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EG advise against Topy rubber soles - Page 5

post #61 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by flanker2000fr View Post
I can understand that some people would find rubber inserts aesthetically unpleasing. It is true that they make a sole slightly thicker and that might be a turn-off.

But as for the fact that they damage the sole in the long run because they prevent the sole to breath, it is simply a mis-conception, illustrated by the following:

"Moisture will always move from wet to dry unless it hits a barrier like the Topy and then it stops moving and additional moisture just builds up as it has nowhere to go."

This is a fallacy, and just goes to show a basic lack of knowledge of how a goodyear sole is actually constructed (given the brands mentioned in this thread, I assumed a goodyear construction is what people are referring to). Perspiration does not go through the sole, to exit on the outside of the shoe. This is because the filling that is used between the insole and the sole is made of a compact mix of cork and glue, or rubberized cork. You can find an illustration of this in the book "La chaussure pour homme faite main", page 159 (it's in French, but the picture is quite telling). That glue / rubber around the cork acts as a natural barrier, and prevents the perspiration captured in the insole to reach the sole. The way moisture escapes is the same way it got in in the first place: through the insole, hence the necessity of not wearing shoes two days in a row, to allow it to breathe.

Someone made a very pertinent remark: virtually all the high end shoe makers (C&J, etc.), do offer models that have a thin dainite sole. Of course, they are not as elegant as their full leather sole counterparts, but do you really believe these manufacturers would propose, at several 00's pounds, shoes that are so structurally flawed that they will rot from the inside as the dainite "traps" the moisture?

This was confirmed to me by some of the top cobblers in Paris, notably at the Cordonnerie Duret in the 17th, whom I rate as one of the best in this city.

Secondly, not all rubber inserts are born equal: Topy's are actually cheap, thick, rigid crap made of vulcanized rubber. On the other end of the spectrum, you have inserts made of natural rubber, that are thinner, more flexible, and virtually invisible unless you look directly under the sole. Illustration:







I, for one, have been using such inserts for the past 15 years. One familiar with stair cases in Paris' older buildings knows that they are made of wood that periodically gets waxed, making them extremely slippery to climb with full leather soles. I fell twice, and consider myself extremely lucky I did not break any bone, given I went down an entire floor on my ass. Subsequent to which I had all my shoes "proofed" with similar inserts as described above. They also ensure a much better grip on wet floors. It can be a real hazard walking on wet pavement with full leather soles.

I have never had any problem of durability on any of those shoes. I get the inserts replaced from time to time. Occasionally, when the sole itself gets tired or the stitching shows signs of weaknesses, I get them fully re-soled (and subsequently they do get an insert as well), and there has never been any problem. But of course, I respect the cardinal rules: I never wear them two days in a row, systematically put wooden shoe trees after wearing them, and polish / cream them regularly. Do this, and a high quality shoe will virtually last forever, rubber insert or not.

Well presented. I couldn't agree more.
There's no winning or losing this debate. The argument of sole guards compromising a shoe for any reason is total bunk. Rather, it's a personal preference. If you like them then continue to use them. If you don't, then don't. If you never tried them, then try them on a less expensive pair and decide for yourself.
I've never seen a shoe short-lived because of sole guards. I've seen many with prolonged life as a result of using them. Others just like the look and or feel of walking on leather.
post #62 of 129
Thanks Nick. I see you are a cobbler by trade, which goes to confirm what a number of cobblers have told me on that topic.

As you rightly point out: it is merely a question of preference, eg functionality vs. looks.

Now, hopefully, this will finally debunk the myth that inserts will eventually destroy one's shoes.

I highly suspect that EG, and others, advise against them as they hope for customer to bring their shoes back to them for re-soling. At twice the cost of a very competent cobbler.
post #63 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesX View Post
Also whatever moisture issues would just be taken care of by a proper shoe tree, wouldn't it?


Differental drying. If you take a material seal one side all the moisture will have to leave the other one. You ever place a piece of meat in a hot pan and see it curl up?

You won't see a shoe change that way but it can't be a good thing to seal one side and force all the moisture out the other.
post #64 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by GradSchooler View Post
I welcome you to come and walk the ice-coated sidewalks of Kingston, Ontario in -35 C weather in your leather soles and then make this stickiness argument. You'd be on your ass before you could say "cheapskateness." That is, if your toes didn't freeze off after all the salt on ate away your unprotected leather soles.

There are legitimate reasons to topy your shoes.

Overshoes.

Aren't you getting salt damage etc? How does the topy protect anything other then the bottom of the shoe?
post #65 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicola View Post
Differental drying. If you take a material seal one side all the moisture will have to leave the other one. You ever place a piece of meat in a hot pan and see it curl up? You won't see a shoe change that way but it can't be a good thing to seal one side and force all the moisture out the other.
Nicola, the insole is already sealed on one side by the use of glue / rubber in the cork filling between the insole and the sole. All shoes curl up after a day of wear if not put on shoe trees, whether they have inserts or not. Excuse the pun, but your argument does not hold water.
post #66 of 129
[quote=flanker2000fr;4495200

I highly suspect that EG, and others, advise against them as they hope for customer to bring their shoes back to them for re-soling. At twice the cost of a very competent cobbler.[/QUOTE]

Added
post #67 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by flanker2000fr View Post
Now, hopefully, this will finally debunk the myth that inserts will eventually destroy one's shoes.

i had it happen. bad luck, maybe?

certainly, the shoes could have been saved with a leather sole and still go strong.

in my experience, the fit is more important to the ratio of wear than the material itself. resoling is not a factor for me anymore.

for really wet conditions i have rubber soled shoes in my rotation, anyway.

regarding slippery surfaces - yes, i slide from time to time, but only when drunk or careless. just watch your steps and you'll be fine.
post #68 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
I suspect the real damage is not to the outsole but the insole. Moisture from the foot needs to be moved away from the foot...where bacteria flourish in moist conditions.

