Sacrifice boots and Shoe Goo

10 years back I went to Madeira for the first time and a walking friend said “don’t take good boots, the lava will destroy them”. Fair enough I bought a cheap pair of Karrimor Mount Mid boots and also did not want to use a load of my luggage allocation moving heavy boots. In the end I never did much rough walking in Madeira. The boots were comfy but not on stony rough ground, the sole is not thick or tough enough. After 3 summits in Lanzarote and a few near my sister’s QTH near Nimes, I retired them from SOTA. Just not enough sole and the lugs on the tread wore away quickly. I still wear them around town.

In 2016 before visiting Fuerteventura I moved “upmarket” to a pair of Karrimor KSB200 boots. Much more support and a stiffer, thicker sole. These worked fine on 2x OK, 1x SP and 1x DM summits and then did fine also on 2x EA8/FU summits. I wore them for dog walking as well. However, by summer 2017 the sole had split from left to right and started to detach on one side. They were under warranty still but actually getting Sports Direct to act was a little challenge, a suggestion of “new pair or refund or I’ll see you in the Sheriff’s court” did the trick. The replacements did 10x FL/VO, 2x DM, 5x F/PE, 2x F/CR, 13x OK, 1x SP and 2x EA8/FU summits. However, again the sole started to fail in EA8/FU, a 9km walk resulted in several tread lugs breaking off. So considering I got a replacement pair at 10months and I think I got my money out of them, just.

That would be that but I’d read about repairing soles with Shoe Goo. I’d tried fixing the KSB200 with Evostick adhesive but it shrinks a lot as the solvent evaporates so is good at sticking things together but filling holes or missing pieces of tread. I bought 4x 5ml tubes of Shoe Goo to test it out. 4 small tubes because I’ve had enough tubes of gunk in my life to know one big tube may well “go off” once opened or end up the lid stuck on.

Having cleaned up the shoe, one 5ml tube was enough to build up the sole where the three tread lugs had broken off. I’ve been using them for dog walks and seeing how the Shoe Goo holds up. The result is remarkably well. For a start Shoe Goo is dimensionally stable, it doesn’t shrink when the solvent evaporates. Whilst the instructions say it takes at least a day to set, it starts to set within minutes. That means you get to apply it and maybe touch it up once. After a few minutes trying to shape it will make a mess so don’t. I did the repair 6 weeks ago and have worn the boots for many dog walks and it’s still stuck where it should be stuck. This includes pavement/sidewalks, forest trails, fields, gravel/hardcore tracks with the distance getting on for 50kms.

From this single test we can extrapolate that Shoe Goo works perfectly :slight_smile: Well no, but it seems so far to be doing what it says on the tin. I cannot say the same for the boots. Looking at the soles, I can see the tread is starting to fail in the same way the originals failed. I think you can expect to get about 200-250km out of a pair of KSB200 boots before they simply start to fall apart. It’s not poor workmanship but poor quality materials. So yes, they are a sacrifice boot but maybe there are better and cheaper sacrifice boots. I hope to be getting out to EA8 nearer Christmas so I think I’ll try something cheap from Decathlon or may be use my old TNF Hedgehogs which have taken one hell of a beating till the soles wore down, they’re still 100% waterproof though.

Shoe Goo :+1:
Karrimor KSB200 :-1:

Why did I bother trying Shoe Goo on them? Well it’s a good test to see if Shoe Goo works and the KSB200 are really quite comfy. A few more weekends walking the dog and they’ll be toast.


I’ve found superglue works well on trainers. I’ve heard it can even be used to close wounds, although it sounds like it would sting like hell. I fixed my antenna with superglue in Tenerife this Christmas and it’s still fine.
73 de OE6FEG


Somehow I’m not a fan of cheap shoes.

I have never found some in my tests in outdoor stores which give the ankle the necessary support and the step the right grip and are robust enough. Since I would not have a good feeling when hiking (eg over scree or wet sloping rocks) … especially if I still carry loads.

I belong to the group of shoe - murderers… No idea why. Maybe my walking style is so special … (in combination with my weight :thinking: )

All shoes that are cheaply made cause me back pain over time and they break quickly. This is also the case with low shoes.

Maybe it makes more sense to invest in sturdy good shoes than to keep buying cheap ones.

My hiking boots are, depending on the weather and terrain: Lowa Tibet GTX and Scarpa Mescalito Mid TRK GTX … which have now lasted a very long time. If necessary they get new soles

73 Armin


I used to use Karrimor walking shoes for light to moderate hill walking but found them to wear out too quickly. I now use Gelert Ottawa, which are a few quid cheaper and the soles grip better and give me about 18 months of frequent use (including 2 miles a day of pavement pounding with the dog!)

With regard to shoe Goo, I must look for that. I still have a pair of alpine boots (insanely expensive!) that I used for rock and ice climbing forty years ago, still in good nick and wearable and on their second pair of soles, held on with screws and black Araldite (can you still get that?)

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Yes, for proper boots I have spent a small fortune on Meindl and Asolo boots. This is specifically about boots for use on CT3 and EA8 very abrasive lava where you don’t want to do irreparable damage to your expensive boots.

