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Shoemaking Techniques and Traditions--"...these foolish things..." - Page 95

post #1411 of 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecwy View Post

For Goiser, Norvegese welt, do the same considerations apply for holdfast vs stitch aloft?

On the left is an insole prepared for for a conventional welt (all-round 360 degree), while the right insole has been prepared for Norwegian construction. The Norwegian has no outside feather, as the stitching does not come out on top of the welt (inside of the shoe and invisible in the finished shoe). In Norwegian construction the stitching emerges on the outside of the shoe. Once the stitching is in place, the upper leather is folded out to form the “welt”. An insole for a Goiser welt (L-shaped and laid-on outside the shoe) would be the same as Norwegian.




Whether the shoemaker cuts an inside channel, a fully-fledged inside feather or nothing at all is up to training and preference of the individual artisan. Conventional welting is more forgiving to slight inaccuracies.
post #1412 of 1709

Thank you both @DWFII @bengal-stripe for your responses.

 

Another question regarding Norvegese and blind welt. I have seen a few examples of 180 degrees norvegese/goiser welt with a blind waist. How is that achieved in this case? I guess the easy way out would be to peg the waist.

post #1413 of 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecwy View Post


Another question regarding Norvegese and blind welt. I have seen a few examples of 180 degrees norvegese/goiser welt with a blind waist. How is that achieved in this case? I guess the easy way out would be to peg the waist.

I presume, you have those Anthony Delos boots in mind which combine Norwegian with a bevelled waist and a braided heel.

https://parisiangentleman.co.uk/2011/07/07/pg-exclusive-first-images-of-masterpiece-by-anthony-delos-best-artisan-in-france/

You just have to decide what you want to do, what look you want to achieve, then you prepare the insole accordingly. In this case, a Norwegian fore-part (ball to ball) is followed by a short section of conventional welting and (what looks to me) a conventional tucked-under heel. I cannot see the upper turned out again). Whether or not there a a welt around the heel, I cannot see.

I remember seeing a picture of a shoe (can’t remember who did it) where the straight toe cap was turned out Norwegian style, but the rest of the shoe was conventionally welted.

You can come up with all kinds of hybrid constructions, some will be convincing, others won’t be.
post #1414 of 1709
Help me out here. I want my boots re-soled, the sole and look I am after is attached in the photo. I realize these boots were produced by Wolverine and are discontinued, I just want that look.
My questions are:
-who can do this? I want a good cobbler to treat my boots right. I don't mind sending them off (but not for too long smile.gif)
-what do I ask for? What is the sole called?
-have you had this done, and how much did it cost?
-opinions for/against? Should I do another leather sole instead?

Thanks!
post #1415 of 1709
Thread Starter 
^
Maybe this would be more appropriate over here?
post #1416 of 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

^
Maybe this would be more appropriate over here?

That's more like what I was looking for, but was navigating on my phone.

Thanks
post #1417 of 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whirling View Post

There are two reasons why I probably shouldn't be posting this:

1. It is hearsay.
2. It is inviting more controversy.

The reason why I am posting it here is that it lend support to those makers who state that the traditional ways are best, so here it goes.

Although the only thing I should be doing is saving my money up for some bespoke footwear, I lack some self control, so I called up a company today that makes and sells some ready-to-wear boots, but mainly sells boots that are "made-to-order."

This company makes some of the most highly-regarded non-dress boots in North America. They makes boots that are actually going to see some rough conditions on a regular basis. They have been selling boots for decades, as well as resoling and rebuilding them for their customers.

I asked them if all of their boots are Goodyear-welted, and the gentleman said that yes they are. I asked him if the gemming ever fails on them. He said, without hesitation, that yes it did. He said I shouldn't worry too much about it, because he only sees it on older boots. He said he felt it was just something that happens to boots that have been around for many years. He said something about it "drying out and pulling apart," but I'm not sure I heard it exactly. Without my asking, he said I should get hand-welted boots if I were overly concerned, but they don't make any that way because it is too time-consuming.

I was amazed at this man's honesty. He certainly wasn't downplaying the drawbacks of GYW at all, despite only selling GYW footwear.

Every last word of this is 100% true to the best of memory.

So, for all those readers out there, @DWFII is not alone in saying the difference in quality between GYW and hand-welting isn't merely theoretical. This man who makes his living off of GYW confirmed it. He also didn't talk about gemming failure as some rare and exceptional circumstance, but something that he saw commonly on older footwear his company had made...I was, frankly, shocked.

Apologies for not commenting on this sooner. This is the first chance I've had....
My prospective is from the shoe repair end of the business.

