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 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.
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.