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A Tale of Two Shoes: Fixing a pair of Bruno Maglis Photoessay - Page 7

post #91 of 106
Damn, this was awesome.
post #92 of 106
Easter Monday and resurrecting all time great thread on shoe resurrection
post #93 of 106
Is Dimitri still around?
post #94 of 106
Epic thread. One of the best I've read on SF.
post #95 of 106
Always needs a good bump this one.
post #96 of 106
I know this is a bump and I know folks are pretty much done with this thread. But yesterday was the first time I saw this discussion. And I have to comment:

The job done on these shoes was very good. I admire the craftsmanship.The shoes look nearly new. But...!!!

But there is one thing that cannot stand. Please, please, if you are repairing a pair of shoes, don't try to level the heel. I am not going to try to explain why a shoe heel does not sit level after it has been worn for a while (I've never given it enough thought to formulate an explanation) suffice it to say that the shoe has become a bit distorted.

But I can guarantee that the shoe sat level when it was new. And, more importantly, I can guarantee that if the original last were put back into the shoe it would immediately...without further alteration...sit level again.

I can also say that if the heel is leveled without the last being in the shoe, it will never again fit or feel like it was intended, nor like it did when it was new.

When a shoe that does not seem to sit level is worn, the breast of the heel...seemingly too high...pushes the waist of the shoe back up where it belongs and where it was designed to be. When the shoe is worn the heel sits flat on the ground.

Cutting down the breast of the heel, to make the heel of shoe look like it sits level disrespects the last. It disrespects the maker. It negates every advantage or modicum of support that the last and a decent shank support provides. It creates problems with the top line and the fit and the underfoot feel.

And will ruin a good shoe.
post #97 of 106
DW, so this should never be done?

While we're on the subject, should the heels on a new pair of shoes sit flush/level to the floor or should there be a bit of a bevel/pitch, sort of like the heel equivalent of toe spring? Iirc, a member (ajv?) mentioned that he has his cobber adjust the heels on all his new/unworn rtw shoes to have them lay flat (can't find the thread/posts).
post #98 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Bourne View Post

DW, so this should never be done?

While we're on the subject, should the heels on a new pair of shoes sit flush/level to the floor or should there be a bit of a bevel/pitch, sort of like the heel equivalent of toe spring? Iirc, a member (ajv?) mentioned that he has his cobber adjust the heels on all his new/unworn rtw shoes to have them lay flat (can't find the thread/posts).

Wes,

IMO, never...without the original last never.

Most shoemakers will build the shoe with the heels flat. Some shoemakers will allow a tiny amount of heel spring...enough that you might slip the edge of a dime under the back of the heel.

But either way...even if the shoe has become broken down or distorted, when worn it is functioning as it was intended. If the cobbler cuts the breast down it can never regain its original shape not even when worn.

In fact, whatever distortion has been created in the shoe by wear is only exaggerated by leveling the heel without the original last reinserted.

I think this practice is one of the most misguided that shoe-repairmen fall prey to. And it suggests, to me at least, a deep, critical, lack of understanding about the shoe, lasts, and even the foot.
post #99 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Wes,

IMO, never...without the original last never.

Most shoemakers will build the shoe with the heels flat. Some shoemakers will allow a tiny amount of heel spring...enough that you might slip the edge of a dime under the back of the heel.

Iirc, most/all my rtw shoes and boots had some heel spring when new. Only the front of the heel and an area near the ball of the foot make contact on a flat surface. This might explain why:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakeyourshoes View Post

always taught to make the heel flat, some companies do not build their own heels up, they buy pre made from outside companies, you can request certain dimensions but when you have so many different lasts being used, each with different heel pitch and toe spring size its never going to fit all the lasts perfectly, some places scour it flat after putting the first heel piece on and then building up from there, some places just scour the top piece flat, but it should be made flat either way, but most places are hammering out as many pairs as possible and just putting pre made's on, sometimes ive noticed that when heeling a pair of bespoke hand welted shoes that having the shank and filler in only a shallow depression in the insole gives it that extra bit of shape that can make the front of the heel lower than the back, which doesnt have the shank, only the upper thickness, could possibly be why those rather expensive shoes posted have the wrong pitch on the heel, its only a problem if you feel it though when you walk i guess


Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

But either way...even if the shoe has become broken down or distorted, when worn it is functioning as it was intended. If the cobbler cuts the breast down it can never regain its original shape not even when worn.

