Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I've got a pair of unworn black dress shoes, apparently 100% all leather and hand-made in Italy (Rolando Sturlini), that I might try the topy method.
At least I'll get a feel of them as I've never put rubber "protection" on the soles of my shoes. I just chuck on in-soles for extra cush.
This would be my test sample. It ain't a Loake or Church's, but its nice enough to wear on non-suit days.
Looking at those shoes, you sure have narrow feet!