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Mark of an inferior shoe? (Toe spring or no?)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Threadbearer, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Threadbearer

    Threadbearer Senior member

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    I took my new C&J Westbournes to the local cobbler last week just to see if I could find a good color match in shoe polish. The cobbler admired the shoes, asked how much I paid for them, and then plopped one down on his counter so that he could eyeball it from the side.

    "See that gap under the sole?" he asked, as he pushed down on the back of shoe. "A really good pair of shoes doesn't do that. Really good shoes lay flat. My father taught me that."

    Here's the shoe at rest. Notice that the heel isn't flat against the counter.
    [​IMG]


    Here I'm pressing the heel flat against the counter, and that's raising the sole nearly a quarter of an inch.
    [​IMG]


    And here's a closeup of the heel, which I believe is showing unusual signs of wear considering that I've only worn the shoes five times since they arrived:
    [​IMG]


    So is the cobbler right or is he full of crap? And what about the wear on the heel? Did I get a pair of lemons?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2012
  2. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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  3. SirGrotius

    SirGrotius Senior member

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    Your cobbler's making a ton of sense. I'd say we obsess too much on SF, but you also paid a significant chunk of change for those shoes no doubt. They should rest flat. That's like the new eyeball test, right!
     
  4. blahman

    blahman Senior member

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    Of my shoes, my pair of Bexleys suffers from this issue as well. And I thought it is due to Bexley being inferior in quality compare to my S.Mants, Cheneys and Herrings. I don't know whether it actually affects longevity of the shoe in any way, but it certainly feels like it does for when I stand on solid, level ground it seems stress is being added to the waist of the shoe and I can actually feel it to be slightly awkward under my feet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  5. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

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    Interesting, the AEs I have have the same amount of tilt. My AE Seven collection shoes have a sliver of space, same as my Ferragamos. I'm sure wear has something to do with this, but since your shoes are new, it is an interesting theory...
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    The mark of an inferior shoe is the inferior man who wears it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. srivats

    srivats Senior member

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  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  9. Threadbearer

    Threadbearer Senior member

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    Thank you very much, gentlemen. It took hat thread a long time to get to the point, but it really paid off in the end. Much appreciated.
     
  10. forbritisheyes

    forbritisheyes Senior member

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    DWFII,
    I read your post in the thread, but am still uncertain: is it necessarily detrimental to have heels that do not fully contact the ground?

    Shoes with heels that do not contact the floor are likely to be made while the last is not in the shoe until the very last step; you're dismayed when you see heels that display the above condition. Yet you say that the cobbler is wrong in that good shoes must have heels that completely contact every square cm of its surface area. Can you clarify for me?
     
  11. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    That's our hope for this thread.
     
  12. R-H

    R-H Senior member

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    How does the heel sit as you are wearing the shoes?
     
  13. Son Of Saphir

    Son Of Saphir Senior member

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    Cobbler is wrong about sole laying flat,
    it have no spring.
    Shoe sole above should not be so far off ground at end.
    Good way is for toe to raise off ground one pencil width high.
    Me not sure about heel,
    many many man say many many different thing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  14. bringusingoodale

    bringusingoodale Senior member

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    I love these kind of folk wisdom things.

    Someday, in the near future, we will cry how science has mad all of it obsolete.
     
  15. Son Of Saphir

    Son Of Saphir Senior member

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    Double sole is different from single sole.
    Double sole need more raise at end of sole for spring so man can rock back and front.
    lf it not,
    man walk in thick shoe with no flex and walk like river monster.
    lt need to rock.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  16. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    If "many many men (sic)" are saying different things, some...most, perhaps...have to be wrong. It stands to reason. And those who buy into those "different things" without experience or reason (logic, thought, deliberation) will be wrong as well.

    If the shoe is built correctly, the heel will sit flat when the last is in the the shoe.

    If the last is designed correctly, part of its function is to support the foot.

    The shoe does bear weight in the waist--from the heel height to the treadline (ball of the foot).

    The shank support is like a bridge from the height of the heel to the ground. As with any bridge made of flexible or weak materials it will sag under load.

    If, as many high end manufacturers (and some bespoke makers) insist on doing, a wooden shank support is used in a shoe, chances are high that the shoe will begin to break down under the weight of the foot. Maybe even immediately. This is one reason a heel can appear to be high at the breast.

    If such a heel is left alone, the breast of the heel will push up--to its original position during wear and weight bearing--the way the shoemaker and the last maker (and presumably God) intended.

    If the heel is "leveled" the breast cannot return to its "lasted" position and it will fail to support the arch of the foot. Do this enough...or enough times...and the shoe is ruined.
     
  17. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    In all the years I have been making shoes and boots I have yet to hear a rational or mechanically sound explanation why lower toe spring is wanted on a shoe.

    To the contrary, the theory is...based on the mechanics of the foot during gait...that the higher the heel on the shoe the less toe spring is needed. And vice versa.

    All things being equal--heel height, last length, construction and leather--a low heeled shoe with less toe spring will crease more deeply than a low heeled shoe with more toe spring. It stands to reason.

    It may be what customers want to see, but that doesn't make it rational.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  18. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

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    Indeed, though, "Use every man after his desert, and who would 'scape whipping?"
     
  19. Costanza

    Costanza Senior member

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    Cool. This sounds similar to the camber sometimes built into structural members in buildings and is visible in some unloaded flat beds. The original shape counters the deflection expected under load.
     
  20. zippyh

    zippyh Senior member

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    :slayer::slayer::slayer:
     

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