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Topy on Blake-stitched shoes?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

There's been a lot of recent debate about topy soles on Goodyear-welt shoes. The argument against it hinges (to my understanding) on the possibility that the rubber sole would trap moisture inside the shoe, which might cause the gemming to decay.

 

A blake-stitched shoe uses a stitch that goes through the upper, insole, and outsole, so there's no gemming. I have heard, however, that there's a higher chance for water to get inside the shoe through the holes from the stitching -- leaving the wearer with wet feet.

 

It seems to me a topy could prevent that, and the concerns about gemming failure wouldn't apply. That said, would there be any other issues I'm not taking into account? Would it cause the stitching or the leather itself to decay? What about blake/rapid construction?

post #2 of 9
Topy is actually good for Blake stitched, IMO. Especially for stitch aloft Blake aka StephanoBi
post #3 of 9
Good question. I have a new pair of boots that seem like Blake stitch and will be getting a topy FWIW. If not for the sole reason that its not GY welted being easier to affix a new sole. I am hoping a topy will preserve the original sole longer than if one was not applied. You bring up good points regarding how breathable the sole is due to stitching technique. Thanks
post #4 of 9
One thing that's to be noted is that for topy to be properly applied, the sole has to be grind down slightly to ensure the balance does not change after application. But either way, topy does prolong the life of leather sole.
post #5 of 9
I don't remember where I learned this but was told to put some wear on your soles first before adding a topy instead of right out of the box. Perhaps that has to do with the balance issue you brought up. After breaking in the shoe enough it should take into account the wearers mode. The cobbler will then know to apply the topy correctly. That and the wear will help the topy to by affixed better with some traction on the sole surface.
post #6 of 9
To my understanding, regardless of the welt method, if the soles are straight out of the box, their unused finish is too smooth for reliable adhesion to the sole guard. Scuffing up the soles and sole guards allows for better adhesion between the two when fastened together via the cobblers glue (cobblers contact cement). (For lurking newcomers TOPY, Vibram, EMU, etc. are brand names. A generic term is sole guard.)
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Topy is actually good for Blake stitched, IMO. Especially for stitch aloft Blake aka StephanoBi

+1

I don't like it or use it on my own personal shoes but will add it for a customer. I don't think that it will significantly impair the out-wicking properties of the insole and outsole and without it Blake does tend to draw small amounts of moisture up into the shoe. Blake is a perfect situation where the the benefits that topy brings far outweigh any downside.

It is not, however, a good idea to wear the original outsole at all before applying topy. It's true that you need to "scuff" the new outsoles before application to eliminate the waxes that were applied during finishing and to create a more porous surface for the cement to adhere to. But it is better to let a shoe repairman do that. Walking on the outsoles just embeds grit and oils and tars into the leather and actually makes the cement less likely to hold unless all that is removed...which then reduces the thickness of the outsole and usually quite unevenly.

And the very second that you see the Topy has a hole in it...preferably no larger than a pencil, preferably no larger than a pin prick... get them resoled/re-topied. If you wear a significant hole in them, the repairman must grind the outsole to reveal a fresh surface. This reduces the thickness of the outsole and can create disparities in the way that the shoe is balanced. It can be a vicious circle esp. if the shoe repairman is a little heavy-handed. I've seen Topied shoes where the original outsole had holes in them and the owner just just slapping a patch over it. Not good.

--
Edited by DWFII - 11/11/13 at 4:51am
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks very much, everyone. It looks like the next pair of blake shoes I buy will be going straight to the cobbler.

 

As for the shoes I already own, would it be wise to get them topied now, having worn them a bit, or should I wait it out?

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by YRR92 View Post

Thanks very much, everyone. It looks like the next pair of blake shoes I buy will be going straight to the cobbler.

As for the shoes I already own, would it be wise to get them topied now, having worn them a bit, or should I wait it out?

Wait until you need to replace the outsole. Wearing the shoe changes its shape and its relationship to the foot. When you wear the outsole, it gets thinner in some parts (usually right under the ball of the foot) and if you Topy over a worn outsole you are basically freezing the shoe in that distorted relationship/shape.
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