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Leather or rubber soles? - Page 11

post #151 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post
 

Rubber sole for anyone lives in inclement weather conditions and needs to walk outdoors on a daily basis.

 

Goodyear, hand sewn, or whatever construction with either single, double or triple sole will be soaked through and through up to the leather upper.

 

I would much prefer dry feet instead of wet feet in leather soles.  But its just me.

 

It's not just you.  And you should see what rock salt does to wet leather soles in the winter.

post #152 of 171

Never experienced rock salt, but typhoon is not fun.  Wet shoes in humid locales it has very high chances of growing mold, let along the water damage to uppers.

 

I don't mind drying shoes. And I do believe DWFII is right about the negative effects of certain industrial materials and components used. But for practical reasons my contention is that rubber sole shoes are very much needed in a shoedrobe as beaters, especially for peasants like me who is not chauffeured everywhere.  On the other hand, all my bespoke and SC MTO orders are in leather sole because I appreciate the craftsmanship.

 

No cordovan btw, its sturdy only when babied and will fare just as bad if not worse than calf.

 


Edited by chogall - 10/22/13 at 6:24am
post #153 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Rubber sole for anyone lives in inclement weather conditions and needs to walk outdoors on a daily basis.

Goodyear, hand sewn, or whatever construction with either single, double or triple sole will be soaked through and through up to the leather upper.

I would much prefer dry feet instead of wet feet in leather soles.  But its just me.

this is the crux of the entire thread and it didn't seem to really get answered - namely whether or not a really high-quality double sole will keep your feet dry in heavy rain and other wintry weather, and if so whether it will then last as long as a high-quality rubber or dainite while doing so. i have never in my life experienced foot odor or fungus or anything (knock on wood), so this is not my greatest concern.
post #154 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Never experienced rock salt, but typhoon is not fun.  Wet shoes in humid locales it has very high chances of growing mold, let along the water damage to uppers.

I don't mind drying shoes. And I do believe DWFII is right about the negative effects of certain industrial materials and components used. But for practical reasons my contention is that rubber sole shoes are very much needed in a shoedrobe, especially for peasants like me who is not chauffeured everywhere.


I've never commented one way or the other on that nor did I ever diss anyone who was inclined to make that choice.

In fact, I said that as a bespoke maker I am occasionally called upon to mount rubber outsoles on shoes or boots I make. And I usually oblige (after I have exhausted, of course, all the reasons why the customer might want to reconsider facepalm.gif).

That said...take the logic to its natural conclusion--corrected grain uppers or naugahyde uppers--and you won't have these problems in any degree.

Just a thought.

And really, even a double sole of rubber with lugged outsole isn't going to prevent the kind of water damage that is depicted in the above photo--that's a result of exposing a somewhat vulnerable leather (unfinished, naked grain) into wet conditions that overtop the outsole.
post #155 of 171
Mold? With a healthy leather sole? That just can't be! Kidding.

Our city sidewalks are strewn with rock salt all winter long in an effort to keep ice and lawsuits at bay. If you look at a wet leather sole after it has traversed several blocks of that stuff, you will see a gouged, pock-marked mess. But it has little or no impact on synthetics.

I have to think that there is a reason most dedicated winter boots are equipped with synthetic soles.
post #156 of 171

If it is raining for regular walking on my commute I have lesser nice shoes that I don't mind getting wet. Some are corrected grain that I got before I knew what it was. The plastic coated surface does not care about the rain.

 

In the winter the short walk from parking lot to office usually goes through several salt laden pools of slush (they are very aggressive about salting the sidewalks, even if they cannot keep up with clearing off the snow, so it is slush city). For those trips I wear rubber bottomed Bean boots and change into shoes in the office. The rubber bottom, not just the sole, is completely waterproof, and does not care at all about the salt. This is just not a job for leather. 


Unless your leather shoes are truly waterproof, the leather and the seams, and come up high enough to deal with puddles and splashes, they do not make sense for serious wet weather. Perhaps waterproof leather hiking boots make sense, but not for shoes.

 

Back to shoes- 

 

What is the purpose of pegging the soles? I gather this is common in bespoke, and not done for RTW, or at least not below the top of the market. Bengal suggested it would control creaking. Is that the primary purpose? Does it do anything else?

 

I agree with Chogall's suggestion that for the craftperson the artistic possibilities with a leather sole are much more appealing than simply ordering a different pattern from the factory, which I gather is all one can do with rubber. Perhaps the artisans need to learn to work their wonders in a new medium (rubber) rather than only in the old (leather). It may require different tools, different approaches, collaboration with the sole makers rather than doing it all in house... 

post #157 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I've never commented one way or the other on that nor did I ever diss anyone who was inclined to make that choice.

