How to tell if your shoes are suitable for a resole conversion

by Shea Gunther

At the heart of it, a shoe conversion is just a resole job. It becomes a “conversion” when the sole going on the shoe isn’t the same type that came off. This can be something conventional like using a lightweight Vibram sole to replace a heavier leather sole on a pair of dress shoes or it can border on the fantastic like putting a set of hiking soles on a pair of golf shoes or soccer cleats. Whatever your style, there’s nothing like taking a good pair of shoes and making them even better with a different sole.

Although we wish it weren’t the case, some shoes just aren’t suitable for conversion. We prefer if customers sent in an image of the shoes they wish to convert before sending them in so we can assess their convertibility, but here are a few basic guidelines of what we look for.

There are three categories of shoes that generally can be converted:

Welted shoes- mens dress shoes (Allen Edmonds is one) and old school hiking boots have a piece of leather, or welt, stitched onto a rib at the bottom of the upper which is then folded back parallel to the ground. The midsole and/or outsole is attached here. Most welted shoes can be converted but not all soles can be used. As with any conversion with Resole America, we ask that you send in a photo or two of the shoes you hope to convert so we can assess it before you mail.

Cement shoes (not the kind you swim with the fish in)- most shoes and boots today are made with cement construction where the sole unit is cemented, or glued, to the upper. Nearly all cement shoes can be converted using any sole.

Injection shoes – Some shoes (like ECCO), are made by putting the upper in a cavity and then injecting polyurethane into the mold. This makes for lightweight, comfortable footwear, but can make it hard to convert. We do a lot of conversions on ECCO, but other injection shoes can be problematic. As always, you should send in a picture to Resole America before mailing them in.

If you’re thinking of sending your shoes in for a conversion to Resole America,  please send an email with an attached photo of the shoes along with the brand name and type to us at Make sure you put “Conversion” somewhere in the subject. The pros at Resole will assess whether your shoes can be converted and let you know as soon as humanly possible. If they can be converted we’ll mail you a bag that you can use to send them to us in, you’ll have them back in your hands (and on your feet) in 8 to 10 business days.

Happy trails!

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