Fall 2004

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Resoling Rocky Boots

Question: Most of the Rocky boots that the police wear here have molded soles, I think PVC. They melt when sanded. How do you resole them? I will be using a Vibram 134AR sole.

Jim Downs


Answer: Do you have a Mckay stitcher? I usually remove the entire sole -- everything. Sometimes I can pull it off. Sometimes I have to grind it off. It is messy.

Then I Mckay the rubber or leather midsole on, and I usually stitch a second midsole on with the outsole stitcher. Next, I glue on the sole. Sometimes I have to fix the leather around the edge before I stitch on the midsoles.

Click here to see a picture of a pair that I did recently.

Gene Hartsock

Hartland Shoe Repair Co.
St. Paul, Minnesota


Answer: You are working with PUR (Polyurthane Rubber) or TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber), not PVC.

The molded base can be PUR with a TPR skin like the ECCO shoe and boot line. It might also be a TPR format that is TPR throughout the mold.

That being said you need to identify the compound used. Once the material is identified, the job becomes rather simple.

Start with the thumbnail test. If soft thumbnail pressure resembles EVA, (holds the nail impression) it is PUR. If the full outer footbed or outer molded sole looking at it from the side has more than one color the thumb test is necessary. ECCO for example covers a PUR base with a TPR shell. Remove the TPR shell to the soild PUR line and you are in business.

TPR, on the other hand, is most difficult to deal with but with the proper knowledge and application it is well mastered.

E-mail my company and I will send you a material ID layout and a comprehensive bonding format to enhance your business.

PUR, TPR, PVC now make up 60 percent of our business. If you are not in tune, you're toast!

Donald Myers, OST,Pedorthist, President
NEWSHOES- Professinal Shoe Recrafters & Pedorthic Center
Tigard, Oregon

2004 Shoe Service Institute of America.

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