How to Put Rubbers on your Tap Shoes

I’m sorry for ignoring the tap dancers, out there.  So this one is for you!


It can be a real challenge to put the rubbers on tap shoes, so let me show you my process.  This process takes about 30 minutes and a day.

You’ll need:

  • Sand paper
  • Exacto Knife
  • some cardboard
  • Flexible Adhesive for Vinyl, Plastic, & Fabric
  • Clamps or Chip-Clips
  • Paper Towel


First, make sure your work area is clean and all of your stuff is ready.  You might get glue on some of the surface so, I recommend having goo-gone so that you can clean quickly.


Sand the bottom of your shoe, where the rubber will go.


Make sure you have covered enough area, and close enough to the tap.  Notice the color difference on the bottom of your shoe.


You want to wipe off any dust and remnants that many have come from the shoe.  Take your paper towel and dampen it lightly.  Wipe the bottom of the shoe.


While it is drying, take the rubber and compare it to where you sanded down.  Make a mental note as to where you’ll need to put adhesive.


Once dry, take your adhesive and cover the bottom of the shoe where the rubber will go.


Take your cardboard and scrape the adhesive so that it is even and meets the side of the shoe completely.  This is important.  Make sure the glue goes to the very side of the shoe on both sides, or else the rubber will start to flip up.  Don’t get the glue on the leather of the shoe (although it isn’t a huge deal if you do).  Take your time and work mindfully.


Place the rubber with about a 1/2 a centimeter of space from the tap and evenly.  If the rubber is bigger than the shoe, don’t worry.  Put the rubber on the center of the shoe. Like below:


Clap the rubber onto the shoe.  You’ll need between 3 and 4 clamps per shoe.  Make sure they are tight!


Let they dry for 24 hours.


After they are dry, take the clamps off and get your exacta knife.  Staying close to the sole of the shoe, slowly cut off any rubber that is over lapping.


You might need to re-glue some of the edges if you didn’t get the glue right the first time.  Do so NOW, and wait another 24 hours.  It is better to finish this job then to tap in your shoes and the rubbers are dirty and won’t glue back on.


That’s all there is to it!

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You can take class from Aly in person at the Mt. Airy Performing Arts Center or via Skype!

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