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Mark of an inferior shoe? (Toe spring or no?) - Page 3

post #31 of 41

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threadbearer View Post

I took my new C&J Westbournes to the local cobbler last week just to see if I could find a good color match in shoe polish. The cobbler admired the shoes, asked how much I paid for them, and then plopped one down on his counter so that he could eyeball it from the side.
"See that gap under the sole?" he asked, as he pushed down on the back of shoe. "A really good pair of shoes doesn't do that. Really good shoes lay flat. My father taught me that."
Here's the shoe at rest. Notice that the heel isn't flat against the counter.
Down.jpg
Here I'm pressing the heel flat against the counter, and that's raising the sole nearly a quarter of an inch.
Up.jpg
And here's a closeup of the heel, which I believe is showing unusual signs of wear considering that I've only worn the shoes five times since they arrived:
Heel.jpg
So is the cobbler right or is he full of crap? And what about the wear on the heel? Did I get a pair of lemons?

 

That's normal

post #32 of 41

That's normal

post #33 of 41

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threadbearer View Post

I took my new C&J Westbournes to the local cobbler last week just to see if I could find a good color match in shoe polish. The cobbler admired the shoes, asked how much I paid for them, and then plopped one down on his counter so that he could eyeball it from the side.
"See that gap under the sole?" he asked, as he pushed down on the back of shoe. "A really good pair of shoes doesn't do that. Really good shoes lay flat. My father taught me that."
Here's the shoe at rest. Notice that the heel isn't flat against the counter.
Down.jpg
Here I'm pressing the heel flat against the counter, and that's raising the sole nearly a quarter of an inch.
Up.jpg
And here's a closeup of the heel, which I believe is showing unusual signs of wear considering that I've only worn the shoes five times since they arrived:
Heel.jpg
So is the cobbler right or is he full of crap? And what about the wear on the heel? Did I get a pair of lemons?

 

Normal. Stop obsessing or taking advice from tradesmen.

post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by blahman View Post

Doesn't matter what the rest of the forum thinks. Put your shoes on. Judge for yourself on whether they feel uncomfortable under foot.

Well said. Don't care too much about what other people think.
post #35 of 41

Yes shoes should flex. No, they should not rock unless perhaps your primary use is for running. Talk to your chiropractor. Toes need to be ON THE GROUND when standing, which is what most people do most of the time when they are not sitting. Toes turned up when standing can cause or aggravate back problems.

post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by iroh View Post

good to hear. I just bought a brand new pair of aldens derbys and when i took them out of the box and took a look i knew there were not going to last. i originally planned to wear them for about 50 years as my daily shoes, but they just seem so flimsy i was somewhat disapointed. i defintiely know i would not have bought these shoes if i had seen them in person, such trickery alden uses to fool its customers. i will be surprised if the shoes even last 5 years. seems like such a waste of money to spend $600 on shoes that will last only 5 years. doing the math, that means $120 per year, as opposed to $12 per year if they last the normal 50 years like they are suppose to. next time i know i will stick with crocket and jones and allen edmonds if i want footwear to be "ridden hard and put up wet" as you put it, they have proven themselves.

You have worn out one pair of shoes, that took you 50 years, and now you expect another pair to last 50 years, plus we have to add 20 years for childhood - good luck! ☺
post #37 of 41
Quote:
 
In all the years I have been making shoes and boots I have yet to hear a rational or mechanically sound explanation why lower toe spring is wanted on a shoe.

To the contrary, the theory is...based on the mechanics of the foot during gait...that the higher the heel on the shoe the less toe spring is needed. And vice versa.

All things being equal--heel height, last length, construction and leather--a low heeled shoe with less toe spring will crease more deeply than a low heeled shoe with more toe spring. It stands to reason.

It may be what customers want to see, but that doesn't make it rational.
Edited by DWFII - 2/21/12 at 7:21am

First of all, no one has to give you an explanation why a "lower toe spring is wanted." A want is not something that has to be approved or even understood by you or anyone else but by the individual who decides what fit is right for them.

 

You refer to "the theory" saying that the higher the heel on the shoe the less toe spring is needed but you don't say why except that it must have something to do with the "mechanics of the foot during gait." ... What about it?

