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      Hopkin Skate Blog — how to glue a sole to a shoe

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      How to apply a footbrake sole to a shoe

      Hopkin Racing sells a range of footbrakes soles.

      Here are our tips on how to apply it to a shoe. For young and old, here are our instructions plus the Hop's pro tips. It takes a few times to get it right, but once you got this skill down you'll be putting it on your resume (CV)...it is a skill every employer is looking for!!

      What you'll need
      A footbrake sole 
      QuickGrip glue (in Australia made by Selleys)
      Something heavy, preferably clamps and wood or a big table and weights
      Stanley Knife with a new blade

      Make sure both your sole of your shoe and the footbrake sole is clean. You are cleaning the shoe's original sole not removing it. If you are replacing a footbrake sole, rip the old one off. Use a belt sander or a sander to remove any old footbrake pieces still stuck on. Do not grind a hole in your shoe, that would defeat the purpose of this whole exercise.

      Glue the shoe
      It is important to apply the glue in the right way. Glue gets put on the sole and also on the shoe. It is best to leave the glue for 30 minutes before putting the two together. During this time the glue will start to dry and will shrink. So when applying the glue make sure you go a bit heavy, and over, where the edge of the sole will be because the glue when it starts to dry will shrink into the centre. The best glue job, glues the edges tight, this will help the sole wear longer and avoid dangerous sole flap.
      After you left it for thirty minutes, the glue has a skin on top, so you can touch it without getting it on your fingers.

      Press the rubber onto the shoe. Focus on the nose and heel, these are the areas that will peel off first if it is not glued properly. So the best home DIY method is a heavy table leg inside the shoe on the heel. Then put heavy items on the toe. Try not to use books, go heavy like bricks or weights.
      Hop's tip is to use a wedge for the nose and heel. Best type of wedge is a door stop. The pointy edge goes under the nose. Other good DIY wedge is one made out of magazine covers, newspaper can work but not ideal. Why a wedge?  The nose and heel are the places worn the most, which means they curve up. You want even pressure on the whole worn curve, so the heel and toe sticks to the footbrake sole. That is what the wedge does. It helps apply pressure over the whole sole. The weighting objective is to apply even pressure across the whole sole. Concentrating on the toe and heel, the centre will always stick, if there is a problem it will be on the toe and heel.
      Best DIY shed job will be two bits of wood, top and bottom, clamped down. You can get away with two clamps, one for heel, one for toe. The pro solution is to use a 1cm (half inch) thick piece of ply or wood in the shape of your inner sole. This can be slid into the shoe creating a top pressure for clamping. Then get a rectangular piece of wood for the bottom. Using clamps, create pressure on the heel and toe. Again, two clamps will work, however if you have a man size shed with plenty of clamps, the more pressure the better. How many clamps can you get on that shoe?

      The waiting
      How long do you have to wait?
      This is an important question if you have used your Mum's dining room table leg, and bricks from the garden. You can ride on a 7 hour soak. So set up the weights at 9pm, and be good to go on your first downhill run at 7am.
      A 24 hour soak is best. Leave for three days and it is a rock.

      Cutting the sole
      Method for cutting is a sharp Stanley knife. Must be a fresh blade or it will hack the rubber. Best to put the shoe on a chopping board (you'll find one in your mum's kitchen, if you haven't already cut it up for slide pucks) and trace around the edge. Why not pre cut the Footbrake Sole? The reason we do not recommend precut, is the sole can move during the gluing method. While you are clamping or weighing it down, it does not matter if it moves a bit because you'll be cutting it to an exact shape. Also you can apply the glue liberally over where the edge of the sole will be, as any excess will be cut off.

      Can you glue and cut my soles for me?
      We no longer provide this service. Your local cobbler can do it for you.