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I have a cut in the ankle of my boot (see pic). I'm concerned that any glueing/patching will not hold due to movement and flexing while walking.

What is the proper method of gluing and patching that will hold and remain watertight? Which glue? Which patch material?

Boot with cut

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The answer is (de-)vulcanization, at least for boots made from proper vulcanized rubber (some cheaper variants are made from vinyl for example - in this case this suggestion won't work).

Assuming your boots are made from proper vulcanized rubber you can use a (de-)vulcanizing "glue" and patch. It's not actually a glue, but a devulcanizing compound that will partially dissolve the rubber and the patch you apply, and after dissipating the two will be melded together properly.

It's how you fix bicycle tires and inflatable boats 1)- and if done properly the fix is just as strong afterwards as the material was before. My suggestion is that you buy a bicycle tire fixing kit and give it a try - they probably cost you some 5$ max.2)

To figure out if your boots are the right kind of rubber apply some tiny quantity to the area around the rip and wait some minutes (as per instructions of the repair kit). If the rubber starts to soften/dissolve your good to go ahead.


1) Here is a good explanation of how bicycle tire repair works using vulcanization.

2) If the patches for the tire kit are too small you can buy inflatable boat fixing kits in outdoor stores that sell these boats. They come with bigger patches that you can cut to size.

  • Basically a solvent based adhesive. Be careful with these though as if it's not the right thing it can do a fair amount of damage. – Separatrix Nov 14 '18 at 11:18
  • @Separatrix, it is not a solvent based adhesive, but rather just a solvent. Also, if the vulcanization fluid and the rubber of the boots don't go together (i.e. the boots are made of the wrong rubber), there is no risk: the fluid will simply not dissolve the boots' rubber and you can wipe it off with a napkin. – fgysin Nov 14 '18 at 11:54
  • That solution only works if the boot is actually made from natural rubber (latex) or a similar compound like butyl rubber. This might be the case with higher quality boots, but some cheaper ones are made of other materials like vinyl. Maybe mention that in the opening as devulcanization is not the only answer. – Gabriel C. Nov 14 '18 at 14:14
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You could use a combination of stitching, to stabilize the cut edges, with a generous application of Freesole or Shoe Goo both outside and inside. Both are flexible enough to hold and the stitching will help prevent shearing at the cut.

Here's a nicely illustrated guide from Aquaseal (another brand of repair goo). They omitted the stitching, but I'd personally err on the safe side and make the repair more bomber.

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