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Luscombe

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I finally got my recrafts back and thought I would share a few photos and a question or two.
These started as Brown SD with 430 soles and were recrafted to a 10B with a dark brown french calf medallion cap and commando soles with squared heel. I thought the toe cap would be darker. My wife likes the look I will need to warm up to it. This is my first pair of two toned boots/shoes

These are my winter boots and I wanted the commando sole and block heel for traction and stability in the snow/ice. The new vamps are stiff and so is the new sole and arch. The dress brown leather is well broken in and soft as butter. The brown dress leather is truly an under rated leather choice,

I had these sized down to a B from a C. With the C, I had to wear thick socks and keep the laces tied very tight. If the laces loosened up even a little while I wore them, they would slide on my feet and the arch would move from my instep and that was uncomfortable. When I put these on today with my thin DT socks I snugged the laces and measured 1-1/8" between the leather edges. With the C they were much closer almost touching.

I am not getting any movement across the top of my foot where the vamp contacts it. In fact it feel quite snug and proper. I am getting a little bite on the far right side of the right foot where the vamp and the upper are sewn together just above the sole. If you look at the photo you can see the leather sticking out some. The left boot does not exhibit that look or feel. I am not sure if it is a QC thing or if the bite will go away with wear. I also don't see this condition on my MP's. Frankly, I do not get worked up about the stitching and other minor esthetic items that have been discussed here. These are construction office and knock around boots. What I really care about is a proper fit and the comfort arch as I have a very high instep an low volume feet. Fit must be king!
My HH MP's 10B really fit well but no arch support. These are for the arch support.

I also just ordered a pair of HH SD's 10B with a dbl leather sole and Medallion cap, just like @Legal Eagles. I want tom make sure they fit properly or make an adjustment to my order based upon how these fit.

My questions are:
Is the 1-1/8" gap on the uppers at the laces too much, indicating the boots are too narrow?

Is the vamp to upper interface on the right boot a QC issue and causing the bite and will the bite go away with the break in?

What do you guys think of the two toned look with the caps, be honest :)






20201129_172113.jpg
 

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Legal Eagles

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I finally got my recrafts back and thought I would share a few photos and a question or two.
These started as Brown SD with 430 soles and were recrafted to a 10B with a dark brown french calf medallion cap and commando soles with squared heel. I thought the toe cap would be darker. My wife likes the look I will need to warm up to it. This is my first pair of two toned boots/shoes

These are my winter boots and I wanted the commando sole and block heel for traction and stability in the snow/ice. The new vamps are stiff and so is the new sole and arch. The dress brown leather is well broken in and soft as butter. The brown dress leather is truly an under rated leather choice,

I had these sized down to a B from a C. With the C, I had to wear thick socks and keep the laces tied very tight. If the laces loosened up even a little while I wore them, they would slide on my feet and the arch would move from my instep and that was uncomfortable. When I put these on today with my thin DT socks I snugged the laces and measured 1-1/8" between the leather edges. With the C they were much closer almost touching.

I am not getting any movement across the top of my foot where the vamp contacts it. In fact it feel quite snug and proper. I am getting a little bite on the far right side of the right foot where the vamp and the upper are sewn together just above the sole. If you look at the photo you can see the leather sticking out some. The left boot does not exhibit that look or feel. I am not sure if it is a QC thing or if the bite will go away with wear. I also don't see this condition on my MP's. Frankly, I do not get worked up about the stitching and other minor esthetic items that have been discussed here. These are construction office and knock around boots. What I really care about is a proper fit and the comfort arch as I have a very high instep an low volume feet. Fit must be king!
My HH MP's 10B really fit well but no arch support. These are for the arch support.

I also just ordered a pair of HH SD's 10B with a dbl leather sole and Medallion cap, just like @Legal Eagles. I want tom make sure they fit properly or make an adjustment to my order based upon how these fit.

My questions are:
Is the 1-1/8" gap on the uppers at the laces too much, indicating the boots are too narrow?

Is the vamp to upper interface on the right boot a QC issue and causing the bite and will the bite go away with the break in?

