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School Me on the Application of a Sole Guard / Topy / Vibram

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Have some shoes on which I'd like to add sole guards. Purchased soling sheet and contact adhesive. General plan is as follows:

1. Trace profile of sole onto cardboard.
2. Cut out cardboard template and trace template onto soling sheet.
3. Cut out rubber sole guard from soling sheet.
4. Rough sole of shoe with sandpaper.
5. Rough sole guard with sandpaper.
7. Apply glue to sole of shoe.
8. Apply glue to sole guard.
9. Attach sole guard to sole, apply pressure, and let dry.
10. Trim sole guard flush to sole of shoe.

I've read about one guy applying three coats of glue to each of the sole and sole guard, letting the glue dry between coatings. I'm not sure why this might be preferable, as the layer of glue may become thick. Not to mention the glue is dry before mating the sole and sole guard? But I know this is done for some other applications unrelated to shoes.

Am I missing anything? Helpful tips and tricks?
post #2 of 19
I typically have my local cobbler apply the vibram soles b/c most cobblers won't charge much for it and not sure if it's worth the risk of messing up the shoes, even if the risk is low.
post #3 of 19
+1. Unless you're doing this as an educational experience, don't do it yourself. If this is your first time, it will likely look like garbage. My cobbler charges $15 for the service.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
The local cobbler pricing isn't as competitive. Called three different shops with a range of $35 to $40 per pair. Considered B. Nelson but they're also $35. One or two shoes at that price wouldn't bother me, but I've got a stable to guard. Plus, I consider myself fairly handy and already purchased the supplies.
post #5 of 19
Ouch. Disregard my earlier comment. I'm not sure I'd pay $40 either to have my $130 AE 2nds topy'd.
post #6 of 19
Why are you doing this at all? Why not just wear the shoes, and then resole them when necessary?
post #7 of 19

It is actually not hard to do and i would argue that you can probably do it better than a cobbler who might use cheap glue or rubber half sole.

 

it is important that you get those precut half sole and barge cement glue.  i would not cut the rubber soles before application but instead after the glue has been fully dried. therefore, first sand down the shoe very well and the rubber half sole.  use the barge glue on both items with the tip of the sponge to spead it around.. then wait 15-20 min and stick the rubber sole to the shoe.  apply pressure very well and use rubber bands to tighten the rubber to the sole or some clips to hold the 2 togather. make sure they are tight and let sit for 24 hours.  afterwards, use the razor to cut the excess rubber from the shoe using a slow and controlled motion at an angle and yur done.

 

It is a very simple process and after doing it a few times, i think i do it much better than all the local shoe repair shops.  if your a little craft with your hands, this process is easy to do.

post #8 of 19
iroh had a guide on this topic in which he adhered a frozen waffle to Crocs with Log Cabin to make a winter shoe.

The resulting shoes were awesome at temps below 27F, so were useful in Toronto from August through June.
post #9 of 19
I had a guy put a vibram covering on my soles of two pairs in Philadelphia. Cost me 20 bucks or less. Heck, I think it might have been 15 bucks. He did a great job too.

Anyway, I would never put it on myself. I value my time and worry free lifestyle too much hahaha
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostron View Post

It is actually not hard to do and i would argue that you can probably do it better than a cobbler who might use cheap glue or rubber half sole.

it is important that you get those precut half sole and barge cement glue.  i would not cut the rubber soles before application but instead after the glue has been fully dried. therefore, first sand down the shoe very well and the rubber half sole.  use the barge glue on both items with the tip of the sponge to spead it around.. then wait 15-20 min and stick the rubber sole to the shoe.  apply pressure very well and use rubber bands to tighten the rubber to the sole or some clips to hold the 2 togather. make sure they are tight and let sit for 24 hours.  afterwards, use the razor to cut the excess rubber from the shoe using a slow and controlled motion at an angle and yur done.

It is a very simple process and after doing it a few times, i think i do it much better than all the local shoe repair shops.  if your a little craft with your hands, this process is easy to do.

WADR I think rather than referring to an entire industry you may want to include the word "some".
While I'm supportive of DIY'ers, the fact is rubber bands or clips are not as effective as an 8k press machine.
A razor blade and a piece of sandpaper cannot do the precise job a 20k finishing machine can.
A laymen can not be more accurate than a seasoned craftsman.
Post a picture of one of your jobs.
I'll post a picture of a job professionally done using quality materials, parts and, labor.
post #11 of 19
The most recent iroh's guide shows how you can put a leather sole on top of an existing Topy:

http://irohsguides.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-to-resole-your-topy.html
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Corbera View Post

iroh had a guide on this topic in which he adhered a frozen waffle to Crocs with Log Cabin to make a winter shoe.
The resulting shoes were awesome at temps below 27F, so were useful in Toronto from August through June.

unfortunately i don't wear crocs.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick V. View Post


WADR I think rather than referring to an entire industry you may want to include the word "some".
While I'm supportive of DIY'ers, the fact is rubber bands or clips are not as effective as an 8k press machine.
A razor blade and a piece of sandpaper cannot do the precise job a 20k finishing machine can.
A laymen can not be more accurate than a seasoned craftsman.
Post a picture of one of your jobs.
I'll post a picture of a job professionally done using quality materials, parts and, labor.

your right but i did mention local shoe shops(around 3 in total).  in no way do i think i do it better than a machine but all local tailors near me do it manually with cheap rubber and glue (had it done in the past). For my great pairs of shoes, i used to do it but all good pairs are done professionally at other shops smile.gif

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pendragon View Post

Why are you doing this at all? Why not just wear the shoes, and then resole them when necessary?

I topy my shoes b/c I actually think the Vibram soles are more attractive than leather ones once they break in (I don't like the way worn leather looks). Also, I spend most of my time in the hospital and/or clinics, with mostly either marble or other slippery floors and I've actually had times where I almost slipped and fell when I didn't topy my shoes.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Corbera View Post

The most recent iroh's guide shows how you can put a leather sole on top of an existing Topy:
http://irohsguides.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-to-resole-your-topy.html

Haha, haven't seen that one. That's awesome, I just re-soled my topy's then topy'd the resole.
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