Saturday, March 10, 2012

Don't toss those shoes yet!

The Hole
Imagine my shock when I discovered this hole in my Hoka Stinson Combo XTs recently.  Although having over 350 miles on them, they were less than two months old and the sole is hardly worn at all.  I was expecting a lot more life out of this investment (I'm cheap, but these shoes aren't!), and wasn't ready to give up on them yet...

I emailed Boulder Running Company, from where I purchased the shoes, and they were very quick to offer a free repair.  The only catch--shipping the shoes back and forth.  It would be paid for, but still would consume at least a week or two of time without the shoes.  I have truly fallen for my Hokas and couldn't imagine two weeks of training without them!  What to do?

I've repaired shoes locally before with mixed results, so I went where I knew to be the best:  Mountain Soles here in Portland.  They specialize in resoleing and repairing outdoor footwear.  Because the tear in my shoe was right at the junction of the midsole, a sewn patch wouldn't be feasible.  They pointed me in the direction of a product called Seam Grip, a product used to weatherproof seams in tents and such, or patch holes in fabric tears.  Bingo.  $8 for a tube of this stuff if I did it myself, or $12 for them to do it.  Given that it would only take a little bit of this stuff to do the job, I opted to buy the tube for myself and give it a shot.

A little cleaning, two coats of this stuff, and the shoes seemed good to go.

The fix

A closer look
Well, over forty miles/+6000 ft in (mud, rain, sun, road, and trail) and the fix seems to be holding up.
I may never buy another pair of shoes again!