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The Manly Art of Thrifting Shoes - Page 2

post #16 of 28

1 - As to footbeds, why can't you get custom footbeds/insoles? I use them in my ski boots and so do most skiers I know. They are only $30-$40 for a set if you don't need ones that are heat molded to your feet.

 

2 - As for microorganisms surviving deep inside leather even after disinfecting - I'm going to ask a microbiologist friend about this and post back here.

post #17 of 28
Ow man, here we go again lurker[1].gif
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland View Post

1 - As to footbeds, why can't you get custom footbeds/insoles? I use them in my ski boots and so do most skiers I know. They are only $30-$40 for a set if you don't need ones that are heat molded to your feet.

2 - As for microorganisms surviving deep inside leather even after disinfecting - I'm going to ask a microbiologist friend about this and post back here.
I don't know about all the other stuff, but I do know the answer to these questions. A footbed is built into the shoe. An insole lies on top of that. Shoes with thick leather footbeds definitely take on the shape of the wearer's foot. An insole would somewhat alleviate the problems of highs where your foot wants lows and lows where your foot wants highs. But it wouldn't be ideal.

There have been several posts made over the years by people who have unsuccessfully tried to disinfect their shoes using all kinds of stuff, including pure bleach and products specifically designed for it. In the past year or so there was a set of pictures taken by someone who had some very obvious stuff (fungus?) growing in there that kept coming back no matter what he threw at it. The lesson seemed to be that he would need to destroy the leather to completely kill whatever was growing in it.

Personally, I own a few pairs of used shoes (Florsheim v-cleat longwings from a thrift store, C&J blutchers from a forum member, Frye boots from eBay) and I owed a few more that I bought before those. Other than the boots, I wear them very rarely. I consider myself to have been pretty lucky so far, but I won't buy any more used shoes. I've seen foot fungus before and it's not a pretty sight.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post

I don't know about all the other stuff, but I do know the answer to these questions. A footbed is built into the shoe. An insole lies on top of that. Shoes with thick leather footbeds definitely take on the shape of the wearer's foot. An insole would somewhat alleviate the problems of highs where your foot wants lows and lows where your foot wants highs. But it wouldn't be ideal.

There have been several posts made over the years by people who have unsuccessfully tried to disinfect their shoes using all kinds of stuff, including pure bleach and products specifically designed for it. In the past year or so there was a set of pictures taken by someone who had some very obvious stuff (fungus?) growing in there that kept coming back no matter what he threw at it. The lesson seemed to be that he would need to destroy the leather to completely kill whatever was growing in it.

Personally, I own a few pairs of used shoes (Florsheim v-cleat longwings from a thrift store, C&J blutchers from a forum member, Frye boots from eBay) and I owed a few more that I bought before those. Other than the boots, I wear them very rarely. I consider myself to have been pretty lucky so far, but I won't buy any more used shoes. I've seen foot fungus before and it's not a pretty sight.

I see what DW meant now by footbed.

In that case, isn't this a moot issue? I think few shoes are made with a thick leather footbed. Most shoes talked about on this forum use cork, no?
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post


I don't know about all the other stuff, but I do know the answer to these questions. A footbed is built into the shoe. An insole lies on top of that. Shoes with thick leather footbeds definitely take on the shape of the wearer's foot. An insole would somewhat alleviate the problems of highs where your foot wants lows and lows where your foot wants highs. But it wouldn't be ideal.

There have been several posts made over the years by people who have unsuccessfully tried to disinfect their shoes using all kinds of stuff, including pure bleach and products specifically designed for it. In the past year or so there was a set of pictures taken by someone who had some very obvious stuff (fungus?) growing in there that kept coming back no matter what he threw at it. The lesson seemed to be that he would need to destroy the leather to completely kill whatever was growing in it.

Personally, I own a few pairs of used shoes (Florsheim v-cleat longwings from a thrift store, C&J blutchers from a forum member, Frye boots from eBay) and I owed a few more that I bought before those. Other than the boots, I wear them very rarely. I consider myself to have been pretty lucky so far, but I won't buy any more used shoes. I've seen foot fungus before and it's not a pretty sight.

