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Leather soles: slip & fall...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Bic Pentameter, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. Bic Pentameter

    Bic Pentameter Senior Member

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    I know that some folks have the cobbler add a thin layer of rubber to the sole of leather shoes,  that they maintain this extends the life of the sole and is good in the rain. I also have read the counter arguments, that affixing even a thin rubber sole may throw the shoe out of balance, that it is asthetically unpleasant to see a rubber sole on a dress shoe...For good or for ill, I have decided to stick with purely leather soled dress shoes.

    Does anyone have any suggestions (short of affixing a rubber film or patch to the sole) on how to keep leather soled shoes from slipping on smooth ground?  I fell on my butt on the sidewalk at lunch yesterday and, besides being embarassing, it HURT.  I was wearing my $ month old C&J Westminsters. The bottoms were pretty scratched up already, and the pavement was pretty rough--nothing like some of the smooth marble found in elegant lobbies.  Three weeks ago I was caught in the rain wearing my Grenson double monks and looked pretty un-cool pigeon walking throught the train station.

    Any words of wisdom?
     


  2. Lomezz

    Lomezz Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, I have no advice re slippery leather soles, but perhaps you might find comfort in Alan Flusser's words: "The surest marks of a fine-quality shoe are leather soles and heels and leather linings within the shoe. It is said that a man exerts as much pressure on the soles of his feet when walking as an elephant does. Whether or not this is completely accurate, the pressure per square inch is nevertheless enormous. The sole provides a kind of shock absorber, and good leather does this better than almost any other material. A leather heel provides further cushioning with just enough give to make walking pleasant. Rubber soles can also cushion but because they will not slide on pavement, friction is built up when walking. Over a period of time, this can make your feet feel hot and uncomfortable"
     


  3. Alias

    Alias Distinguished Member

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    I've had no problems with my leather-soled C&J's, even when walking on smooth marble. Of course, I also don't weigh too much, and I'm quite good at keeping my balance. [​IMG]
     


  4. BjornH

    BjornH Senior Member

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    I've had an elephant sneak up on me so I'm willing to belive Flusser's words on that .

    There is no cure except adding those thin rubber soles to the shoes and my religion strictly forbids that.

    B
     


  5. newtopos

    newtopos New Member

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    Might I suggest a change in the title of this thread? I really would hate to see a plaintiffs' attorney see this, check out a balance sheet or two, and decide that a class action would produce some fees. It's one thing to put OB/GYN's out of business, but do we all want to be stuck wearing rubber-soled shoes?

    (And to prevent this post from being just a cheap shot, perhaps the best words of wisdom for those of us who wish to wear leather-soled shoes comes from Aristotle's description of the great-souled man (no pun intended): "Other traits generally attributed to the great-souled man are a slow gait, a deep voice, and a deliberate utterance; to speak in shrill tones and walk fast denotes an excitable and nervous temperament, which does not belong to one who cares for few things and thinks nothing great." So perhaps the fault lies with us in simply walking too fast.)
     


  6. sgtech

    sgtech Member

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    Use a serrated steak knife to cut a few *very* shallow crosshatches under the ball of the foot.  That should hold you until the soles are sufficiently scuffed to provide traction.

    charles
     


  7. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Distinguished Member

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    Leave the OB's be...they already pay 100-200k in malpractice.

    EDIT: Im tired and did not catch the satire.
     


  8. esquire.

    esquire. Distinguished Member

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    I don't know if that comment about OBGYNs was satiric or just a cheap shot.

    Just remember, as a society, which would we rather have more of : trial lawyers or doctors.
     


  9. newtopos

    newtopos New Member

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    The comment about OBGYNs was some dark humor based on the recently announced Democratic VP candidate. I don't want to turn this into a political debate, but a little research on how Edwards made his money (and his courtroom tactics) should illuminate my remark.

    And yes, of course, the loss of doctors should be more disconcerting than the loss of shoemakers. I was merely referencing the fact that (a) society obviously isn't too worried about the former (witness the Edwards nomination), and (b) we'd be the interested party who'd fight for the shoemakers (and lose, of course).

    Depressing stuff. Far better to revisit the Aristotle that I mentioned.
     


  10. Bic Pentameter

    Bic Pentameter Senior Member

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    Thanks for theserrated steak knife suggestion, charles...Over the weekend I toyed with the idea of brushing clear rubber cement on the soles of my shoes....I may try that if the slip and slides continue.

    Bic
     


  11. sgtech

    sgtech Member

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    Please don't try the rubber cement. It will rub off unevenly, leaving you with a mess.

    If the serration doesn't work, my next attempt would be a couple of thin strips of non-skid tape under the ball of the foot. This should still be removable with minimal chance of damaging the shoe. It comes in colors and you should be able to match the sole well enough that it's not embarrassing.

    The crosshatching should work. It does for me. BTW, you can also impress your date by fixing her slippery pumps.

    Charles
     


  12. kabert

    kabert Distinguished Member

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    I've found that the real problem with all-leather soles isn't the lack of friction inducing-rubber but is the nails/slugs on the heel that get exposed after a few wearings. If I place my heel just so on a smooth marble floor, it's almost guaranteed to slide. For this reason -- safety's sake -- I have just one pair of shoes now with all leather heels. If partial rubber soles are good enough for Edward Green, they're good enough for me.
     


  13. Bic Pentameter

    Bic Pentameter Senior Member

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    Thanks very much for the recent comments, Charles and kabert. I will stay away from the rubber cement, and consider some brown/clear friction tape.

    There are brass(?) slugs on the heels of those shoes, but they do have a rubber heel piece in them. I have read some people have a metal tap put into the toe of the sole. I would imagine that this would only compound the problem, and shudder to think of the consequences.

    Bic
     


  14. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Distinguished Member

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    Check out this thread: http://www.styleforum.net/cgi-bin....;t=2142 I HIGHLY recommend the rubber tips affixed to your leather shoes. They don't detract too much from the aesthetics of my footwear, and the extra traction and durability can't be beat for $8.
     


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