 

Your focus seems to be in the wrong place. The construction of the shoe should FOLLOW what's best for the foot, not make the foot conform to somebody's mechanical theory (so it seems). Your post says little to nothing about the foot but priority should be the health of the foot, and you're concerned that a shoe with less toe spring will crease?!! I could care less!! Looks over health? Sorry, I'm not with you on that at all.

 

The foot outside of a shoe sits with ALL toes on the ground and provides superior balance! You can observe this in nature, can't you? Perhaps a study of the mechanics of the foot while jogging or running can help construct a better running shoe. But most people aren't that athletic every day, and the only thing I can see a 1/2" to 3/4" toe spring good for is falling down and creating back problems. Toe spring is bad for standing!

 

If the shoe flexes with the foot, the toes will turn up when they need to all by themselves, just like they have for thousands of years! But I highly doubt the motivation for the toe spring has anything to do with what's good for consumers. It's a sales pitch because they look good in pictures and that's turned into a fad. A number of years from now someone will come up with a "new" idea of putting toes on the ground for good balance, overall control and the health of your spine.

 

My chiropractor tells me that shoes that don't let you keep your toes on the ground are bad for you. Bad for your feet, bad for your posture and ultimately bad for your back. How's that for rationale?

 

I wish they would grade toe spring like they do width or size. The only thing I want to do to them is burn them.

post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by experience View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
First of all, no one has to give you an explanation why a "lower toe spring is wanted." A want is not something that has to be approved or even understood by you or anyone else but by the individual who decides what fit is right for them.

You refer to "the theory" saying that the higher the heel on the shoe the less toe spring is needed but you don't say why except that it must have something to do with the "mechanics of the foot during gait." ... What about it?

Your focus seems to be in the wrong place. The construction of the shoe should FOLLOW what's best for the foot, not make the foot conform to somebody's mechanical theory (so it seems). Your post says little to nothing about the foot but priority should be the health of the foot, and you're concerned that a shoe with less toe spring will crease?!! I could care less!! Looks over health? Sorry, I'm not with you on that at all.

The foot outside of a shoe sits with ALL toes on the ground and provides superior balance! You can observe this in nature, can't you? Perhaps a study of the mechanics of the foot while jogging or running can help construct a better running shoe. But most people aren't that athletic every day, and the only thing I can see a 1/2" to 3/4" toe spring good for is falling down and creating back problems. Toe spring is bad for standing!

If the shoe flexes with the foot, the toes will turn up when they need to all by themselves, just like they have for thousands of years! But I highly doubt the motivation for the toe spring has anything to do with what's good for consumers. It's a sales pitch because they look good in pictures and that's turned into a fad. A number of years from now someone will come up with a "new" idea of putting toes on the ground for good balance, overall control and the health of your spine.

My chiropractor tells me that shoes that don't let you keep your toes on the ground are bad for you. Bad for your feet, bad for your posture and ultimately bad for your back. How's that for rationale?

I wish they would grade toe spring like they do width or size. The only thing I want to do to them is burn them.

You're right, no one has to give me an explanation--I've been making boots and shoes for over forty years. How about you?

Second, you're wrong--moderate toe spring will not affect foot or body health. The last and shoe are designed such that the weight of the body will press the toe of the shoe to the ground when the foot is resting with weight on. There is nothing, mechanical or structural, to prevent the forepart of the shoe from flattening. Similarly with the bottom radius that runs across the plantar surface of the last...and the shoe.

People all over the world wear clogs and wooden shoes, and even leather shoes, that have a fixed and significant...even extreme...toe spring.

Without any obvious exception, all shoes have some toe spring. When a shoe has any toe spring it shortens the length and amount of the leather over the forepart so that when the foot flexes there isn't as much excess leather to form pipes. And when the foot is at rest (with weight on), the vamp will be drawn taut and those creases will disappear. When the weight of the body presses the toe of the shoe down, it also creates a tension in the leather from the toe of the shoe to the back of the heel...tightening the top line and preventing the shoe gaping or slipping at the heel.

Thirdly, your chiropractor is a witch-doctor.

And finally you're in way over your head...but given the number of posts you have (2 with these remarks), I cannot say your post surprises me. Is this a real account or a re-register with another username?

--
Edited by DWFII - 1/2/15 at 8:36am
post #39 of 41
I might add that according to one of, if not the, foremost shoe historians in the world and the head of the shoemaking faculty at Colonial Williamsburg (and a close and long time friend), shoes with little or no toe spring were originally relegated to exhibition work that was never intended to be worn.

