or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › **The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.** - Page 652

post #9766 of 19067

Some questions about brushing:

 

What is the proper technique for brushing?  I'm wondering because I've heard people say that they have scratched shoe leather through vigorous brushing.  Would this be due to improper technique, or a poor-quality brush?

 

Are there some brush brands that are considered to be better than others, and if so which ones would they be?  Or does pretty much any brush that is 100% horsehair get the job done properly as long as you're using the right technique?

 

Should the technique change depending on the leather (e.g., calf vs. shell cordovan)?

post #9767 of 19067
The better analogy is not paint on your Ferrari, it's putting a governor on the carburetor to prevent the engine from operating at maximum rpm so that it won't wear out so fast or cost so much to operate.

People are missing the point...what do you buy a Ferrari for?!

What do you buy a high end shoe for?! Why do you buy leather shoes? Again, corrected grain leather or bonded leather will look better and wear longer in wet weather. In some circumstances cheap shoes can be less expensive on an annual basis than re-topying.

Personally, I think people who have trouble walking in leather soles don't really know how to walk...how to carry their weight over the balls of their feet and in a balanced manner. I've worn leather soled shoes and boots nearly exclusively for more than forty years. I'm sure that my experiences are not universal in that regard but I'm not an athlete or exceptional either--if I can learn to walk, others can too.

And if...for some reason...a person just can't find traction with leather soles, Topy (or any of the so-called sole protectors) is a weak and inadequate solution. Go big or go home--a full rubber outsole is better protection against wet weather, will wear longer than a topy, and give as good or better traction.

And yes, galoshes are ugly but they're not intended for full time wear. You're supposed to take them off when you enter a dry building. You know...so that you can appreciate and take advantage of the fact that you have comfortable, beautiful, expensive, leather shoes. And so that other people can also appreciate that fact.

Same as having a fine tuned, clockwork power train in the Ferrari--you don't drive it across the burning sands of the desert or throttle down the engine--it undermines the whole point...the whole idea...of a Ferrari.
post #9768 of 19067
I dont topy, not because I find them cheap/obnoxious as some of the members have commented or the fact they ruin shoes, because they dont. Tony Gaziano has written extensively on this and all the discussion about soles not able to breathe and rot because of the topy etc. The fact is I have not seen any proof of decay or a shoe been ruined because of the same.

It may not be sexy trend, but if it serves an individual needs I dont see any rhyme or reason to go bellicose admonishing those who do.
Edited by sstomcat - 6/24/14 at 6:49am
post #9769 of 19067
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfnhalfnhalf View Post

There was a brief discussion recently in the Alden thread regarding brushing technique.  Some people reported that they had scratched the shoe leather through vigorous brushing.  Would this be a matter of technique, or the quality of the brush?  Are there some brush brands that are considered to be better than others, and if so which ones would they be?  Or does pretty much any brush that is 100% horsehair get the job done properly as long as you're using the right technique?  And, should the technique change depending on the leather (e.g., calf vs. shell cordovan)?


If they scratched the shoe leather with a decent horsehair brush, the leather is poor quality. Period. Chances are better that what they're seeing is scratches in the finish (again poor quality) or the wax from polishing.

This is the same discussion as the Topy discussion--ignoring the intended purpose or function of a product. Expectations that cannot be met without destroying/perverting the whole reason a shoe is made as it is.

Horsehair brushes are not meant to be used like a scrub brush is used. A light hand is required.
post #9770 of 19067
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
 
 
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfnhalfnhalf View Post

There was a brief discussion recently in the Alden thread regarding brushing technique.  Some people reported that they had scratched the shoe leather through vigorous brushing.  Would this be a matter of technique, or the quality of the brush?  Are there some brush brands that are considered to be better than others, and if so which ones would they be?  Or does pretty much any brush that is 100% horsehair get the job done properly as long as you're using the right technique?  And, should the technique change depending on the leather (e.g., calf vs. shell cordovan)?

If they scratched the shoe leather with a decent horsehair brush, the leather is poor quality. Period. Chances are better that what they're seeing is scratches in the finish (again poor quality) or the wax from polishing.

This is the same discussion as the Topy discussion--ignoring the intended purpose or function of a product. Expectations that cannot be met without destroying/perverting the whole reason a shoe is made as it is.

Horsehair brushes are not meant to be used like a scrub brush is used. A light hand is required.