 

Insole is the footbed?  Check your old shoes' insole, your footprints will be marked and taken shape on the insole but the cork.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post


I see what DW meant now by footbed.

In that case, isn't this a moot issue? I think few shoes are made with a thick leather footbed. Most shoes talked about on this forum use cork, no?

 

Even insoles for GY welted shoes like C&J does change shape and gets compressed at places.

post #21 of 28
Chogall, I was saying the insole is not the footbed. I think that for shoes w/ cork it's both the cork and the thin (relative to a shoe w/o cork, as bespoke shoes often are) footbed that compress.

DieWW, I think you're right that few shoes discussed here use thick leather and instead use cork. Afaik, only custom shoes use thick insoles. But I wouldn't say the point is moot. Cork probably rebounds better than leather, but I'm sure it still takes lasting impressions. The used shoes I've had that use cork had imprints in them when I got them (even old Florsheims of my grandfather that hadn't been worn for years). And I don't know how much they've changed from my wear if at all.

What he said about leather workers stamping permanent impressions certainly drove the point home to me about leather, whether used for a thick or a thin footbed. I used to do leather tooling for a hobby as a teenager. That was 25 yrs ago, and that stuff all looks like it did right after I stamped it then.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post


I don't know about all the other stuff, but I do know the answer to these questions. A footbed is built into the shoe. An insole lies on top of that. Shoes with thick leather footbeds definitely take on the shape of the wearer's foot. An insole would somewhat alleviate the problems of highs where your foot wants lows and lows where your foot wants highs. But it wouldn't be ideal.

There have been several posts made over the years by people who have unsuccessfully tried to disinfect their shoes using all kinds of stuff, including pure bleach and products specifically designed for it. In the past year or so there was a set of pictures taken by someone who had some very obvious stuff (fungus?) growing in there that kept coming back no matter what he threw at it. The lesson seemed to be that he would need to destroy the leather to completely kill whatever was growing in it.

Personally, I own a few pairs of used shoes (Florsheim v-cleat longwings from a thrift store, C&J blutchers from a forum member, Frye boots from eBay) and I owed a few more that I bought before those. Other than the boots, I wear them very rarely. I consider myself to have been pretty lucky so far, but I won't buy any more used shoes. I've seen foot fungus before and it's not a pretty sight.

 

Well, that answers that! :)

post #23 of 28
Emptym, I agree cork forms a lasting impression. I just don't know if it doesn't reform with enough wear. My guess is that it does, but it's just a guess.

I buy that leather doesn't reform, but saying that a lasting impression on a pre-worn insole can cause medical problems seems iffy to me. Partly because I somewhat doubt anyone has studied this, and partly because - as you know - drawing out a causal relationship over a long time frame is very difficult.

The claim about foot diseases is probably easier to make because 1) people have presumably studied this and 2) the outcome from the "treatment" (here being wearing used shoes) happens in a much shorter time period (I assume).
post #24 of 28

Some solid gold in this thread:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Unnatural shifts in bone alignment similarly can take years to show up...and eventually cripple you.
 

One million points to the person who can show us what an 'unnatural' shift in bone alignment is. I hear that it can only be fixed by a vigorous Reiki massage program, followed by an astrological cleansing.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I'm not going to pursue this because you're right, no amount of facts will change people's minds once they've decided.

But I will say this...what you're proposing is indeed based on "feelings"; what I'm telling you is based on many, many years of experience and knowledge.

 

Oh dear; perhaps your (considerable) competence in shoe construction doesn't quite make you an expert on human physiology or microbiology DWF. Certainly, one's mind remains open, has anyone here read any papers recently on people being crippled by unnatural shifts in bone alignment?

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post

Chogall, I was saying the insole is not the footbed. I think that for shoes w/ cork it's both the cork and the thin (relative to a shoe w/o cork, as bespoke shoes often are) footbed that compress.

DieWW, I think you're right that few shoes discussed here use thick leather and instead use cork. Afaik, only custom shoes use thick insoles. But I wouldn't say the point is moot. Cork probably rebounds better than leather, but I'm sure it still takes lasting impressions. The used shoes I've had that use cork had imprints in them when I got them (even old Florsheims of my grandfather that hadn't been worn for years). And I don't know how much they've changed from my wear if at all.

