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EG advise against Topy rubber soles

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kolecho, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. kolecho

    kolecho Well-Known Member

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    There was a leaflet in y shoe box that specifically warned against the use of Topy rubber soles because they prevent moisture from escaping thus causing damage to the soles. FYI.
     
  2. Tomasso

    Tomasso Well-Known Member

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    Of course, EG would have nothing to gain by issuing that warning. [​IMG]
     
  3. Sator

    Sator Well-Known Member

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    JM Weston say the same thing citing the inability of the sole to "breathe".
     
  4. Toiletduck

    Toiletduck Well-Known Member

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    my wallet needs to be emptied constantly for it to breathe
     
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  5. lasbar

    lasbar Well-Known Member

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    FACT ..I do like ,as always, to receive different opinions before taking a decision on the matter and every source(from Berluti ,John Lobb to informed professionals) was reaching the same conclusion:The rubber sole being hermetic does not allow the leather sole to breathe.....
    But they all agree that no choice is without consequences...
    Even if It is true that they all have a certain commercial interest based on the constant need to partially replace the leather sole they have pointed out the fact that we have to choose between two evils...
    Paying the price for walking on leather or potentially damaging the sole...
     
  6. Sator

    Sator Well-Known Member

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    Paying the price for walking on leather or potentially damaging the sole...

    ...or slipping over and landing on the seat of the pants of your bespoke suit.
     
  7. lasbar

    lasbar Well-Known Member

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    That's three evils!!!!!!!!!!
     
  8. Arethusa

    Arethusa Well-Known Member

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    Why not just get them resoled with rubber soles and avoid all of this to begin with?
     
  9. Tibo

    Tibo Well-Known Member

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    May I defend the opposite view ? IMHO, rubber soles are bad for the overall aesthetical balance of the shoe, they make it look heavier and bulkier (specially for shoes with a thin sole such as EG - it's part of what makes them beautiful and unique).

    Moreover, I would tend to believe the explanation about leather soles having to breathe. But I recognize that's more of a debating point.

    Finally, when buying a pair of EGs I see it more like an investment. Would you buy an expensive car and not service it accordingly ? I wouldn't. Similarly, I know I'm wearing pricy shoes and the 'service' of those shoes is going to be pricy as well. In other words, I don't have problems with the idea of sending them back to EG (even if it's expensive) to be resoled, provided I receive impeccable service and as-good-as-new shoes in return.

    Finally, I'm living in a city and mostly walking along streets in a rainy climate, but I don't find leather soles to be so dangerous to walk with (that is, once they are a bit worn, because walking with new leather soles can indeed be tricky -but that's a 3-days problem).
     
  10. kolecho

    kolecho Well-Known Member

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    For me, Topy helps with grip. It also virtually eliminates the need to have the leather soles replaced, but that also means the uppers will never get the chance to be reshaped on the last it was created in to have creases smoothed out. I think that resoling on the original last is a good thing, provided one does not have to do so too often. Great excuse to have more shoes to rotate [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I lean on using the original leather soles.
     
  11. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Well-Known Member

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    May I defend the opposite view ? IMHO, rubber soles are bad for the overall aesthetical balance of the shoe, they make it look heavier and bulkier (specially for shoes with a thin sole such as EG - it's part of what makes them beautiful and unique).

    Moreover, I would tend to believe the explanation about leather soles having to breathe. But I recognize that's more of a debating point.

    Finally, when buying a pair of EGs I see it more like an investment. Would you buy an expensive car and not service it accordingly ? I wouldn't. Similarly, I know I'm wearing pricy shoes and the 'service' of those shoes is going to be pricy as well. In other words, I don't have problems with the idea of sending them back to EG (even if it's expensive) to be resoled, provided I receive impeccable service and as-good-as-new shoes in return.

    Finally, I'm living in a city and mostly walking along streets in a rainy climate, but I don't find leather soles to be so dangerous to walk with (that is, once they are a bit worn, because walking with new leather soles can indeed be tricky -but that's a 3-days problem).



