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Sole Welting

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Quarantanove, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Quote:Given that they will get scuffed pretty quickly (assuming one is walking on pavement) any danger will surely pass quickly. And the fact that they will scuff quickly renders moot (for me) any preference between a smooth / shiny finish and a logo. Though I kind of like the JR logo on the shoes I own that have it. That said. I have tried on shoes with highly buffed (waxed?) shiny outsoles that were so slippery on carpet it felt close to walking on ice. I'd be sure to get those worn on pavement right away. As for the appeal - I will let those who havea strong preference for the short-lived shine on outsoles explain what attraction it holds for them.
     
  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    So...new policy for me--in this thread.

    If people want my opinion...want to ask me a question--

    If someone wants the opinion of a shoe and bootmaker who has been doing this full time for 40+ years...

    Who has actually done the work and gotten his hands dirty...

    Who has been successful enough at it that he could support a wife and two children, own his own house and shop building (free and clear,) and is at this time debt free...

    Who is not promoting or actively seeking profit nor benefit from his participation in this discussion...

    If someone is looking for that kind of feedback, I will be happy to oblige provided they address their questions specifically to me (as so many others have already done and do). My username is DWFII but you can simply call me DW.

    I will not answer open ended questions not addressed to anyone.

    If you quote me, I will answer...if I feel like it...but be aware that there are no few people here who will nevertheless assume that if you didn't address your remarks to them or didn't quote them...you should have and it is surely all an unfortunate oversight. (Post #1051)

    Those who feel compelled to answer in my stead or comment on an answer I have provided should be called on to provide substantiation and credentials. But I reserve the right to call it like I see it based on 40+ years of experience.

    If you want someone else's opinion, address your questions to them. If you want shoe repair advice...I'm not your guy.

    If you want want pretense, obsequious ego stroking, clueless speculation, or brief, short-attention-span, twitter feed answers, there are at least a half dozen people here who can better address your needs than I can.

    Obviously some people here feel like they aren't getting enough attention...no one is asking their opinion...and this is the most democratic solution I can come up with.

    More importantly, it is a blueprint for civility if people don't misuse it.

    --
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
    2 people like this.
  3. LynahFaithful

    LynahFaithful Senior member

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    From my perspective as the owner of two pairs of bespoke shoes, the appearance of the finished soles is about quality. I'm not the expert here and so if this isn't right, then I ask DW to clarify for us, but finishing, including the appearance of the sole, is one important aspect of bespoke shoemaking. DW's reaction to the picture of the shoes posted by fishball indicates to me the importance. In mafoofan's "bespeaking" thread, there was mention (not sure if it was Matt) of some not so good finish details on his new Cleverelys. Does that tell anything about the details that cannot be seen? Who knows? But to me, if the maker takes the time and attention to the detail of the soles, that he/she knows are going to be scuffed almost immediately, then that speaks, at least to me, that this maker cares. There is certainly the possibility of what I mentioned about the quality of unseen details but I would suspect if the maker takes that kind of care with the soles, then rest is going to be pretty good too. Just my opinion and YMMV.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Quote:I understand the aesthetic appeal - people like what they like - and there is a certain on-the-shelf uniformity to having a shiny sole to match the shiny upper. For me, the curiosity of the appeal rests not upon the fact that it is a largely unseen detail when the shoe is worn, but rather one which does not last. I suppose that if there hypothetically existed some extra magnificent glaze that gave the upper a unique shine - but evaporated within a week of the shoes being removed from the box and could never be re-applied - I would hold the same ambivalence. Now, if there is in fact some functional benefit to that type of sole finish - something that improves the quality of the sole in some articulable way - I'm all ears.
     
  5. LynahFaithful

    LynahFaithful Senior member

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    Functional benefit of shine on the soles? Probably none in the way you are thinking about it, but, the shine that was on the soles of my shoes (and the fiddleback waist) when I got them is certainly indicative of the quality that is built into them (and the skill of the maker). The shine was gone as soon as I wore them, but I know how hard I have worn them, and what they look like now and there is no mistaking the quality and value that I have received.
     
