• Hi, I'm the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear.
  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Shoemaking Techniques and Traditions--"...these foolish things..."

DWFII

Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
9,989
Reaction score
5,352
Well, I admit I had a short circuit in my brain when I read your original post. I have made a lot of derby boots with gusseted tongues, but I have only made a gusseted tongue on one or two pairs of oxfords. It is nowhere near as easy as on a derby but it can be done. I'll see if I have a photo around.
 

DWFII

Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
9,989
Reaction score
5,352
I seem to recall a pair of Raichle ski boots I had back in the day, when it was cable bindings and all leather boots, that had a gusseted tongue.

My original rationale for putting a gusseted tongue in oxford boots was to prevent or control tongue movement. Even on low quarter oxfords, sometimes (I suspect depending on the foot and the gait of the foot) the tongue will wander--it will not stay straight over the instep and may even wander off entirely to the side of the foot.

This leads to, what I always considered one of several rather 'clumsy', attempts to anchor the tongue by sewing it to one the side of the boot, a bit offset from the facings; or a loop of leather (sometimes it's just two parallel cuts in the tongue) or thread midway up the tongue, through which the laces must be fed to prevent the movement.

FWIW....
 
Last edited:

DWFII

Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
9,989
Reaction score
5,352
I made these kangaroo balmorals a number of years ago for my wife. Second pair on the same last but she never wanted to wear these either because they were too 'fancy' or because something about them bothered her feet (she later became quite insistent that her shoes have minimal toe stiffeners despite the fact that her shoes have never pinched her toes). In any case, they have served a useful function as display items (even went to show a couple of times).

As you can see they are full gusseted. Tongue is also kangaroo and blocked to shape not seamed.

20201114_113724_(1024_x_768).jpg


20201114_113326_(1024_x_768).jpg
 

oscarthewild

Distinguished Member
Joined
May 6, 2004
Messages
2,375
Reaction score
31
I suspect it varies depending on the local tradition. Once upon a time handwelted shoes were made with insoles in the 6 iron range (6 iron=1/8 inch). The sewing began on the flesh surface of the insole and pierced the upper in the center of the edge of the insole.

I, myself, like a thicker insole esp if it is shoulder or belly leather. The temper of the leather has as much or more to do with the ability of the insole to form a footbed as the thickness. I like a 10-11 iron insole from shoulder--it creates a deep, comfortable footbed. But the same thickness of insole cut from a bend would not be as amenable.

And, of course, an insole cut from shoulder that is only 6 iron will not form as deep a footbed, either, simply because the insole itself is not as thick.
Thank you.

I am requesting a thicker insole. Lets see if he can manage it.
 

PhilJB

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2019
Messages
31
Reaction score
8
I made these kangaroo balmorals a number of years ago for my wife
Those are very elegant boots! My wife also doesn't like a normal toe stiffener; she says she wants a toe with bit more flex. I was wondering what you ended up doing about your wife's minimal toe stiffener?
 

DWFII

Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
9,989
Reaction score
5,352
I ordinarily make stiffeners of insole shoulder split to approx.on. For my wife i make toe stiffeners out of 3 ounce veg lining leather.
 

PhilJB

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2019
Messages
31
Reaction score
8
Thanks. Do you still wet and/or paste the lining leather toe stiffener? I guess it won't need any more shaping, apart from skiving before fitting, is that right? I was told for a more flexible toe you can put a thin stiffener in dry (so it doesn't go stiff) and without paste, but that might still be shoulder.
 

DWFII

Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
9,989
Reaction score
5,352
I wet and paste the lining regardless. And add a coat of paste to the stiffener just before I re-draft the vamp.
If you really want a minimally stiff toe, just use the paste with no additional stiffener.
 

PhilJB

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2019
Messages
31
Reaction score
8
I'll make up a couple vamps, with the different toe stiffeners, and see which my wife prefers. Will be interesting to see the difference. Thanks for the advice.
 

daizawaguy

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
1,226
Reaction score
1,470
Could someone explain how wooden pegs work? What do they hold together? Intuitively, I have two issues - how deep do they go, and how can a peg only keep two parts together? Thanks!
 

DWFII

Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
9,989
Reaction score
5,352
Could someone explain how wooden pegs work? What do they hold together? Intuitively, I have two issues - how deep do they go, and how can a peg only keep two parts together? Thanks!
First, it's not just one peg...and even a single row of pegs is less effective than a double row of pegs esp. if each row is driven in opposition to the other.

Second, if done correctly the pegs are significantly smaller in diameter than the hole into which they are driven.

If done correctly, pegs will be driven such that they penetrate the last slightly. When the last is pulled the protruding tips must be 'floated'...which snubs the points off and to some extent, splays the wood a little.

Pegs swell (and hold even better) when the leather gets wet or moist...such as the inside of a shoe tends to become.

Pegs are not as secure as stitching, but it is much faster to peg a shoe and when used as an attachment for an outsole, for instance, offers some wear protection that thread does not. Nails are even faster and offer more wear protection, but iron nails or even brass coated iron nails can rust and rust is fundamentally a 'slow fire'--the leather around an iron nail can become black and very brittle under some hot and moist conditions (such as a heavily perspiring foot creates) exactly as if it were burnt. .

Finally, pegging goes back to ancient Egypt. If it weren't effective it wouldn't have survived as a viable technique.
 

Trusar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
49
Reaction score
21
Thank you DWFII,

but let assume that i use a last with metal plate at the heel part and at the same time i don't want to use tacks to attached the upper to the insole, but rather i want to stitch it. So that means, i need first to last the upper (heel part) with normal lasting nails, then remove them while stitching the heel part. My concern is that when lasting the upper, the part of the upper at the heel, where the metal plate is, couldn't be properly fixed, because the lasting nails during the process will go only through the upper and the insole, but not in to the last itself, like if you were doing it on the last without metal plates, or like in the front parts. Is this a problem?
I had a similar question, I have a last with a metal heel plate, which nails or tacks do I use? will clinching nails come out after clinching? Did it take prices of leather with it when and if you managed to remove them?
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

Work From Home: What's Your Attire?

  • PJs & Slippers

  • Cozy loungewear

  • Casual outfit (wool cardigan, chinos, etc)

  • Suit or sport coat and dress trousers


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
452,030
Messages
9,787,384
Members
204,243
Latest member
hungrysteak
Top