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DWFII

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The thing about resoling a welted shoe... It's an old, old system. It is largely dependent on the integrity of the construction technique and the welt.

The welt gained favour as the premier method of construction because it 9the welt) could be replace indefinitely as long as the insole/inseam/holdfast and upper were sound. The welt was always envisioned as a replaceable component. It evolved, is designed, to be replaceable.

Using a high quality insole, channeling it and sewing the welt to the insole itself, preserving the integrity of the insole and shoe far more likely than with other methods. When a hand welted shoe is resoled, if care is taken, the welt and insole will be near-as-nevermind perfectly intact and preserved.

If the owner has been careless in wearing and maintenance, the welt and even the insole itself can be damaged... sometimes so severely that they are effectively irreparable.

The ideal in all of this is just like any high end product .. @emptym mentioned watches. All need attention (mindfulness) and maintenance. These items are not intentionally (or at least not originally) meant to be throw-aways. Not meant to be cast off when their novelty, shine, and fashionability wear off. As some shoes are indeed meant to be--the manufacturer's dream.

A pair of hand welted shoes can be resoled indefinitely, even if it is done by machine. A conscientious repairman will adjust his machine to duplicate the same stitch length as the shoe was originally made with. And few or no new holes in the welt will be created. That said, the ideal situation is that the welt be hand stitched, although one should be aware that in doing so the price will reflect that time and work--every form of refuge has a price.

But, it is not absolutely necessary and doing so when there is a skilled cobbler available defies the logic of the welted shoe...not just the handwelted shoe. It is simply not true that resoling by machine will tear up a welt or make it unusable.

But even if it were, the same cautionary conditions apply to GY welted shoes. To any welted shoes.And replacing or repairing welt properly is considerably more problematic with GY construction than with HW. Is the solution to buy only cement construction shoes? Or perhaps plastic disposables?

If the owner of any high end article eschews the responsibility for maintaining and caring for his goods then sending the shoes back to the maker is probably wise and worth the price.

But...as was mentioned earlier... Potter and Sons will resole and heel a pair of shoes with Baker outsoles for $135.00. That's about where I (a maker) was/am on resoling by machine with Masur outsoles.
 
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Zapasman

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This is an old (but good) and often unwelcome refrain from me, but IMO, it's a little late to be thinking about that. I sympathize...more than you know. But it's part of a decades old tendency a to reduce everything to the lowest common denominator. Even here on this forum.

If corrected grain leather is acceptable among so-called aficionados, where will the demand for high end calf come from? If GY welting is OK, what happens to HW? If celastic for toe stiffeners and heel stiffeners is adequate where will the leather suitable for leather stiffeners come from? If leatherboard insoles are justifiable who will produce good insole shoulders? If leatherboard or paperboard heel stacks are admissible where will the leather to make solid heels come from?

These questions may seem like attenuated rhetoric to many but they are real, hard dilemmas for the maker of anything that is fine quality. As long as you have people defending rubber outsole on the basis of utility or GY on price or RTW on the basis of accessibility; and most importantly as long as you have people buying into those rationales, the objective quality of things will continue to slide.

And neckties will lose whatever cachet they once had, until they are considered old-fashioned and ultimately extinct.

View attachment 1685748
HI @DWFII , nice to hear from you. You have see this problem to come since long ago. Bearing in mind that trend ( GYW Vs HW, rubber Vs leather, cost Vs quality) in the market I still do not understand how come the first player is the first to fall. I am missing something here.
 

Zapasman

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Thanks for the kind words.

No, not making many shoes. I'm 75 and my balance is shot and my fingers stiff and I'm scheduled to have a cataract surgery consultation in two weeks. Other than that, I'm in good shape...for the shape I'm in. :cool2:

And if that weren't bad enough, COVID has pretty much shut my teaching down, too. I'd take on students if I could but many don't want to have to provide proof of vaccination.

