Rubber boots are an indispensable part of outerwear for many. They form a protective barrier between the feet and the elements.
But because they are subjected to harsh conditions, rubber boots can undergo a lot of wear and tear quite easily. Some rubber boots are also relatively expensive. So it pays to look after them and give them proper maintenance.
Unfortunately, they can show signs of wear and tear irrespective of how well you care for them. In such situations, knowing some tricks and tips about repairing rubber boots can be very handy.
This post will help you with how you can repair rubber boots like a pro.
What causes damage to rubber boots?
Rubber boots are typically sturdy, so they are not very vulnerable to damage. However, since they are used outdoors along with sharp tools, they are susceptible to cuts and punctures.
These are commonly caused by:
- Flexing – Constant flexing action can cause your rubber boots to split and crack, especially around the ankles.
- Sharp objects – This is one of the most common reasons why rubber boots get damaged. This can be anything from a knife, a pitchfork, or some other sharp tool.
Fortunately for us, there are several ways to repair damaged rubber boots.
Repairing rubber boots
Things you’ll need.
- A mild soap
- Soft dry cloth
- A fine sandpaper
- Painter’s tape or scotch tape
- Rubber gloves
- Urethane adhesive
Step 1. Cleaning the boots.
The first step to start repairing your rubber boots is to clean them thoroughly. Put on your rubber gloves and start cleaning the boots with a brush. Pay special attention to the areas to be repaired.
Use your thumb to press on the cracks to get better access. After you are satisfied with the result, start cleaning with the mild soap. The best way is to make a soapy solution to clean the damaged area of the boot using a rubbing motion.
After you have cleaned it thoroughly, rinse it off with clean water. It is also an excellent time to inspect for leakage that may not be visible. Leave it to dry naturally.
Step 2. Isolating the damaged parts.
After the rubber boots have dried, it’s time to identify which parts are damaged or punctured and needs repairing.
Once you have identified the cracked or damaged parts, use the tape to circle it. This is important so that the areas to be repaired are marked off from the rest of the boots.
After taping off the areas to be repaired, take the sandpaper and sand the edges gently. Make sure that the sandpaper you are using is not a rough one, as it can cause further damage.
Step 3. Filling the cracks.
The next part is where you will use the urethane glue. You may also make use of other types of glue. However, urethane glue is flexible and is also waterproof, which makes it an ideal choice for use with rubber boots.
Use your dominant hand to apply the glue to the cracks. If you apply the glue about one inch or half extending from the damaged area, the adhesive will stick better. Use the other hand to seal off the cracks from the inside, using a paper or a tape. This will facilitate the action of the glue and also prevent it from seeping through to the inside of the boots.
After you have applied the urethane glue to the damaged parts, leave it dry in the shade. Don’t leave the boots under direct sunlight, though. For best results, leave the glue to dry undisturbed for 24 hours or at least overnight. This will allow the glue to dry thoroughly, and you will get the best results.
Take note to remove the tape or the paper from the inside of the boot after about 30 minutes or sometime before the glue dries completely. If you leave it till the glue dries completely, it may not come off quickly. You may also cause further damage to the repaired area.
This method works for small to medium-sized areas that are cracked or damaged. However, for other types of damages, you can resort to other techniques.
- For a large-sized hole in a rubber boot, it is best to take it to the cobbler. He will know that to do with it. In most cases, sewing a piece of rubber over the hole is a standard solution.
- For a crack that needs immediate attention, you can use tube patches to fix the crack or the hole in the rubber boot.
Repairing the soles of rubber boots
The soles of rubber boots are stuck pretty well, so it won’t come off quickly. However, it is also not uncommon for the soles to come to get separated from the body of the boot.
In such a scenario, you can follow the steps given below.
- Clean the surface of the sole as well the boot thoroughly using a brush
- After the dust and grime are cleaned, you can wash it with a soapy solution and a cloth. Rinse it with clean water and leave it to dry.
- Next, use fine sandpaper for sanding the edges as well as the upper.
- Use the same glue to apply it generously on the surface of the sole and the upper as well. Stick the sole to the upper.
- After you are confident about the alignment of the sole on the upper, put some pressure on it. Make use of a heavy object as you will need the pressure for some time.
- To allow the glue to bond in the best way, leave the boots to dry overnight or for the next 24 hours.
A leaky rubber boot no longer serves its purpose. So the quicker you get them repaired, the more convenient it is for you. These tips on how to repair rubber boots should hopefully help you fix your boots the next time it gives out on you.