Hi everyone, this is the first time I've started a thread here, after many years of lurking and learning. I bought some Florsheim Longwings on the bay a couple weeks ago (my third pair of Imperials), and the heels were a little more rounded and worn than I like. I stopped in to ask my local cobbler about a combo toplift, and he asked if they had the old leather heels. The guys then showed me a box full of new v-cleats and talked some about how they used to do them all the time. I took the shoes in the next time I was downtown, and a week and $23 later ($20 for the heels, $1 for each v-cleat, and $1 for some Meltonian dark brown creme), here are the results. Much simpler than the original rows of nails, but it will probably be less slippery too.
I may cover these with the plastic heel taps for protection and traction, what do you guys think?
I was inspired by these threads to give it a go, once they said they could do it.
Regarding the taps - why not? I like the cleats, and I also like my wood floors. I like not slipping at work. The combo heels they showed me did not look that great, and I didn't want to bother with ordering a JR toplift. These guys are really old-timers. I guess I wanted to see what they could do. I agree they don't look as hardy as the originals, but for $22 it's worth it to me to give them a go.
Tried to reply just now, as I've had a few PMs about this repair, but I can't see my post so I am trying again. I wound up doing a couple coats of saphir renovateur, then a couple of coats of Kiwi neutral wax, then adding a plastic heel tap plate. I only wear them once a month or so but so far they are fine.
Congratulaions on the restoration. Though I have a pair or two of the vintage Florsheims, I find that as I get older those cleats and nails are becoming more dangerous for me to walk in and prefer rubber on my heels.