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Seam grip questions


Original Post
Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 277

I've never used Seam Grip before, but I've seen it recommended to extend the life of hiking and approach shoes. (outdoorgearlab recommends it in a number of their buying guides.)

When applying, do you typically apply it only to the seams, or to large areas of the shoe? I saw a picture of a pair of five ten guide tennies where it looked like the entire leather upper was painted with it. Does this affect the flexibility and breathability of the shoe? or do you get something durable at the expense of having a stiffer, less breathable shoe?

Goat Slayer · · Olympia, WA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745

Coating the entire upper will certainly reduce breathability.

My big problem with Seam Grip is that the entire tube will solidify once it's been opened.  No amount of re-sealing or cold storage seems to be able to prevent this.  I think it's an oxygen-initiated polymerization.  I'm tired of spending $9 to goop up a single hole in my gear.  Anyone know if Aquaseal is any better in this regard?

Vaughn · · Colorado · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 50
Gunkiemike wrote:

Coating the entire upper will certainly reduce breathability.

My big problem with Seam Grip is that the entire tube will solidify once it's been opened.  No amount of re-sealing or cold storage seems to be able to prevent this.  I think it's an oxygen-initiated polymerization.  I'm tired of spending $9 to goop up a single hole in my gear.  Anyone know if Aquaseal is any better in this regard?

I've noticed the same problem. To Combat this I'll actually poke a small hole on the end of the tube next to the cap and squeeze out what I need. It'll still harden some in the tube but not the whole thing. Then you just poke another hole further back in the tube where the glue is still good. I'll get 3-4 uses out of the tube this way.

jktinst · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 55

Seam Grip will reinforce seams in addition to waterproofing them but I wouldn't use it to coat large surfaces.

Regarding storage once opened, I've had good success with storing in the freezer. Don't leave air in the tube. Squeeze it out and close with the lid just touching the bead of goo (not overflowing). It makes it a little bit difficult to reopen next time but once rewarmed (very quick) and opened, you can just scoop/cut out the small polymerized plug at the top (the awl on the Victorinox Swiss army knives works great for that) and it's all good underneath. I've used my current tube at least 3 or 4 times so far, each time for small jobs, and I still have half a tube to go.

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 277

Ok, thanks for the feedback. How does it look when using it on shoes?

jktinst · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 55

It's shiny and much darker than the uncoated suede or leather (unless that's black) so if you decide to go for this, you should be aware that it is going to stand out a fair bit and if you want it to look not too sloppy, you have to be careful with the application (any brush-stroke that goes where you don't want it is there permanently).

For simple seam reinforcement, you don't really need to get the goo right down into every stitch hole as you would for waterproofing, but it would still be a good idea to work it into those holes during application. With the fat thread used on shoe seams (and with somewhat fuzzy suede), a quick and careless application would probably leave a thin layer of PU barely bonded on top of the seam and that would catch and peel off much more easily.

Side note: a long time ago I bought a small box of sterile plastic syringes at a medical supplies store and have been slowly using them for small glueing jobs ever since. For waterproofing seams on leather shoes (while they are still new out of the store and have never been treated/waterproofed at home), I squeeze the Seamgrip straight from the tube into the syringe barrel, then put the plunger back in and use that to force-inject goo deep into each stitch hole (a fairly painstaking process), then finish the surface coating with the brush.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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