Typically, cities use tar — a black sticky substance — to repair cracks or pot holes in roads. When exposed to high temperatures, tar melts slightly and becomes tacky. Unfortunately, it's possible for tar to get stuck on the bottom of your shoes if you walk over it. While it's a pain to clean tar from the soles of your shoes, it's not impossible and cleaning the shoes yourself saves you from buying new ones.
Scrape off as much of the tar as you can using a plastic knife. Be careful not to poke the sole of the shoe and damage it.
Squirt degreasing dish soap onto the soles of the shoes. Use a toothbrush to scrub the tar in a circular motion, getting down in the grooves of the sole thoroughly. Scrub until all of the tar disappears.
Rinse the soap from your shoes and set them on a towel to dry.