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How to fix a cut in a shoe

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by davepit, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. davepit

    davepit New Member

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    I bought some new chelsea boots - nice ones - several times more expensive than I would normally pay for shoes.

    I wore them out, and a young lady stepped on my foot. As a result, there's a one inch gash, about 1mm deep, on the toe of one of the shoes.

    I took the shoe to a shoe repairer, and he said that all that oculd be done was to polish it. Polishing it removes the colour difference. (The cut was down to a grey bit of the leather), but the cut is still visible.

    It could be worse - it's a very clean incision - as though it were made by a knife - but I'd prefer it to be invisible!

    Is there anything I can do?

    Pre-polishing:

    [​IMG]


    Thanks in advance [​IMG]
     


  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I bought some new chelsea boots - nice ones - several times more expensive than I would normally pay for shoes. I wore them out, and a young lady stepped on my foot. As a result, there's a one inch gash, about 1mm deep, on the toe of one of the shoes. I took the shoe to a shoe repairer, and he said that all that oculd be done was to polish it. Polishing it removes the colour difference. (The cut was down to a grey bit of the leather), but the cut is still visible. It could be worse - it's a very clean incision - as though it were made by a knife - but I'd prefer it to be invisible! Is there anything I can do? Pre-polishing: Thanks in advance [​IMG]
    I feel for you. There is an old trick...some shoe repairmen may know it, some...especially the younger ones...may not. You need a bone burnisher, a toothpick and a bit of celluloid cement...also known as press cement. The toothpick is small enough to apply the cement into the cut. And applying the cement must be done very carefully and sparingly so that no excess escapes the cut. While the cement is wet, the bone is used to push the leather back together and then it must be held shut, by hand for a minute or two. The bone can actually force some little bit of substance towards the cut...substance that was not originally there...so even with a ragged tear sometimes the cut can be closed. This works best on toes and heels, where there is a stiffener against which pressure can be applied. Done correctly...and on a cut where no leather is missing...the cut will come together near-as-nevermind invisibly and only close (and I mean close) examination will reveal that there was any damage. A word of caution, however...any excess cement that escapes the cut could remove colour and finish from the surrounding leather and any excess that is left to dry on the surface will will look like clear nail polish has been dropped on the shoe and it will never take polish or colour like the leather around it. My advice would be to try to find a professional to do this and not try this at home.
     


  3. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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  4. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Was there ever a time when that young lady would have said,
    'Why sir, I am so terribly sorry. Please let me pay for the damage or replace them for you;
    it's the least I could do'.
    or
    'Sir what can I do to compensate you for my carelessness?'
    or are those just old movie lines?
     


  5. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

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    What kind of shoes did she have on?
     


  6. Macallan9

    Macallan9 Senior member

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    Was there ever a time when that young lady would have said,
    'Why sir, I am so terribly sorry. Please let me pay for the damage or replace them for you;
    it's the least I could do'.
    or
    'Sir what can I do to compensate you for my carelessness?'
    or are those just old movie lines?


    Maybe in a Penthouse letter.
     


  7. davepit

    davepit New Member

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    Thanks very much for your advice DF2 - In fact, I suggested to the cobbler that he fill it in with something. He laughed, and said : "With what, poly filler?" How close he was [​IMG]

    Harvey Birdman, I think I shall leave the patches to later in their life, but thanks - I never knew they existed.

    Man of Lint - Hahha, I wish. No, It was unfortunate and upsetting, but nonetheless understandable. People do step on each other's feet in what are perfectly excusable accidents. I still hate her, though.

    Dragon - Just regular women's dressy shoes with thin stiletto heels.
     


  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks very much for your advice DF2 - In fact, I suggested to the cobbler that he fill it in with something. He laughed, and said : "With what, poly filler?" How close he was [​IMG]
    Well, I have actually done this...a number of times...with good to excellent results, too. But I have always tried to avoid situations where I needed to do it. And I haven't done one in years. The reason why it is not such a well known technique is that the press cement is hard to find (I still have a source but...). Once upon a time evey little shoe repair shop had a shoe press and used "press" cement to attach half soles and even full soles. Until relatively recently, AFAIK, the Silver Cup (an award for excellence in shoe repair) almost always went to repairmen who used a press and the press cement to do "invisible" half soles. However, neoprene based contact cement has pretty much displaced press/celluloid cement these days. In fact, the most well known maker of it finally discontinued production several (5?) years ago. As I got to thinking about it, last night, it occurred to me that with some of these new"easy release" masking tapes, it might be possible to mask off the edges of a cut so that any excess would be kept off the surrounding leather.
     


  9. mg1234

    mg1234 Member

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    Interesting thread. I am glad I joined this site.
     


  10. CashInck

    CashInck New Member

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    A word of caution, however...any excess cement that escapes the cut could remove colour and finish from the surrounding leather and any excess that is left to dry on the surface will will look like clear nail polish has been dropped on the shoe...

    This reminded me of something I was once advised to do to repair a cut in a shoe (though that was on the heel of a ladies' shoe, so much less visible). The shoe repairer told me to get some nail polish of the right colour and fill in the damage in thin layers. It's probably not an approved technique, but you adapt and overcome. It worked surprisingly well, too, though I'm not sure it would be equally suitable in a more conspicuous area.
     


  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    This reminded me of something I was once advised to do to repair a cut in a shoe (though that was on the heel of a ladies' shoe, so much less visible). The shoe repairer told me to get some nail polish of the right colour and fill in the damage in thin layers. It's probably not an approved technique, but you adapt and overcome. It worked surprisingly well, too, though I'm not sure it would be equally suitable in a more conspicuous area.
    One small clarification...for the OP and yourself...the technique I am talking about is not "filling in." It is more like a "healing" of the cut--the edges are pressed (and held) back together such that the cut is nearly invisible and ideally the cement actually is invisible (no excess or surplus allowed to remain on the shoe).
     


  12. Insight

    Insight Senior member

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    Superglue will also work for this. Superglue bonds skin VERY well, and leather is just treated animal skin.

    CAUTION - be very careful using your fingers to apply pressure to keep the cut closed for the 30 seconds or so required for the glue to bound the leather closed. If any of the superglue is excess and extrudes from the cut onto your hands, you can bind your skin to the leather.
     


  13. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Superglue will also work for this. Superglue bonds skin VERY well, and leather is just treated animal skin. CAUTION - be very careful using your fingers to apply pressure to keep the cut closed for the 30 seconds or so required for the glue to bound the leather closed. If any of the superglue is excess and extrudes from the cut onto your hands, you can bind your skin to the leather.
    That will work, especially over toe stiffeners...but a note---super glue is very brittle by comparison to press cement.
     


  14. 1uncertain3

    1uncertain3 Member

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    DWFII: I realize this thread is four years old but if you're reading this, do you know if the Kodak Film Cement is technically celluloid cement? I'd like to try to repair some damage similar to Davepit's.

    Here is Amazon's link: Kodak's cement

    Thanks in advance!
     


  15. ShoeWho

    ShoeWho Well-Known Member

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    Can I resurrect this thread to ask if anyone has had any success? I have a shallow cut in a stiff toecap - I'm tempted to try cine film cement, which is available cheaply here in the UK on ebay. It's not Kodak, but I would hope that doesn't matter.
     


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