Why Do Converse Split and Fall Apart? (Sole Separation)

Converse shoes are known for their retro look. In fact, some people think they look better dirty. But why do Converse shoes split and fall apart?

Converse Chuck Taylors can split and fall apart because of the way they are made. The vulcanization process uses heat to weld the sole, foxing, and upper together. When done poorly, the components will split, causing the soles to separate from the upper.

If this happens, then you have got a bad pair since Chucks are very durable. Luckily, you can learn how to fix Converse sole separation, which we will show you below.

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Why Do Converse Split (Sole Separation)

To understand why Converse shoes split with their soles separating, you first need to understand how they are made in the first place. 

First of all, you need to understand the Converse All-Stars are made using a vulcanizing process, which basically “welds” the major rubber pieces together using heat.

The major pieces are the rubber sole, the foxing, and the upper.

When done correctly, vulcanization can make Chucks last a long time. However, when done poorly, the components will split, causing the soles to separate from the upper.

The thing is, about 100 million pairs of Converse shoes are made per year.

Since Converse shoes are made in large quantities and in third-world countries (mostly China and Vietnam), you should expect the quality control to be spotty at best.

If you are unlucky, you will get a pair of Chucks that split earlier than normal. Even the best-made Converse shoes will begin to show signs of sole separation where your foot naturally bends. It is the nature of the shoes and there’s nothing you can do to prevent this.

The simplest way to prolong your Converse All-Stars is to not wear them every day. Rotate them with other sneakers and you should be able to double their lifespan.

However, depending on how you use them, your Converse shoes may split faster than normal. Here are a few reasons why your Chucks fall apart quicker:

1. Constant exposure to water and moisture

Are you constantly exposing your Chucks to water and moisture? If the answer is yes, then the foxing on your Converse shoes may become “unglued” faster than normal.

Exposing your Converse to water frequently can cause them to split faster.

For example, for someone living in Cleveland where the lake effect can make it snow a few times a week, a pair of Chucks would not last through more than one winter.

Another example would be someone whose job is to wash floors with a high-pressure water gun. If Converse shoes get wet constantly, you should expect them to split faster.

Remember, sneakers are not made to get soaked unless they are waterproof shoes.

2. Frequently squatting or bending the toes

It’s no secret that the way you wear Chucks can dictate how long they last.

Some women would comment that their boyfriends wear the same Converse shoes, but their shoes would split faster simply because they were harder on the shoes.

If you are exclusively wearing your Converse All-Stars for walking, you should expect them to last longer than if you would wear them for running now, wouldn’t you?

Also, some people who wear Chucks to work and have to bend or squat down frequently may start to notice midsole cracks at the toe because of more pressure on that area.

3. Your Converse are fakes

Last but not least, there is a possibility that your Converse shoes are fakes.

Converse shoes are generally very durable, so if your Chucks are starting to fall apart within a month, then your sneakers are probably fake.

You should always check the retailer when buying sneakers. Whether you are buying shoes online or in retail stores, verify the authenticity of each store.

If you shop online, it’s a good idea to read the feedback and reviews first. If you shop in retail stores, check the location via Converse’s official website.

How to Fix Converse Shoe Sole Separation

Converse shoes that have fallen apart are often beaten and not worth fixing. However, if the soles separate too early and the shoes still have plenty of life in them, you should fix them.

To fix Converse sole separation, you are going to need rubbing alcohol and Shoe GooSome people have also found success substituting Shoe Goo for superglue.

Here’s how to fix Converse shoe sole separation:

1. Clean the area with rubbing alcohol

The first thing you would want to do is to clean the area with rubbing alcohol. Chances are, the soles and uppers are full of dust and surface dirt, which may hinder the glue from sticking.

You need to thoroughly clean the surface of the sole and the inside lip since both of those areas are going to stick to each other later on.

Using an old piece of cloth, gently wipe the surface of the shoes with rubbing alcohol. Remember, the cleaner the surfaces are, the better the result.

2. Apply Shoe Goo and stick the sole and foxing properly

Once the surfaces are clean and the alcohol has dried off, you would want to apply Shoe Goo to the surface of the sole and the inside lip of the upper.

Dab the surfaces with enough Shoe Goo and create a small stream around the surface of the sole. Once the Shoe Goo has been applied, combine the sole and the upper and close it off.

Let the shoes sit to let the Shoe Goo dry. After 20 minutes, they should be done. However, for the best results, let your Converse rest overnight while placing a heavy object inside.

Final Words

And there you have it, the complete answer to why do Converse shoes split?

Their soles can separate because the rubber strips called “foxing” were not applied properly over the upper and the sole. The way you wear them can also affect how fast they split.

But by learning how to fix Converse sole separation, your shoes should work just fine.