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Contrary to popular SF belief, shoes with glued-on soles don't disintegrate immediately

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by BigRob, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. BigRob

    BigRob Senior member

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    Strong words for a man who considers a doctor/lawyer who calls himself a professional to be neither highly-educated nor intelligent.

    (So untenable a position is so rarely espoused, friend, that I've no hope for you.)
     
  2. jdiaz26

    jdiaz26 Active Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    I don't wear expensive shoes or clothes, but I do think there is a difference, down to a point, between them. At some point shoe construction suffers as you cut prices. DWF would say there is a huge drop in quality and durability when one goes from hand welted to Goodyear welted construction. That transition takes place at a very high price point. Ignoring hand welted shoes, GY welted shoes can be resoled readily. I don't know whether glued on soles can be, but the shoes tend not to be made to last that long. It is conceivable that buying at the low end of GY welted and resoling might have a cost advantage over the high end of glued on. But if you go low enough in price, then resoling can cost as much as another pair of glue jobs.

    Among GY welted shoes, it is not clear that there are durability differences between the bottom and the top of that market. Perhaps there are, but I have not hear experts, in this case cobblers, offer opinions. It seems that people who buy expensive shoes are mainly attracted by the finishing, style, perhaps the name of the manufacturer. As many of these comments illustrate, these people view their shoes as style items. Lobbs are worth far more than CJ, which are worth far more than AE because of the style considerations. As with women's clothes, this is part of the entertainment industry. People pursue fashion and buy fancy clothes for the fun of it.

    Your own appearance has no effect on the look of the shoes.

    Suits are a different matter. They do not sustain the stresses of being walked on, rough city streets, water splashed on them... Durability is not nearly so much of a consideration. They are even more style items than are shoes. But how a suit looks depends very heavily not only on fit, but on the fitness of the wearer. If I were built like, say, LeBron James, then perhaps it might make sense for me to show off my physique with a carefully tailored suit. But if I were built like him, then dressing to show it would impress people a lot more than the cost or tailoring of the suit.

    I am way too cheap to buy expensive shoes, but my feet have been happier since I switched from cheap shoes with excessively flexible glued on rubber soles to cheap (used) better made shoes with leather soles. I don't know whether anyone notices my shoes, but I really don't care. I do not wear them to make style statements or attract ladies. I wear them to conform, more or less, with expectations for my work, and to protect my feet. I don't need to spend $2000, or even $200, to do that.
     
  4. VinnyMac

    VinnyMac Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    I've got to admit, OP's picking you guys apart with the type of pin-point logic that we need more of around these parts.
     
  5. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    Pinpoint logic? It's a completely he-said-she-said argument, based on a very limited and not very relevant premise. Furthermore, his "rebuttal" didn't even address my point--that this is a forum of enthusiasts, and thus what the other 99% of people do or do not do or notice is irrelevant.

    Here's an equally valid counterpoint--I have also owned cheap glued shoes and nicer shoes. My cheap shoes had to be replaced every 7-9 months when they fell apart. My first pair of "nice" shoes are going on four years now. Considering that those "cheap" shoes cost me $100/pair and my first pair of "nice" shoes were Allen Edmonds at $300, the AE were clearly the better buy, not even factoring in the time it took me to find a pair of shoes that I liked, particularly given my wide feet.

    Granted, one should not view them as a monetary investment. No clothing should be--once you clear a very basic threshold, it becomes a discretionary expense. Treating it as anything other than that is just a good way to get yourself in trouble. When people say a nice pair of shoes, suit, etc are an investment piece, they mean that it is a piece that can form a central part of your wardrobe and get a great deal of use over a long period of time, and it may thus be worth allocating more of your budget towards that item. They don't mean that you should go buy the EGs because you will somehow be more monetarily wealthy for having bought them.

    And again, the point still stands--this is a forum of clothing enthusiasts. They value clothing, and everything that goes with that, particularly aesthetics and build quality. Those "nice" shoes or suit or whatever have value beyond the pure monetary.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  6. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    I'm not sure this is much of an argument.

    Some people I work with wear the same cheap bullshit shoes that get ripped on here. Bass, steve madden, etc etc. They have worn the same pair for as long as 3 years, and that is wearing the same shoe almost every day. Price was in the $35 to $75 range.

    Considering a cheap resole is about $90, there is no question the better economic move is to keep buying the cheap shoes. I've never seen a pair fall apart in 7 to 9 months.

    Of course they looked like shit from day one, but if you don't care about appearance, its plainly cheaper to buy cheap shoes.
     
  7. Roger la Rock

    Roger la Rock Senior member

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    What about the cost to our feet?

    There may be some honourable exceptions, but many cemented shoes appeared to be designed to be produced as cheaply as possible with little thought to supporting the natural movement of the foot.

    A common problem I see in glued shoes is the lack of a shank or other support. As the waist of the shoe is narrower than the forefoot, the shoe is more flexible through the arch than at the ball of the foot. This puts strain on the arch and is an invitation to foot problems.

    I have learned through experience that poorly constructed shoes are a bad investment.
     
  8. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    Shoes are never an investment, it's not a matter of wondering if they're a good or bad one.
     
  9. TheWraith

    TheWraith Senior member

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    Investment, in this case, is not a monetary one.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Wearing shoes is an invitation to foot problems. Go bare foot.
     
  11. jdiaz26

    jdiaz26 Active Member

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    True. Human body is "designed" to walk bare foot.
     