What he said about leather workers stamping permanent impressions certainly drove the point home to me about leather, whether used for a thick or a thin footbed. I used to do leather tooling for a hobby as a teenager. That was 25 yrs ago, and that stuff all looks like it did right after I stamped it then.

I was saying that the insole is the footbed.

Even my seven years old all leather flip flops does get imprints on the insole.

I have handled bespoke shoes with half length sock liners and can tell you that insoles do get deformed or been pressed into the shape of the owners feet.

No science. Just experience.
post #26 of 28
DWW, I think you're right that cork shifts to some degree. In fact, I imagine leather insoles/footbeds will reshape to some degree, but I think they would only compress in areas that haven't been compressed.

TL0, DW hasn't made shoes in a vacuum for 40 years. He's made them for people. People have bones and diseases. As a good shoe/bootmaker, he would be expected to know things about things closely related to shoe/bootmaking.

Chogall, I think the first part's disagreement is caused simply by how we're using the terms. In fact, it seems as though DW was using it differently from how I was even. (He seems to have been saying the footbed is the impression of the foot that forms in any material.) In any case, my point when distinguishing the two was that the part where the foot rests in the shoe gets formed to the foot and one can insert another layer of something (ex: gel by Dr. Scholls or leather and foam by Tacco) but the part that lies underneath that insert will still be formed to another's foot.

So I think we agree on the rest (flip flop, etc.)
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post


Many thanks for taking the time to write that, DW.

Curious though,

1. Is it fair to say most of the shoes celebrated on this forum are made with an insole substantial enough to form a footbed? Or no?
2. Is there a reason you believe that wearing a pre-worn insole - one already with an imprint - will lead to medical problems? I understand your point about leather forming an imprint, one that can't be reversed, but do you have any reason to believe this will lead to medical problems?
3. Similarly, is there any specific study you've read about the foot diseases matter?
4. Lastly, I would have thought that the imprint formed in the corkbed would be the bigger issue, but I also imagine that this can be reformed with enough heat and pressure.

I hope I'm not coming off as flippant here. I've studied a bit of statistics through epidemiology (I don't study epidemiology, but that field is one of the better ones to learn statistics). I admit I find it difficult to see how any of these things can be proven (for reasons too long and complicated to get into here). I understand how they could work theoretically, but I don't know if you're making claims on theory, or something you know for a fact. Again, not trying to be flippant or confrontational, just trying to clarify.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post


I see what DW meant now by footbed.

In that case, isn't this a moot issue? I think few shoes are made with a thick leather footbed. Most shoes talked about on this forum use cork, no?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post

DWW, I think you're right that cork shifts to some degree. In fact, I imagine leather insoles/footbeds will reshape to some degree, but I think they would only compress in areas that haven't been compressed.

TL0, DW hasn't made shoes in a vacuum for 40 years. He's made them for people. People have bones and diseases. As a good shoe/bootmaker, he would be expected to know things about things closely related to shoe/bootmaking.

Chogall, I think the first part's disagreement is caused simply by how we're using the terms. In fact, it seems as though DW was using it differently from how I was even. (He seems to have been saying the footbed is the impression of the foot that forms in any material.) In any case, my point when distinguishing the two was that the part where the foot rests in the shoe gets formed to the foot and one can insert another layer of something (ex: gel by Dr. Scholls or leather and foam by Tacco) but the part that lies underneath that insert will still be formed to another's foot.

So I think we agree on the rest (flip flop, etc.)

 

That has been my understanding of the term "footbed."  Your foot forms it's own bed in whatever medium it is provided, be it a heavy leather insole in a hand-welted shoe, a thin leather insole with cork underneath it in a Goodyear-welted shoe, and so on.  Hence, two people with the same pair of shoes, will have different footbeds.  

 

DWF doesn't deal with Goodyear-welted shoes, so his (highly relevant) experience is applicable to hand-welted shoes with thick leather insoles that a hold-fast can be carved from for inseaming (as opposed to the gemming that is stuck to the bottom for Goodyear-welted shoes).  The insoles of hand-welted shoes are best cut from the shoulder area, and are quite thick (~9 irons, but upwards of 10-11 irons as well, which is close to 1/4 inch).  The best shoulder leather for insoles has a very long loose fiber character, as opposed to a densely compressed fiber character.

