I stepped up to a demo table at the outdoor writers conference I went to a while back, and the guys there were showing off a product that fixes both neoprene and breathable waders. Better yet, it’ll fix waders even when they’re wet, so you don’t have to quit fishing just because your waders have sprung a little leak.
It’s called SG-20, and it comes in a two-tube applicator, sort of like epoxy. All you have to do is put the applicator tip on, then squeeze out a bead of it onto the rip or hole in your waders. It sets in about a minute, and it dries completely in less than an hour.
As I was standing there listening to these guys talk about SG-20, and watching them cut up perfectly good chunks of neoprene just so they could fix them again, I got to thinking, “Hey, I wonder if it would work on my hiking boots?”
The boots in question were right there on my feet – well, barely on my feet, anyway. The toe caps were breaking loose, and there were large flaps of the soles that were threatening to tear all the way off.
I asked one of the guys if there was any hope for my footwear, and he said, “Heck yeah. Just pop ‘em off, and I’ll fix ‘em right now.”
And he did. They’re not going to win any beauty pageants, but they also won’t be letting in any more water. I can probably get another two or three years out of ‘em now.
The only place I know of to get SG-20 is Cabela’s, but you might check at your local sporting goods store before you go on your next fishing trip. This stuff really works. The guys gave me a sample tube, and I plan to keep it in my fishing vest in case I need to make a repair in the field. Or if my shoes start falling apart again.