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School Me on the Application of a Sole Guard / Topy / Vibram

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mazderati, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Mazderati

    Mazderati Well-Known Member

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    Have some shoes on which I'd like to add sole guards. Purchased soling sheet and contact adhesive. General plan is as follows:

    1. Trace profile of sole onto cardboard.
    2. Cut out cardboard template and trace template onto soling sheet.
    3. Cut out rubber sole guard from soling sheet.
    4. Rough sole of shoe with sandpaper.
    5. Rough sole guard with sandpaper.
    7. Apply glue to sole of shoe.
    8. Apply glue to sole guard.
    9. Attach sole guard to sole, apply pressure, and let dry.
    10. Trim sole guard flush to sole of shoe.

    I've read about one guy applying three coats of glue to each of the sole and sole guard, letting the glue dry between coatings. I'm not sure why this might be preferable, as the layer of glue may become thick. Not to mention the glue is dry before mating the sole and sole guard? But I know this is done for some other applications unrelated to shoes.

    Am I missing anything? Helpful tips and tricks?
     
  2. sportin_life

    sportin_life Senior member

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    I typically have my local cobbler apply the vibram soles b/c most cobblers won't charge much for it and not sure if it's worth the risk of messing up the shoes, even if the risk is low.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  3. reidrothchild

    reidrothchild Senior member

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    +1. Unless you're doing this as an educational experience, don't do it yourself. If this is your first time, it will likely look like garbage. My cobbler charges $15 for the service.
     
  4. Mazderati

    Mazderati Well-Known Member

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    The local cobbler pricing isn't as competitive. Called three different shops with a range of $35 to $40 per pair. Considered B. Nelson but they're also $35. One or two shoes at that price wouldn't bother me, but I've got a stable to guard. Plus, I consider myself fairly handy and already purchased the supplies.
     
  5. reidrothchild

    reidrothchild Senior member

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    Ouch. Disregard my earlier comment. I'm not sure I'd pay $40 either to have my $130 AE 2nds topy'd.
     
  6. pendragon

    pendragon Senior member

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    Why are you doing this at all? Why not just wear the shoes, and then resole them when necessary?
     
  7. lostron

    lostron Senior member

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    It is actually not hard to do and i would argue that you can probably do it better than a cobbler who might use cheap glue or rubber half sole.

    it is important that you get those precut half sole and barge cement glue. i would not cut the rubber soles before application but instead after the glue has been fully dried. therefore, first sand down the shoe very well and the rubber half sole. use the barge glue on both items with the tip of the sponge to spead it around.. then wait 15-20 min and stick the rubber sole to the shoe. apply pressure very well and use rubber bands to tighten the rubber to the sole or some clips to hold the 2 togather. make sure they are tight and let sit for 24 hours. afterwards, use the razor to cut the excess rubber from the shoe using a slow and controlled motion at an angle and yur done.

    It is a very simple process and after doing it a few times, i think i do it much better than all the local shoe repair shops. if your a little craft with your hands, this process is easy to do.
     
  8. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    iroh had a guide on this topic in which he adhered a frozen waffle to Crocs with Log Cabin to make a winter shoe.

    The resulting shoes were awesome at temps below 27F, so were useful in Toronto from August through June.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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    I had a guy put a vibram covering on my soles of two pairs in Philadelphia. Cost me 20 bucks or less. Heck, I think it might have been 15 bucks. He did a great job too.

    Anyway, I would never put it on myself. I value my time and worry free lifestyle too much hahaha
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  10. Nick V.

    Nick V. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    WADR I think rather than referring to an entire industry you may want to include the word "some".
    While I'm supportive of DIY'ers, the fact is rubber bands or clips are not as effective as an 8k press machine.
    A razor blade and a piece of sandpaper cannot do the precise job a 20k finishing machine can.
    A laymen can not be more accurate than a seasoned craftsman.
    Post a picture of one of your jobs.
    I'll post a picture of a job professionally done using quality materials, parts and, labor.
     
  11. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  12. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    unfortunately i don't wear crocs.
     
  13. lostron

    lostron Senior member

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    your right but i did mention local shoe shops(around 3 in total). in no way do i think i do it better than a machine but all local tailors near me do it manually with cheap rubber and glue (had it done in the past). For my great pairs of shoes, i used to do it but all good pairs are done professionally at other shops [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  14. sportin_life

    sportin_life Senior member

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    I topy my shoes b/c I actually think the Vibram soles are more attractive than leather ones once they break in (I don't like the way worn leather looks). Also, I spend most of my time in the hospital and/or clinics, with mostly either marble or other slippery floors and I've actually had times where I almost slipped and fell when I didn't topy my shoes.
     
  15. sportin_life

    sportin_life Senior member

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  16. Mazderati

    Mazderati Well-Known Member

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    Log Cabin ruins the idea of an edible waffle shoe. I suppose the frozen waffle could also be used as a toe medallion, a la Tory Burch.

    I'm past the why of sole guards and on to how best to affix them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  17. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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    My local guy charges $35 per pair, but does a great job. They end up looking like they were applied from the factory. I know he uses the Vibram brand, because the logo is on the rubber piece.
    I walk quite a bit, about 2+ miles a day, and I don't want to burn through the leather soles prematurely. It also helps a bit with traction. If I drove a car to work and only walked on carpeted floors all day, I probably won't bother.
     
  18. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    this is a good chance:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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