How to use non-toxic cement to attach bottom soles to your shoes  is a youtube video filmed by Lisa Sorrell and starring Mark Dawber that has opened up new possibilities for simple shoemaking. Throughout this book 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 in this book for making a standard or a custom pair. lasts are similar to the lasts that I used to make these patterns. You will need to make new patterns over these lasts, using the directions in “How to make custom shoes and lasts.” Just put masking or duct tape over your last instead of your foot.

   – If you would like to cement on a neoprene 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.

Laminate the top sole to the midsole

Punch stitch holes through both layers.

On the sole patterns you will find one stitch circled at the toe, which you will be punching out in the top sole/midsole. Punch this hole out in the bottom sole. When it is time to cement the bottom sole to the midsole, stick a pin through that hole on the top sole/midsole and the bottom sole so you can perfectly align the two layers at the toe.


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.


Apply extreme pressure to the shoe for a day or so. Since I do not have the shoe press shown in the video, I accomplished this by wrapping “stretch film” as tightly as possible over the entire shoe and last.


Remove the stretch film after a day, and the bottom sole should be permanently bonded to the shoe.




appreciate Lisa Sorrell’s demonstration in: of how she applies Aqualim 315 contact cement. She keeps it in a plastic ketchup bottle, and squirts a bit of it on the piece she is working with. She then spreads it with this silicone brush. I use a silicone kitchen spatula for bigger areas. After it dries, you can easily peel the cement off of the brush.