  12. dohare

    dohare Senior member

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    I bought these magnanni miro's in undergrad and i get compliments all-the-time. They look nice, they're stylish, and they're comfortable. the fact that they aren't goodyear welted doesnt really matter, im truly not out to impress grown men nit-picking construction details. just women and others who wish to dress well. we're not all in a position to spend $350+ on shoes, but that's not to say one in $200-300 shoes can't out-style someone who is rocking a bespoke suit with $800 shoes. seems like it's just a pissing contest sometimes.

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. jdiaz26

    jdiaz26 Active Member

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    Not goodyear welted???? they will disintegrate in 10, 9, 8, ....
     
  14. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    I just want it to be said that this made this whole thread worthwhile.

    Also, are there somehow people who the OP helps? Either you've worn good shoes all your life, and are likely to continue doing so, or you've worn enough cheap shoes to know how long they last.
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. Bellemastiff

    Bellemastiff Active Member

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    To be fair, sometimes we all need a "reality check"... many of us rationalize our large shopping receipts by insisting that high end men's shoes end up "saving us money"! Which is occasionally true, though not as often as we'd like to think...
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Interesting thread and great topic. Hitting on the definition of "investment" is what I was going to touch on before aravenel beat me to it. People completely misunderstand what the word investment means as it applies to perishable goods. It has nothing to do with putting money into shoes with the expectation of capital appreciation, dividends, or interest earnings. It has everything to do with quality. You can invest in quality, and end up with a better value in the long term, but only if you care for it. Using cars as an analogy fails on many fronts, though it is the most frequently brought up analogy when these discussions erupt.

    I think that a better analogy that most people can relate to would be furniture. From day one, an article made from particle board looks cheaper than an article made from mahogany. Most people can see the difference up front, and if not, give it some time and I promise the difference will become readily apparent.. After the article starts being used, the one made from mahogany begins to take on character, while the one made from particle board begins to look worse and worse. People often obsess over the first scratch on a smooth surface, but when you see an antique that has so many scratches and dings that it is exuding character, it is a thing of beauty. The article made from mahogany can be stained, it can have it's finish restored, it can be waxed and polished to bring out it's natural beauty. Blemishes can be sanded or filled, if one desires.

    There is very little that can be done to something made from particle board. Most people buy articles of furniture made from particle board because they don't care about the difference in quality, they can't afford it, or they don't intend for it to last long enough for it to matter. There is a reason you don't see articles made from particle board in fine antique shops. It doesn't generally last long enough to make it there, and even if it did, it has very little resale value. If an article made of particle board does reach antique status, it is probably because it received little or no direct use that would lead to showing wear. It just sat in a corner with a picture frame on it for 50 years. You can use furniture made from fine wood. Kids can bang their toys on it. You can eat on it. You can knock silverware and dishes against it. You can spill stuff on it. You can carry it with you for years. It can be used like this for centuries if well cared for. As soon as particle board gets wet, it swells and distorts.

    When you buy furniture made from fine wood, you are making an investment. Pure and simple. You can use it the rest of your life, pass it on to your kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.

    Of course there are people that only want new stuff. They are the ones that often buy particle board stuff to use until it looks bad, then they throw it out and get new stuff. People with more money than sense may buy fine wood articles and still replace them frequently, but they are the exception to the rule. To each their own.

    This is the definition of investment that applies to fine footwear. No, shoes won't last for centuries (with regular use), and a lot of what I said above about wood furniture doesn't directly apply to shoes, but much of it does. There is also a lot more to a good quality pair of shoes and how long they last than just cemented vs. stitched construction. Shoes can disintegrate from the inside out before the sole wears out. Using someone as an example that buys cheap shoes, and gets a certain number of years out of them as a reason that cheap shoes are adequate isn't really logical. If a person can get 10 years out of a pair of $100 shoes, good for them! The same person will still get far longer out of a pair of $300 shoes! The quality difference exists no matter what. If a person only gets 1 year from a pair of good quality shoes, then they probably only get a few months from a pair of cheap shoes. Don't confuse spending more money on something because of a brand name with spending more money on quality. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. The two don't necessarily go hand in hand.

    Obviously the law of diminishing returns kicks in at some point, and you are paying for beauty and finishing as opposed to durability. Again, don't throw the baby out with the bath water. That doesn't negate that higher quality is better than lower quality. Do people exaggerate the short life of a cemented pair of shoes? Often, yes. Does that mean that a high quality pair of shoes won't last significantly longer and look better through the process? No. If you enjoy watching a quality product age, take on a unique character, and become a companion that goes with you everywhere you walk, then invest in quality. If you don't care about that, then buy cheap ones.
     
    5 people like this.
  17. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

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    ^
    Had a lot on your mind, Money? :)
     
  18. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I agree that cheap shoes aren't necessarily designed with foot health in mind.

    I just wanted to point out that shanks are constantly thrown around as providing "support" for the foot. Nothing could be further from the truth. Shanks exist for the sole purpose of maintaining the integrity of the shoe at the waist. When a shoe is only 270 degree welted, it has a separate heel seat apart from the welt. Thus, there is a gap in the structure of the shoe at the heel breast. A shank serves to keep the shoe from "collapsing" in that area over time. It isn't providing support to the foot of the wearer. That's why 360 degree welted shoes don't have to have shanks. The 360 welt maintains the integrity of the shoe from the heel to the forepart. Many claim that they can feel more "support" from having shanks in their shoes, but this is a myth. It makes no physiological sense, and shoe experts that aren't relying on shanks as a marketing ploy for their shoes (like Alden with their steel shanks) will tell you the same thing.
     
  19. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    [​IMG]
     
  20. Roger la Rock

    Roger la Rock Senior member

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    You misunderstand me. I did not mean that cheap cemented shoes lack a feature that supports the foot, but that many cheap cemented shoes lack structural integrity, however that may be achieved.
     

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