Shoe Soles

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by NORE, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    Personally, I think a shoe's sole speaks volumes about the shoe's designer, maker and construction. How many times have you seen a shoe that appeals to your eye only to flip it over and see what looks to be an inferior looking sole? I have this habit of picking up a pair of shoes and immediately flipping it over to inspect the sole. Probably why I don't buy used shoes anymore.

    Even when I receive a pair of shoes in the mail I take them out of the box, and flip them over to inspect the soles. Some may reason, well, the sole is the part that touches the ground and gets the most abuse so I don't see why it's that important. I couldn't agree more.

    The other day I took off a pair of shoes and inspected the sole. I saw something that got me thinking. What do you see here? Can you see something indicative of a more recent trend when it comes to footwear-specifically shoe soles?

    [​IMG]

    For comparison, the shoe on the left is EG and the shoe on the right is Carmina. The EGs I've had for over two years, the Carminas for about a year but they have seen more wear than the EGs. What can you tell from the pics?

    [​IMG]
     


  2. UnnamedPlayer

    UnnamedPlayer Senior member

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    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    I can't see any difference in the two shoes.
     


  3. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    I started this thread because looking at the worn sole on my shoes reminded me of the way some shoe soles are painted nowadays. Can you see the resemblance? Check it:

    EG sole when new:

    [​IMG]

    When worn:

    [​IMG]

    Painted sole:

    [​IMG]

    This led me to believe there is a reason why some painted soles are done the way they are.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012


  4. UnnamedPlayer

    UnnamedPlayer Senior member

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    Isn't that called a "fiddleback" waist?

    I still don't understand what you are saying.
    The wear pattern is a result of the shape of the sole.
    Shoemakers who create a fiddleback waist want to highlight this so they paint the raised portion.
     


  5. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    Yes, the last pic I posted is referred to as a fiddleback. But the point I was trying to make is that some makers, even without touting the fiddleback or painting the sole to accentuate it, creates a sole that wears the way a fiddleback hopes you wear your sole. So if you look at the last pic I posted, doesn't it look like the middle pics, sans the black paint? Some shoes have this feature on the sole and some don't. I'm merely saying that some of the higher end shoe makers offer this feature even if it's not painted to make it plain.

    What brands of shoes do you own? I would like to honestly know if you are anywhere near to really knowing what I mean.
     


  6. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

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    What's up with your avatar?
     


  7. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    That's not exactly a revelation. The painting is completely optional, but most makers of that level of will offer some degree of shaping- that's part of what makes it a higher quality shoe.
     


  8. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Interesting...

    none of my soles don't have that triangle shape wear close to the waist...
     


  9. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    What exactly is your question?



    I thought it interesting that while some makers contour their soles, a great deal of them don't. I encourage pics of the latter.



    Which shoes do you speak of?
     


  10. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    I think the nicest shoes have the narrowest waists. Fiddleback detailing on the bottom mimics this, or give a trompe loeil of a narrower foot on the bottom.

    I love fiddle backs.
     


  11. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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    I like the fiddle back, too. But think of the brands that don't paint their shoes as such. Then they naturally wear in that pattern. Get it?
     


  12. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Both your EG and your Carmina specially. Those are some pretty sharp pointy shape sole wear.

    All my EG/JL/C&J have pretty rounded sole wear
     


  13. mr monty

    mr monty Senior member

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    Are you related to bigbris1? Are you really bigbris1? :lurk:
     


  14. PhiloVance

    PhiloVance Senior member

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    Oh man - Mr. Monty is getting down to the nitty gritty :hide:
     


  15. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    The clear forepart is considered a mark of a careful and clean maker...start with that notion in mind.

    Any time a raised waist is built such as a fiddleback waist, or created by a domed shank (some steel shanks resemble a tube cut in half lengthwise) the sole will wear like that.

    Additionally, if the manufacturer is using a wooden or very thin steel shank, they will sometimes use a piece of leather or plastic or even cardboard to create a "dome" or "cottage over the shank in the waist area. Done right...with leather... this is known as a "box beam construction"and can strength the support and the integrity of the waist considerably.

    And again, the sole will wear in that or a similar, fashion.

    The reason that the sole may, or may not, be painted or dyed in the waist area is almost entirely cosmetic. If the heel and the edge of the outsole is going to be dark...such as ion a black shoe...and the edge of the waist is going to be beveled, it is much easier to extend that dark dye into the waist. The forepart can be isolated because of the way it is trimmed and burnished, but the waist, with its beveled edge, is not so easy. One slip and the shoe is ruined or the waist (maybe the whole outsole) has to be dyed anyway.

    If the shoe is a light or medium tone of brown, many times the maker will choose to use a similar colour of light brown on the edges of the sole and then the whole sole can be done with this same dye.

    When the waist is beveled, some scraping and leveling work may be done in the waist that does not occur in the forepart. If more of the grain is removed in the waist or along the beveled edge than in the forepart, the dye will not "strike" in the same way as the leather in the forepart. So, in such cases, if the waist were not painted, it would make the over-all look of the outsole blotchy. Some makers don't mind this blotchiness, some even strive for a woodgrain-like appearance.

    Others feel that it negates the transparency of a clear forepart.
     


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