How One Man Changed the Shoe and Craft Industry….The Story of Shoe GOO Adhesive

Anyone who has used AMAZING GOOP® Adhesives to create works of art or salvaged their favorite shoes with Shoe GOO can thank Lyman Van Vliet for his groundbreaking invention.

Some of the most innovative solutions of the modern age were developed for a very simple reason. In fact, the origins of Eclectic Products, Inc., one of the biggest manufacturers of adhesive products on the market today, began simply with “tennis toe”.

In the early 1970s, Lyman Van Vliet, a senior executive who frequently enjoyed a game of tennis, was getting frustrated because the soles of his shoes were frequently falling apart while playing his favorite game. The need for more durable shoes inspired him to seek out a method to effective repair them.

After numerous attempts, Van Vliet finally concocted a substance which could be used to create a pliable surface coating for shoe soles. The product, which we now know as “Shoe GOO Adhesive”, was groundbreaking because it had solvents to keep it like a thick gel hardened to a strong yet flexible rubber once it was applied.

The demand for his product led him to launch Eclectic Products in 1972 and market his new creation to tennis players.  It did not take long for the orders to pour in.  Shoe GOO quickly gained popularity among runners during the 1970s and 80s.   In 1988 Willamette Valley Company acquired Eclectic Products in 1988 and their operations are now located in Eugene, Oregon.

Today, Shoe GOO Adhesive is still used to repair tennis shoes and so much more!  Read 101 Uses For Shoe GOO.… to get an idea on how versatile this product is. Click here to read more about Lyman Van Vliet’s story:

photo credit: Earthworm via photopin cc