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How much does it cost to put rubber sole protectors on your shoe?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by josepidal, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. epa

    epa Well-Known Member

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    If I wanted to preserve my soles and stay dry in nasty weather I'd prefer rubber soles over Topys.
    I think that rubber soles normally provide for a less "stable" shoe than leather soles. Thus, I prefer leather soles, I think that they are better for my feet. But I always put rubber protectors on them, the first thing I do. It not only protects the leather sole from wear, it also provides for a better "grip". It may affect the soles capacity of "breathing", but I do not think that the difference will be noticeable.
     
  2. kabert

    kabert Well-Known Member

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    Regarding breathablilty of the sole, unless we're talking about thin slippers or loafers with thin, glued-on soles, I can't imagine there's much breathing going by the sole leather in a regular business shoe as sole leather is very dense and there are typically multiple layers of it (at least 2). It the sole protector is installed properly, I wouldn't worry about rot or such things. By the way, I've got two pairs of shoes with topy's installed and have never noticed any difference in cold/warm/dry, etc. comfort compared to my non-topied shoes.
     
  3. NYLaw

    NYLaw Member

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    I've had my shoemaker (in NYC) put a very thin but strong, durable layer of Virbam rubber on the bottom of a pair of Cole Haan Collection cap toes; three Allen Edmond lace-ups; and a pair of Gucci horse-bit loafers with the two-part leather bottom...

    It's not detectable at all from the front or sides on any of these shoes, and it's only increased the life of all of them... I can't imagine how it could possible damage the shoes: the bottom line is that it makes the soles last longer (and remain unscuffed and unworn). Without the rubber layer, I have no doubt I'd have had to replace at least one or two of the soles.

    Allen Edmond resoles (and "restores") for like $60... Gucci doesn't do it at all, and I have no idea whether Cole Haan does it, but by the time I'd need a new sole, I think the fragile leather of the Collection line would look like crap.

    My shoemaker charges somewhere between $25-$40, if memory serves.
     
  4. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Well-Known Member

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    Please excuse the New York-centric replies that populate this thread, but NYC is probably the best place to assess heel and sole durability, given the average mileage a person walks any given day. I have to reheel my Allen Edmond beaters about every nine months with moderate wear. I have yet to resole a shoe, though I added a rubber topy to both an AE and Mantellassi chukka boot for rainy weather ($25-35). Toe taps and rubber inserts are definitely advisable if you tend to wear the tips of your shoes. Aesthetically, I dont think I'm losing much from the reheelings and taps.
     
  5. Kid609

    Kid609 Well-Known Member

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    Who pays 300 bucks to resole a shoe?

    Around here, any independent cobbler will reheel and resole for between thirty and fifty dollars.
     
  6. kolecho

    kolecho Well-Known Member

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    In NYC, I do a lot of walking, block after block of pavement pounding between the apt,subway,etc. The toes of shoes would start to round off within 1 or 2 days of wear, walking only a mile or two a day!

    Since I have too many shoes to pay $30 per to topy them, I bought topy rubber in 3 foot by 3 foot sheets (2.5 mm Vibram), a tub of Barge cement, and a dremel. I cut out a 2 square inch toe piece and heel piece, glue them on, trim and grind them flush. This cost me 15 minutes and 50 cents a shoe. I did one shoe with full sole and heel, and it took around 40 minutes.

    The rest of the sole and heel I leave natural leather. This has cut down on nearly all of my shoe wear. Whenever a toe or heel cap wears through to the leather, I will rip it off and replace it. It has been months, and I haven't had to re-glue or replace anything.

    I think this is a nice compromise between resoling and re-heeling every few months and having metal taps installed, which are noisy and slick! I still have to watch out for rainy and slushy days, however, where my leather soles (especially Aldens) get soft and just burn through.


    While I may not stick Topy to the heels, I might ask my cobbler to stick a small piece to protect the toe area. I tend to wear the toe area out rather quickly.
     
  7. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Well-Known Member

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    Who pays 300 bucks to resole a shoe?

    People who spend 2 or 3 times that much per pair.

    Around here, any independent cobbler will reheel and resole for between thirty and fifty dollars.

    The guy across the street from my office charges something like that. I wouldn't in a million years give him a pair of EGs except to nail on some toe taps.
     
