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Resoling with different size

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of Allen Edmonds Sanfords I got at a thrift store. They used to be tan until I got creative with the polish and now they are kind of antique chestnut, unless I get bored again and strip them down and redo them. They look really nice though IMO. They are 10-1/2C while I usually wear a 11D, but they fit albeit a bit tightly when I first tried them on. I've been stretching them and I think I could get them to fit properly. I was thinking, if I got them resoled (they have half soles on which look a little cheesy and make a small lump underneath) could a cobbler put on a bigger sole? Maybe a 10-1/2D or 11? How feasible is this? Also, what should I expect to pay? Thanks.
post #2 of 16
J, I'm glad you brought this up. I too have a pair of AE's that are just a bit small and I've wondered about this a few times. I hope someone is kind enough to post an answer. -Dan
post #3 of 16
I don't think this would solve your problem, unless you have the shoes re-lasted/re-welted. The way that a Goodyear welted shoe works is that the upper is sewn between the INSOLE and the welt. When a shoe is simply resoled, the outsole is removed, and a new sole is sewn to the existing welt. Therefore, the dimensions/fit of the upper are not going to be affected. In order to make the shoe larger around (i.e. "wider"), the welt and the upper would have to be removed from the insole, a wider insole installed, the upper and welt sewn to it, and then the new outsole put on. Perhaps AE's "recrafting" includes a new insole, though I don't know; even then, the shoe's upper might not have enough material to allow the upper to be re-lasted over the wider insole (the extra leather that allows the attachment to the insole is known as "lasting margin" and is usually trimmed fairly tight after the shoe is welted). A cobbler most likely would not be in a postition to do this, as the 're-welting' process should use the original last.
post #4 of 16
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I figured there might be some issue like that. Thanks for the detailed answer and explanation. I guess I'll just try to pawn them off on a friend and keep my eye out for some in my size.
post #6 of 16
If I may throw in my two cents amongst the shoe experts here with just a little real life experience in the matter so as to be very clear about resoling with a larger sole. I had this done once unintentionally. I suppose I got the shoemakers apprentice working on my shoe and he added a larger sole and in order to get the ends of the leather to the ends of the sole he just spread out the edges a little further. That was OK in theory however besides looking like a very wide shoe the height of the shoe was decreased as will happen to a piece of leather that is one size which is spread out to cover a larger size, and I was unnable to move my toes in the shoe at all. SO I would keep the size as is, and go with the subtle stretching. JJF
post #7 of 16
Can't be done - anyone who tells you it can is just getting your money and will try to stretch the uppers while the outsole is removed. Also, A/E are not Goodyear Welted (nor are Alden or many other brands who have employees, and fans, who mistakenly claim they are); the insole is set in a glue/cork mixture and cured solid while the outsole is attached to the welt with a lock-stitch (two interlocking loops). The welt is simply adhered by glue to the underside of the insole/cork/glue mixture. Glue (cement) is the main adhesive in shoe manufacturing. Trying to manipulate the insole is an exercise in futility - better to just buy a new pair.
post #8 of 16
A/E are not Goodyear Welted (nor are Alden or many other brands who have employees, and fans, who mistakenly claim they are);
[quote] Another go-round on this topic. Rider, can you provide any specific reference that proves that a gemmed (aka ribbed) insole is not a "Goodyear" welt? I have spent some time trying to determine the accuracy of your assertion, but everything I've seen indicates that this construction still qualifies as a Goodyear welt. The technique of Goodyear welting was developed in the mid-1800's, and the patent on the equipment was held by someone named Goodyear (son of Charles Goodyear of rubber fame); this patent was combined with others when the quasi-monopoly United Shoe Machine was created. Certainly, welted shoes existed before this; I believe the term 'Goodyear welted' derived from the use of the Goodyear welt-sewing machinery, which certainly was used for both the cut-and-turned insole and, shortly thereafter, the gemmed insole. So, why does this construction not qualify as Goodyear welted? (And as used by AE, Alden, Crockett & Jones, Edward Green, Church, etc.) I think your comments are misleading and disingenuous to the degree that they imply that this construction is inherently inferior. In fact, I was speaking just this week with someone who is an industry expert in shoemaking (fwi, he has written a book on pattern making for shoes, and he has given seminars on both factory and bespoke shoemaking all over the world). It is his contention that a gemmed insole is often superior to a cut-and-turned or channeled insole. There are two reasons for this: first, the gemming allows a thinner (and therefore lighter) insole to be