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Adding a thin layer of rubber sole to leather-sole

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by seok, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. armscye

    armscye Well-Known Member

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    Having actually been there and done that, I wonder if I can join the "hearsay/speculation" party?

    1. On the advice of my oldtime Portuguese cobbler Mr. da Cunha, I have had every one of my 70+ pairs of dress shoes fitted with Vibram-brand 2mm urethane sole protectors over the past fifteen years. They are offered in 3-4 colors.

    2. The benefits are a complete elimination of resoling as well as reduced slippage.

    3. The first pair to which this material was applied was a pair of burgundy Church's captoes, circa 1990. They remain to this day unrotted, unaffected, and indeed I have not worn through the urethane layer.

    4. They have essentially no effect on appearance when viewed from any angle except the sole.

    5. I have noted no additional heat build-up or moisture build-up. Based upon my personal disassembly of a pair of Goodyear soled Bostonians several years ago, it is my empirical observation that between the outersole and your foot are at least two layers of glue and pitch-type material, which effectively prevent any "outgassing" through the sole. Shoes, in brief, breathe through their uppers.

    6. Anyone who has ever seen a shoe resoled knows that it is a violent process in which the cobbler forcefully cuts the shoe
    apart and rebuilds it on a generic last. Sole protectors eliminate the need for such dismemberment. How anyone can argue that such resoling is better for a pair of shoes than a thin layer of urethane is beyond me.
     
  2. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    Thing is, bespoke shoes can have such lovely soles ... But on the larger issue, I'm with you in my willingness to sacrifce some beauty (that is in any case almost always hidden from view) for the sake of greater durability and lesser expense.
     
  3. stache

    stache Well-Known Member

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    Just tell the cobbler that you want dance rubber on the soles. I have never noticed advanced rotting on shoes from rubber. Manton have you considered plastic taps for your toes? They're quiet. [​IMG]
     
  4. alchimiste

    alchimiste Well-Known Member

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    How would the leather sole + rubber compare to rubber soles?
     
  5. lisapop

    lisapop Well-Known Member

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    I think some of you guys are headed for the rubber room [​IMG] Grayson
     
  6. WJTW

    WJTW Well-Known Member

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    Not to hijack this thread, but I thought it is somewhat related, only reversed. Is it a good idea to change the rubber heel of a shoe to a leather heel? Or even better, change the entire rubber sole to leather sole? Are there limitations preventing this or is it perfectly fine?

    About adding rubber to the leather soles, I think it covers the sole completely and nothing can be seen through (opaque), right? If so, I do hope someone invents, or if it is already around, start using, transparent rubber these add-on soles...

    Thanks,
    WJTW
     
  7. kolecho

    kolecho Well-Known Member

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    (armscye @ April 06 2005,17:40) 4. They have essentially no effect on appearance when viewed from any angle except the sole.
    Thing is, bespoke shoes can have such lovely soles ... But on the larger issue, I'm with you in my willingness to sacrifce some beauty (that is in any case almost always hidden from view) for the sake of greater durability and lesser expense.
    This coming from Manton? That is unbelievable. Perhaps I will strike lottery today if I bought something [​IMG] Why not just get rubber soled shoes in the first place? Is there a difference between leather sole that has a rubber wearing surface added, and a rubber sole like Dainite?
     
  8. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

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    Brussels,Belgium
    leather + rubber creates a more formal (thin) look to the shoe and is also more durable IMO. I have had rubber soles replaced several times on some of my dress shoes.
    Once the rubber soles of a rubber soled shoes are dead, the shoe itself is dead I think.
     
  9. kolecho

    kolecho Well-Known Member

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    Well, with the addition of a thin rubber sole, the nice sound a leather sole makes when walking would be lost [​IMG]
     
  10. marc37

    marc37 Well-Known Member

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    l place Topy's on some of my leather sole shoes. lt greatly increases the durability of the shoe. l won't have to do a reburbishment ever because l have enough shoes. Good old Grayson made a comment about Topy's roting the sole. That really concernes me .
     
