Brittle, Dried Out Plastic

Hello, all, and my question deals with plastic/rubber materials as used on athletic shoes and growing brittle with age even with non-use. I recently unboxed a NOS pair of Etonic running shoes that I purchased about 15 years ago. After I ran in them a couple of times the plastic sides and heel split about half way across exposing the inner foam padding material. Could I have coated/soaked the outer material in something to prevent or discourage this cracking/splitting? Or is the material just too dried out to resurrect? (I've had similar issues with aged/dried out adhesives but this is different.) Thanks for your time and comment. Sincerely,
--
J. B. Wood e-mail: arl snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com

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On 1/23/2018 6:37 AM, J.B. Wood wrote:

Unfortunately it is a normal aging process due to oxidation. It depends on the type of plastic of course and rubbers are more susceptible. Antioxidants retard degradation and can work fairly well if designed properly. I recall buying cheap bicycle tires that degraded in a year with practically no use at all. Once degradation has set in there is nothing to stop it.
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On Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 7:19:17 AM UTC-5, Frank wrote:


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AFAIK, when it's deteriorated like that, nothing you can do.
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says...

Where I work they gave us a pair or two of safety shoes every year. I did not use one pair and they were in the closet for several years. I went to wear them one day and the soles had gotten very mushey adn just came off in bits and pieces.
Shoes of the same brand that I wore most every day do not do this.
I don't know why, but I don't leave the shoes in the closet for long periods of time any more.
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J. B.-
A chemist should give you a better answer. I suggest you do a search on "plasticizer", a chemical added to some materials to improve their flexibility. I understand the plasticizer can dry out or migrate away from the material with age, resulting in the effect you noticed.
If the material can be resurrected, it might be by soaking or painting it with a plasticizer. To me, it would be more trouble than it is worth.
Fred
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On 01/23/2018 10:22 AM, Fred McKenzie wrote:

As an aside, the 'new car smell' and the film on the inside of the windshield even if you do not smoke comes from the plasticizers migrating out of the materials.
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In alt.home.repair, on Tue, 23 Jan 2018 06:37:42 -0500, "J.B. Wood"

Maybe if you did it 15 years ago it would have helped. But it would be hard to cover every spot of it.

You'd have to check with a priest, but I don't think many materials can be resurrected.

I used to buy shoes that were very comfortable from the moment you first put them on, like slippers, with leather uppers and plastic soles. Once I went to a wedding in Europe, got there only 8 hours before the wedding and found that the heels of the shoes were falling apart in big chunks. Maybe I'd stepped in a solvent? Had to take a taxi to a store and buy shoes in 10 minutes, take a taxi back, in order not to be late to the wedding.
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On 01/23/2018 06:37 AM, J.B. Wood wrote:
Hello, and my thanks to all who responded to my recent OP. Your responses were most informative. Sincerely,
--
J. B. Wood e-mail: arl snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com

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I’m old enough to remember when that didn’t happen because the materials that were used had more rubber or copper etc. Now that we’re letting S…hole China make all of that they ’re stingy with the such materials.
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On Wed, 24 Jan 2018 06:16:18 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The plastic in mid seventies American cars got real fragile within 10 years with sun exposure. MOST of today's plastics are far superior. The plastic in the interior of my 22 year old Ranger is like new. You NEVER saee cracked dash pads any more. The plastic in my 16 year old Taurus is also in "showroom" condition. The plastic in my '69 Dart was getting hard and dry by the time I sold it in 1972
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