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A Tale Of Two Shoes Images

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I managed to find these at a thrift store in town and thought they would be a perfect candidate to do something like this about. Usually when a pair of testonis, Lobbs, or anything else comes in there isn't much time for me to bother the master cobbler with holding the shoes still while I set the aperture on my camera to take a photo. In any case, a reheel, half-resole, and a general cleanup was done, along with a very minor antiquing.

They came in...
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
A closeup of the heels.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
You'll see that the heel is actually in a couple of pieces. Only the bottom heel (rubber and leather hybrid that actually hits the ground) needed to be taken off, but the way that it was nailed down, this was hard to do.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Caught just in time. At this point the heel really needs to be changed.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Starting to get the heel off. Maglis are annoying because of the way the heels are nailed in from the inside. Makes it quite hard to take the heel off without damaging it.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
More surgery.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
looking like this.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
More surgery.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
You can see the nails from this angle.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Getting the nails out. Gently.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Part 2 - Cleaning and fixing the upper

This part was a bit tricky because I had no idea what was on the upper to begin with. There were salt and water stains all over the toes, but there was other stuff as well. If there is a lot of dried, crystallized salt on the shoe, it can be a bad idea to put alcohol on it directly. To take care of that regular household vinegar is used. Afterwards, any water stains that remain can be taken care of with a clean cloth and either some rubbing alcohol or acetone.

Preparation - to clean the seams and broguing and medallion, some water, a cloth and a large (but sharp) punch is used.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
A closeup of the toe before cleanup.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Getting all the dirt and gunk out of the medallion.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Cleaning off layered dirt with a bit of water.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
You can see some difference already.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Cleaning up the welt.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Then a leather conditioner is used to moisturize the leather after the alcohol has evaporated. This prevents the leather from drying up.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Afterwards, alcohol is used to clean the leather out. You can see lighter part near the bottom half of the picture. This is where the alcohol has already dried and taken some of the color out of the leather. It's better to use regular rubbing alcohol before trying something like acetone because the results of cleaning leather are similar, but acetone can destroy the finish of a leather very fast.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
A couple of punches. Clean cloth. Rubbing alcohol. Diluted acetone. Leather conditioner.
Not pictured: Elbow grease.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Seeing if the Italian soles we've got will fit the shoe. Luckily they did. These soles are from a company that no longer exists - Kis. Fortunately we stocked up before we even heard the news because they are quite possibly the best.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Cutting the edging. The reason why this is done is because the way most shoemakers do half-soles makes them prone to breaking at the crease. However, if you shave down enough of the shoe's sole where it's cut off, and of the new half-sole, this won't happen. This is quite hard to do. It'll be demonstrated later on.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Taking it apart. When a half-sole is done, the sole isn't taken off even if the heel is. Instead, the part that needs replacing is...
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
cut off.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Old leather is grainy and hard to cut with a blade, so shears come in handy.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Soles off.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Shaving off the excess to have a nice gradient.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Edges of the sole.

What isn't shown is how the rest of the bottom of the shoe is also cleaned using a finer-grit abrasive. The cleaner the surface, the better the glue will stick, so it's important that a shoemaker pays attention to this.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Cleaning the bottom of the the new half-sole a bit, and creating the gradient.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Reason why shaving the sole into a gradient is hard - when the two meet, there can't be any variation in the thickness of the old sole, the new sole, or the inch and a half or so of space where they actually merge.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Gluing.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
More gluing.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
At least three layers are put on, with at least a few hours between each coat to let the glue dry and settle.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
After the first coat.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
The same thing is done to the heels.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Second or third coat. I forget.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Second or third coat. I forget.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Nailing the heels from the inside with a nice new set of nails. Old ones always rust out because of the moisture that seeps in from the inside of the shoe. If you don't like your shoemaker, you can wear really warm socks in the summer so your feet sweat a lot and then in the fall you can ask him to do a resole. They'll be so rusty that they'll break when he tries to get them out. Don't blame me if you find a surprise in your shoe, though.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
If the heels are just put on top of the sole, there's not much that's keeping them together. Most shoemakers use some big stationary nailers that basically shoot a wire through the sole to take care of that. But we're traditionalists.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Heels after they're nailed from the inside.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011
Right, that was the second coat. This is the third. Or the fourth. I forget.
By Demeter
Jul 13, 2011

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Styleforum › A Tale Of Two Shoes › A Tale Of Two Shoes Images