used, thereby providing a lighter-weight shoe -- often a desirable characteristic in a "city" shoe. Second, as the quality of insole leather has declined and is often somewhat dubious, the gemmed insole may well have greater strength than a cut leather insole, in terms of resisting the pulling through of the insole/welt stitching. To build on this theme, a discussion amongst bootmakers indicated that they have seen the insole stitching pulled through on cut or skived leather insoles, but not on a gemmed insole. Also, you are wrong about your suggestion that the welt's main attachment is glue; the welt is in fact attached to the gemming/insole-rib via very strong thread, in a lock-stitch fashion. To suggest otherwise is simply incorrect. [Further, in fact the upper comes between the welt and the insole; so how again would you suggest that the welt is held to the insole? Is the upper just glued to the insole, and the welt to the upper?] The glue/cork mixture serves to fill the gap between the insole and the outsole that is created by the rib (or the lip of a cut-and-turned insole); this cork mixture provide cushioning and will over time compress to provide a 'custom' footbed. FWIW, traditionally British bespoke shoemakers did not use cork, but rather a tar-paper similar to roofing paper. They believe this material provides superior water-resistance to protect the insole from getting wet, and also that it will not break-down/degrade as can happen to a cork/glue mixture. I don't know of any factory-made shoe, anywhere, that still uses a cut and turned or channeled insole, other than Vass and Lattanzi, neither of which I think qualifies really as a factory-made shoe. Do you know of any? (Perhaps JM Weston, though their web-site is a bit unclear about this.) The gemmed insole has been around for over 100 years, so it's not as if this technology is anything new. Finally, while it is true that glue is the main adhesive used in shoe manufacturing -- it's almost a tautology, since I don't think they use tape, the other major 'adhesive' I can think of --, I would suggest that the main technique for combining two pieces of material is the lockstitch, used extensively in: creating the upper; creating the lining; combining the upper and the lining; sewing the welt to the upper/insole; and sewing on the outsole to the welt.
post #9 of 16
Shoefan - I respect your honest and well written posts, and mean no disrespect to your knowledge or sources; however, as one whose family works for the A/E factory, operates 3 retail shoe stores where A/E is basically my starting price/quality point, travels to Italian factories twice a year to detail exclusive shoes, and also repairs shoes for our customers (I am surrounded at this moment by torn apart shoes from A/E, Gravati, Moreschi among others of lesser quality we do on request), I can assure you that I know a few things as well. I would never imply that A/E shoes were of inferior construction; if for no other reason than the fact that my father would disown me. Goodyear Construction, as I have posted before, is correctly used when the upper, insole and welt are STITCHED together and then the outsole is attached with another stitch, the lockstitch you see thru the welt. Allen Edmonds, Alden, etc. do not STITCH the upper, insole and welt - they glue them. Therefore, they are welted shoes, not Goodyear Welted shoes. I make this point to protect the True Goodyear Welted footwear that is available in the marketplace and carries a premium price. This fine destinction should be made. As far as me being wrong about glue being the main bond for the outsole, I invite you to view any promotional video (company owned stores always have these laying around) showing the steps thru the manufacturing process a shoe takes and notice that the outsoles are bonded to the lasted upper a couple of steps before the stitching takes place. Glue is a much more dependable bond than the stitch. Finally, if you doubt my knowledge/information as far as the welt being attached via glue and not a stitch, please feel free to message me your address and I will be sure and send you a sample of a A/E welt and you can examine it to determine if a needle ever passed thru it on the inside. Better yet, I will take some pics of some of these brands in their 'undressed state' and post them soon. As far as 'Goodyear Welting' is concerned, this link might prove helpful.Goodyear Welt explained in pictures and text
post #10 of 16
Rider: I agree with your definition of Goodyear welting; my point is that a gemmed insole (as used by E Green and C&J, among others) is still a Goodyear welt.  My expectation/understanding is that this is the same construction used by AE and Alden, but I could be mistaken -- it certainly wouldn't be the first time.  I must say I will be shocked if the AE's and Aldens do not use gemming to attach the welt to to insole.  How is the upper attached to the insole?  Simply with glue as well?  Does the welt extend beyond the upper (i.e. further in toward the center of the insole), where it is also glued to the insole, or is it simply glued to the upper?  I certainly look forward to seeing the pictures when you have them.  (FWIW, the following is a quote from the Alden website:
STANDARDS OF QUALITY: Genuine Goodyear welt construction.  Top quality leather welting is securely stitched through the upper into the insole rib.