First, thank you Whirling for taking the time to interview this boot maker and further for sharing your dialog. Quite frankly, from reading about your experience it supports exactly what I have been saying. I have agreed that hand welting is superior to gemming. It's only common sense. The question I have asked is....is it worth the difference in the price?
Regardless of if you have $1.00 or a billion it's up to the consumer to spend what he/she is willing to spend.

I suppose there are a few things consumers are concerned with that ultimately influences their decision.
1. Do I really care?
2. Can I afford the difference in price?
3. I'm I willing to spend the extra money?

I have used this comparison in the past.....Supposedly Lexus is a better car than Toyota. The Lexus certainly will cost you more. Is it worth the extra money? No right -or- wrong....It's up to the consumer, how they are, willing, can afford to spend their money.

I'd like to revisit your discussion with the boot maker that you spoke to.

First, while I appreciate that you brought up the point on how he was completely honest with you. I give him no kudos's for that. If he is running a reputable business, of course he SHOULD be honest with you. It's good for business.

The thing that really jumped out at me was that once he honestly admitted, yes the gemming could eventually fail. And, he explained over time on boots.

My question to you is.....Did you ask him if the gemming can be repaired after it failed? Most likely he would have said yes. But, from your line of questioning, I don't think he was interested.
Further, gemming is mostly synthetic material made to last a reasonable amount of time. Ask yourself if a synthetic material made to withstand the elements of normal use will (EVENTUALY) rot don't you think natural leather in a holdfast will before that?

Next, unless I misunderstood...it appears that you told the maker that you intended to use these boots on a regular basis in rough conditions. Fine, not a fair comparison at all though.

Do you really think that comparing a (hand-welted) boot that you expect to take a beating (on regular basis) is fair to compare against a high-grade that will be worn delicately and lightly?

Last, I don't mean this to be derogatory in any way but, anybody that has decades of experience with the public on a daily basis has developed an intuition when you can smell a customer/client that no matter what you do, you will never make them happy. That distracts you from dealing with customers that you can certainly within reason satisfy.

I can't say for certain that, that's what happened here but, I'm pretty sure it was.
post #1418 of 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick V. View Post

Apologies for not commenting on this sooner. This is the first chance I've had....
My prospective is from the shoe repair end of the business.

First, thank you Whirling for taking the time to interview this boot maker and further for sharing your dialog. Quite frankly, from reading about your experience it supports exactly what I have been saying. I have agreed that hand welting is superior to gemming. It's only common sense. The question I have asked is....is it worth the difference in the price?
Regardless of if you have $1.00 or a billion it's up to the consumer to spend what he/she is willing to spend.

I suppose there are a few things consumers are concerned with that ultimately influences their decision.
1. Do I really care?
2. Can I afford the difference in price?
3. I'm I willing to spend the extra money?

I have used this comparison in the past.....Supposedly Lexus is a better car than Toyota. The Lexus certainly will cost you more. Is it worth the extra money? No right -or- wrong....It's up to the consumer, how they are, willing, can afford to spend their money.

I'd like to revisit your discussion with the boot maker that you spoke to.

First, while I appreciate that you brought up the point on how he was completely honest with you. I give him no kudos's for that. If he is running a reputable business, of course he SHOULD be honest with you. It's good for business.

The thing that really jumped out at me was that once he honestly admitted, yes the gemming could eventually fail. And, he explained over time on boots.

My question to you is.....Did you ask him if the gemming can be repaired after it failed? Most likely he would have said yes. But, from your line of questioning, I don't think he was interested.
Further, gemming is mostly synthetic material made to last a reasonable amount of time. Ask yourself if a synthetic material made to withstand the elements of normal use will (EVENTUALY) rot don't you think natural leather in a holdfast will before that?

Next, unless I misunderstood...it appears that you told the maker that you intended to use these boots on a regular basis in rough conditions. Fine, not a fair comparison at all though.

Do you really think that comparing a (hand-welted) boot that you expect to take a beating (on regular basis) is fair to compare against a high-grade that will be worn delicately and lightly?

Last, I don't mean this to be derogatory in any way but, anybody that has decades of experience with the public on a daily basis has developed an intuition when you can smell a customer/client that no matter what you do, you will never make them happy. That distracts you from dealing with customers that you can certainly within reason satisfy.

I can't say for certain that, that's what happened here but, I'm pretty sure it was.

Regarding the question of price, remember that there are other affordable options that might work better in boots seen heavy use: Blake/Rapid, for example. I wouldn't know, but I think @DWFII has stated he feels that's a much more solid construction method than GYW.

