Repair Shoe Seam Failure

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Gossamer Gear | Jan 20, 2012

shoe repair shoe seam repaired shoe freesole

Post by Will Rietveld, Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador

The biggest wear problem I have with hiking shoes and boots is seam failure.

I like to bushwhack and explore, and things like sliderock are hard on boots, especially any exposed seams in the lateral (outside) metatarsal head region. That region is subjected to heavy abrasion, which wears through the stitching, causing the seam to open. The first photo shows what I mean.

Unfortunately, shoes and boots with seams in that region are fairly common. My first piece of advice is to avoid purchasing footwear that has exposed seams on the sides of the shoe or boot. An example is shown in the next photo.

However, we purchase footwear based on fit, support, and traction (mainly fit), so it's not always possible to find the ideal shoe or boot without exposed outside seams. In that case you can greatly extend the life of hiking footwear by coating the stitching in the exposed area with McNett SeamGrip or FreeSole, which is available in most outdoor stores.

Author Bio

Will Rietveld and his spouse Janet Reichl are life-long backpacking enthusiasts with over 90 years of combined backpacking experience. Since retiring and moving to Durango Colorado, they have been deeply involved in the ultralight backpacking movement and have been ultralight backpackers for 20 years. Early on they made their own lightweight gear. For the past 18 years they have presented annual lightweight backpacking and lightweight cooking workshops in their local area, and maintain a website called Southwest Ultralight Backpacking and a gear review site named Ultralight Insights. Their playground is the Four Corners Area of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico