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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. BostonHedonist

    BostonHedonist Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe I'd never heard of RM Williams. They look quite perfect for what I've got in mind.

    I wonder, do you supposed dark brown suede or chestnut yearling would be more comfortable/versatile?
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  2. Cleav

    Cleav Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe you can't believe that!

    I have a pair of RMW, don't wear em often enough really
     
  3. Munky

    Munky Well-Known Member

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    Boston, how about Loake Chester Brogues?
     
  4. Fred G. Unn

    Fred G. Unn Well-Known Member

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    I use my Alden suede longwings with the All-Weather Walker sole for this. The suede longwings look fine with either chinos or jeans (and dressy enough if you throw a SC on), and the AWW crepe sole is comfy enough to walk long distances. I spray 'em with Nano Protector, so I don't really mind wearing them in the rain. They are the pair on the left in the below pic:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    What if you had no shoes? What if you had to walk "many miles a day for several consecutive days" barefoot...without the swaddling effect of foam rubber and cushioning. what if you had to walk as our ancestors did and as our creator intended?

    The point is that properly fit and in the absence of foot problems leather outsoles are probably closer to the optimal conditions specified in the original design specs for feet.

    Just a thought...
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. BostonHedonist

    BostonHedonist Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions gentlemen. Another hunt is at hand!

    I've just visited RMW in London. I was a bit disappointed that the SA at the only company store in the region really didn't seem to know her product. But regardless of how human resources are managed, the company clearly knows it's bootmaking. I will say I was a tad put off by some sharp-ish singed edges in the interior upper stitching and some visible glue seams on the insole. If I purchase a pair I'll have to give it a thorough going over. And I was left to my own to figure out the sizing. But the comfort and security was remarkable from the get-go.

    I am leaning more towards a boot, considering the ankle support. Though the Loaks and Alden's are fine suggestions. I've had the best luck so far in my AE brogues, but my feet really start to tire after a few miles in them. Maybe I've got coddled feet, but I think a well made suede boot with some built in comfort features might be ideal.
     
  7. BostonHedonist

    BostonHedonist Well-Known Member

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    @DWFII the barefoot argument again? I really wish people would stop with that.

    I love going barefoot. Particularly in the absence of pavement (when did our ancestors come up with that one?). But, well, it's today. And I am not my ancestor. I have been spoiled by year's of soft footfalls and am less than willing to tough it out to prove some paleo ideal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  8. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    I'm not making the paleo argument by any stretch of the imagination. It's not my ideal.

    I'm just saying that foam rubber and cushion insoles are relatively new in the scheme of things and our ancestors walked "out of Africa". In fact, we've walked a lot of miles on macadam, cobbles and pavement in leather soled shoes.
     
  9. BostonHedonist

    BostonHedonist Well-Known Member

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    It is a fair argument you make, of course, and I am an advocate of leather-soled shoes by and large. But for those of us who grew up in suburban New England with all manner of synthetic shoes, purebread leather shoes tend only to work to a point. For real distance walking, I feel a hybrid would be ideal: a little heel padding, some extra cork, a soft rubbery outsole a well-arched shank...
     
  10. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    The problem with discomfort in walking is due very largely to awful fitting in most RTW, and poorly designed last, amongst other thing.
     
  11. Petepan

    Petepan Well-Known Member

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    No it is not. There is a world of difference with different soles. For example, the difference between Comfort Soles and leather soles in RM William boots.
     
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Sure, but by the same token if you spend your life in microgravity you never develop the muscles to walk on earth. If you rely on computers and the Internet to do your thinking for you, you never learn to write literately or think cogently.

    Etc....ad infinitum.

    If you swaddle your feet in foam rubber and cushion insoles from childhood on, it is very hard to walk barefoot or in leather shoes for any distance--the foot never develops either the muscles or the supporting structure to function normally. And "normally" is the important concept here.