In fact, I said that as a bespoke maker I am occasionally called upon to mount rubber outsoles on shoes or boots I make. And I usually oblige (after I have exhausted, of course, all the reasons why the customer might want to reconsider facepalm.gif).

That said...take the logic to its natural conclusion--corrected grain uppers or naugahyde uppers--and you won't have these problems in any degree.

Just a thought.

And really, even a double sole of rubber with lugged outsole isn't going to prevent the kind of water damage that is depicted in the above photo--that's a result of exposing a somewhat vulnerable leather (unfinished, naked grain) into wet conditions that overtop the outsole.

 

Shoes in picture has water/moisture traveling from a saturated/soaked outsole all the way up to the upper.  Maybe a rubber sole would help, maybe not.

 

In that situation, corrected grain uppers will probably also see some water damage from soaked leather soles, right?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by freedom_fries View Post


this is the crux of the entire thread and it didn't seem to really get answered - namely whether or not a really high-quality double sole will keep your feet dry in heavy rain and other wintry weather, and if so whether it will then last as long as a high-quality rubber or dainite while doing so. i have never in my life experienced foot odor or fungus or anything (knock on wood), so this is not my greatest concern.

 

In heavy rain or tropical weather (think SE Asia), leather sole won't keep you dry no matter what kind of construction it is.  Either rain boots or overshoes.  Snow is a different story that I have little to no experience.

post #158 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
 

If it is raining for regular walking on my commute I have lesser nice shoes that I don't mind getting wet. Some are corrected grain that I got before I knew what it was. The plastic coated surface does not care about the rain.

 

In the winter the short walk from parking lot to office usually goes through several salt laden pools of slush (they are very aggressive about salting the sidewalks, even if they cannot keep up with clearing off the snow, so it is slush city). For those trips I wear rubber bottomed Bean boots and change into shoes in the office. The rubber bottom, not just the sole, is completely waterproof, and does not care at all about the salt. This is just not a job for leather. 


Unless your leather shoes are truly waterproof, the leather and the seams, and come up high enough to deal with puddles and splashes, they do not make sense for serious wet weather. Perhaps waterproof leather hiking boots make sense, but not for shoes.

 

Back to shoes- 

 

What is the purpose of pegging the soles? I gather this is common in bespoke, and not done for RTW, or at least not below the top of the market. Bengal suggested it would control creaking. Is that the primary purpose? Does it do anything else?

 

I agree with Chogall's suggestion that for the craftperson the artistic possibilities with a leather sole are much more appealing than simply ordering a different pattern from the factory, which I gather is all one can do with rubber. Perhaps the artisans need to learn to work their wonders in a new medium (rubber) rather than only in the old (leather). It may require different tools, different approaches, collaboration with the sole makers rather than doing it all in house... 

 

Saint Crispins is RTW and uses pegged soles; it allows them to get a very closed waist without doing a blind/closed welt; higher manufacturing yield and simpler process.  It most likely serve other purposes that DWFII knows better.

 

Rubber soles is just meh.

post #159 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post



Unless your leather shoes are truly waterproof, the leather and the seams, and come up high enough to deal with puddles and splashes, they do not make sense for serious wet weather. Perhaps waterproof leather hiking boots make sense, but not for shoes.



... 

 



Agreed - thin-soled shoes really don't make sense if there is any appreciable accumulation of slush or significant puddles of standing water. But here I see plenty of cold, dry days with just patches of ice on the sidewalk and a healthy coat of rock salt to deal with them. Once the sun hit sthe sidewalk and warms it a bit, the salt starts to do its job and melt the ice. So you get wet patches, but no deep puddles.

On a day like this, I'd rather wear a shoe than a boot. The latter isn't really necessary. But a leather sole will still take a beating from the coarse sandpaper-like effect of the wet and the salt. A synthetic sole won't.
post #160 of 171
I don't see how it is logically possible for minimal moisture to wick upwards...through the AP that bonds the outsole, etc., to the upper....such that there would be the kind of damage seen in the photo. There almost had to be some overtopping. Or really prolonged puddle jumping.

FWIW, I wear leather soled, leather vamped shoes all year round...in rain, snow and dry. I don't experience significant any problems with water damage or traction either one except on ice. and nothing grips ice (think snow tires) except carbide studs. That said, I am aware that my footwear is leather and I am aware of leather's limitations.

Pegs...pegs were used all the way back to Roman times. And they were used occasionally...mostly as post diagnoses remedies...to prevent creaking.

During the 1800's, and esp. during the mid 1800's pegging was a quick and dirty way to put together a pair of boots or shoes. By that time the pegging machine had been invented and large workshops, particularly in California ...which was catering to the Gold Rush crowd...were utilizing it to "mass produce" boots. And of course many pair were made for the military during the American Civil War.

Cowboy boots are traditionally pegged in the waist. I have pegged boots and shoe shoes most of my career. As a technique, it has its advantages and disadvantages. It creates a firm(er) less flexible outsole than a welted shoe, although some makers who employ this technique do so only for ornamental reasons--relying on cement to actually hold the shoe together. It requires skill to do by hand, and even more skill to replace. It is a good technique but nowhere near as good as hand welting...maybe not even as good as GY. Fundamentally, it is destructive to the shoe or boot esp. when it is employed in the forepart as the only means of attachment.

All that said, I peg every layer of the heel on both boots and shoes rather than use nails. Nails that can "clinch" on a last mounted iron plate are almost universally made of iron and will rust when exposed to perspiration (salt water) and body heat. Rust is really a "slow fire" it generates its own heat and reacts chemically with the tanning agents in the insole. I have seen...many times...the insole virtually turned into a blackened and burnt charcoal crust by the combination of iron nails and heavy perspiration.

Pegs avoid that dilemma.
post #161 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I don't see how it is logically possible for minimal moisture to wick upwards...through the AP that bonds the outsole, etc., to the upper. There almost had to be some overtopping.

FWIW, I wear leather soled, leather vamped shoes all year round...in rain, snow and dry. I don't experience significant any problems with water damage or traction either one except on ice. and nothing grips ice (think snow tires) except carbide studs. That said, I am aware that my footwear is leather and I am aware of leather's limitations.

Pegs...pegs were used all the way back to Roman times. And they were used occasionally...mostly as post diagnoses remedies...to prevent creaking.

During the 1800's, and esp. during the mid 1800's pegging was a quick and dirty way to put together a pair of boots or shoes. By that time the pegging machine had been invented and large workshops, particularly in California ...which was catering to the Gold Rush crowd...were utilizing it to "mass produce" boots. And of course many pair were made for the military during the American Civil War.

Cowboy boots are traditionally pegged in the waist. I have pegged boots and shoe shoes most of my career. As a technique, it has its advantages and disadvantages. It creates a firm(er) less flexible outsole than a welted shoe, although some makers who employ this technique do so only for ornamental reasons--relying on cement to actually hold the shoe together. It requires skill to do by hand, and even more skill to replace. It is a good technique but nowhere near as good as hand welting...maybe not even as good as GY. Fundamentally, it is destructive to the shoe or boot esp. when it is employed in the forepart as the only means of attachment.

 

The shoes in my picture isn't minimal moisture but downpour from edge of a typhoon.  Couldn't do much as I was traveling but I avoided water puddles best that I can.

 

It most probably wont be this bad if its just another raining day in San Francisco, soles will be wet/damp but not soaked all the way through.

 

I had no problem with traction in leather soled shoes, aside from occasional slippage with slippery ceramic tile surfaces.  No ass plant.

 

p.s., I've seen pictures of German combat boots in WWII, with leather sole and metal studs at the sole bottom, probably to help durability and traction.

post #162 of 171
Quote:
 FWIW, I wear leather soled, leather vamped shoes all year round...in rain, snow and dry. 

But rumor has it that DWF wears only bespoke footwear, made for him by a cordwainer with whom he has an excellent relationship. When it is time for resoling or repairs, instead of dropping the shoes off with the kid at the mall, he delivers them to the same shoemaker, who uses the finest available materials and techniques.

 

The rest of us do not have those luxuries.

 

For hand welted shoes with outsoles handsewn, what happens when they need resoling? Can a regular cobbler apply new soles with machine stitching? Or do they have to be sewn by hand? I assume if the welt needs to be replaced, this must be done again by hand. Is this something one expects any cobbler to be able to do? Do the shoes have to go back to the maker?

post #163 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

But rumor has it that DWF wears only bespoke footwear, made for him by a cordwainer with whom he has an excellent relationship. When it is time for resoling or repairs, instead of dropping the shoes off with the kid at the mall, he delivers them to the same shoemaker, who uses the finest available materials and techniques.

Not quite my wading boots are Simms and my house mocs are Beans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

For hand welted shoes with outsoles handsewn, what happens when they need resoling? Can a regular cobbler apply new soles with machine stitching?

Yes, stock-in-trade. Some are better at it than others, of course. But fundamentally a vertically channeled outsole stitch (which is what results from common shoe-repair machines...although not all repairman are facile with them) is as good as a horizontally channeld outsole treatment. Not as aesthetically pleasing but functionally near-as-nevermind the same.

No channel...AKA 'stitched aloft"...is much inferior and open channels are not much better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

 I assume if the welt needs to be replaced, this must be done again by hand. Is this something one expects any cobbler to be able to do?

Yes, most cobblers will be able to replace small sections of welt without any problem. GY construction complicates that terribly, esp. if there is any slippage of the gemming. Bearing mind that GY is fundamentally a cement construction and the welt/inseam more nominal than structural.

I would not recommend a full welt replacement without the original last on hand--by anyone.

Like anything else you need to educate yourself about shoe making techniques as well as the skills and reputation of the cobbler before you entrust a high end pair of shoes to them. There are cobblers and there are...ahem..."cobblers cobbling".
post #164 of 171
I wore the boots DW made me today in solidarity with is efforts in this thread. They are certainly my favorite pair of shoes, and I'd say the best I own in many ways. By looking at them, one can tell that their maker is committed to excellence. Their level of craftsmanship makes this very apparent to me, and it has stunned the few shoemakers I've shown them to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RIDER View Post

... DW and I share at least one common client, and he goes to DW for one type of experience and product, and me for another - ...
I'm guessing you mean me, Ron. There is no doubt that I love the shoes I have from you too--a shell chukka with the Sestriere rubber sole and calf loafers with leather sole. In fact, your chukkas and DW's are probably my most worn shoes. Both are made of shell and are great values at their different price levels. The ones by DW are my favorite pair, though, the one's I'd grab in a fire. They fit better and are better made than any shoes I own or have owned, including EG, Vass, AS handgrade, etc. Occasionally, I just leave them on my desk while I'm working so I can admire their lines and workmanship. But it's hard to compare, since DW's were made for my feet by his own hands, heart, and head as well as blood, sweat, and tears.

On the subject of leather vs rubber, I was a big fan of rubber soles. Before SF, I had a couple pairs of leather and several of rubber. I'd been raised to think there's no such thing as a rubber-soled dress shoe. But years of bicycle and motorcycle commutes changed that. In my experience, leather had the disadvantages of slipping in the wet and getting torn up by my metal bike pedals. But wearing DW's boots for the past few years has renewed my appreciation of leather soles. The Bakers soles DW used on them are much, much more hearty and stable than the typical leather sole. They're more durable than Dainite and more slip-resistant in many conditions as well (particularly wet granite or marble). The glove-like fit helps with the stability too, I'm sure.

So while this hasn't totally diluted the salt in my ocean, to use DW's metaphor, it certainly has added more than a few teaspoons of fresh water to it. Iow, I enjoy the few pairs of rubber-soled shoes I still own, but I'm not sure I'd buy another pair. And while I too thought DW was crazy, the experience of wearing his boots has given me much more respect for his position.
post #165 of 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post

I wore the boots DW made me today in solidarity with is efforts in this thread. They are certainly my favorite pair of shoes, and I'd say the best I own in many ways. By looking at them, one can tell that their maker is committed to excellence. Their level of craftsmanship makes this very apparent to me, and it has stunned the few shoemakers I've shown them to.
I'm guessing you mean me, Ron. There is no doubt that I love the shoes I have from you too--a shell chukka with the Sestriere rubber sole and calf loafers with leather sole. In fact, your chukkas and DW's are probably my most worn shoes. Both are made of shell and are great values at their different price levels. The ones by DW are my favorite pair, though, the one's I'd grab in a fire. They fit better and are better made than any shoes I own or have owned, including EG, Vass, AS handgrade, etc. Occasionally, I just leave them on my desk while I'm working so I can admire their lines and workmanship. But it's hard to compare, since DW's were made for my feet by his own hands, heart, and head as well as blood, sweat, and tears.

On the subject of leather vs rubber, I was a big fan of rubber soles. Before SF, I had a couple pairs of leather and several of rubber. I'd been raised to think there's no such thing as a rubber-soled dress shoe. But years of bicycle and motorcycle commutes changed that. In my experience, leather had the disadvantages of slipping in the wet and getting torn up by my metal bike pedals. But wearing DW's boots for the past few years has renewed my appreciation of leather soles. The Bakers soles DW used on them are much, much more hearty and stable than the typical leather sole. They're more durable than Dainite and more slip-resistant in many conditions as well (particularly wet granite or marble). The glove-like fit helps with the stability too, I'm sure.

So while this hasn't totally diluted the salt in my ocean, to use DW's metaphor, it certainly has added more than a few teaspoons of fresh water to it. Iow, I enjoy the few pairs of rubber-soled shoes I still own, but I'm not sure I'd buy another pair. And while I too thought DW was crazy, the experience of wearing his boots has given me much more respect for his position.

cheers.gif

--
Edited by DWFII - 10/25/13 at 12:31pm
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