What do you guys think of the two toned look with the caps, be honest :)






View attachment 1507133
There is an old saying, "Everyone appreciates your honesty, until you are honest with them... then you are a jerk!"

That being said, here goes:
1) The lace spacing looks good... I like between 1" and 2"... but most importantly the edges are parallel... that combined with the fact that your feet are locked in tells me the sizing is good.
2) I cannot speak to the "bite" on the edge of the right boot.
3) With regard to the toe cap color... my opinion only, and you asked for honesty: I like the color of a darker toe cap, but there must be contrast... a lighter toe like yours, looks off... there is not enough contrast to make it look "intentional" or "interesting"... it just looks strange to me... like someone tried to match colors, but failed.
If I were you, I would take some dark brown polish or Saphir Canadian, and darken that toe up until it matched the upper, or was even a little darker... that toe cap looks more like brown calf as opposed to dark brown calf. The good thing is, it is easier to make it darker than to make it lighter...
In my honest opinion, either match the toe cap to the upper, or make sure there is enough contrast so that the choice of different colors looks intentional...
 

Luscombe

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There is an old saying, "Everyone appreciates your honesty, until you are honest with them... then you are a jerk!"

That being said, here goes:
1) The lace spacing looks good... I like between 1" and 2"... but most importantly the edges are parallel... that combined with the fact that your feet are locked in tells me the sizing is good.
2) I cannot speak to the "bite" on the edge of the right boot.
3) With regard to the toe cap color... my opinion only, and you asked for honesty: I like the color of a darker toe cap, but there must be contrast... a lighter toe like yours, looks off... there is not enough contrast to make it look "intentional" or "interesting"... it just looks strange to me... like someone tried to match colors, but failed.
If I were you, I would take some dark brown polish or Saphir Canadian, and darken that toe up until it matched the upper, or was even a little darker... that toe cap looks more like brown calf as opposed to dark brown calf. The good thing is, it is easier to make it darker than to make it lighter...
In my honest opinion, either match the toe cap to the upper, or make sure there is enough contrast so that the choice of different colors looks intentional...
Thanks a lot JERK!


No Just kidding. I was thinking along those same lines and wishing I would have put brown bison on the toe.
I took a few more photos. Of course I am going to wear the hell out of these boots in the next couple weeks to break in the soles and see how much the vamp leather near the bite softens.

I agree with my feet being locked in with this B width. They were not locked in in the C width.

Thanks for the comments @Legal Eagles. I will let the sizing on my current order stand.
 

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chicagoan2016

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Thanks a lot JERK!


No Just kidding. I was thinking along those same lines and wishing I would have put brown bison on the toe.
I took a few more photos. Of course I am going to wear the hell out of these boots in the next couple weeks to break in the soles and see how much the vamp leather near the bite softens.

I agree with my feet being locked in with this B width. They were not locked in in the C width.

Thanks for the comments @Legal Eagles. I will let the sizing on my current order stand.
Probably goes without saying they look great but a few questions/concerns
1) the commando sole might not be suitable for construction and especially for snow with that exposed leather part of the sole.
2) you mentioned the cap toe is French calf, what's the rest of the leather? Brown dress?
3) was the cap toe extra or part of standard rebuild?
 

Luscombe

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The original boot was brown dress no toe cap.
I had them put a dark brown french calf medallion cap on the rebuild and it was extra. I like the look of the Medallion cap as it elevates the dressy look of the SD's a little. Opinions vary.

I have boots with leather soles, 430 vibram soles, lug soles, and Dainite soles (MP's). The lug soles work best in the snow and slush but track in way too much. The rubber and leather, not so much. The mini lugs look like a good compromise. There is another fellow here on this forum that works in Downtown Chicago and wears them on his Cordovan leather Whites in the winter and loves them. I am not concerned about the small amount of exposed leather sole. It will get treated and cleaned as I wear the boots. I might even apply some boiled linseed oil to the soles. That will be the treatment for the new double leather sole SD's when they arrive. I studied up on @Legal Eagles method and will copy the way he does it.