[sigh]
All the best for your surgery!
 

clee1982

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Resole for shoe and servicing for watch is kind just part of the course if you buy those stuff but yea also the reason why I topp everything…
 

dieworkwear

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Would be curious to hear @ntempleman's thoughts on resoling. When it's time to resole a handmade shoe, should you send it back to the maker or is it OK to use someone local? When using someone local, how do you evaluate the quality of their work? Is it a bad idea to use someone who will use a machine?

I'm also curious if he remembers the prices for a resole versus replacing a welt at John Lobb. Say if someone uses a local cobbler for resoling, and that cobbler ends up perforating through the welt. But the client saves a bit of money by using a local cobbler for a resole, and then replacing the welt through their original maker when necessary. Is that a smarter way to go about this than sending things back to the maker for each resole?
 
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clee1982

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Speaking of resole handwelt shoe, who would people trust in NYC if I ever went that route…
 

ntempleman

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Resoles should go back to the maker ideally, so the last can go back in. The sole is like the backbone of the shoe, when it’s removed all sorts of things can change the shape. Then some wet sole leather slapped on and blitzed through the machine, when that sole dries it’ll shrink and so will the shoe. I can’t recall the prices of the old place off the top of my head but they’re particularly spenny. Personally I keep the resole price down to the cost of materials, labour and shipping which is still relatively high as these things go (as I don’t cheap out on the Labour)
 

dieworkwear

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Resoles should go back to the maker ideally, so the last can go back in. The sole is like the backbone of the shoe, when it’s removed all sorts of things can change the shape. Then some wet sole leather slapped on and blitzed through the machine, when that sole dries it’ll shrink and so will the shoe. I can’t recall the prices of the old place off the top of my head but they’re particularly spenny. Personally I keep the resole price down to the cost of materials, labour and shipping which is still relatively high as these things go (as I don’t cheap out on the Labour)
What if a cobbler resoles your shoes while your feet are still in them? And you just wear the soles until they dry, like raw denim soaked in a tub?
 

DWFII

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Resoles should go back to the maker ideally, so the last can go back in. The sole is like the backbone of the shoe, when it’s removed all sorts of things can change the shape. Then some wet sole leather slapped on and blitzed through the machine, when that sole dries it’ll shrink and so will the shoe. I can’t recall the prices of the old place off the top of my head but they’re particularly spenny. Personally I keep the resole price down to the cost of materials, labour and shipping which is still relatively high as these things go (as I don’t cheap out on the Labour)

With all due respect (and I mean that sincerely), I can vouch for the fact that "ideally" the last should go back in the shoe for resoling. And as I said, "the ideal situation" is to hand stitch the outsole, esp. if it was handstitched to begin with.

That said, I have to differ and hopefully offer a credible alternative--I own a Landis outsole stitching machine. I used it for many years...both before I started hand stitching outsoles, and after. I probably know the pros and cons of this process better than those who have never used the machine regularly.

In my 50+ years of making and resoling with that machine, I have not experienced any significant problem with welts or with shrinkage of the shoe. I admit that I did not always put the last back when resoling.

If quality insoles of sufficient thickness are used and the inseam is tight and in a decent holdfast there is very little that can happen to the shoe that has not already happened due to the vagaries of heat and moisture generated by the foot. A hand welted shoe will not lose much if anything due to shrinkage when resoling. That is my opinion. I'd like to be more of a 'purist' on this issue but honesty prevents it.

There may be marginal distortion already from the foot and if the repairman forces things when mounting the outsole, that can aggravate matters. I've seen shoes that the customer (and my own eyes) told me fit "like a glove" to begin with, come in so distorted by wear, the last no longer seems to be the same one the shoe was made on. Which in itself present a conundrum.

