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Leather soles

DWFII

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I have another question that I can't see being definitively resolved on SF. I know that the rate at which you'd resole shoes varies too much to be predicted, but how many times can a shoe - like the one I bought - be resoled?

I'm leaning more and more toward only wearing these indoors at work, having seen some info online saying max is 2-3 and using leather soles outdoors can wear them down in as little as 6 months (something not new to me, but affects resoling).
Chances approach certainty that the shoes above are GYW. So, all other things being equal, and you take care of them, 3 - 4 times might be reasonable. Also depends on who does it.

If the shoes were HW, and the same conditions applied, the shoe might get 10 resoles or more. Of course, you might have more financial incentive to care for and be careful of a pair of HW shoes. But all shoes...leather...wear out eventually.
 

ThomGault

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I know that the rate at which you'd resole shoes varies too much to be predicted, but how many times can a shoe - like the one I bought - be resoled?

I'm leaning more and more toward only wearing these indoors at work, having seen some info online saying max is 2-3 and using leather soles outdoors can wear them down in as little as 6 months (something not new to me, but affects resoling).
As you mention, there is too much variability to give anything which resembles a definite answer, but, for comparison, I had a couple of pairs of AEs that I purchased in ~2007. I wore them roughly once per week for work, in an urban setting, with car commute. One pair needed resoling in 2020 and the other pair is still good---hopefully I can still get another year or two before resoling.
Your weight and gait will obviously alter your results.
 

Pandaros

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How often will you wear these? That, obviously, determines in part how often you'll need to resole.
The question isn't really how often they'll be resoled, but how many times they could be reasonably expected to be resoled in total?
 

dieworkwear

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I have another question that I can't see being definitively resolved on SF. I know that the rate at which you'd resole shoes varies too much to be predicted, but how many times can a shoe - like the one I bought - be resoled?

I'm leaning more and more toward only wearing these indoors at work, having seen some info online saying max is 2-3 and using leather soles outdoors can wear them down in as little as 6 months (something not new to me, but affects resoling).
Most people here don't resole, and if they do, they may only resole once. Very few people get to a second resole because they simply have too many shoes. People here are enthusiasts and often own 10, 20, 30, sometimes 100 pairs of shoes. With that many shoes in their rotation, it's unlikely they'll ever get to a second resole.

This happens with clothes, as well. People will say that bespoke clothes last much longer because they're so well made. But the reality is that the types of people who own bespoke clothes are likely to have much, much better wardrobes, so a single jacket only gets worn maybe six or seven times a year. Compare that to a very "normal" person, who may only own one suit or one sport coat. That jacket is obviously going to suffer through some more wear and tear.
 

bicycleradical

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I'm leaning more and more toward only wearing these indoors at work, having seen some info online saying max is 2-3 and using leather soles outdoors can wear them down in as little as 6 months (something not new to me, but affects resoling).
The leather soles may wear down in 6 months of outdoor use however they would have to be worn in rough conditions. All of my leather soled shoes have been pretty heavily worn and I've only had to resole one of them so far. It took me about 3 years of weekly or twice weekly wear outdoors to need that done.

I think you'll get more than 6 months out of leather soles.
 

Pandaros

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Most people here don't resole, and if they do, they may only resole once. Very few people get to a second resole because they simply have too many shoes. People here are enthusiasts and often own 10, 20, 30, sometimes 100 pairs of shoes. With that many shoes in their rotation, it's unlikely they'll ever get to a second resole.

This happens with clothes, as well. People will say that bespoke clothes last much longer because they're so well made. But the reality is that the types of people who own bespoke clothes are likely to have much, much better wardrobes, so a single jacket only gets worn maybe six or seven times a year. Compare that to a very "normal" person, who may only own one suit or one sport coat. That jacket is obviously going to suffer through some more wear and tear.
Yes, I feel that as entertaining and resourceful this forum is, I would never be able to keep up. It's like window shopping for me. Although I would hope to be up to 10+ pairs of shoes in 2 or 3 years.

I have so often been tempted to ask what people work as to understand where I went wrong in life!
 

Equus Leather

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Have to say I think a worn but maintained leather sole looks much smarter than plastic, and as DWF says way better for the environment

Its always a headache finding a cobbler who isnt going to butcher your shoes when resoleing. If you are in a city there should be someone, but if your shoes are from a decent make send them back to the maker, they should do a better job than anyone, thats what I do at any rate

Charlie
 

ForwardPleats

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Yes, I feel that as entertaining and resourceful this forum is, I would never be able to keep up. It's like window shopping for me. Although I would hope to be up to 10+ pairs of shoes in 2 or 3 years.

I have so often been tempted to ask what people work as to understand where I went wrong in life!
Wear your Loakes indoors, outdoors, etc. and enjoy them. That is the fun of well-made Goodyear-welted shoes. You don't need to baby them. Take good care of them obviously with conditioning, polishing, trees, etc. but I would never ever restrict my shoe wearing out of worry they will wear out too quickly.

I'm a white collar professional who loves quality shoes and clothes, but I have other hobbies as well, so my philosophy is very much to maintain a small rotation of the highest quality items I can afford, which is mid-range at best for style forum standards. Before my recent splurge on a few pairs of Loake 1880s, my main work rotation was four MTM suits and four pairs of Blake-stitched leather dress shoes with leather soles. I wear them indoor and outdoor, including lengthy walks around town during lunch breaks.

Suits and shoes are all about 5-7 years old. All are still in great condition. The shoes have been re-heeled and some have been re-soled once. I could see all being worn another 5-7 years easily if I wanted. However, most of my older shoes will be rotated out in favour of my new Loakes, which I hope to get 15-20 years use out of based on a similar rotation.
 