    I tend to agree.

    I have had the Toppy sole added to a couple of shoes, and they just aren't the same. They're a hybrid between leather (dress) and rubber (sports) shoes. The rubber adds somewhat to the thickness of the sole.

    However, the rubber makes the shoes pretty "slip-proof". But, I have found that worn brass nails in the heel make the heel very slippery. When the brass nails become worn and flattened I replace the hell with rubber.
     
  12. Teacher

    Teacher Well-Known Member

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    I must say that, when I was selling shoes, I saw a LOT of old, Topyd (is that a word?) shoes...lots of old people where I live, and we get lots of snow and ice. I don't recall a single one whose soles had rotted from the breathing issue.
     
  13. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    Funny, Tony G. recommends a thin rubber covering over part of a leather sole, even on bespoke shoes, and does not believe it causes any problems. If done right, you can't tell there is any rubber there at all unless you turn the shoe over.
     
  14. mack11211

    mack11211 Well-Known Member

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    If you wish to best preserve the breathability of sole leather, simply use the rubber to recover the seat of your pants.
     
  15. Roger

    Roger Well-Known Member

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    I've had many, many shoes Topy'd over the years, although none of my best-quality dress shoes. I don't bother with Topys on my EGs or Lobbs because I wear them relatively infrequently and am not worried about wear (although I am somewhat worried about slipping and falling on my keester). Pretty well all my Allen-Edmonds, Ferragamos, Ballys, and a few C&Js have had Topy rubber sole covers. This goes back more than 25 years and has involved perhaps 25 pairs of shoes. Not ever has any sole damage occurred because of a lack of breathability; it's just a non-issue, and, in my opinion, is based more on (incorrect) theory than on any empirical evidence--at least if my own "experiment" (experience) is generalizable, as I believe it is.

    I've found that the Topy addition does next to nothing to degrade the appearance of the shoes, being as thin as it is, and, in fact, is all but invisible except, perhaps, when one raises his shoes to cross his legs or something like that. Further, the Topy does seem to render the sole virtually indestructible, and makes the shoe stable and safe underfoot.

    Interestingly, this issue about the detrimental effects of covering a leather sole with a rubber overlay comes up about every 6 months or so on the forums. Every time, someone points out the (in my opinion flawed) theoretical argument against this practice (a lack of breathability leading to damage to the leather sole), but, if I remember correctly, no one has actually witnessed any sole damage resulting from it. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. j

    j Well-Known Member

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    Funny, Tony G. recommends a thin rubber covering over part of a leather sole, even on bespoke shoes, and does not believe it causes any problems. If done right, you can't tell there is any rubber there at all unless you turn the shoe over.
    Maybe this is why he quit?
     
  17. AlanC

    AlanC Well-Known Member

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    I've not used a topy at this point, but I would think if shoes were given proper time to rest between wearings that the breathing issue wouldn't be a problem.

    What about welted shoes with all rubber soles? They wouldn't be able to breathe through the sole at all. Do rubber soled shoes suffer any because of this?
     
  18. josepidal

    josepidal Well-Known Member

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    What I'm curious about is how exactly the damage to the sole is described.
     
  19. Soph

    Soph Well-Known Member

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    Funny, Tony G. recommends a thin rubber covering over part of a leather sole, even on bespoke shoes, and does not believe it causes any problems. If done right, you can't tell there is any rubber there at all unless you turn the shoe over.

    I would agree. Brooks Shoe in Chicago uses such thin, well done 'toppy' you would have no idea. I still only do this on boots not dress shoes.
     
  20. rabbimark

    rabbimark Well-Known Member

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    I would agree. Brooks Shoe in Chicago uses such thin, well done 'toppy' you would have no idea. I still only do this on boots not dress shoes.

    therein lies the rub. I used to have all my shoes Topy'ed but gave it up when I couldn't find a cobbler who could do it properly. And by properly I mean without turning the shoe into a Frankenstein boot. Don't know if I'd have the courage, even with a great cobbler, to Topy an EG or JL or Grenson ...
     

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