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Brass Nails used to impede shoe wear - Page 6

post #76 of 89

Thanks DWFii !!

 

I have been lurking on SF for a while and now that I am soon to re-enter civilian life my choice of shoes has been the most important thing i have started to concentrate on.

 

Metal toe taps are not appealing to me, not only because they will attract unwanted attention, but because the shoes I hope to buy will too expensive to risk ruining with screws and nails used to hold a steel toe plate.

 

If I HAD to ask for steel toe plates I would make certain the shoe maker applied them, and not a contractor, that way they are less likely to damage the shoes. I know shoemakers like Edward Green sub contract the work. Not sure about G&G, but Leffot seems to think G&G do their own.

 

Either way, I agree with you, the rows of good brass "toe nails". like the AS resoled shoes is my preferred option.

 

My fee "swing" quite heavily as I pronate badly, and so the soles of my shoes wear out fast, especially at the tow area.

 

My military issue "step out" shoes have strips of Vibram on the toe tips, and this has really helped slow the wear down significantly.

 

I am sure I will be buying Edward Green, G&G and Cleverleys when I finally start my civilian wardrobe.

 

What would you recommend DWFII? Should I get steel toe tips if they are installed by the factory? Should I rather ask for a row of brass "toe nails"? Or should I simply have small strips of vibram glued to the sole to reduce the excessive wear?

post #77 of 89

Progress report:

 

I tried some brass nails on the heels of several shoes. I found a source online that purports to be selling solid brass. As DWFII said the nails are much softer than steel. A few bent when being hammered in until I realized just how long the starter hole needed to be. The heads deformed quite a bit while hammering these thin 1/2 inch nails in.

 

So far I have done them mainly on heels with a rubber toplift over a leather base. The nails have been long enough to go into the leather. It was when they hit the leather that they would bend without an adequate starter hole. One pair with all leather heels went fine. They are not in the perfect arrangement one might expect from a shoemaker or cobbler, but certainly they will withstand the level of inspection that my heels are likely to get.

 

They make the heel strike feel firmer- which I like, and they sound more like V cleat heels. No slipping, and I don't see any sign of damaging wood floors. If I had fancy expensive shoes I would have a cobbler do this and get the professional appearance shown earlier in this thread. For the sorts of shoes I have, the DIY approach worked fine.

 

I am not going to touch the toes. The nails are long enough to reach the welt, and the potential for doing harm has scared me off.

post #78 of 89
So wait, you nailed brads into a rubber toplift? facepalm.gif
post #79 of 89
Exactly. So far so good.

See the first picture in this thread, and imagine less even spacing.
Edited by dbhdnhdbh - 2/3/13 at 8:28am
post #80 of 89
Thread Starter 
Can you post a picture, and where did you get the nails from?
post #81 of 89

I'll post a picture when I get a chance. Nothing really to see, just the heads of some nails. I put them closer to the edge than shown in the pictures in this thread. I looked around the web. I will see whether I can pull up the place where I bought them. I did not clip off the heads as DWF suggested. I figured that was too much work, I did not plan to place the nails that closely together, and the artistic effect was beyond my skill level. The heads deformed quite a bit while pounding them in, so I don't know what the nails would have looked like if I had cut off the heads.

 

Remember, I do not have bespoke, AS, JL, EG or other famous maker shoes, let alone DWF creations. I have used, vintage, RTW shoes, and I wear them. So perfect appearance of the heels and soles is not a consideration. If you want them to look like the photos in this thread, you will need either a much higher level of skill, or have the work done by a cobbler. I was interested in wear, and they should not look too bizarre to be seen in public, but otherwise not so much concerned about appearance.
 

post #82 of 89

As I said, heels with nails in them.