JFWR

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I have another question that I can't see being definitively resolved on SF. I know that the rate at which you'd resole shoes varies too much to be predicted, but how many times can a shoe - like the one I bought - be resoled?

I'm leaning more and more toward only wearing these indoors at work, having seen some info online saying max is 2-3 and using leather soles outdoors can wear them down in as little as 6 months (something not new to me, but affects resoling).
You can resole your shoes more than 2-3 times. You can only rewelt them three times.

If you aren't walking miles and never wearing other shoes, then even lower quality leather soles should last about two years. Jr soles routinely last 4-5.

If you want to keep them even longer, get a toppy.

Put it this way, dude: shoes are meant to be worn.

Also: consider getting double or triple soles if you're really concerned. Triple leather soles could last a loooonnnggggg time.
 
Last edited:

TheChihuahua

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I know, I know, another thread about leather soles - but, trust me, this one is a little different. I read the forum excessively more than I post, and I've learnt a lot but I haven't seen this raised.

I'm looking for black Oxfords and found a pair I like at my price point. They've got leather soles and I'm very keen to try a pair with these soles (I've only got rubber ones). But my concern isn't with the usual things, but aesthetics. The leather soles look really good when they're new, but I've seen people walking around in them and after use the sole becomes worn and just doesn't look great. Granted, people don't see your soles often, but when they do...

Is this irrational? Can leather soles continue to look classy and nice? Does it even matter?
so long as they don’t have a hole in the sole, leather soles always look great. They are supposed to wear.

Leather soles > rubber soles.
 

TheChihuahua

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I have the intention of only wearing them indoors at work, but we all know there's going to be impromptu trips to the pub. So I'm already acknowledging that staying indoors is a lost cause.

It's just that they look so damned nice when they're new that it's a real shame to spoil them! I've seen the sole protectors, but I don't really see the point. Might as well just get a rubber pair and save the cost of going to the cobbler.
just checking to make sure you realize that the nice looking hand painted leather soles, that’s just for show in the show room.
Leather soles are supposed to wear.
if you don’t wear them in a bit they are slippery.

rubber soled oxfords are a good option for those days when you need to go hiking or it is a tropical storm outdoors. But really 90% if your collection should be leather soles.
 

TheChihuahua

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So I'm based in Ireland and I found out the import duties just don't make sense getting them from the UK. I went down to the city's Loake shop and got these:
those should wear in nicely.
I know a trend is to sort of have these painted/dyed soles, but as already mentioned the soles are supposed to wear. The first thing I do with a new pair of shoes is go outside and scuff the soles a bit so I don’t slip and fall when wearing them néw during the work day.

those are a more natural color sole. They will wear (as they should, and as you want them to), but the wear won’t contrast in the center of a darker color. It will look even if you are concerned about that.

here are some examples of some worn shoe soles where the sole is all lighter so there is no stark contrast.
5AAFA9B0-968F-46DA-BDDD-2103F8C959EA.jpeg
 

TheChihuahua

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I have another question that I can't see being definitively resolved on SF. I know that the rate at which you'd resole shoes varies too much to be predicted, but how many times can a shoe - like the one I bought - be resoled?

I'm leaning more and more toward only wearing these indoors at work, having seen some info online saying max is 2-3 and using leather soles outdoors can wear them down in as little as 6 months (something not new to me, but affects resoling).
1. Have a rotation of shoes. You don’t need a hoarding collection. But have a rotation. Don’t wear the same shoe 2 days in a row and use shoe trees when not on your feet.

2. I do not think I have ever resoled a piece of shoes in the first 2 (or even 3) years of use. They last a while if not abused. Certainly never even thought of resolving a pair of shoes in the first year.
 

ForwardPleats

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those should wear in nicely.
I know a trend is to sort of have these painted/dyed soles, but as already mentioned the soles are supposed to wear. The first thing I do with a new pair of shoes is go outside and scuff the soles a bit so I don’t slip and fall when wearing them néw during the work day.

those are a more natural color sole. They will wear (as they should, and as you want them to), but the wear won’t contrast in the center of a darker color. It will look even if you are concerned about that.

here are some examples of some worn shoe soles where the sole is all lighter so there is no stark contrast.
View attachment 1649599
The printing on those soles look familiar... Are those Loakes?

I agree about scuffing the soles up a little when you first get them. I take mine onto our stamped concrete patio and pace around a little bit. It puts some natural wear on them and gets that traction.

Also, I just love the look of worn in leather soles. They just say cool and quality... I mean if they look cool enough to be front and center in the frame on James Bond's feet in the iconic laser scene from Goldfinger, that is good enough for me:


:bigstar:
 

clee1982

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I have another question that I can't see being definitively resolved on SF. I know that the rate at which you'd resole shoes varies too much to be predicted, but how many times can a shoe - like the one I bought - be resoled?

I'm leaning more and more toward only wearing these indoors at work, having seen some info online saying max is 2-3 and using leather soles outdoors can wear them down in as little as 6 months (something not new to me, but affects resoling).
have resoled 2 pairs once each so far, but all my recent (as in last 10 years...) has all been topy+metal toe tap, so I don't really expect a lot resole to happen... (though I do hit the pavement hard)

i.e. can't tell you how many times you can realistically resole, but if you walk around in Manhattan and on leather sole only, I think the rest would be fine but I would definitely wear the toe to the point require resole in ~1 years.

edit: the biggest headache for me has been turn around time, for the higher end stuff I don't really want to resole local, but if you send it back it would take forever (my CJ took a while ago). And for guys without a retail front (say AM) then mailing stuff to Italy just makes me, well uneasy...
 

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