 

Thanks for the response.  Scratches to the finish or the wax is undoubtedly a better description of what's going on.  I don't think I'm talking about people ignoring the intended purpose - it's more a question of not knowing the right way to do it.  As for how light the hand should be, are you saying "light enough not to scratch the finish or wax" - or is there some other way to know when you're doing it right?

post #9771 of 19067
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

The better analogy is not paint on your Ferrari, it's putting a governor on the carburetor to prevent the engine from operating at maximum rpm so that it won't wear out so fast or cost so much to operate.

People are missing the point...what do you buy a Ferrari for?!

What do you buy a high end shoe for?! Why do you buy leather shoes? Again, corrected grain leather or bonded leather will look better and wear longer in wet weather. In some circumstances cheap shoes can be less expensive on an annual basis than re-topying.

Personally, I think people who have trouble walking in leather soles don't really know how to walk...how to carry their weight over the balls of their feet and in a balanced manner. I've worn leather soled shoes and boots nearly exclusively for more than forty years. I'm sure that my experiences are not universal in that regard but I'm not an athlete or exceptional either--if I can learn to walk, others can too.

And if...for some reason...a person just can't find traction with leather soles, Topy (or any of the so-called sole protectors) is a weak and inadequate solution. Go big or go home--a full rubber outsole is better protection against wet weather, will wear longer than a topy, and give as good or better traction.

And yes, galoshes are ugly but they're not intended for full time wear. You're supposed to take them off when you enter a dry building. You know...so that you can appreciate and take advantage of the fact that you have comfortable, beautiful, expensive, leather shoes. And so that other people can also appreciate that fact.

Same as having a fine tuned, clockwork power train in the Ferrari--you don't drive it across the burning sands of the desert or throttle down the engine--it undermines the whole point...the whole idea...of a Ferrari.

Nice soliloquy, have you considered that people who topy may actually not be stupid and may have legitimate reasons for doing so? Have you considered the fact that most countries do not have access to good cobblers? And that most people cannot be arsed packing up and sending shoes away, paying exorbitant postage, and waiting for months on end for the shoes to be returned? How about the convenience of reapplying topys rather than having to replace worn out rubber soles via resoling?

It is a big world out there. Dont assume it revolves around where you live.
post #9772 of 19067
Quote:
Originally Posted by sstomcat View Post

The fact is I have not seen any proof of decay or a shoe been ruined because of the same.

I actually don't have a dog in this fight (I put topy on shoes as requested) although it is interesting to watch the discussion.

But I have seen shoes that suffered from Topy or sole protectors...not so much because of the material that topy is made of (I have other reservations in that regard) but because people who put topy on their high end shoes often do so because they simply don't want the extra maintenance and care that any high end product requires.

So they don't replace them often enough--a matter of penny pinching (which is, at least, admirably consistent), perhaps. And when they have worn a hole in the Topy, the outsole is no longer protected and gets worn into as if there was no topy at all.

If not the first time, over time the outsole becomes irregular in thickness and dirt and other contaminant get up under the topy. It becomes irregular simply because in order for a new sole protector to be applied the old one must be removed and the leather outsole re-leveled as best as can be done--the dirt must be removed and the surface of the outsole prepared (abraded) so that the cement can adhere strongly. Often this means grinding away more leather...and more in areas that are heavily worn or dirty...and almost as often it means grinding away the leather that protects the outsole stitching. And that can cause the outsole stitching to fail and the welt to open up and dirt and moisture to enter the space between the insole and the outsole.

That train of events will, sure as sunrise, ruin a shoe.

--
Edited by DWFII - 6/24/14 at 7:28am
post #9773 of 19067
I've mentioned this on here before, but it is worth bringing up again. I have tried the expensive brushes and to be honest I feel that they are too stiff. My best brush is my 10 year old Kiwi brush that I picked up at a CVS or something. I think using it over the years also has softened it so when I brush it acts as almost a buffing cloth. Then again, like DW said technique is part of it... Fast but light pressure always works the best. Some people say no brushing, only a cloth for a mirror shine, with my old trusty brush and technique I can renew a mirror shine easily.

All this being said try to find an old, well used shoe brush on ebay, probably nice and soft.
post #9774 of 19067
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petepan View Post

Nice soliloquy, have you considered that people who topy may actually not be stupid and may have legitimate reasons for doing so? Have you considered the fact that most countries do not have access to good cobblers? And that most people cannot be arsed packing up and sending shoes away, paying exorbitant postage, and waiting for months on end for the shoes to be returned? How about the convenience of reapplying topys rather than having to replace worn out rubber soles via resoling?
e.

