Great. The Soles Just Fell Off Both My Running Shoes. Now What?!?

A fter having just finished my second day of exploring Vilnius here in Lithuania, I retired to my room at the hotel property and decided to remove my running shoes off of my feet…

Great. The Soles Just Fell Off Both My Running Shoes. Now What?!?

…and the soles fell off. No, not on one of the running shoes — both of them.

I sat there, stunned and angry — but I was thankful that they did not decide to come apart while I was walking outside in the cold winter weather in the middle of spring.

I am not going to mention that the running shoes are the New Balance 530 model which are practically brand new, as I wore them only several times prior to departing on my trip; but I will say that they are not supposed to be a cheap pair of sneakers, as they start just shy of $70.00 per pair.

Wearing a pair of slippers I used from a different hotel property at which I stayed on this trip, I headed down to the front desk of the Holiday Inn Vilnius hotel property — which I will post a review in a future article — with my running shoes to show what had happened; and the woman behind the counter asked me to wait to the side while she contacted a fellow employee to assist me.

That fellow employee brought a tube of super glue which was the size of two fingernails; and its supply was almost exhausted. Still, I used a few drops in strategic spots — and that seemed to work, which is why the photograph at the top of this article does not show the sole completed separated from the rest of the running shoe.

“Do you have a store which sells glue for shoes in Vilnius?” I asked him. He was not sure; so he used his mobile telephone as he asked me to wait.

After about ten minutes, he came back out and informed me that there was a store approximately 15 minutes away by car which sells that type of glue.

“I do not have a car,” I said, “and I would walk if…well…” as I pointed to my now-useless running shoes.

Besides — even if I could walk to the store — the time was approximately 6:00 in the evening; and I might not be able to arrive before closing.

Shoe sole glue

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

“I will get it for you,” he said, asking if I had any cash. I gave him a 20 euro note. I gave him my room number upon request and told him I would be there.

There was a knock on the door to my room approximately 45 minutes later; and there he was with two tubes of glue and a receipt for 2.54 euro. I thanked him profusely. He never accepted a gratuity.

The glue is currently drying on both of my running shoes. Fortunately, I had no plans to leave the hotel room anyway prior to retiring for the night. I did not even use the contents of an entire tube of glue; so if the running shoes should fail again, I have some back-up available.


In all of the years during which I have traveled, I have never once had to worry about what I was wearing on my feet. Whatever I wore on my feet took the punishment I dealt, as I prefer walking to virtually any other form of transportation whenever possible.

Prior to leaving for Eastern Europe, I decided to retire the most recent pair of running shoes which have traveled with me, as they were wearing down to the point that I was unsure that they would survive this trip.

I plan on contacting New Balance about what happened; but at this point, I recommend avoiding purchasing running shoes from New Balance — and I do not plan to purchase another pair from the company unless they provide customer service to my satisfaction. That is a shame, as I have used New Balance running shoes for years. To me, New Balance symbolized quality — or, at least, that used to be the case.

If I have any news about this situation, I will post the update in a future article — but I just do no understand how a product called running shoes cannot even withstand walking. Perhaps Kathy Kass of Will Run For Miles or Charles Barkowski of Running For Miles might have some answers for me…

Most of the wear and tear on this running shoe — whose sole separated from the rest of the shoe — was from walking in Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

11 thoughts on “Great. The Soles Just Fell Off Both My Running Shoes. Now What?!?”

  1. Matthew says:

    That’s horrible. I like that New Balance shoes are made in the USA and mine have held up remarkably well.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      So have past pairs which I have owned, Matthew — until now…

  2. kq747 says:

    I want to say I have the exact same pair (down to the colour) that I bought in 2008 and they are still fine. The inside is frayed but the sole is nowhere near falling off.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That has been my history with New Balance running shoes, kq747 — which is what causes me to be even more flabbergasted with this freak experience.

  3. Cool Story Bro says:

    Wow – that’s a really great story. You’re shoes prematurely died and you applied super glue. Hard to see why your blog hasn’t been more widely distributed.

  4. Cool Story Bro says:

    Your…not you’re

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Despite your heckling my article, Cool Story Bro, you get credit for at least attempting to be grammatically correct.


  5. DaninMCI says:

    Sounds like a freak product quality issue. NB are fairly decent even for the low end 530’s. There are different levels of quality in running shoes. Serious runners tend to buy the superior model set at $110-$200’ish while the general public will buy the down line models at a more consumer friendly price. But even that being said they shouldn’t just fall apart.
    Your story is interesting to me as I where a USA Men’s size 15 so to replace shoes in this size while traveling is a real concern for me.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I agree with you, DaninMCI.

      I have owned pairs of New Balance running shoes over the years; and none of them have lost their heels. To have both heels go simultaneously must be a freak product quality issue — especially as I walk and not run in them.

  6. Andrew Isaac says:

    My NB 910’s failed after fewer than 50 gentle (treadmill, elliptical, walking) wearings. I see on line that this is a common NB problem. NB offered me $40 off a new pair. No thanks. Back to Brooks, I guess.

  7. Emma says:

    This info is well worth reading.
    Very in-depth indeed.
    Thumbs up!
    Good work must be appreciate.
    Looking for consistent updates from you.

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