Karrimor of old is not the same as the Karrimor owned by Sports Direct. They put a name that had lots of prestige on cheap products now.

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Shoe Goo also makes an excellent mastic for sealing around cable entries, antenna joints and so on, because it doesn’t shrink. I used some for that purpose about 5 years ago when I had run out of silicone and it’s still holding up well despite being exposed to UV

It doesn’t seem to go off in an opened tube either - I have a 60ml one from a few years back that is still usable



…and that is where the problem lies. I still have karrimor goretex jacket and sallopettes from the proper company. Very expensive and high quality. I wouldn’t buy anything out of Sports Direct if I could help it. Tbey bought up brands in distress just to get the name. The quality is rubbish.


And that’s the problem…

If you take brands whose suppliers are, for example, Goretex, Polartec or Vibram… you can not really do anything wrong.
These suppliers are a bit more expensive… but usually deliver good quality.

In my experience, the general quality of the brands suffers as soon as these suppliers are replaced by cheaper ones.

73 Armin


Tell me about it! I was thrilled by those Karrimor shoes, they were the most comfortable ones I’d ever had, but they wore out much too rapidly. I used to buy their gear back in their heyday, too. Tempus Franjit!


I’d second that Fraser. The stuff from Sports Direct is generally poor. Unfortunately it seems as though there’s not much choice these days as it seems that all the brands we know are now under the same company umbrellas.

JD Sports for example- trading under many names, such as Go Outdoors, Millets Blacks, Ultimate Outdoors etc

Being a true Yorkshireman, it pains me to spend money, but I do have an eye for the nicer brands. I buy a fair amount of gear from Magic Mountain, which is the Outdoor and Sports Company outlet shop. OSC owns Mountain Equipment and Sprayway brands among others. There’s often sample sales where you can get good kit in good fabrics at half retail price or less. For example the Gore Tex Pro jacket I bought last year cost me £180, whereas the same jacket in the shops on the high street is priced at £400.

I’ve recently been looking for some lightweight hiking boots but I just don’t seem to be able to find any. I ordered sone La Sportiva Ultra Raptor IIs but the fit was no good for me, so they got sent back. I’d spent ages researching the size too. My 18 year old Scarpa SLs are now getting quite tired, I’ve looked at the new SLs, but Scarpa changed the last and now the new ones don’t fit :frowning:

I’m a bit stuck because I want better quality than available at Sports Direct and the local shops want silly money! ( I guess its not their fault, they’ll be struggling like the rest of the high street).



Boots are a tough one. Cairngorm granite has shredded my £220 Meindl Bhutans in just 2 years, but my 25 year old Scarpa Mantas are still going strong. They’re made of unbelievably thick leather and only see use in winter conditions.

As for clothing, I’ve mainly moved away from wearing Gore-tex, finding Paramo more durable and flexible, Buffalo better for cold winter summits and OMM better for lightweight and summer trips at the expense of durability and features.

Of course, having three sets of clothing means that it should all last longer, as each component is receiving less wear and tear.


I have a pair of Scarpa SL M3’s i think they are from back in 2005 i think. I don’t use them much the past 10 years, but they are still going strong and my main hiking boots. Ive heard Scarpa use different lasts now and are a little cheaper in the build quality and leather thickness etc but i do believe that companies make things so they break quicker so you buy them again. For waterproofs i had a montane eVent waterproof which is great and very breathable and i bought a montane Goretex jacket in December and was surprised at how Goretex just doesnt seem as breathable. The issue i had with eVent is the jacket is a lightweight jacket and just not as durable. Now i wear the Montane eVent only if its raining and I’m coaching rugby in the rain!


Have a look at Keen Targhee III Mid Waterproof Boots. I was looking for some TNF Hedgehogs having had great success with the shoe version. For long and complex reasons I ended up with a £100 voucher for Cotswold Outdoor. So they only cost me £25. They’re a light fabric boot. They don’t come up as high as my Meindl boots. They seem comfy and whilst I’ve only tested them on dog walks (grass, forests, roads, tracks) they feel OK. Took a bit of playing with the lacing pattern to keep them so my heel was anchored and they come with nylon laces that don’t grip well, so you need to tie a knot that stays tied. But having figured that out I’m pleased especially for only costing me £25!


A follow up on Shoe Goo and the Keen Targhee boots.

Whilst the cheap Karrimor boots continue to wear quickly, the Shoe Goo repair is holding up well. As it doesn’t shrink as the solvent evaporates, it has maintain its shape and filled in the missing tread lug. The soles are still waterproof. I’m very impressed at how well Shoe Goo has worked, much, much better than I expected.

The Keen Targhee have mainly handled wet weather (we’ve not had much recently) dog walks on pavement, hardcore tracks and grass/forest paths. They are waterproof. I took them out on a summit last weekend. I did Moel-y-Gamelin GW/NW-042 which is 5km round trip from The Ponderosa Cafe over grass, heather and a hard core track. They were very comfortable with plenty of grip. In fact they are supremely comfortable even on long walks on Tarmac/pavements. They also seem to be a wide fitting which suits my fat feet very well. (My fat feet match my fat stomach and fat head). The seem to be standing up to use. Nice and light being a soft boot compared to full weight Meindl leather boots.

