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shoe construction...behind the veil

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by DWFII, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. thelonius

    thelonius Senior member

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    Hanwag double-stitching is GYW, as shown in the website video. They look nice, but are they going to really keep your feet dry? It depends on what type of hiking you do, but in any case, leather is not impermeable - doesn't matter how good the stitching is. If you're going to be mountain/hill hiking, possibly in marshy, wet or snowy conditions, you might as well accept that it has to be a moulded-sole hiking boot. Parachoc (subsidary of Paraboot) make some excellent models. Boots like this rarely get considered on this forum.
     
  2. globobock

    globobock Senior member

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    Which means, in this case, optics has to be sacrificed.

    Which also explains why those dressy boots are usually labeled as "Country Boots". Serves well for the walk in the Woods, with the occasional poodle and mud to wad trough, but not really recommended for the 3-day-or-more hike.

    Well, so it is then.

    P.S.: Tierowa Leather Care Claims that they have been "used by expeditions since the last century to impregnate their boots", which triggered my search for the classic hiking boot.
     
  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    You're absolutely right for once. I speak English and shoemaking. Period. It is what it is. I'm not going to cry or brood about it.

    I don't know how many languages you speak with fluency, much less native fluency...but English apparently isn't one of them.

    As for respecting...and more importantly understanding...other cultures, I've always been of the opinion that you have to respect and understand your own, first and foremost or you'll never be able to respect any other.

    And the one you live in close behind that.

    --
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Every shoe, bespoke or RTW has a minimum number of necessary operations to completion. More machines doesn't make it more complicated as I illustrated in a previous post. And I can't think of but one or two operations in a GY facility that are additional to what is required in a B-R operation.

    Is that because HW is more complicated? If you really understood HW you'd realize that just the opposite is true---one man working with his hands and fairly uncomplicated, even primitive tools is not a complicated business. Tedious, Precise, fully engaged but not complicated.

    It's a variation of the shine vs. substance meme. You think complicated, new, and shiny are always better. I know from long years in the Trade and engagement with creative processes, every day, that the old saw about "more is less" is generally true. Sometimes I suspect it is because 'more' is distracting and keeps us from focusing on the basics, the fundamentals...even the spirit of the thing.

    "What is the sound of one hand clapping"...who can know when two much less six make such a racket?


    That's the easy, lazy brain conclusion. But it isn't necessarily true. Anytime you have a leather upper, regardless of construction methods, it is not ever going to be waterproof.

    Blake, can, if not done into a closed channel, wick water up into the insole.

    Blake-Rapid cannot.

    GY is more vulnerable, because of the materials and construction techniques combine to make a product that is less than the sum of its parts.

    HW, done well, is maybe the most waterproof / water resistant (factoring out the absorbent characteristics of leather itself) because it is a gestalt--greater than the sum of its part. A tight inseam at a relatively tight SPI, each stitch sealed with pine pitch, is near-as-nevermind the same as no seam at all.

    Whatever weaknesses or vulnerabilities any particular method of construction has, adding a second outsole or a rubber outsole, isn't going to cure them. The fundamental weaknesses will still be there.

    --
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  5. diadem

    diadem Senior member

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    I keep hearing about Veldtschoen construction for waterproofing. I know that it is a form of GYW, but what exactly makes it better for adverse weather conditions? And is it truly better?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  6. globobock

    globobock Senior member

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    So how much can be achieved by oiling the upper leather or impregnating it with wax/fat, in terms of proofing the upper leather?

    From what I read, there are three entry gates for water:
    1. The sole-> can be protected with rubber
    2. The welt -> storm welting or veldtshoen
    3. The upper -> oiling/impregnating

    The question is how much can be achieved by those classical techniques in comparison to applying artificial material/techniques such as goretex.
     
  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Theoretically it's more water resistant. As long as it's leather it is not waterproof.

    Every form of refuge has a price. If the upper is turned out, it resists the immediate wicking of moisture but the upper becomes vulnerable to sloppy or over-aggressive resoling techniques.
     
  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Waxing / greasing confers temporary benefits but more importantly often shortens the life of the shoe by picking up and holding abrasive grit in the creases and by smothering the leather.

    1. But esp. as it relates to contemporary, advances materials science methods, it is already sealed, theoretically--the liberal application of neoprene cements does that. There is no doubt however that rubber wears more slowly and absorbs less moisture than leather does. Environmental effects be damned.

    2. Won't change the basic permeability of leather and if not done with exceeding care and mindfulness --tight and close--storm welt, by itself has very little advantage over regular welt.

    3. Smothers the leather, accelerates cracking.

    Think about it--everything you're doing can be accomplished by dipping your shoes in a bucket of liquid rubber. (or by wearing overshoes) . Every solution you've proposed is to emulate a plastic shoe. Why not just get a plastic or rubber shoe to begin with?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
    3 people like this.
  9. Trqmaster

    Trqmaster Senior member

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  10. globobock

    globobock Senior member

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    Well, as in all things in the world, we try to achieve the best compromise.

    If I focus on practical reason only, there are tons of "modern" hiking boots on the market, some of I already own and wore in some outdoor activities.

    It is just, aesthetically, those boots don't satisfy me.

    May I conclude that you are basically saying, if we are to stay put with the more traditional boots, our feet will get wet sooner than by using advanced material?
     