But tbh, although we all go ga-ga over handstitched welts and channeled outsoles, there is very little to recommend them except the sophistry of appearance. Outsoles done that way will not wear longer, all other things being equal. Two days on the road and any outsole is dirty and has grit embedded in it. If the means of closing and sealing the channel are unreliable (and even then) the outsole can look ragged and tawdry after ten days on the road simply because the channel 'flap" will lose adhesion when exposed to moisture.

Again, all the issues that you and and @dieworkwear raise are just as much, or more, problematic when dealing with GYW.

Perhaps my fifty years in the Trade and my somewhat eclectic and maybe comparatively untutored experiences don't count for much--if past is prologue, there is no shortage of folks that would suggest that very thing, if only for the sake of argument. But I am confident simply because, by nature, it galls me to do things by half measures and I would not do that without reason.
I tip my hat to you for not charging more than is necessary for resoling.
tipofthehat.gif


IMO...FWIW...
 
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JFWR

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Well, the EG photo essay was part of a larger discourse that happened right here on SF in 2014 in a thread entitled Sole Welting The gist of the conversation was the apparent deception of major RTW makers who claimed that they made the finest or most traditional shoes. The post that stands out in my mind (although it was not the origin of the discussion) was made by MoneyWellSpent--#616 here

One of the points I made at the time was if we can show that both the materials and the techniques of HW are objectively superior to GY, then that has to be the standard for quality when comparing the two.

In that discussion, I observed that both Edward Green and Gaziano and Girling market their shoes as "the finest", which implies the best quality through and through (at least in my opinion). In fact, until Summer 2014 EG stated on their website that they made "The Finest shoes in England.."

That whole thread contains a lot of interesting material although it is frankly a little unpleasant to revisit the scorn and disdain being dished out by the numpties who were sure GYW was the gold standard of the ages.

Among the links that came up was this one: here which clearly shows a the gemming on the EG. This is the entire photo essay I referred to.

But another similar essay can be found in post #1988 of the same thread. Again, thank @MoneyWellSpent for the research and cogent explanation.
Thank you very much for the information. This was intriguing.

I think why people believe GYW to be t he best method is that, in terms of machine making, it is the best method. If you are having a shoe that is made in a factory setting, with machine aid, then GYW is indeed the gold standard of modern shoe making in an industrialized setting.

That is not to say that the original, handwelted variety is not better. But that is artisan work.

For instance: I would absolutely not pay money for a bespoke pair of GYW shoes. That'd be dumb. Why would I want something less-than-optimal on a pair of bespoke shoes?

I should inquire as to whether EG bespoke uses handwelting. Same with GG.

As far as Dainite is concerned, they may have changed it in some way but in my day it was ever a rubber sole about 1/4" thick and did not look like leather from any angle.

That said, whatever it looks like from the side, it's still rubber. Making it look like leather speaks to the point I made about material sophistry--it looks good but ultimately it's bogus. Masquerading as something it is not.
What I meant with dainite, is that dainite usually has a leather mid sole and other leather parts so that it doesn't present, like vibram, a solid rubber profile:

 

JFWR

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One of the challenges of owning handmade shoes is the cost of resoling. The cost of resoling handwelted shoes can be more than the price of buying brand new GYW shoes.
Might I ask how much you've paid for resoling of your HW shoes?
 

DWFII

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I’ve seen shoes come back to place I worked after several repair shop rebottom jobs, they needed another new sole and the client complained they were too tight. They’d shrunk so much I couldn’t get the lasts back in
Fair enough. I've seen the same thing esp. with GYW shoes. I've never had that happen with mine. I suspect much, if not all, of that falls on the repairman.

With all due respect to the conscientious repairmen out there--it's all too often a 'job' and not a calling. Those for whom it is a calling, more often than not pursue making.

While we're at it...what do you do when a customer comes in with a pair of shoes that you made or someone that you respect has made, expressing delight in the fit but when you put the last back in, it doesn't seem to be the same last the shoe was made on? I've seen that numerous times.

Do you force the shoe back into the shape and size it was at presentation or respect the shape and size the foot has created?
 

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