How to use non-toxic cement to attach bottom soles to your shoes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWqrAleYqL4 is a youtube video filmed by Lisa Sorrell and starring Mark Dawber that has opened up new possibilities for simple shoemaking. Throughout my books I have described how it is necessary to make a groove in the bottom of the bottom sole so the stitches that hold the shoe together don’t get worn away. Now I learn that SOME BOTTOM SOLES CAN BE CEMENTED ON WITH AQUALIM 315! In the video Mr. Dawber demonstrates how to cement rubber soles to footwear using the non-toxic contact cement Aqualim 315. Here are his instructions, along with my “simple shoemaking” adaptations.

First, you need lasts to put in your shoes for the “applying pressure” step. Use the directions on Resource tab: “How to make lasts”for making a standard or a custom pair. https://sorrellnotionsandfindings.com/product/archigram-athletic-shoe/ lasts are similar to the lasts that I used to make these patterns. You will need to make new patterns for these lasts, using the directions in “How to make custom shoes and lasts.” Just put masking tape over your last instead of over your foot.

If you would like to cement on a neoprene or natural rubber bottom sole, you would stitch the upper, leather top sole and a rubber midsole together – then cement on a “rubber” bottom sole. Sheets of 3/16″ thick smooth “rubber” that can serve as midsole and sheets of 1/4″ “rubber” soling that can be cemented on as bottom soles are both available in my etsy shop.

Make a groove on the bottom of the midsole with a groover, if possible, 3/16″ from the edge. This allows the stitches to be recessed so the bottom of the midsole is smooth. Otherwise, pound your stitches as flat as possible.

Laminate the top sole to the midsole

Punch stitch holes through both layers.

Stitch the uppers to the laminated soling.
When stitching is complete, put a last into the shoe.

Spread Aqualim 315 cement on both the top of the bottom sole and the top of the midsole. Leave both pieces for three to four days.

Use a heat gun to heat up the cemented surfaces.

Carefully adhere the bottom sole to the midsole, sticking a pin through the circled holes on the top sole/midsole and the bottom sole. Grab the sides of the bottom sole and carefully guide it to perfectly align with the midsole. If there’s any irregularity, sand the soling until the edge is smooth.


pressure to the shoe for a do not have the shoe video, I accomplished this by using “stretch film” as tightly as entire shoe and last.

Remove the stretch film bottom sole should be bonded to the shoe.

Apply extreme day or so. Since I press shown in the by wrapping possible over the

after a day, and the permanently

******************************************************************************************* Test soling you have before determining whether or not the bottom sole can be permanently bonded to the top sole or midsole, even though you will have to wait several days for the verdict.

In my etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/simpleshoemaking I sell both repurposed black bottom soling and repurposed smooth midsole soling. Using these two materials will result in the appearance you see in this photo.

A vegetable-tanned leather bottom sole will permanently bond to a vegetable- tanned leather top sole if you follow these steps. Natural rubber will also.


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