  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Depends on the advanced materials. There is a case to be made that a good percentage of the moisture in the shoe is generated by the foot. Because plastics are occlusive--they don't allow the leather to breathe and wick water away from the foot.

    But of course plastic shoes will keep your feet drier than leather in wet weather.

    But again, think about it...you say you're not best pleased with the aesthetics of footwear that addresses these issues. Well, why not buy...or just as importantly, why not wear...shoes appropriately. Plastic shoes for the monsoon season and beautiful, breathable shoes for the office?

    As far as compromise is concerned...I would be suspicious of the whole concept--it's really just another way of saying "mediocre."
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    1. Good. So you are acknoledeging that GYW needs additional 1-2 steps compare to BR. In manufacturing, that is called complications.

    2. That is called throughput. Not complication. You can either increase throughout by adding bandwidth, I.e., have 200 shoemakers hand welting 5 pairs of shoes per day to achieve the same 1000 pairs per day through put as 2 station operators running the gemming and welt stitching machines. And that is assuming all 200 makers are making the same quality output, which is unreasonable. Case in point: Vass.

    HW is naturally disadvantaged in its throughout and cannot be easily scaled.

    3. Anytime you have leather outsole you will have water seeping into insole regardless of the construction method. Only remedy is to increase outsole thickness, i.e. double/triple sole/cleats, or using rubber sole.

    Also, to improve watertight sides, storm welts and stitched down performs better.

    Also, remember couple years ago I've asked you how to get rid of water stains in a pair of very light colored soles? That pair happened to be HW, and got soaking wet from upper vamp area all the way to the outsole. Tropical storms. My Vass isn't water tight either.

    Never had the same problem with my rubber soles or double leather sole boots/shoes.

    My experience/empirical evidence proves your opinion/theories invalid.
     
  13. globobock

    globobock Senior member

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    Mediocre sounds so harsh. I would rather call it "testing the limits". :)

    So what were the outdoorer wearing before the rise of plastic? Or the soldiers in WW1/WW2?

    They just don't bother with the little water?

    I remember reading that the original purpose of brogues was to be an outlet for water to leave the shoe...
     
  14. makewayhomer

    makewayhomer Senior member

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    This is true, but Gore-Tex was invented years ago (let's moisture out but not in) and has been improved upon greatly since. there are hiking sneakers and boots optimized to be used to be used in warm weather locations and none of them are hand welted :)

    "waterpoof" is a term tossed around a lot but short of my rubber LL Bean boots, none of my footwear is even close to waterproof. nothing with leather and stitching involved should be considered in the waterproof conversation - that term may have made sense 50 years ago when "wateproof" was a relative term, but it really should be an absolute term.

    just chiming in to say if you want weather resistant hiking shoes, you should buy a pair optimized for that activity, not a hand made pair of shoes that you make (which is superior in all sorts of other ways)
     
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  15. dazedstate

    dazedstate Senior member

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    The right tool for the job
     
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  16. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I don't think we know that for sure--I suspect that it's just a bit apocryphal--more magical thinking of the kind that is rife on the 'Net and among E-Experts and those who rely on personal experiences and fantasies to create a comforting world view for themselves.

    "Brogues" supposedly originated in Scotland and Scotland is wet all the time. The remedy?

    Wool.
     
  17. globobock

    globobock Senior member

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    Wool for the shoe?
    You mean, for lining?
     
  18. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    No, just in general. For warmth...even when wet.
     
  19. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Sure, it's "complications" --in the same sense that riding a horse becomes more complicated with a burr under the blanket; or in the sense that two men driving one railroad spike is complicated. The job is simple...it can be done with one man. You can add more men, set up a board of inquiry and an advisory committee and make it complicated as hell. But the job remains the same.

    And the whole business begs the question: if adding two machines to do the job of one man makes things complicated, what does add two men to do the job for which there is no machine, do? Pulling and replacing the last on Blake / Blake Rapid? How many machines would it take to do that job if there were such?

    Only marginally.

    Like most magical thinkers you confuse cause and effect. It wasn't the HW that was the problem it was the tropical storm. And the magical thinking that concluded that you didn't need to seek shelter quickly.

    Really? I test my "theories," across a broad spectrum of conditions and people and materials, every day. How about you?

    Your experiences are hardly empirical. They are "personal" --as you yourself have boasted. And they are singular, isolated, and clouded by your limited knowledge (ignorance of materials, techniques and broader application) as well as your own self-congratulatory interpretations and self-comforting fantasies--what you want to believe, IOW. They reliably apply only to you and the imaginary world you live in.

    That's the antithesis of "empirical."

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  20. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Of course I take it personally...you quoted me. And you questioned the sincerity of my responses and contributions in post #1277.

    I responded to the "OQ"...addressed to me...which was:


    Nothing about relative costs--you and others dragged the discussion into those weeds.

    All my subsequent responses were to that original question: post #1245, #1247, etc..

    I understand that these weren't the answers you wanted nor was this the topic you wanted to talk about.

    But I made it clear from the beginning that I was talking about prevalence and choices made by established English firms and the possible reasons for them. And when these answers didn't satisfy the discussion you were having in your head I simply said "ask someone else." Post #1263

    A little focus goes a long way towards not making spurious accusations and keeping things on track.

    IMO
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016

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