"One final trick... I learned this from an old-school cobbler... YMMV but it works for me. Once you have worn your leather soles for a month or so and worn completely through the surface layer, get some boiled linseed oil from home depot and put enough into two paper plates to just cover the bottom of the plate. Set the plates on a flat surface and set the bottom ball area of each boot onto the plate with the heel of the boot resting on the flat surface outside the plate. Adjust the height of the heel so that as much of the ball area is touching the linseed oil as possible. Leave it there overnight. The leather sole will soak up the linseed oil. Wipe off any excess linseed oil and put the boots away to dry for 72 hours with the soles exposed if you can... a Peet Boot Dryer works great for that... in that 72 hours the linseed oil will cure and crosslink and make the leather sole hard. The first time you wear them after the linseed oil treatment they will be slick so be careful, but after that, they will wear like iron. The above works for me, use at your own risk, but boiled linseed oil is much cheaper than some sole oils sole especially marketed for shoes. If you don't like the idea of leaving your boots soaking in oil, you can use a paintbrush to paint the linseed oil on the soles... it works too... just give it 2-3 good coats and let each coat soak in before applying the next."
 

chicagoan2016

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The original boot was brown dress no toe cap.
I had them put a dark brown french calf medallion cap on the rebuild and it was extra. I like the look of the Medallion cap as it elevates the dressy look of the SD's a little. Opinions vary.

I have boots with leather soles, 430 vibram soles, lug soles, and Dainite soles (MP's). The lug soles work best in the snow and slush but track in way too much. The rubber and leather, not so much. The mini lugs look like a good compromise. There is another fellow here on this forum that works in Downtown Chicago and wears them on his Cordovan leather Whites in the winter and loves them. I am not concerned about the small amount of exposed leather sole. It will get treated and cleaned as I wear the boots. I might even apply some boiled linseed oil to the soles. That will be the treatment for the new double leather sole SD's when they arrive. I studied up on @Legal Eagles method and will copy the way he does it.

"One final trick... I learned this from an old-school cobbler... YMMV but it works for me. Once you have worn your leather soles for a month or so and worn completely through the surface layer, get some boiled linseed oil from home depot and put enough into two paper plates to just cover the bottom of the plate. Set the plates on a flat surface and set the bottom ball area of each boot onto the plate with the heel of the boot resting on the flat surface outside the plate. Adjust the height of the heel so that as much of the ball area is touching the linseed oil as possible. Leave it there overnight. The leather sole will soak up the linseed oil. Wipe off any excess linseed oil and put the boots away to dry for 72 hours with the soles exposed if you can... a Peet Boot Dryer works great for that... in that 72 hours the linseed oil will cure and crosslink and make the leather sole hard. The first time you wear them after the linseed oil treatment they will be slick so be careful, but after that, they will wear like iron. The above works for me, use at your own risk, but boiled linseed oil is much cheaper than some sole oils sole especially marketed for shoes. If you don't like the idea of leaving your boots soaking in oil, you can use a paintbrush to paint the linseed oil on the soles... it works too... just give it 2-3 good coats and let each coat soak in before applying the next."
I would like to know the name of the gentleman who works in downtown Chicago, would love to know his opinion about climbing up/down to take CTA in White's boots.
Speaking of the fountain of knowledge that we affectionately call @Legal Eagles I need to learn some of his tricks!
 

Legal Eagles

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I might even apply some boiled linseed oil to the soles. That will be the treatment for the new double leather sole SD's when they arrive. I studied up on @Legal Eagles method and will copy the way he does it.

