To other Researchers answering this question: The customer was not
pleased with my answer and I wanted to place it here in the comments
so that you would be alerted to the Search Strategy already tried:
I think the problem may be poor production quality. Sadly, I've
learned that no matter what name brand one purchases, the quality of
the brand name manufacturer seems to decline as their advertising
budget and big-name endorsers increase. Some brand names that I used
to admire for their high quality (and happy to pay full price for)
seem to have sacrificed that quality in exchange for popularity. It's
that gosh-darn consumerism: Make too good of a product and your
consumer base buys less often.
I found this concerning a mid-range price brand of shoes:
"Rating them [Rocket Dog boots] on comfort... I would give them a 10
but quality and durability is a 3. I've only had them for 2 months and
already they are peeling from the soles and the black finish on the
boots are scrapped off in parts. So I'm definetly not happy with my
Of course, I'm not slighting any company for a faulty production run.
A similar thing happened to me with the Tretorn brand. I bought two
pair when they debuted and, my gosh, they were made *so* well - they
lasted for 2 years, at least. I bought a second pair about a year
after the first two. Their quality was *so* dismal. I was very
disappointed when the leather upper pulled away from the side-sole
after about 10 wears. I returned the shoes and the next pair lasted
about 3 months before the grommet on one lace hole came away from the
leather. This was casual walking. I gave up after that and they
became garden shoes.
Here's another peeling sole complaint:
"Shoes fit well and performed well, but the durability is absolute doo
doo. The rubber sole began seperating after one year. I have tried to
contact Lake several times, but as mentioned in previous reviews, once
they have your money, forget you. I won't buy again, Lake..."
[Other comments regarding this manfacturer's product are "...the
rubber sole is lame! It's falling apart from the upper sole. and some
parts on the outside of the shoe are comming apart at the seams," "I
have had problems with the soles peeling off. I am on my third pair in
three years" and "The sole delaminates from the upper too easily."]
However, here's some repair advice:
"Don't banish your trusty boots to the garbage bin just because the
sole starts peeling off..."
From "Gearing Up: How to stretch more miles out of your hiking boots"
by Kristin Hostetter at
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/getaways/94453_gear07.shtml and suggests
shoe glues for repair.
I recommend you check with a local shoe repair shop and have the shoes
re-soled, especially if the uppers are still in good shape. I would
also predict that the shoe shop re-soling will outlast the
manufacturer's. Shoe repair shops still exist in some cities in the
US. Unfortunately, with imports shoes becoming so plentiful and
offered at such low prices, the shoe repair shop is in serious
decilne. As a trade, it is a rare skill and I hope that big cities
can keep the craft alive but they are disappearing from smaller towns
across the U.S.
Here's a product suggested for self-repair:
"I have managed to tear away one of the lace hooks, and the sole
started to separate fromthe leather near the toes. I used ""FreeSole""
to repair them and it seems to have done the job."
Here's a link to the Freesole product:
Regarding why some cycle racing shoes *don't* peel:
"Some shoes use a soft rubber sole. This gives great pedal feel, but
fatigues your feet as the pedals dig in. ..Some use a leather pad sewn
on the right side instead of an extension of the glued rubber sole.
This prevents it from peeling away under heavy use."
Also, from my reading it seems that some shoes have a rubber sole only
laminated and some have it both stiched *and* laminated, the latter
being the more sturdy.
Anyway, back to peeling soles. The results of a field test for budget
boots may be viewed at
http://www.backpacker.com/gear/article/0,1023,2611_P,00.html . The
article is titled "Budget Boots - Quality hikers don't have to cost
you an arm and a leg" by John Harlin, BACKPACKER Contributing Editor,
October 1, 2001. Wolverines aren't mentioned but part of the field
test durability points mentions peeling soles. Apparently, this is no
unusual phenomenon. Also, walking on concrete or pavement is much
different to a sole than walking on dirt or grass. The walking impact
is softer in many natural environments. Even with sprots such as
basketball, that's played on a wood floor in most instances and wood
gives more when walked on.