That's ridiculous..if a country doesn't have good cobblers, who is putting the Topy on?!

And yes, it's convenient...just like fast food. Or spray paint on a Ferrari.
post #9775 of 19067
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I actually don't have a dog in this fight (I put topy on shoes as requested) although it is interesting to watch the discussion.

But I have seen shoes that suffered from Topy or sole protectors...not so much because of the material that topy is made of (I have other reservations in that regard) but because people who put topy on their high end shoes often do so because they simply don't want the extra maintenance and care that any high end product requires.

So they don't replace them often enough--a matter of penny pinching (which is, at least, admirably consistent), perhaps. And when they have worn a hole in the Topy, the outsole is no longer protected and gets worn into as if there was no topy at all.

If not the first time, over time the outsole becomes irregular in thickness and dirt and other contaminant get up under the topy. Simply because in order for a new sole protector to be applied the old one must be removed and the leather outsole re-leveled as best as can be done--the dirt must be removed and the surface of the outsole prepared (abraded) so that the cement adhere strongly. Often this means grinding away more leather and almost as often it means grinding away the leather that protects the outsole stitching. And that can cause the outsole stitching to fail and the welt to open up and dirt and moisture to enter the space between the insole and the outsole.

That train of events will, sure as sunrise, ruin a shoe.

I understand the logical sequence of events that you cite but arent Topy's supposed to be replaced when they wear out to protect the underlying leather outsole? It is about doing Topy the right way, and replacing them when required or else I dont see any difference of not using them.
post #9776 of 19067
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCK1 View Post

$500 is worth it compared to the horrible shame of having a topy on a quality shoe.

The real shame is having a quality shoe with a sole that's dirty and looks like shit. (note this is not the highest quality shoe, but sole used for example) or even worse, wearing a quality shoe with blue jeans.... shame shame.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

PB, you win. lol8[1].gif
post #9777 of 19067
Quote:
Originally Posted by sstomcat View Post

I understand the logical sequence of events that you cite but arent Topy's supposed to be replaced when they wear out to protect the underlying leather outsole? It is about doing Topy the right way, and replacing them when required or else I dont see any difference of not using them.

Bingo!

The same could be said for good leather outsoles.
post #9778 of 19067
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

I've mentioned this on here before, but it is worth bringing up again. I have tried the expensive brushes and to be honest I feel that they are too stiff. My best brush is my 10 year old Kiwi brush that I picked up at a CVS or something. I think using it over the years also has softened it so when I brush it acts as almost a buffing cloth. Then again, like DW said technique is part of it... Fast but light pressure always works the best. Some people say no brushing, only a cloth for a mirror shine, with my old trusty brush and technique I can renew a mirror shine easily.

All this being said try to find an old, well used shoe brush on ebay, probably nice and soft.

If it's a spit shine you're trying to "re-new" I've always used an old nylon stocking. Or more recently an nice clean piece of chamois seems to work well.. Brushes will always leave tiny scratches--the finer and softer the brush, the tinier--as long as, or even if, a light hand is applied.
post #9779 of 19067

How long does a Topy last anyways before it gets holes and needs to be replaced? I don't have a huge rotation (6 pairs), I walk a great deal, and live in places where it rains.  Yet my oldest pair (3-yo C&J BG, which isn't even an oak bark sole) seems - knock on wood - like it has plenty of life left on th sole.  So, if a Topy goes 6-12 months before it wears a hole, and a leather sole needs replacing every 3-4 years, it seems like a far greater inconvenience to have to turn up at the cobbler for a new topy once or twice per year than to ship back to the factory (or to Nick V) every few years.

 

Now, I understand that there are geographical differences in play here and walking in Bombay or Manila (or Stockholm or Helsinki) may be harder on one's shoes than NYC or DC.  But unless one does I'm not sure I see it.  And this assumes an urban walking lifestyle - if one lives in the suburbs and travels mainly by car then I see it even less.

post #9780 of 19067
Yeah, people are always amazed on this forum how fast I go through soles. I probably walk 25 miles a week on average. These suburbs people who shuffle to a car and sit in a desk all day only to get back in their car, well, yeah, you're shoes will last you a long time. Me, not so much.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › **The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**