Moisture will always move from wet to dry unless it hits a barrier like the Topy and then it stops moving and additional moisture just builds up as it has nowhere to go.


And tell me why would moisture not escape from the fucking gaping hole where the ankle goes into the shoe, but would prefer to travel in the exact opposite direction towards the sole where there are 6 layers of oak bark leather standing it its way?

armchair scientists...
post #69 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by kolecho View Post
For me, Topy helps with grip. It also virtually eliminates the need to have the leather soles replaced, but that also means the uppers will never get the chance to be reshaped on the last it was created in to have creases smoothed out. I think that resoling on the original last is a good thing, provided one does not have to do so too often. Great excuse to have more shoes to rotate I lean on using the original leather soles.

EG is talking through its rectum. One slip and your gone. You can contemplate your foot moisture problem from the comfort of the operating theatre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pebblegrain View Post
And tell me why would moisture not escape from the fucking gaping hole where the ankle goes into the shoe, but would prefer to travel in the exact opposite direction towards the sole where there are 6 layers of oak bark leather standing it its way?

armchair scientists...


This.
post #70 of 129
post #71 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzl View Post
i had it happen. bad luck, maybe?

certainly, the shoes could have been saved with a leather sole and still go strong.


Did a cobbler tell you that, or is it an assumption you made? How did the rubber outsole compromised your shoe?

Just trying to understand. I have +/- 20 pairs of high-end shoes with rubber outsole, some for 15 years, and none of them ever encountered any issue. Still going strong.
post #72 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by flanker2000fr View Post
Did a cobbler tell you that, or is it an assumption you made? How did the rubber outsole compromised your shoe?
there was no need of a second party to detect the damage. it started to curl and grab into the leather sole. hard to describe and i never made a picture. this happened after two or three wearings, which is strange enough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flanker2000fr View Post
Just trying to understand. I have +/- 20 pairs of high-end shoes with rubber outsole, some for 15 years, and none of them ever encountered any issue. Still going strong.
just trying to understand, either. you bought them with leather soles and had rubber installed then? in the case you have a two digit rotation this is hard to comprehend. it seems to be a routine for you - a habit you never questioned anymore, right?
post #73 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzl View Post
there was no need of a second party to detect the damage. it started to curl and grab into the leather sole. hard to describe and i never made a picture. this happened after two or three wearings, which is strange enough.

just trying to understand, either. you bought them with leather soles and had rubber installed then? in the case you have a two digit rotation this is hard to comprehend. it seems to be a routine for you - a habit you never questioned anymore, right?

What you describe is just bizarre. Never experienced anything like this. I suspect it might have to do with the quality of the rubber or the glue used.

As for the reason why I systematically have natural rubber inserts installed (at the same time as a screwed-in metal toe plate), I explain this above in the topic: when one goes twice flying on his ass because a leather sole has virtually no grip on a waxed wooden stair, he doesn't wait for the 3rd time and a fractured hip to do something about it.

The result looks like this:

http://dpt-info.u-strasbg.fr/~collet...mlingApres.jpg
post #74 of 129
"The cobbler told me this...." "Many cobblers told me that...." "I've never experienced...." How many pairs of shoes have you fellows examined over the years? How many pairs of insoles? Fact: Even on Goodyear welted shoes...where a cork filling is used, the cork is nearly always fugitive and when the outsole is replaced what remains, around the edges of the rib and welt, falls to the floor like crumbs of cereal at the bottom of the box. Fact: Leather insoles on shoes with rubber soles turn black and crack sooner than if the outsoles are also leather. Fact: Goodyear welted shoes are not highest quality shoes. Shoes have been made for centuries without using cork and tar and neoprene cements. Handwelted shoes do not need a cork filling. Fact: people have been walking...running, skipping, and climbing mountains...in leather soled shoes for centuries. Fact, Moisture cannot escape from the shoe while the foot is in it. When the foot is removed the air inside the shoe is itself moisture laden and moist air is heavy air. Leave a teaspoon of water in a pot overnight. Check how much has evaporated in the morning. And that's a situation where the moisture is directly exposed to air and doesn't have to migrate through the fiber mat of the leather. Fact: It can take, even in the high desert, several days for a good quality leather insole to dry out completely even when both sides are exposed to air. Fact: For centuries all scientists were "armchair scientists" who obtained their knowledge and credentials through direct, hands-on experience and observations...unlike the magicians, charlatans and fantasists who obtained their by wishful thinking and building castles in the air. Fact: I have personally cut more leather insoles, channeled more leather insoles, welted more leather insoles, examined more worn leather insoles and replaced more leather (and rubber...including Topy) outsoles than than any 100 people posting to this forum. Nick V. (all due respect) included. I'm sorry but I just can't muster much credulity for "a friend of a friend told told me..."
post #75 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
Fact, Moisture cannot escape from the shoe while the foot is in it. When the foot is removed the air inside the shoe is itself moisture laden and moist air is heavy air. Leave a teaspoon of water in a pot overnight. Check how much has evaporated in the morning. And that's a situation where the moisture is directly exposed to air and doesn't have to migrate through the fiber mat of the leather.
Solution? Turn your shoes upside down. If only! Moist air is lighter than dry air, not the other way around. Simple physics. H2O weighs less than O2 or N2, and for a given pressure there is an equal number of molecules per unit volume.
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