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Old 10-09-2011, 22:57   #1
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Slippery Sperry Top-Siders

I have a pair of sperry top-siders with a gum razor soles. I have not worn them for a few years but they look perfect and have never had much use.
How ever when i wore them recently they were very slippery. upon inspection the soles look hard and shiny.
Does anyone know how to soften or revitalize this gum sole?
or should i stop being a tight-arse and just buy a new pair??

alley cat

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Old 11-09-2011, 00:31   #2
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Re: slippery sperry top-siders

Try light sandpapering.

I have a pair of incredibly expensive Dubarry Boots which have had a similar problem. After a couple of years the soles became progressively harder and shinier. Sandpapering helped a bit at first but after about 6 years of very light use they were positively lethal on a wet deck. The still cut a bit of a dash on the dock, but are slippy even on dry land. They are 8 years old and the plastic is now brittle and crumbling. They can be resoled (as can Sperry top siders, I believe) in UK or Eire, but since I live in New Zealand this is not an economic option.

All plastic and rubber compounds degrade. Rates and extent depend on initial quality of the materials, plus age, temperature and chemical exposure. The most spectacular I have experienced was a new pair of Jelate rig boots (the Rolls Royce of Offshore Safety Boots) whose soles completely disintegrated within a 50m walk from the company store in Dubai. This was attributed to a few months storage in temperatures greater than 50 deg. C ; over 200 pairs were similarly affected.

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Old 11-09-2011, 02:24   #3
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Re: slippery sperry top-siders

Welcome to the forum Alley cat.
S/V Arctic Lady
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:37   #4
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Re: slippery sperry top-siders

Welcome Alley Cat. Just use them as loafers and buy another pair of deck shoes for sailing, it's not worth the risk of using slippery shoes on deck.
Sweet are the uses of adversity.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:31   #5
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Re: slippery sperry top-siders

Thanks for the welcome and the good advice.
Now I can dispose of them and get a new pair.
Another victory for "health and safety"
Thanks guys.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:36   #6
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Re: slippery sperry top-siders

The best soles for sailing were from Teva. Called the spider sole on sandals. Unfortunately they no longer make them, except for those darned thong slippers which I dislike.

I have had the same problem with Sperry even when they were brand new.......i2f
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Old 11-09-2011, 14:57   #7
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Re: slippery sperry top-siders

Welcome Aboard Cruisers Forum Alley cat

Sand paper lightly side to side.
Formerly Santana
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Everyday is a good day for SAILING!!!!
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Old 11-09-2011, 16:44   #8
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Re: slippery sperry top-siders

When sandpapering lightly no longer does the trick, go ahead and sandpaper roughly. I've even resorted to using a stiff wire brush to work my way down to the sticky stuff.

At some point though it's all gone dry and there's nothing more you can do but retire the deck shoes to shoreside duty and get some new ones for the boat. Don't deny yourself the pleasure and safety of good deck shoes. Slippery ones are dangerous.

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