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Old 25-11-2011, 22:39   #16
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Re: Hardening Shoe Soles

Same problem with race tires, they get really hard after a few months and heat makes it worse. We'd store them in black trash bags in a cool place and it helped. Heat makes the solvents in the rubber evaporate quicker just like it makes everything else dry faster. Less solvents = harder. Try black trash bags full of shoes in the dry bilge areas.
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Old 28-11-2011, 13:30   #17
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Re: Hardening Shoe Soles

I sail barefoot, unless it's too cold for that, in which event I wear Keens.
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Old 29-11-2011, 18:49   #18
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Re: Hardening Shoe Soles

I had the same problem with a pair of Land's End deck shoes. Sent 'em back, and they sent me a brand new pair!

We have 2 sets of Sperry flip flops that hardened - and they don't have the same return policy, so we don't buy Sperry products anymore.
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Old 29-11-2011, 19:05   #19
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Re: Hardening Shoe Soles

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
There is a difference between Deck Shoes (onboard only) and Dock Shoes (wandering around ashore).

and keeping 'em seperate means the deck shoes last a lot longer. Bit of a PITA sometimes, but soon get used to it.
Yep. I took some students out for a sail recently, and one of them said, "Oh, you got new shoes."

Hard to explain why you wear the old shoes to work and keep the new shoes on the boat where few will ever see them.
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Old 29-11-2011, 21:32   #20
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Re: Hardening Shoe Soles

Soft rubber used in shoe soles oxidizes with time, heat and sun. Same thing hapend to a rubber band left on the dashboard. Sanding or time on rough cement works to expose "new" rubber.

Its been a few years, but we used to take all of our Topsiders to Coconut Grove in Miami every year or two to a shoe shop for re-treading. My wife grew up sailing there and knew of this place. They did a free re-sole with a new purchase and could repair worn-through holes in the sides and tops. We can't seem to find them any more but there are a lot of Sperry repair facilities listed in Miami and many on-line options too.
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Old 21-12-2011, 05:10   #21
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Re: Hardening Shoe Soles

Most boat shoe soles are made of a latex based rubber. I have successfully re-softened rubber stoppers for sinks and other plumbing applications by applying a petroleum jelly aka Vaseline. Should do the trick but be sure to wash it off before wearing!
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Old 19-01-2012, 18:55   #22
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Re: Hardening Shoe Soles

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Edited
Some of my wife's friends have resorted in desperation to keeping their underwear in the freezer to stave of deterioration.
edited
I
This could be a problem in an emergency that requires fast dressing......
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Old 19-01-2012, 19:29   #23
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Re: Hardening Shoe Soles

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This could be a problem in an emergency that requires fast dressing......

LOL! I guess it's not an option for men, but they have been advertising these "pajama jeans" on TV ... they look like jeans, but they're soft and stretchable. I sleep in them if we're expecting rough weather, so if I have to go above decks I'm not in loose pajamas that could catch on something in the dark. They're quite comfortable enough to sleep in but look decent for street wear as well. In REALLY rough weather I also sleep in shoes. I'm just ready to spring. I didn't think I could get used to sleeping in deck shoes, but it felt good to be prepared, and the last time a front came through, with gusts up to 50 mph, I did need to go above in the middle of the night. I was glad to be prepared.
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Old 17-05-2016, 17:25   #24
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Re: Hardening Shoe Soles

Bleach is not a solution for hardened soles. It is a cause.

https://whichsailboat.com/2016/05/17/why-sperry-and-other-boat-shoe-soles-harden-dry-out-and-get-slick/
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Old 21-05-2016, 06:48   #25
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Re: Hardening Shoe Soles

Buy cheap shoes and throw them out when the start to stink/slip. Whichever comes first.
Walmart has tons of cheap shoes, not name brand or "boat shoes", could be a deal breaker for some.
Paid 12$ for this seasons shoes, don't care if I have to buy another pair to finish the season at that price.
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