In fact, whatever distortion has been created in the shoe by wear is only exaggerated by leveling the heel without the original last reinserted.

I think this practice is one of the most misguided that shoe-repairmen fall prey to. And it suggests, to me at least, a deep, critical, lack of understanding about the shoe, lasts, and even the foot.

Understood, thanks for explaining.
post #100 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Bourne View Post


Iirc, most/all my rtw shoes and boots had some heel spring when new. Only the front of the heel and an area near the ball of the foot make contact on a flat surface. This might explain why:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakeyourshoes View Post

always taught to make the heel flat, some companies do not build their own heels up, they buy pre made from outside companies, you can request certain dimensions but when you have so many different lasts being used, each with different heel pitch and toe spring size its never going to fit all the lasts perfectly, some places scour it flat after putting the first heel piece on and then building up from there, some places just scour the top piece flat, but it should be made flat either way, but most places are hammering out as many pairs as possible and just putting pre made's on, sometimes ive noticed that when heeling a pair of bespoke hand welted shoes that having the shank and filler in only a shallow depression in the insole gives it that extra bit of shape that can make the front of the heel lower than the back, which doesnt have the shank, only the upper thickness, could possibly be why those rather expensive shoes posted have the wrong pitch on the heel, its only a problem if you feel it though when you walk i guess

I wouldn't put it past many of the lower end manufacturers to be indifferent to heel pitch.

Nevertheless, I'm not buying that this is a critical or even the main reason a shoe sits on the breast edge after having been worn a while. If nothing else, even buying pre-made stacks is no great impediment to leveling the heel base while the shoe is being made..

More then that, however, I have seen shoes that I knew were built with a level, flat heel sit on the breast edge after being off the last for some time. And these were shoes with a good spring steel shank in them.

Despite all that, without the original last...even if there is some real distortion that has occurred during wear...the cobbler is guessing how much to remove from the breast of the heel. The chances of simply making both heel identical in height are slim ti none.

I don't believe anything should be removed unless the repairman has done such an amateurish job as to leave the outsole thicker under the breast of the heel that it originally was. In any case, this would only apply to full sole jobs where a splice was situated under the heel.

Barring that, if nothing is removed the shoe ends up fitting and feeling like it did when it was made. But in the absence of the original last, if any material is removed, the shoe is taken out of its original configuration and will never fit as it was designed to fit again.
Edited by DWFII - 8/6/11 at 8:20am
post #101 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip1978 View Post

Is Dimitri still around?

Still this, PM'd haven't heard back.
post #102 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Despite all that, without the original last...even if there is some real distortion that has occurred during wear...the cobbler is guessing how much to remove from the breast of the heel. The chances of simply making both heel identical in height are slim ti none.

I don't believe anything should be removed unless the repairman has done such an amateurish job as to leave the outsole thicker under the breast of the heel that it originally was. In any case, this would only apply to full sole jobs where a splice was situated under the heel.

Barring that, if nothing is removed the shoe ends up fitting and feeling like it did when it was made. But in the absence of the original last, if any material is removed, the shoe is taken out of its original configuration and will never fit as it was designed to fit again.

Makes perfect sense.
post #103 of 106
I never liked this OP because it's weighted more to-wards cosmetics than anything else.
When I first read it, my immediate reaction was......a half sole?
In order to do the job right (on a high-grade) at the very least it should be done using a full sole.
Regarding the heel spring. I agree with DWFII, if the rear portion of the sole was never disturbed, only the heel base separated from it, why would there be a need to adjust the base when re-attaching it?
The only reason I can think of is....since a last was not installed prior to doing any work, it's possible that when the base was pried off, the shank was thrown out of alignment during the process.
post #104 of 106
Could a brand new heel be added and this leveled one cut off to fix the problem of leveling without a last?
post #105 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarterStyle View Post

Could a brand new heel be added and this leveled one cut off to fix the problem of leveling without a last?

With a generic last at roughly the same heel height the problem might be improved.

But without the original last, the answer to the question has to be "no." Not with any degree of certainty beyond mere guessing.
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