I know this subject has been rehearsed in this forum many times and I have read those threads. But I still would like to get some advice from the more experienced members of the forum. I recently acquired a Carmina monk in shell on the rain last. It is the best shoe I have ever owned; the craftsmanship seems to outclass the alden shell i own. Don't get me wrong iI love the alden too, its a very different shoe; the carmina is amazingly sleek and elegant on any terms and especially for shell. On the carmina even the sole is a work of art, with channeled stitching, oak tanned leather, finished leather on the heal under the sole, brass nails at the heal and toe, etc. I got a good deal on them via ebay, never worn and great price. My conundrum is that I would like these to last as long as possible -- a lifetime if possible. I wonder about the number of times I can have them resoled. and i am also concerned that unless i resole them by sending them back to carmina, they will not be the same. And that might be expensive and a total hassle given they are in Spain and dont have much of a us presence. Therefore I am thinking of getting toppy for the toes, or another rubber layer, in order to extend the life of the soles. Is there any way of doing this without a cobbler shaving down the sole itself? I am already torn by the idea of covering the workmanship up (like putting plastic on a couch) but then its the bottom of the shoe. also i am a bit concerned the aesthetic and comfort effects but am considering it to protect the construction. But if that has to be compromised by shaving down the sole, potentially exposing the channeled stitching, etc then i wonder if it really makes sense at all! Seems like a bit of a travesty to protect a shoe by mucking about with some of what makes it special at least to me. Any other thoughts from those with more experience is most appreciated! I will try to post a couple pics when I have a few moments.