) Also, Footjoy still uses the Goodyear technique for its Classic golf and casual shoes; the video at .footjoy factory tour shoes the sewing of the welt to the insole rib. Out of curiousity, do you know of any manufacturers who still use a cut-and-turned insole, rather than gemming? Relative to the issue of glue vs. stitching, your original post said that glue was the main adhesive in shoemaking, not specifically in the attachment of the sole; it was this assertion I was disputing.  That being said, I still will contend that, in the case of welted footwear, the stitching of the outsole provides a lot of the long-term 'adhesion.'  Over time, the cork/glue mixture can break down, and when this happens of course it is not providing any adhesive abilities -- you can't effectively glue two surfaces (the outsole and the insole) together if they are interposed with a complete layer of material all of which is loose.  Yet, when this happens, the sole stays on.  Further, the whole notion of a lock stitch is that the stitching doesn't unravel even if a stitch breaks or is worn through.  When combined with the wax used on the threads, the stitching provides alot  of strength. Whether the glue or the stitching provides "more" adhesion is of course open to debate, at least until a shoe manufacturing expert who has run controlled experiments on this subject weighs in.  When you repair shoes/replace worn soles, how much effort is required to separate the outsole from the cork filling?  If none/not much, then I would suggest this is not where the adhesion is happening.  I am curious to find out.footjoy factory tour
post #11 of 16
I could be wrong, but I think that Rider is saying that on an Allen Edmonds shoe, the welt, upper and insole are glued together, rather than the upper and welt being lockstitched to a feather that's glued to the insole. Am I right??
post #12 of 16
I agree that is what he seems to be saying. As my post indicates, I am surprised. However, both Alden's website and the Footjoy factory tour indicate that, at least where they are concerned, Rider seems to be mistaken --not that he addressed FJ, but he did specifically cite Alden. As for AE, if he is correct, this is another reason that the AE's are inferior to Aldens.
post #13 of 16
Just read the posts more thoroughly - sorry for restating.
It is his contention that a gemmed insole is often superior to a cut-and-turned or channeled insole. There are two reasons for this: first, the gemming allows a thinner (and therefore lighter) insole to be used, thereby providing a lighter-weight shoe -- often a desirable characteristic in a "city" shoe.
A comment on this - if by "cut and turned insole" you mean the method whereby a cut is made in the side edge of the insole and the resulting flap turned up 90 degrees to form the feather - then indeed the insole must be thicker. However, with a hand-skived insole this is not true, believe me. We recently got in a Vass shoe that had the welt/upper/insole stitch completed, but no further steps had been taken. Let me assure you, there is NO way that an insole could be thinner. It was amazingly thin - for the first time I could understand how the footbed could actually mold to your foot. I very much doubt that a gemmed insole could be anywhere near as thin, considering that a Vass insole is scraped down to its final thickness by hand. As for the stitching pulling through the insole - of course this can't happen with a gemmed insole - its impossible. But what about the glued-on feather detaching from the insole? That seems just as likely to happen as the stitching pulling through a hand-skived insole. As for factories who use cut and turned insoles - from the pictures in their sales literature, Weston and Santoni handmade both use this method.
post #14 of 16
Andew: Thanks for the info.  Out of curiosity, were these Vass insoles channeled?  In reviewing some bootmaking discussion, some bootmakers prefer to not even channel the insole, but rather to simply inseam basically into a VERY shallow groove in the insole. From what I've read, the ribbing basically never comes unglued.  Because of the width of the "tape" portion of the gemming that is attached to the insole, there is alot of surface area that is glued.  The issue of the seams pulling out of the leather seems most common in boots, which tend to get worn alot harder and in conditions which promote dampness and even rotting of the stitching (if linen) and insole. Also, note that the opinion re: the gemmed insole was not mine, but rather that of an industry expert.
post #15 of 16
Shoefan - then you are correct, any insole that features a rib (or gemming as you say) whether skived or attached, and then stitched thru would be considered Goodyear Welt. Also, I made a call and stand corrected in regards to Alden - their Mass. production is Goodyear. A/E on the other hand uses what you might call floating insole - it is not attached to the upper at all directly. If this implies an inferior construction, it might be interesting to note that all A/E shoe are 360 dgree welts while Alden uses 'brest to brest' welting on most of their models. This means that the only connection from the brest of the heel thru the back of the shoe is glue, no stitch what-so-ever. I was hanging around the repair shop some time ago when our man was doing heel replacement on some Alden shoes (we don't see much of them down here, they are more popular in NE and out west) and I clearly remembered seeing a glued construction. I suppose they had been repaired before poorly and that changed the original construction. I am sorry for the mistake, please take no offense. However, I do feel that A/E and Alden are equal, if slightly different shoes. A/E still cuts every insole in the factory, Alden uses a pre-fab insole (as you correctly identify has an added rib), Alden has better outsoles while A/E uses no shank, which any customer who travels appreciates. With the 360 degree welting, there is no need for a shank. The shank, despite what most shoe salesman claim, is a neccessary part of production when a breast to breast welt is used. It supports the construction of the shoe more than the foot itself. Finally, yes, the welt on an A/E shoe is tucked under the insole to the degree that the glue solidify's it. You might or might not be interested to know that in 15 years of selling their shoes, I have yet to see one come apart. Also, I do no business with British manufacturers, so I am not able to speak intelligently about UK footwear. So, hope were cool - as I said before, I always find your posts well thought out and intelligent; I hope you can say the same in return.
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