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Shoe Goo has been around a long time. Back when I was thinner, younger and had hair, I ran marathons. That was back in the '80’s and Shoe Goo helped me extend the life of my running shoes. All my running then was on pavement and it held up remarkably well. I would expect it will serve you well.


Mike AD5A


No idea why … but I tend to have cold feet and cold hands… and that gets worse with age.

Last fall I already noticed that I probably get problems with my SOTA winter activities. I upgraded on my hiking boots and now have another pair ready to go:

After using it last winter can really recommend it.

It is warm.
It is not so immovably stiff - You can still drive with car.
It has a good grip
You can use it with snowshoes (I don’t need crampons for my activities, it’s not meant for that - that’s a different league then)
It is quickly dry after use in deep snow

73 Armin

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Since I have a bad back, I simply cannot lean forwards to wear and lace up above-the-ankle boots, so I wear a good hiking shoe from Meindl - this is as close to the model as I can find online:

These I lace up while they are on a table, with the correct tension to keep them comfortable while wearing them on hikes - I slip them on to my feet with the help of a very long shoe-horn.

These shoes are very hard-wearing, the soles do not crack or wear down appreciably in their 3- or 4-year hard usage. It’s always the inners which fail first, and usually at the inner part of the heel where the thin leather tends to fail first. These are really great hiking shoes and very comfortable!

I keep them loose-ish for general hiking/SOTA hills/mountains, but lace them tighter if I’m to go on steep slopes e.g. in the woods while looking for mushrooms.


Don’t get me started on the use of Goretex or Vibram in boots …

I kept a boot diary for many years, and a few years back was surprised to find another bush-worker on the West Coast who had done likewise - since the 1970s in his case. His findings reflected mine, that 90 days of hill work was about the average time for a ‘quality’ pair modern of boots to start to fail. Softer brands such as GriSport ran at about 45 days before total destruction. Under daily use in wet conditions on a mix of bush, rock, riverbeds, scree.

First failures on modern boots under daily wet use is almost-invariably the goretex lining. This seems to fail at about the same time as the 1st set of vibram soles get rounded and unsafe. Stitching is the second most common failure point. Distance varies with terrain, but we’re talking just 1500-2000km before 1st failure.

I can generally run them out for another 40 days or so, if you can cope with the holes in the linings exposing the plastic heel-support structure (painful) an resulting gravel trapped behind the goretex (also painful).

We’re talking the likes of Meindl Makalu, Asolo Granite/Aconcagua, I forget the La Sportiva Makalu’s new name, or the Lowa equivalent as it’s a while since I’ve used either as their fit does not suit me well - all NZ$700 (retail) boots.

Buying leather lined boots with stitched soles generally gets me double the life, i.e. the duration of a 2nd set of replacement soles. e.g. Meindl Ortler. But the range of boots with leather lining diminishes each year. There don’t seem to be any mountain boots with anything but gore-tex or equivalent these days. So it’s a choice of a stiff boot that can cope with sidling and crampons and will fail within 6 months, or one with leather lining that might just last year but is unsafe on the steep stuff.


By contrast, many recreational trampers I know seem to find that the glue is the first point of failure under occasional use. The adhesives seem to have a fixed life expectancy whether the boot is used or not.


You’re absolutely right about Gore-Tex Matt. Gore-Tex lined “waterproof” boots is the biggest marketing con in the outdoor world.

My winter boots are 25 year old Scarpa Manta. Simple thick leather boots that I keep well waxed. They are as good as new. The soles don’t get the same abuse as summer boots, bit the uppers sustain much more.


It is not the glue that fails, it is the urethane midsole material itself.
You can reglue the sole, and it will immediately delaminate: the glue holds, but the urethane it is glued to has turned to dust. If you try to sew the sole back on, it breaks apart anyway. ( If you buy the high end Lowa boots, then you can get replacement sole units from the manufacturer. My last pair had a replacement, which was completely worth the money, before the leather totally failed inside and out. The reglued sole had no problems. My new ones have the goretex+fabric inner * sigh *)

Urethane hydrolyses, and turns into crumbly feta, gooey gunk, or flakey dandruff.
This affects a huge range of outdoor equipment: Coated nylon (parkas, packs etc that are not Goretex or PVC), “rubberised” camera bodies and binos, boot and shoe midsoles.

It is a well known (by the manufacturers) effect that takes 5-10 years to affect midsoles, and perhaps as little as two for a parka or pack to start leaking. How long it takes appears to be somewhat random, but leaving boots unused in the garage reportedly makes it faster.

By contrast, my Goretex sleeping bag cover was bought in 1982. The goretex top is still waterproof, even though the nylon fabric has actually worn through under my head. The urethane coated bottom is only waterproof for 5 years, and has had several replacements. (the one my son uses which I replaced with pvc coated nylon bottom 20 years ago, is still good)