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Does it make sense to topy rubber-soled boots to make them last longer?

stylemeup

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I have been reading a lot on these boards about topying. I had never heard of it before I read it here.

I bought some waterproof leather boots that come with a rubber sole already. I would like these boots to last me for as long as humanly possible.

So I was wondering if it makes sense for me to get the rubber soles of them topyed, so that when I use the boots it will wear down the topy rather than the actual rubber sole of the boots.

Is there any reason why I should not do this?

From what I can gather from the posts I've read, putting topys on isn't something I can do myself, is it? I'd have to go to a professional to have him put them on?
 

saint

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I've done this before and it has worked out quite well.
 

Golf_Nerd

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IMO wait first and check after wearing several times. They can be topied later. Perhaps they can be resoled, too.
 

stylemeup

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What would I be waiting for, exactly?

How do I know if they can be re-soled, or not?

Since I have made this thread I have called two local cobblers in Toronto and told them "I need to get some boots topy'ed, do you do that?"

Both of them had no clue what I meant by 'topy'ed' but when I explained it at length, then they said they do do that.

I thought there was only a few brands of topy pieces; at least that's the impression I got from reading forum posts about topy'ing. So how come the local cobblers in Toronto have no idea what the topy brand is?

Is there a formal name for this procedure that cobblers use that isn't 'topy'ing'? I feel dumb asking them to topy my boots and they don't even know what it means; it's like I'm not asking for the right service with the word 'topy'ed'.
 

Golf_Nerd

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Originally Posted by stylemeup
What would I be waiting for, exactly?

How do I know if they can be re-soled, or not?


First: to think that shoes have to last for ever is some kind of silly. It is fun buying some new from time to time and you wouldn't believe: The shoe industry is producing that many shoes, that they even have to sell them!

Second: cobblers have more work than telefoning.

So what is your problem now: sitting at home and being afraid that your shoes won't last forever?
 

stylemeup

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My problem is I do not know the answers to the questions which I've asked.

Yes I do want my shoes to last forever, or at least as long as is humanly possible.
 

Golf_Nerd

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Originally Posted by stylemeup
My problem is I do not know the answers to the questions which I've asked.

Yes I do want my shoes to last forever, or at least as long as is humanly possible.


Ok, we give it another try.

First wear the shoes. Then look how the sole works. If there is abrasive wear react. Visit your cobbler and ask about topies (and ask before about the possbility to resole this pair).

To wear them a s long as possible it is important that the shoes have time to rest. Because of the waterproof they need two days rest minimum. This means you can wear them two times a week. If half of the year is bad weather this means you wear them 52 times a year. So IMO there will be no problem within the first four years.
 

stylemeup

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I didn't even know that they need time to rest. That's the only pair of boots I have. So now I'd have to buy another pair just to give them proper rest time? That sucks. Are there some good links that explain the ins and outs of resting waterproof leather boots?
 

Golf_Nerd

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Originally Posted by stylemeup
I didn't even know that they need time to rest. That's the only pair of boots I have. So now I'd have to buy another pair just to give them proper rest time? That sucks. Are there some good links that explain the ins and outs of resting waterproof leather boots?
.. now you know. Buy two pairs. Shoes are great and show personality. They need time to dry. If they stay wet they mould, lose shape and abrasion increases. If there is only one piece glued, the glue won't stick together. Waterproofed shoes don't dry on the outside. The humity is enclosed in the shoes because of the waterproof effect. To dry them stick (news-) paper in them and remove it after two hours. Then stick in the shoe trees.
 

bengal-stripe

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'Topy' is a brand of stick-on rubber soles. There are other companies producing a similar product under a different brand name. People in the States and in England use the name "˜Topy' generically for anyl thin stick-on rubber sole. In Canada they might use another brand name, as it is possible, that the Topy brand is not distributed in Canada. But every Canadian cobbler can supply and attach you a stick-on rubber sole.
http://dandync.blogspot.com/2007/07/...t-to-topy.html

The other question, can it be put on rubber soles, is more difficult to answer without information. Yes, you can stick rubber to rubber, but only if the surfaces are plain. Most rubber soles have some kind of profile, there are raised and lowered sections within the sole. You cannot stick on an additional sole on a rubber sole that has a profile. Both surfaces to make a lasting bond, need to be flat. That's why the underside is flat (to glue well) and the outside has some fancy pattern.
http://www.dehner.com/pics/largephotos/vibram_sole.jpg

The question is, why do you wantto do it at all?

Those rubber soles get glued onto leather soles, as they tend to make leather soles less slippery in wet conditions and make last longer. You do not have these "˜problems' with rubber soles. If the rubber sole is worn out, it can be replaced. The cobbler might not have a sole with the very same look in stock, but he will have something very similar. The rubber sole of your boots will either be glued on or stitched on. When the time comes, the old sole can be removed and replaced with a new one.

It will take many, many years for a thick rubber sole to wear through (the heel might need replacement sooner). In ten years time you might not like the boots anymore. So save your money at this point and replace the soles when the time comes.
 

Dewey

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fwiw, my american cobbler does not know wtf is a "topy" either ... he calls them "rubber sole protectors" and uses a goodyear-branded product.
 

stylemeup

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I just got back from seeing a cobbler in person.

He took a look at the boots and said that since the sole is split into two pieces, the heel and the front, with an empty piece in the middle, it would be a problem to just stick another piece of rubber on there unless he first took off the sole that is already present.

He recommended to me for him to do nothing for me now - that was pretty classy of him. He told me: "I am honest with my customers, that way they can trust me."

He said I should wear the boots for a while because it doesn't make sense to pay him ~$60 or so right now seeing as they are brand new. He told me to bring them back when the soles are worn down and then he will take them off entirely and replace them with a new one-piece sole.

The reason I wanted them topy'ed is because I was worried about if I wear the rubber down too much and then it starts wearing down into the boot itself, past the sole, I might screw up the boots.

On my way home I started thinking about the middle part of the boot that has no sole on it right now, or at least not the same type of rubber that is at the heel and front (not sure the technical name for this type of thing). Would it have made sense for him to put some rubber on there in the mean time so as not to damage that part of the boot? I wish I would have asked him that while I was there, but I forgot to. I guess he would have recommended that I do that if he thought it was a good idea?
 

Golf_Nerd

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Like I said.

So buy two more pairs, shoetrees, a brush and cream for maintenance.

And: Have a good time!
 

DrZRM

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Not to get all streetwear on you, but while I both rest and tree my dress shoes--as well as my AE boots--do you seriously rest your waterproof boots for two days. I usually kick around in engineer boots, Redwing GTs, or and old pair of Italian made Merrell Wilderness boots (great for snow and ice, and good looking as well http://www.backcountry.com/store/MER...26&mv_pc=r126), all have rubber soles, are more or less waterproof (or at least waterproofed), and all look good a bit aged and broken in. I'll dry them with paper inside if they are really wet, but two days off seems a bit much, IMHO good boots don't really need to be babied like dress shoes.



Originally Posted by Golf_Nerd
.. now you know.

Buy two pairs. Shoes are great and show personality.

They need time to dry. If they stay wet they mould, lose shape and abrasion increases. If there is only one piece glued, the glue won't stick together.

Waterproofed shoes don't dry on the outside. The humity is enclosed in the shoes because of the waterproof effect. To dry them stick (news-) paper in them and remove it after two hours. Then stick in the shoe trees.
 

Spatlese

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Good post, bengal, esp. the point about the flatness of the sole surface (and for those wondering, yes, Topy is available in Canada. I've had several pairs done before).
 

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