quickly so I apply the product there and it works great. Give it a shot.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 17, 2012:

Hi Suzie. I actually discovered this when I played a lot of tennis years ago. Now that I run it definitely comes in handy in prolonging the life of my running shoes. Seemed like a reasonable product to write a review on seeing as I use it all the time.

Many thanks for the votes, share, etc. Hope you have a great weekend.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 17, 2012:

Hi Bill. I can certainly understand the confusion :) I noticed all of the product hubs this month with the Review Contest and figured I'd throw another into the heap. It is amazing that this contest did get me to look at things a little differently. I now look at the things around me and ask, can I write a review hub about that?

Thanks as always. I'll be sure to check in tomorrow. Looking forward to it my friend. Have a great weekend.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 17, 2012:

Thanks breakfastpop. It's saved my a lot over the years. I use it not only on my running shoes but also on my work shoes. Maybe I'm just cheap but I always hated throwing out a pair shoes that looked great on top but we're worn through on the bottom. This solved the problem.

Thanks for stopping by.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 17, 2012:

Hi Carol. Came across this years ago in a sporting goods store near their running shoe section. Gave it a try to been using it ever since. It really helps with running/tennis shoes where the outer-soles wear through but the upper part of the shoe is good in good shape.

Great to see you here. Have a great weekend.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 17, 2012:

Thanks Peggy. I've been using Shoe Goo for a long time. Really helps prolong the life of my running shoes. Appreciate the star's, vote and share. Have a great weekend.

Rebecca on November 17, 2012:

Great Hub! I'm constantly despairing because the heel on the inside of my foot tends to wear down on all of my shoes really quickly and I didn't really think there was anything I could do about it. What a fantastic product! Voted up!

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on November 17, 2012:

Hi Bill,

Great review packed with useful info, history and how to use. I don't know this product however it sounds like a product I would definitely have used in my tennis and sporting days. Must see if it is available this side of the pond! Voted 5 stars as you did a great breakdown of this product with personal experience at the forefront. Great job! VU, across the board, shared, well done my friend!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 17, 2012:

Cool history of a cool product. Nice job, Bill! I saw your name and Shoe Goo and it threw me for a second; I was wondering if there was a Shoe Goo, Italy! :)

Tomorrow you are being highlighted in my hub; hope you enjoy.


breakfastpop on November 17, 2012:

Thanks so much for the info. When I think of all the shoes I could have saved I could cry.

breakfastpop on November 17, 2012:

Thanks so much for the info. When I think of all the shoes I could have saved I could cry.

carol stanley from Arizona on November 17, 2012:

I have never heard of this. What a valuable product. thanks for sharing all this information. Vote Up and of course it must be shared.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 17, 2012:

Wow...what a great sounding product, Bill. Thanks for doing the review of Shoe Goo and letting those of us who had never heard of it know about it. Will definitely get some and prolong the use of our athletic shoes. Gave this 5 stars, up votes and will share.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 17, 2012:

Hi Penelope. I've had great success with She Goo in extending the life of my shoes. It really works great. Been using it for over twenty years now. Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend there in Tuscany.

Bill De Giulio (author) from Massachusetts on November 17, 2012:

Hi ptosis. What a great product. I've been using it for over twenty years and not just on shoes as you pointed out. Thanks for stopping by to read. Have a great weekend.

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on November 17, 2012:

This is what we need. We buy good shoes which last many years and are so comfortable, but when they start to sprout leaks we do all sorts of things to hold them together, that don't last very long. shh-goo sounds perfect and we shall order it. Great review

ptosis from Arizona on November 17, 2012:

My friend who can still walk but drags his foot would go through a sole in less than a month. So I would put the hard black heel savers on the front of his shoe and shoe goo it. He would wear out the shoo-goo but just did that on a regular basis so wouldn't have to buy so may shoes.

I use shoo-goo on more than just my hiking boots to keep them waterproof. Had a crack in the air intake hose where there is a sensor in my Kia. Shoo-goo it and used an ice-cube to push into tiny crack and smooth over the surface.




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