How Do I Repair or Replace the Crepe Outsole on a Western Boot?

by Liz Hooper ; Updated September 28, 2017

Crepe soles require care to replace, but simple techniques allow owners to prolong the lives of expensive and beloved boots.

Old worn out cowboy boot image by rider from

Many Western boots come with crepe soles. Crepe is a kind of plantation rubber that makes a sole that's quiet, comfortable and tracks little dirt when you walk outdoors. Western style boots are often expensive, ranging from $100 for a bargain pair into the thousands for custom made footwear, as of 2011. Given the cost, replacing worn out soles is often financially smarter than buying new boots. With a bit of preparation, it's possible to replace the crepe sole on a pair of Western boots.

Position the shoe, crepe sole up. With mild soap and a white cloth, gently wash the shoe including the sole and the area where the sole connects to the rest of the shoe. Scrub away all dirt, and allow the shoe to dry thoroughly.

Pull the sole away from the insole, so that the two of them are separated. With your craft knife, cut the sole fully away. Using the file, scuff the leather around the edges of the shoe to improve the surface for the adhesive process.

Coat the edges of your shoe with the adhesive (sometimes also called cement), and allow the adhesive to set up as directed according to the particular brand you selected.

Press the new sole into the cement, applying ample pressure until you're certain the sole has settled into the adhesive. Allow it to dry fully, allocating up to two hours more than the instructions on the adhesive advise.

Slide the shoe on gently, and walk around on a neutral surface such as an indoor floor or carpeted area to test for fit and further allow the new sole to settle.

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About the Author

Liz Hooper has written since 2000 and has published travel articles, essays and features for a variety of publications including "In Travel Magazine." She holds a bachelor's degree in writing from the University of Massachusetts. Liz is a certified personal trainer and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and anthropology from University of Massachusetts.