  6. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Quote:^^^ I'm glad you like them, and if you feel that such a finish is indicative of the overall quality of the shoe in a way that a standard finish is not, then it has at least contributed to your enjoyment of the pair. I'm not sure how much skill is required for such a finish, though. And I mean that literally - I'm not sure - which does not equate to a positive declaration that it takes little or no skill. The reason for my uncertainty is that I have seen in various factory shoemaking vids, a high gloss polish applied to sole edges with a buffing wheel in almost no time at all. Now it may be that a very different process is used to gloss up the soles, but generally speaking, making leather shiny doesn't strike me as a particularly skilled task. We all do it when we shine our shoes, after all.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. anrobit

    anrobit Senior member

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  8. LynahFaithful

    LynahFaithful Senior member

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    Roger - Check out Marcell Mrsan's videos. You will see some of the skilled handwork involved in finishing his shoes. Check out what he does with a piece of broken glass to shape a sole and sole edge, check out the heel shaping, stacking, and trimming with a knife; the heel and sole skiving, rasping, filing, sanding, etc., and the attention to detail. All of this is involved with finishing. You won't see the entire process in his videos either because they are also selectively edited, but, they do give a much better flavor than does a RTW factory video for the skill required in making and finishing a bespoke shoe or boot.

    Anrobit - I agree and disagree. I made essentially the same point you made in an earlier posting. Here's what I wrote. "But to me, if the maker takes the time and attention to the detail of the soles, that he/she knows are going to be scuffed almost immediately, then that speaks, at least to me, that this maker cares......but I would suspect if the maker takes that kind of care with the soles, the rest is going to be pretty good too. Just my opinion and YMMV." The detail of the soles that I mentioned is more than just the shine, it's the shaping of the sole, the waist, the heels, etc., and, what I meant by "the rest" is the infrastructure of the shoe that cannot be seen and the visible aesthetics.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    LynahFaithful - I will look up the vids and no doubt learn from them.

    But please keep in mind - I have no doubt whatsoever that a great deal more handwork goes into a bespoke shoe than RTW - and I hope you didn't take my comment as suggesting otherwise. My uncertainty as to the skill involved related to the process of shining the sole alone - not to the myriad other tasks involved in creating a fine bespoke shoe, most of which require much skill indeed. And I'm not referring to the shaping of the sole / waist / heels or any of that - just the highly polished finish on he surface of the sole itself.

    I'm just not sure that buffing the sole to a glossy shine takes much skill compared to those other tasks - and I stand to be corrected if I am wrong in this. But if I am right, then the shiny sole does not, in and of itself, suggest a higher quality shoe overall. But of course it can be - and in the case of your bespoke shoes no doubt is - an attractive part of what is otherwise undoubtedly the product of highly skilled craftsmanship.
     
  10. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It's not the buffing of the sole that takes the skill. It is the compressing, scraping and polishing of the sole to make a smooth flat surface so that it can take the waxing that is the skill.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
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  11. LynahFaithful

    LynahFaithful Senior member

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    Thanks dopey. I can't speak to the methodology or skill required of any aspect of shoe making as I haven't done it.

    I do think though (and this is my opinion only) that if the maker takes the time and effort to create a highly glossed finish on the sole, it really can be indicative of the quality of the whole shoe. There may be exceptions but I believe that if any maker is going to make that kind of effort on just the sole, then the rest of the shoe is, most likely, going to be just as good. YMMV.
     
  12. Fishball

    Fishball Senior member

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    Be frank, I don't think all this "good work" do to the sole has few if any at all fuctionality.
    It is just like embroidery, or more like decoration on the cake. It take a lot of time, but no real function.

    I have tried to do it, so I know how diffcult and time consuming to make a "perfect" good looking sole.
    For the untrained eyes, one will think EG or G&G sole look pretty good, yes the are good, but the Japanese or other bespoke shoemakers can do something better or best!
    But the price for better and best is not in liner proportion.

    If you have chance to go Tokyo, go to get a resole in their department store, any one of them, you will find that their cobblers do a much much better job than the cobblers in US.
     
    2 people like this.
  13. BootSpell

    BootSpell Senior member

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    Last time I was in Tokyo, I was not "enlightened" so look forward to paying attention to anything footwear oriented.
     
  14. Fishball

    Fishball Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    here is the first pair of men shoes I made two or three years ago, the sole is not that good, but it still take a lot of time even making a poor looking sole like that! :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    That is what I had thought.
     
  16. JohnnyMarr

    JohnnyMarr Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]DFW dude, are you fo' real?
     
  17. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Fishball, if that is your first effort, then this is me standing and clapping.
     
  18. Fishball

    Fishball Senior member

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  19. Vicious49

    Vicious49 Senior member

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    What is DW's website? I'd like to see more pics of his work.

    DW - Are you able to provide a link or would that be considered spamming? And can you believe that Mr. Bates knows! Can't wait for next weeks episode.
     
  20. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I don't know...I generally err on the side of caution and avoid posting it.. However, my profile contains a link. ("What we offer" bottom of the page, if you're interested in men's dress shoes)

    I think he does know. I think he knew all along. He hated that guy from the git-go.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014

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