    I don't think the case can be made that feet which have never been allowed to function as they were "designed" to function are either healthy or normal.

    Maybe that doesn't change the reality for some people...but it's a false premise that a healthy, well fit foot cannot walk comfortably in leather soled shoes.

    And it's wrong-headed to accept crutches as the new normal.

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  13. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    How the hell about a high arch foot in a low arch last, Pete? How about that time when you have to cram your toes into unsightly narrow lasts, and pretend it is "comfy"?
     
  14. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    This is why, despite how much controversy I would get, I would say that bespoke footwears worth an investment in anyone's life.
     
  15. BostonHedonist

    BostonHedonist Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]



    Right then. Well, I'll be sure to have a stern word with my mother regarding my podiatric upbringing. Apart from that, what's the best one can hope to do with a budget of, say, £400?

    Am I relegated to the "no man's land" of lasts? In this tier, is a bit of swaddling the lesser of evils compared to poorly-lasted plebe shoes?
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  16. Zapasman

    Zapasman Well-Known Member

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    Yeah Travers, I would like to see some of your shoes with so much wear. I am curious to see your care regime in them..
     
  17. Petepan

    Petepan Well-Known Member

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    I never deny that a good fit is of importance. Neither was the proposition crouched in mutually exclusive terms. If I am taking a long walk, and walking long distances is not a daily or regular occurrence,I wear rubber soles. Wearing leather would just be silly.

    The same proposition applies to spine and body posture. If you are saying to me that you are getting rid of all your leather sofas and soft cushion, and installing planks in your car seats, then at least you might achieve some sort of consistency in your dogma,
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  18. Petepan

    Petepan Well-Known Member

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    Do a simple experiment. Get a person the best fitting bespoke shoes with leather soles and ask him to walk 5 miles in it. Then repeat with the cheapest pair of Nikes. Ask him which would he prefer for the third trip.
     
  19. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    I suspect you're "relegated" to what you choose...or perhaps more to the point, to what you choose to do and be.

    As a shoemaker, for instance, I have options--I can choose to use a Traditional clicking knife, with all the attendant hassle of learning to sharpen a knife properly and the incidental, and unending work to keep a near-as-nevermind perfect edge on it.

    Or I can buy any number of variations of the exacto knife and use replaceable, disposable razor sharp blades.

    From what is being said here, I know what the default choice would be and I accept that reality...although I consider it, again, wrong -headed and and ultimately, diminishing.

    But for me, I also know that to go the easy, expedient way--to use disposable blades--I forego everything I can learn and all the skills I can develop simply by sharpening the Traditional clicker knife. When I hone a blade I also hone my skills...across the board

    What I gain from sharpening a knife...perception, muscle tone, etc...applies not just to sharpening but to clicking itself--steadiness of hand, adjustment of angles, and so forth--as well as to the designing of patterns and assembly of components. Every aspect of my making is affected by that one choice to use a Traditional, hard to master tool rather than an easy, convenient, comfortable, disposable. No exceptions.

    And to the further point, once a maker chooses the easy way, it is that much harder to go back to the more rigourous way. If we grow up in Nikes, IOW, it is nearly inconceivable that we will ever be comfortable in leather soled shoes. pB was making the same point in an earlier comment about men (not women) being desperate to take off their dress shoes.

    I have no doubts that esp. in this day and age, given the choice, many would opt for a cushion insole or a crepe outsole. But all that means is that we are choosing self-indulgence as a way of life.

    Every form of refuge has a price.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  20. phototristan

    phototristan Well-Known Member

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    I've been reading that Alden's secret is they apply some acrylic to the shell cordovan. This would explain why their shell always seems a bit shinier out of the box than other makers, which is great. It may be part of the dye they add on to Horween's shell cordovan.

    Does this also explain why just brushing is usually good enough to shine them? Seems like applying conditioners/waxes etc would either cover up the shiny acrylic or start to remove it.
     

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