Shoe Goo Review
It occurred to me recently that I have been using one of the most amazing repair products for over 25 years now and most of the world has probably never heard of the product. What am I talking about? Why none other than Shoe Goo. That’s right, you read correctly, Shoe Goo. I can read your mind right about now. It's saying something like, "what on earth is Shoe Goo"?
The History of Shoe Goo
Well, let me tell you a little bit about this amazing product. Shoe Goo was developed back in 1972 by Lyman Van Vliet, who at the time was an executive for the old Hughes Aircraft Company in California. Van Vliet also happened to be an avid tennis player and for those of you who play a bit of tennis you know that tennis shoes tend to be not very durable. Unhappy over the fact that the soles of his tennis shoes were wearing out too quickly, Van Vliet set out to find a solution to his predicament. Having a degree in physics, but needing a background in chemistry, Van Vliet began concocting various trial and error experiments in his kitchen trying to come up with a pliable coating that could be applied to the soles of shoes.
After going through numerous pots and pans and countless recipes, Van Vliet finally developed a polymer that had all of the properties that he was looking for. His invention was basically a gooey solvent that could be spread onto the soles of shoes and it would cure in about a day. When spread onto the areas of his tennis shoes that were wearing too quickly it became clearly evident that his new product would extend the life of his tennis shoes, which was precisely what he had set out to accomplish.
Calling his product Shoe Goo, Van Vliet decided to found a company to market his new invention. He called his company Eclectic Products.
Initially targeting the tennis market, Van Vliet placed a number of small ads in some of the tennis magazines while his wife pounded the pavement to the local tennis pro shops. As orders began to roll in, Van Vliet set up shop in the garage of his Palos Verdes home in Southern California.
The first year for Eclectic Products (1972) saw just 22 orders, but the big break came in 1974 when Van Vliet convinced retail giant K-Mart to carry the product. With his first major account now firmly in hand the business took off.
Although developed initially for use by tennis players, Shoo Goo hopped onto the running/jogging boom of the late 1970’s and quickly established a foothold in both the tennis and running communities.
By 1976 the business had outgrown the Van Vliet’s garage and a manufacturing facility was established in San Pedro, California. By the end of the decade the business was employing 15 people and had annual sales of about $2 million. By this time Lyman had quit his job with Hughes Aircraft to devote his full time and attention to the growing business.
Today, the Shoe Goo formula remains the same as the original one developed by Van Vliet. The product is now used in almost any sport or function where a shoe’s soles may wear prematurely. I have personally been using Shoe Goo for over twenty years to extend the life of my running shoes and to prolong the life of all of my footwear. With a tendency to wear out the back heel of my shoes in quick fashion, I use the product to replace the worn outer soles of my shoes.
Ever hear of Shoe Goo?
Uses for Shoe Goo
- Rebuild worn outer soles
- Fix damaged heels on any type of shoe, especially running and tennis shoes
- Used to seal waders and rubber boots
- As a coating to protect premature wearing of shoes
- As a coating on skateboards to provide extra traction
How to use
- Simply clean the surface and make sure it is free of dirt and dry.
- Puncture the tube of Shoe Goo using the cap pointer.
- Apply the Shoe goo to the surface to be repair or bonded.
- Spread the goo using something similar to a Popsicle stick. A tip from the company suggests using an ice cube to spread the goo. The goo will not stick to the ice and the temperature will help the goo set.
- If bonding two surfaces together let the goo dry for a few minutes then bring the two surfaces together.
- Allow to cure for 24 hours or longer depending on temperature and humidity.
- Recap tube and store at room temperature.
I enthusiastically endorse this product and give it a five star rating. There is always a tube or two of Shoe Goo in my home and it has prolonged the life of many pairs of shoes over the years. In addition to repairing my shoes it comes in handy for a variety of other repair jobs around the house. Shoe Goo comes in both clear and black. The product is simple to use and very inexpensive. A tube will generally cost about $5 and as long as it is stored properly it can have a shelf life of up to one year. You can find Shoe Goo in many hardware stores, sporting goods stores and of course on-line.
© 2012 Bill De Giulio