  8. Leaveitothexperts

    Leaveitothexperts Well-Known Member

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    The guy across the street from my office charges something like that. I wouldn't in a million years give him a pair of EGs except to nail on some toe taps.[/quote]

    I agree. The charge should be one of your lesser concerns, especially if you are talking of "expensive" shoes. There are too many cobblers who will claim they have immense experience, but unless you can get some good references from SF, I would be very hesitant to giving them to just anyone.

    I recently gave a pair to one for the thin vibram soles, the workmanship was fine, but there is a slight squeak in one shoe, it feels like either there is too much glue or not enough in that spot. If I take it back, they will have to remove it and sand the sole further before applying a new rubber sole, and there is no guarantee that his "10+ years' experince" will get rid of the problem.

    Be extremely skeptical . . .
     
  9. NYLaw

    NYLaw Member

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    My guy doesn't sand down the leather, so there is a slight, very slight lip under the shoe where the rubber begins. But he DOES sand down the edge of the rubber, so it's a gradual lip... Also, I notice that on a one-piece sole, the rubber ends under the part of the shoe that doesn't touch the ground (because of the heel) so there is no sensation while standing or walking.

    On the only two-piece soled shoe that I have (the Gucci guccissima loafer) the rubber covers the entire front piece (that's underneath the ball of the foot)...
     
  10. josepidal

    josepidal Well-Known Member

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    So how much would sole and heel protectors cost? It seems Felix would charge at least $70, which is rather steep.
     
  11. kolecho

    kolecho Well-Known Member

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    $70 is steep for Topy soles. I get them done for HKD90 a pair. Topy heels are HKD80 a pair. All up HKD170 which is just over US$20!
     
  12. josepidal

    josepidal Well-Known Member

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    ...and $20 is steep for Southeast Asia, but I'm in the East Coast now. [​IMG]
     
  13. kolecho

    kolecho Well-Known Member

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    HK is different from the rest of Southeast Asia. Rents here are comparable to New York city. That is why I can't understand the huge disparity.
     
  14. cappyg00k

    cappyg00k Member

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    For me, the biggest problem is wet and cold conditions. I wore leather soles in wet and cold conditions once, walked only for 10 mins, and my feet wear frozen and wet. It wasn't even raining at the time, just finished. Since then I have a cobbler put something on the soles (Vibram).
     
  15. StockwellDay

    StockwellDay Well-Known Member

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    My guy doesn't sand down the leather, so there is a slight, very slight lip under the shoe where the rubber begins. But he DOES sand down the edge of the rubber, so it's a gradual lip... Also, I notice that on a one-piece sole, the rubber ends under the part of the shoe that doesn't touch the ground (because of the heel) so there is no sensation while standing or walking.

    On the only two-piece soled shoe that I have (the Gucci guccissima loafer) the rubber covers the entire front piece (that's underneath the ball of the foot)...


    What cobbler do you use?
     
  16. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Well-Known Member

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  17. NewYorkBuck

    NewYorkBuck Well-Known Member

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    I recall reading something on AA a few years ago that indicated putting rubber on the sole of a leather shoe will unduly stress the uppers, causing the stitching to break earlier. Several members confirmed this. I have not used rubber on my leather shoes because of this.
     
  18. Tomasso

    Tomasso Well-Known Member

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    I recall reading something on AA a few years ago that indicated putting rubber on the sole of a leather shoe will unduly stress the uppers, causing the stitching to break earlier. Several members confirmed this. I have not used rubber on my leather shoes because of this.

    My cobbler has been using it for over 20 years and he has nothing but praise for it. I've had it on a few of my shoes for over 10 years and I've seen no deleterious effect.
     
  19. Connemara

    Connemara Well-Known Member

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    I don't like covering leather soles...you lose the authoritative clacking sound the shoes make when you walk[​IMG]
     
  20. mr monty

    mr monty Well-Known Member

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    Isn't this basically gluing rubber onto leather? Seems kind of... classless. I'd rather the shoe have a rubber tap to begin with. Tell me if I'm missing something here, I'm ignorant in all matters footwear if not for SF.


    These guys need more than 1 or 2 pair of dress shoes. I'm 58 years old and I have never had any shoes resoled. Are you rotating your shoes?[​IMG]
     

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