 

The footbed that results from Goodyear-welted shoes, I would be willing to bet a lot of money on, has absolutely nothing to do with the leather insole.  The leather insoles in high quality Goodyear-welted shoes are very densely fibered cuts (not sure where they are cut from), and are probably around half of the thickness of a hand-welted insole.  I'd be willing to bet that if you were to lay an insole from a Goodyear-welted shoe flat on the floor and stand on it for a prolonged period of time (not that anyone would ever do this), it would form very little if any impression.  Rather, the cork underneath it is what is being shaped.  I agree with everyone above that the cork will be somewhat willing to reshape with a new wearer, and for that matter, when the cork is replaced during resoling, you may be able to form a new footbed to a certain extent.   However, I think that the insole in a Goodyear-welted shoe does form a bit of a "memory" of sorts, in that it "hardens" in place to the shape of the wearer's foot over time and contact with salty perspiration (think of it in a similar way that a belt ends up with lasting impressions in it and it starts to take on a permanent curve after being worn for a long period of time).  But, I don't think that's a result of the fiber character that is desirable from hand-welted insoles.  Rather, it is the entire piece of leather that is bending and shaping instead of just the fibers themselves.  Since Goodyear-welted shoes have a void underneath them that is filled with cork, the insole will have more room for movement.  Thus, I don't think that the original wearer's impression will ever be completely removed, even with replacing the cork.  In well made hand-welted shoes, there is little or no void under the insole, so the hard outsole is butted up against the bottom of the insole, not allowing movement.  

 

I think DWF's description of what happens with hand-welted leather insoles makes perfect sense.  Similarly, the notion that having your foot improperly aligned inside the shoe due to unnatural positioning probably has a lot of merit.  I can't vouch for the bones of the feet, but I can vouch for the same concept when it comes to knees and hips.  Osteoarthritis starts to manifest in middle aged people after accumulated years of improper walking or gait.  Also, years of accumulated impact on the joints starts to manifest as Osteoarthritis in middle age (genetics do play a role in how soon it can start).  In people with sports injuries, it can set in far quicker.  Once you start to feel pain in a knee or hip, it is often too late to do anything about it, because it has been a slow process that has taken decades to set in.  Poor posture doesn't bother you when you are young either, but when you are old, accumulated effects start to set in and cause back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, etc.  


Edited by MoneyWellSpent - 8/28/13 at 7:36am
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post


Many thanks for taking the time to write that, DW.

Curious though,

1. Is it fair to say most of the shoes celebrated on this forum are made with an insole substantial enough to form a footbed? Or no?
2. Is there a reason you believe that wearing a pre-worn insole - one already with an imprint - will lead to medical problems? I understand your point about leather forming an imprint, one that can't be reversed, but do you have any reason to believe this will lead to medical problems?
3. Similarly, is there any specific study you've read about the foot diseases matter?
4. Lastly, I would have thought that the imprint formed in the corkbed would be the bigger issue, but I also imagine that this can be reformed with enough heat and pressure.

I hope I'm not coming off as flippant here. I've studied a bit of statistics through epidemiology (I don't study epidemiology, but that field is one of the better ones to learn statistics). I admit I find it difficult to see how any of these things can be proven (for reasons too long and complicated to get into here). I understand how they could work theoretically, but I don't know if you're making claims on theory, or something you know for a fact. Again, not trying to be flippant or confrontational, just trying to clarify.

 

While bunions and Haglund's deformities are more extreme cases of foot issues that result from improper shoes, they are nevertheless examples of how the foot can respond to long term issues.  I realize that an impression in an insole seems like a much more minor thing to consider, but it's food for thought.  

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haglund's_deformity

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunion

 

I had a pair of penny loafers a while back that I loved the look of (I bought them new).  As I broke them in, they started to feel slightly loose.  Subconsciously, I started to "grip" the inside of the shoe with my toes slightly, by curling them a little when I was walking so that my heels wouldn't slip when I was walking fast.  By the end of the day (just walking around the office), my feet would be in pain simply because of an "unnatural" habit of how I was positioning my toes during walking.  

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