So much for shoes with toe spring only being a fad or just for looks. The reality is just the reverse.

--
Edited by DWFII - 1/2/15 at 7:48am
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by experience View Post

First of all, no one has to give you an explanation why a "lower toe spring is wanted." A want is not something that has to be approved or even understood by you or anyone else but by the individual who decides what fit is right for them.

You refer to "the theory" saying that the higher the heel on the shoe the less toe spring is needed but you don't say why except that it must have something to do with the "mechanics of the foot during gait." ... What about it?

Your focus seems to be in the wrong place. The construction of the shoe should FOLLOW what's best for the foot, not make the foot conform to somebody's mechanical theory (so it seems). Your post says little to nothing about the foot but priority should be the health of the foot, and you're concerned that a shoe with less toe spring will crease?!! I could care less!! Looks over health? Sorry, I'm not with you on that at all.

The foot outside of a shoe sits with ALL toes on the ground and provides superior balance! You can observe this in nature, can't you? Perhaps a study of the mechanics of the foot while jogging or running can help construct a better running shoe. But most people aren't that athletic every day, and the only thing I can see a 1/2" to 3/4" toe spring good for is falling down and creating back problems. Toe spring is bad for standing!

If the shoe flexes with the foot, the toes will turn up when they need to all by themselves, just like they have for thousands of years! But I highly doubt the motivation for the toe spring has anything to do with what's good for consumers. It's a sales pitch because they look good in pictures and that's turned into a fad. A number of years from now someone will come up with a "new" idea of putting toes on the ground for good balance, overall control and the health of your spine.

My chiropractor tells me that shoes that don't let you keep your toes on the ground are bad for you. Bad for your feet, bad for your posture and ultimately bad for your back. How's that for rationale?

I wish they would grade toe spring like they do width or size. The only thing I want to do to them is burn them.
I don't have a horse in this race, however....

.... if one is making a science-based argument, I don't know that I would be in any hurry to be citing the words of a Chiropractor as support, as that profession is not particularly noted for its adherence to scientifically validated statements. Furthermore, on what basis or theory does he make his assertion?

Also, when standing, the bulk of one's weight is borne by the heel, the ball joints, and the arches (both longitudinal and transverse), and not by the toes. Perhaps the toes can add a bit to balance, but the stationary foot is really in large part a stable tripod, so I don't know how much fine-tuning from the toes is necessary. Also, as DW points out, the toes are on the ground when the foot is weight bearing in a properly designed shoe. I should think your greater issue should be with heels on shoes, which are clearly not a 'natural' feature.

In addition to helping the aesthetic aspects of shoes, I would suggest that the toe spring reduces abrasion/wear to the toe of the outsole (an area which already gets plenty of wear in many shoes even with toe spring, hence the existence of toe plates/taps) and helps prevent people tripping due to catching their toes on the ground. A sharp-cornered toe edge would, I dare say, be very susceptible to catching if there were no toe spring. Not only do our toes curve up from the ground (the fronts of the toes are round or oval in profile, after all), but the front of a shoe is nearly 1 inch in front of the edge of our toes, something that we don't consciously think about or factor in as we walk.
post #41 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoefan View Post

I don't have a horse in this race, however....
In addition to helping the aesthetic aspects of shoes, I would suggest that the toe spring reduces abrasion/wear to the toe of the outsole (an area which already gets plenty of wear in many shoes even with toe spring, hence the existence of toe plates/taps) and helps prevent people tripping due to catching their toes on the ground. A sharp-cornered toe edge would, I dare say, be very susceptible to catching if there were no toe spring. Not only do our toes curve up from the ground (the fronts of the toes are round or oval in profile, after all), but the front of a shoe is nearly 1 inch in front of the edge of our toes, something that we don't consciously think about or factor in as we walk.

Good point--one I was going to mention but it got lost in the process and the quest for brevity.

I suspect the popularity of steel toe plates...or rather the adamant insistence that they are needed by some people...is related to the current vogue for low toe spring. That and longer lasts. With more toe spring, the motion of the foot would be more nearly complete by the time the toe of the shoe was pushing off the pavement and thus less abrasion would take place.

--
Edited by DWFII - 1/2/15 at 1:28pm
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