I did not ask him if failed gemming could be repaired. I imagine he views failed gemming as one of many ways old boots can require repair. As he would presumably have all of the original lasts, he'd be in a good position to rebuild boots in about any way necessary. Some of his competitors will certainly rebuild boots, preserving only the quarters...

As to whether the holdfasts on leather insoles fail and how often, I have no idea. Perhaps @DWFII can say?

I spedifically talked about boots seeing rough conditions not to contradict directly that you rarely seeing gemming fail on "high-grade" shoes "worn delicately and lightly." So, how you can be using that against me, I don't understand...I was trying to be polite...

This stuff about "not meaning to be derogatory" is how many people lead into being derogatory. You weren't there for the conversation, so you're just trying to find some way to discredit my account, which I myself identified as "hearsay." I buy plenty of pairs of footwear--far, far too many. No bootmaker is wasting his time talking to me. I didn't relay, because it wasn't relevant, my discussion before and after the GYW discussion, about different options on the boots, etc. I'm not that hard to satisfy and can adjust my expectations to the price level.

In fact, I may very well buy some boots from the man because of his honesty, because I don't need all my boots to stand up to rough conditions, and because I know they could always be repaired, though that might necessitate a recasting with new insoles.

Thank you for sharing about passing over customers whom you can never satisfy and moving on to the ones you can certainly satisfy. You may see it as customers who are too demanding and impossible to make happy. On the other hand, this could easily be read as you saying you aren't up to the hard jobs that require the very best work, and have learned this the hard way from customers who ask for that and then complain. I commend you for knowing your limits and sticking within them, as you keep from disappointing people and you can make more money doing a higher volume of easier work.

I have no experience making or repairing footwear. I have never owned any bespoke or hand-welted footwear. I have some older, over 15 years-old, GYW shoes, but they have not been worn in rough conditions or that heavily. I have had some non-GYW, Blake footwear resoled, but that is it. I have not experienced gemming failure myself, so I can't say, first-hand, that it does. Given what I've learned here, though, I can say that I would generally try to avoid GYW, except in less expensive footwear. If it matters, my older GYW footwear is from John Lobb, JM Weston, and Heschung. Before coming here, I hadn't realized there was any difference in construction between my John Lobb RTW pairs and John Lobb St. James or John Lobb Paris bespoke shoes.
post #1419 of 1709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whirling View Post

.

As to whether the holdfasts on leather insoles fail and how often, I have no idea. Perhaps @DWFII can say?.


Everything fails in time but done correctly a handwelted shoe will last longer with fewer problems than the best GYW.

It's worth remembering...for me at least...what my friend that owns and operated a GY manufacturing business, said--that the cement on the rolls of gemming starts to get old and lose potency...sometimes actually before it can be used. Again, if it will "dry out" in the relatively small amount of time it spends on the roll before use, ithe cement will dry out on the insole as well. So all GY will fail....it's only a matter of time. Not always catastrophically, many times not before the shoes are abandoned or worn out but I've seen handwelted shoes and boot that were 40 and 50 years old and worn to the point where they were rags on the feet Think of some of Prince Charles' shoes. except worse. And the only thing that actually was still intact was the insole and inseam.

As far as failed gemming being repaired is concerned it depends on how you define repairing. And how extensive the failure is. As I have said many times you can do just about anything. The question is...should you? Youy can dance the waltz in tennis shoes but the real problem there is that just to consider it betrays a lack of understanding and appreciation of what is at issue.
post #1420 of 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whirling View Post

Regarding the question of price, remember that there are other affordable options that might work better in boots seen heavy use: Blake/Rapid, for example. I wouldn't know, but I think @DWFII has stated he feels that's a much more solid construction method than GYW.

I did not ask him if failed gemming could be repaired. I imagine he views failed gemming as one of many ways old boots can require repair. As he would presumably have all of the original lasts, he'd be in a good position to rebuild boots in about any way necessary. Some of his competitors will certainly rebuild boots, preserving only the quarters...

As to whether the holdfasts on leather insoles fail and how often, I have no idea. Perhaps @DWFII can say?

I spedifically talked about boots seeing rough conditions not to contradict directly that you rarely seeing gemming fail on "high-grade" shoes "worn delicately and lightly." So, how you can be using that against me, I don't understand...I was trying to be polite...

This stuff about "not meaning to be derogatory" is how many people lead into being derogatory. You weren't there for the conversation, so you're just trying to find some way to discredit my account, which I myself identified as "hearsay." I buy plenty of pairs of footwear--far, far too many. No bootmaker is wasting his time talking to me. I didn't relay, because it wasn't relevant, my discussion before and after the GYW discussion, about different options on the boots, etc. I'm not that hard to satisfy and can adjust my expectations to the price level.