Left (Click to show)

 

Right (Click to show)

Farther apart than DWF advised, but this was my first try. He warned that too close could lead to nails having insufficient material to stay firmly gripped. He said that placing the nails too far apart may limit effectiveness for retarding  wear, but I interpreted this as meaning there would be little risk of damaging the heels. The heads flattened out during the nailing, so they are broader now than they were when I started.

post #83 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

As I said, heels with nails in them.
[
Farther apart than DWF advised, but this was my first try. He warned that too close could lead to nails having insufficient material to stay firmly gripped. He said that placing the nails too far apart may limit effectiveness for retarding  wear, but I interpreted this as meaning there would be little risk of damaging the heels. The heads flattened out during the nailing, so they are broader now than they were when I started.

Well yes and no...IIRC, I was talking about putting them in leather outsole or leather heel.

Your application looks fine and appears to be helping somewhat. But perhaps only marginally.

Here's why I say that--what people fail to understand is that to a certain extent softer wears better. By that I mean that most rubber used for heels will resist wear better than a harder material such as brass. The rubber is resilient and gives when it comes into contact with rough surfaces rather than being abraded away. To test this theory all it takes is that you run a file on the rubber and see how much material you remove versus running that same file on the heads of the brass nails.

Brass versus leather is a more complicated dynamic. The brass will help considerably there.
post #84 of 89

Fascinating. I had assumed that the brass was the surface being worn. When I feel the nails with a finger, they are nicely countersunk below the surface of the rubber. However, when I walk, I hear the brass hitting the ground. I assume the rubber compresses readily and then the brass makes stronger contact with the ground. If that is the case, then I assume that stopping the compression and abrasion of the rubber once it lets the brass make contact should (?) mean the rubber lasts longer. That, I thought, was the rationale for the rubber in the photos illustrated earlier in this thread. This should make the rubber part of the strike portion of the heel last longer before it wears down. Since the brass costs about $0.20-0.30 per shoe, if the nails wear down I can replace them for a lot less than new heels.

 

If nothing else, it makes the heels feel like leather with nails, rather than like rubber. I like that feel, so unless it is harmful to the durability of the heels, I am happy.

 

I have not tried wetting leather heels to soften them for driving the nails. Since the nails are 1/2" long, I would assume it would require wetting the heel to a half inch depth. I would worry about messing something up by getting them wet that far. Would they slip? Swell? Shrink? Crack? I am more inclined to leave well enough alone with that. For leather heels I am just hoping to make the brass, rather than V-cleat and iron nails, the wear surface. We will see....

post #85 of 89
Wouldn't the constant strike against the nails in the heel eventually drive the nails deeper into the top lift?
post #86 of 89

Perhaps. The nails are far too short to ever reach the inside of the shoe. If the brass wears faster than the rubber, then I suppose that would counteract the tendency to be driven deeper.

 

It is far too soon to have an opinion on whether I get longer wear from rubber plus brass than from rubber alone. I had previously tried small applications of Shoo Goo at the impact point for rubber heels, but that wears so quickly it is a pain to keep replacing it. I also tried plastic heel taps, but they wear very fast. Then Shoo Goo over the plastic taps, but again the need to frequently reapply the Shoo Goo. So now brass nails.

 

The goal is to never have to replace the toplifts. We will see.

post #87 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

The goal is to never have to replace the toplifts. We will see.

crackup[1].gif

Wear them only on carpet.
post #88 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toffee View Post

Thanks DWFii !!


If I HAD to ask for steel toe plates I would make certain the shoe maker applied them, and not a contractor, that way they are less likely to damage the shoe I know shoemakers like Edward Green sub contract the work. Not sure about G&G, but Leffot seems to think G&G do their own.

With regards to EG, my understanding is they only outsource the work if you are asking them to apply the toe plates to a RTW model you are purchasing. If you are having a pair made to order from the factory, the factory will fit them.
post #89 of 89

From personal experience nails are totally inadequate as heal protectors instead of the (now) standard part rubber heel. 

I remember reading somewhere that the use of nails in the heel was once not so unusual as it is today, but from the sad experience of two pairs of Barker's Black with that 'feature' I can assure you the rubber is much more durable, and safe (I am always amazed when I see used shoes for sale with huge metal plares nailed on top of the rubber heel part)

 

When it comes to the toe area my experience is that again nails are not going to give you the results you get from a plate or a 'toppy' but the difference is not as marked s in the case of the heel

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