  11. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

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    Manton, I've never had the problem of slippage on any of my bespokes with a tip. Do you 'drag' you toe more than normal? When Glasgow and Gaziano made your shoes, did they not also examine what you were wearing to discern your wear patterns? As for the 'clicking' sound, I do hear it sometimes, but only on very hard surfaces, like polished marble.
     
  12. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    I guess so.  It doesn't happen often, but often enough to be annoying.

    Tony did, certainly, and suggested the rubber.  I gather he is not a big fan of steel.  He mentioned the slippage problem.  He also said he does not like to cut out the welt at the toe -- which is required if you want to put steel there -- as it is not good for the shoe.  It is much easier to put a steel plate at the heel, but the result is louder than artillery fire.

    I worked for many years in a building with long corridors, 20 foot ceilings, and diamond-hard floors.  I heard it, believe me. So did all my colleagues.
     
  13. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

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    Originally posted by Manton:
    I agree totally about the heel insert, noisy as hell, and that will certainly lead to slippage. Tony did mention his concerns regarding steel inserts to me, mainly concerning the possiblility of the welt stitches being cut when taking a slice out of the front of the sole... but he did say that EG had overcome that problem by using deeper (?) channel.
     
  14. boston

    boston Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.

    I have put rubber halfsoles on my dress shoes for years. It dramatically improves the durability of the sole, and I have noticed no problems with heat or rot. I don't think that the leather etc. on the sole is very porous.

    I also add plastic/rubber taps on the heel and the toes. These need to be replaced fairly often, but it's better than having to replace the heels and rubber soles.

    -boston
     
  15. geosync

    geosync Member

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    I am doing an experiment now. I have a pair of Johnson & Murrphy shoes that I got from resale shop for $4. I took some Shoe Goo and spread a thin layer on the sole. It dries transparently. I will try them out and see how long the layer lasts.
     
  16. CashmereLover

    CashmereLover Well-Known Member

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    I'll go ahead and bump this old thread as it was the most suitable that came up in my search on SF.

    Here's the thing; I'm considering buying a pair of Alfred Sargent Chatham shoes but I would need to take them to my cobbler to get a Topy added on the leather sole.

    The question is, do you think I need rubber on the whole sole (including the heel) or just the forepart? The Chatham has a full leather sole as seen on the picture in this Buying and Selling thread. My reasons for adding rubber on the forepart is that I will use these shoes in wet and possibly also slushy conditions, and I want to keep my feet reasonably dry. However, as the heel area of the shoe is made from many more layers of leather than the sole forepart, maybe the heel doesn't need rubber?

    I suppose finding a shoe with a rubber sole from the very beginning would have been the best option, but the only rubber sole shoe I like (at least on Pediwear) is C&J Swansea, and it has two disadvantages compared to the AS Chatham: (1) Much more expensive* even if I include the cobbler cost for adding Topy, (2) the color of AS looks nicer.

    * (£305 for C&J compared to about £180 for AS with my Pediwear shoe club discount)
     
  17. ter1413

    ter1413 Well-Known Member

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    I just get the forepart done. Never the heel. I put tacks on my heels. But is it up to you.
     
  18. CashmereLover

    CashmereLover Well-Known Member

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    I just get the forepart done. Never the heel. I put tacks on my heels. But is it up to you.

    Sorry but I've never heard of "tacks", what is that? English isn't my native language. [​IMG]

    Don't you think the gravel they put on the streets, when there's snow and slush, put too much wear and tear on the leather heels?
     
  19. ter1413

    ter1413 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but I've never heard of "tacks", what is that? English isn't my native language. [​IMG]

    Don't you think the gravel they put on the streets, when there's snow and slush, put too much wear and tear on the leather heels?


    The piece of curved plastic that one gets put on the back/front of a show so that it does not wear out.
     
  20. CashmereLover

    CashmereLover Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I'll most likely go ahead and purchase those leather sole Alfred Sargents, then take them to my cobbler and ask him to fix them.
     

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