In fact, I may very well buy some boots from the man because of his honesty, because I don't need all my boots to stand up to rough conditions, and because I know they could always be repaired, though that might necessitate a recasting with new insoles.

Thank you for sharing about passing over customers whom you can never satisfy and moving on to the ones you can certainly satisfy. You may see it as customers who are too demanding and impossible to make happy. On the other hand, this could easily be read as you saying you aren't up to the hard jobs that require the very best work, and have learned this the hard way from customers who ask for that and then complain. I commend you for knowing your limits and sticking within them, as you keep from disappointing people and you can make more money doing a higher volume of easier work.

I have no experience making or repairing footwear. I have never owned any bespoke or hand-welted footwear. I have some older, over 15 years-old, GYW shoes, but they have not been worn in rough conditions or that heavily. I have had some non-GYW, Blake footwear resoled, but that is it. I have not experienced gemming failure myself, so I can't say, first-hand, that it does. Given what I've learned here, though, I can say that I would generally try to avoid GYW, except in less expensive footwear. If it matters, my older GYW footwear is from John Lobb, JM Weston, and Heschung. Before coming here, I hadn't realized there was any difference in construction between my John Lobb RTW pairs and John Lobb St. James or John Lobb Paris bespoke shoes.

I apologize if I insulted you (it sounds like I did). I can assure you that,that was not the intention......
I was being honest though and sharing my experience. Your assessment of me and how I conduct my business couldn't be further from the truth. But that happens here @ SF. I'm used to it by now.
Enjoy your new purchases.
post #1421 of 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Everything fails in time but done correctly a handwelted shoe will last longer with fewer problems than the best GYW.

It's worth remembering...for me at least...what my friend that owns and operated a GY manufacturing business, said--that the cement on the rolls of gemming starts to get old and lose potency...sometimes actually before it can be used. Again, if it will "dry out" in the relatively small amount of time it spends on the roll before use, ithe cement will dry out on the insole as well. So all GY will fail....it's only a matter of time. Not always catastrophically, many times not before the shoes are abandoned or worn out but I've seen handwelted shoes and boot that were 40 and 50 years old and worn to the point where they were rags on the feet Think of some of Prince Charles' shoes. except worse. And the only thing that actually was still intact was the insole and inseam.

As far as failed gemming being repaired is concerned it depends on how you define repairing. And how extensive the failure is. As I have said many times you can do just about anything. The question is...should you? Youy can dance the waltz in tennis shoes but the real problem there is that just to consider it betrays a lack of understanding and appreciation of what is at issue.

I agree with most of what you wrote. On the other hand it's not rare that I have a customer that has a particular pair of shoes that has sentimental value to Him. The shoes can be 30/40 years old. He got Married in them, maybe His first job and wants to keep them. If the liners and uppers are good we open them up. You would be surprised to see how often the gemming and stitching are in very good condition. That's got to be some old gemming. I understand your point about gemming getting old and lose potency eventually drying out "on the roll".I'm not clear on how long it stays on the roll with your friends business but, I suspect the larger makers of high-grades have it figured out so that they use their materials/components before their shelf-life fails, and, remains effective.

Should we correct/repair loose gemming? The question is WHY NOT??? It's really not that difficult to do it right.

As far as your antidotes.....I don't understand what they contribute. But, if it makes you feel better, keep doing it.....
post #1422 of 1709
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick V. View Post


As far as your antidotes.....I don't understand what they contribute. But, if it makes you feel better, keep doing it.....

"Antidotes" do what they always do...what they're supposed to do---counteract the poison.
post #1423 of 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

"Antidotes" do what they always do...what they're supposed to do---counteract the poison.


LOL...he stepped into that one!
post #1424 of 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

"Antidotes" do what they always do...what they're supposed to do---counteract the poison.

In this case they do what you often try to do, distract from the topic.
That was, what's the big deal about fixing some slipped gemming?
post #1425 of 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick V. View Post

In this case they do what you often try to do, distract from the topic.
That was, what's the big deal about fixing some slipped gemming?

Not a big deal, but the word I believe you wish to use is "anecdote." You can consult a dictionary, online or otherwise, for the definition of "antidote."

I also think it is amazing that someone can accuse DW of "distract[ing] from the topic," when he created the topic and was trying to bring us back to it. Anecdotes are, by the way, integral to most discussions of traditions.
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