"One final trick... I learned this from an old-school cobbler... YMMV but it works for me. Once you have worn your leather soles for a month or so and worn completely through the surface layer, get some boiled linseed oil from home depot and put enough into two paper plates to just cover the bottom of the plate. Set the plates on a flat surface and set the bottom ball area of each boot onto the plate with the heel of the boot resting on the flat surface outside the plate. Adjust the height of the heel so that as much of the ball area is touching the linseed oil as possible. Leave it there overnight. The leather sole will soak up the linseed oil. Wipe off any excess linseed oil and put the boots away to dry for 72 hours with the soles exposed if you can... a Peet Boot Dryer works great for that... in that 72 hours the linseed oil will cure and crosslink and make the leather sole hard. The first time you wear them after the linseed oil treatment they will be slick so be careful, but after that, they will wear like iron. The above works for me, use at your own risk, but boiled linseed oil is much cheaper than some sole oils sole especially marketed for shoes. If you don't like the idea of leaving your boots soaking in oil, you can use a paintbrush to paint the linseed oil on the soles... it works too... just give it 2-3 good coats and let each coat soak in before applying the next."
Funny you mention that one, I came across this just the other day... I had never seen the oil trick in print... a picture is worth a thousand words...
1606703088658.png
 

Luscombe

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I would like to know the name of the gentleman who works in downtown Chicago, would love to know his opinion about climbing up/down to take CTA in White's boots.
Speaking of the fountain of knowledge that we affectionately call @Legal Eagles I need to learn some of his tricks!
I am not sure who it was, I remember reading a few posts in fall of 2019 and ended up buying my MP's as a result. I am pretty sure it was someone on this thread but could have been the Rancourt Thread. We lived in Wheaton in the late 1980's and I worked downtown so knew the issue with snow, salt and slush. He wore Shell Cordovan boots in the winter and then just wiped them down each day. I remember his passion about the leather and how it held up to the elements. I do not remember who it was, sorry. I tried the search function with shell & Chicago but did not get the right hits on this thread.
 

ThreeLions

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I took the opportunity of some down-time this weekend to try to affect a repair on my workbooks. I thought I'd share some photos of the process / results with you.

The boots are 10" Smokejumpers, Distressed Rough-out leather, 4818 last.

Here's the boot after I stupidly inserted an axe into it:





The first step was to thoroughly clean them. Normaly, I would just use saddle soap and warm water, but this time, I really wanted to try to strip some of the oil from the leather (to make the leather glue adhere better). I mixed a little dish soap and a little laundry detergent and then diluted it with some warm water. I scrubbed the boots with a fine brass bristled brush. This is much softer than a standard steel wire brush, but more aggressive than a nylon bristled brush.

Here they are after cleaning and a couple of days to dry:




With the leather clean, you can better see the cut surfaces that will need to be glued:



I wiped the edges of the leather (where the glue will go) with some naphtha on a Q-tip to strip any remaining oil from the leather.

Here's the boot after the glue:



The stitching really was a pain in the ass as you can't get your hand/fingers right up into the toe of the boot control the needle. I folded the top of the boot back to make more room, and used pliers to poke the needle through from the inside out. I used very sharp glovers needles.



I broke a few needles, but managed to recover ALL of the broken pieces.

A movie and a couple of hours of incredibly difficult stitching later:



I put some shoe trees in the boot and hammered the stitching to help close any needle holes and consolidate the glue joint.




Next the boots needed to be re-oiled with Obenauf's (oil, not HDLP). I don't like how much this darkens them, but it really protects the leather (just not from axes) and makes it very soft and supple.

Here you can see just how pronounced the oil darkening is:




The finished boots, right after oiling:




The leather doesn't stay this dark and will somewhat lighten-up over time. Since I was cleaning the boots, I also took the time to clean and re-oil the kilties, and wash the boot laces.

Here are the boots the following morning:



Ready to wear again! It's not pretty, but it's functional and they are my rough work boots after all. The only other option for this sort of damage was to send them to White's for a complete rebuild, and I just didn't think that the rest of the boot was ready for that yet.
 

discomute

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A sign in my local park says 50% of all snakebites could be avoided with proper footwear. True they aren't snakebite proof but definitely better than nothing.

Threelions I was thinking - when it gets resoled next you should just get a toecap on there.
 

iamntbatman

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I think you accidentally improved those! I guess the fact that the leather is so damn thick, and the angle and sharpness of the axe was such that it sorta created two skived surfaces to stitch through, was dumb luck. The scar looks neat though.

Now, whether or not nearly chopping a toe off in order to get cool frankenboots is worth it is a question everyone here will have to axe themselves.
 

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