A similar study titled "Scrambling Shoe Field Test" by Mike Lanza,
BACKPACKER Northwest Editor, May 1, 2001 appears at
http://www.bpbasecamp.com/gear/article/0,1023,2057_P,00.html and the
peeling soles are also a part of the judging criteria here.
View this Nike complaint:
"The shoe like most Nike shoes had no stiching between the sole and
the shoe. Hence, the poor quality glue used often results in the sole
peeling off. There goes the water proofing..."
Concerning Wolverines and New Balance, you will see below in my Search
Strategy that I researched their names with peeling soles.
"Big disappointment for me. I found these shoes to be a disappointment
for me. Within a couple of months wear, pieces of the tread were
peeling off the bottom sole."
"They [New Balance] have developed a Kids range of athletic shoes
which combine the technological innovations of the adult range with
fun aggressive styles that appeal to kids of all ages. These shoes are
lightweight, yet extremely durable and all rubber outsoles are
stitched to the toe to prevent peeling and ensure that they withstand
the wear and tear of active children."
From http://www.newbalance.com.au/3_events_news.html [Wow, they don't
think adults are that active?]
Does this mean they don't stitch the soles of adult shoes as well as
laminate? If not, then your next brand consideration should be a
company that stitches the soles of their shoes to the uppers.
"Amazing Disintegrating Shoes" at Epinions on the New Balance 801
"I found it very interesting to encounter so many other people here on
Epinions that had similar problems with these New Balance 801
See all reviews at http://www.epinions.com/sprt-Running-New_Balance_801/display_~reviews
I didn't locate any sole peeling online about Wolverines. Your
experience here could be a case of dry rot or just wearing out the
shoes. You didn't mention age on those.
I did find this about Timberlands:
"The boots were well cared for and were only two years old when the
soles completely dry rotted. I could literally peel the sole apart. I
was even more dissapointed when the manufacture would not stand behind
For your new brand consideration, read this from an Etonic customer
who was proud of the fact that he/she wore out a sole:
"I had a pair of Etonic Difference and actually wore out the sole
after 3 years. The tour model is better built. I highly recomend these
To sum up, it appears that peeling soles occur on many brands. The
definite answer will vary from poor laminate glue, absence of
stitching or poor quality control at the manufacturing plant. Peeling
soles happen. I don't think this has anything to do with your walking
habits at all, it's a case of one of the above. If you think you
might be walking through chemicals of some kind --only you know the
industrial places along your route where there could be a potential
chemical run-off-- then inquire around. Also check with the highway
department to see if any of the chemicals used to clean or resurface
pavement might be damaging to neoprene.
If you are the writing kind, I'd also advise posting a letter to New
Balance that includes your dissatisfaction with the recent purchases
[if the store(s) where you purchased them won't allow returns].
You'll be able to best judge their company ethics from their response
and, if they are truly interested in the quality of their product,
they will honor your concerns. Your letter might alert them to a
production problem. They might be getting old glue without knowing
it. Truly, your peeling soles could result from a variety of reasons
and there are facts on which to base any guesses.
Should you require clarification of any of the links or information I
have provided, please request it before rating my answer and I will be
happy to respond.
"peeling soles" why?
"peeling soles" shoes
wolverine peeling sole
wolverine shoes peeling sole
"new balance" disintegrating sole
"new balance" shoes disintegrating sole
wolverine disintegrating sole
wolverine shoes disintegrating sole
"new balance" peeling sole
wolverine boots peeling sole
peeling strips sole wolverine
peeling strips sole "new balance"
"rubber sole" peeling why
"peeling sole" repair
"peeling soles" "new balance"
shoe soles "peeling off"
shoe soles "peeling off" strips
RESULTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST:
stitched and laminated soles
"new balance" stitched soles
wolverine stitched laminated soles
double stitched soles
double stitched laminated soles