Taps on shoes...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by norcaltransplant, May 4, 2004.

  1. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Senior member

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    I'm thinking about adding a pair of taps to some leather soled oxfords. From your collective experience, do you find that the toe taps actually improve the longevity of the shoe? Did you notice a change in balance/fit the shoe? Is there any difference in the choice of materials?

    Additional tidbit of info for Green lovers: resoling 120 pounds plus parcel from England (quoted from EG rep).

    norcal
     


  2. FIHTies

    FIHTies Senior member

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    NC: while not the expert on shoes I will say that I am very rough on what I wear.  Regardless, I stopped getting toe taps as i havent found them very useful. Does the toe of the shoe actually press down on the street surface even when walking, due to the natural upward curve of the shoe from the crease? I don't think there is all that much connection on that part of the foot. Of course the flipside is that they only cost a buck or two and if that makes you feel better its probably worth it, assuming that there is no change in balance. (which is what you asked in the first place  [​IMG] )
     


  3. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    If you wear the tips out before the ball area, double check the size you are wearing and make sure you don't maybe need a longer narrower shoe. If it is your gait, I feel that replacing the tips and toplifts is a normal part of shoe upkeep so there is no reason for 'taps'. Anytime you add something that the manufacturer does'nt expect, you will alter the balance slightly.
     


  4. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Senior member

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    Update on taps:

    1) I respect the opinion of Rider and the other shoes denizens on this forum.  However, I tend to drag my feet when I walk and burn the tips of my shoes down to nothing in a matter of months.

    2) While the tips are worn down, the soles have probably 60-80% of their life left.

    3) Solution: I visited a local shop that sold Alden's and asked them to recommend a cobbler.  I found someone about 15 minues from my place who offered to attach quarter-rubber soles to the bottom of my shoes.  The process required sanding down the leather and then applying the rubber portion with an adhesive.

    4) Comments: I first experimented with a pair of mid-quality Allen Edmonds that were beginning to show wear at the tips.  I was quite satisfied with the results--the job looks neat, the rubber tips have had no effect on my gait, and they look pretty durable after a couple of outings.

    I'll shoot pics later today if ppl are interested.

    norcal
     


  5. JohnMS

    JohnMS Senior member

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    Norcal,

    I would be interested in some pictures. I'm a lazy walker I suppose and drag the tips of my shoes, so much so that the AE mini lug sole (Cornell, Dellwood, etc.) have been known to break off on me.

    Show me what the cobbler did.
     


  6. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    Norcal, I'd too be interested in seeing some pictures if you please.

    One other thing for all -- as an alternative to taps, have a cobbler nail in some nails (they're officially called something like "slugs" I think) to the tips. At least five in a crescent across the top following the shoe's line. I've had this done on nearly all my shoes that showed uneven wear and I've been happy with the results. No need for taps.
     


  7. General Koskov

    General Koskov Well-Known Member

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    After bashing my right toe into a kerb the other day, I noticed that the Goodyear-welted sole on my father's old shoe (which I now wear, how very preppy of me&#33[​IMG] started to split apart, top from bottom. My theory is that the stitching wore away long ago, leaving only the glue to hold the sole layers together. Then, the shock of the bashing of the toe broke the sole layers apart. Consequently, I have decided to bespeak some shoes with toe taps (and perhaps heel plates, too). However, I am also wondering if the channelled-stitching (where the stitch is recessed in the sole) would hold up better because the thread would not be worn away by walking?
     


  8. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    General, I was thinking the same thing about channelled soles. I think that this must be the case. I'm going to buy some Peale & Co.'s later this week (channelled soles) in order to test this theory (and because I've been pining over them and have a BB gift card).
     


  9. Lomezz

    Lomezz Senior member

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    General and Johnny - from my experience with channeled soles, the layer covering the stitches is quite thin, and, naturally, is the first thing that gets worn down on the sole. thus exposing the stitches. It might add a little extra protection - but not much. I do believe channeling is done mainly for aesthetic reasons.

    As to toe taps - I also have a problem with prematurely worn toe to the point the front end of the sole gets grinded down to a sharp edge... I've recently put taps on my C&J handgrades and am quite happy with the result, except when walking on metal grates...

    BTW, Lattanzzi shoes come with a crescent of nails in the toe area, as someone described above.
     


  10. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Senior member

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    Check these out: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] BTW, before I added the quarter-soles, I brought in three pairs of shoes. Â 1) A pair of Santoni handmades with metal slugs--he said that the brass nails would do little in the long run and were more an aesthetic feature. Â 2) I used a pair of Tramezzas with rubber half soles as my example. Â I requested a smaller rubber piece to retain much of the leather sole. Again, I was quite happy with the workmanship and final result.
     


  11. brescd01

    brescd01 Senior member

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    I think that wear patterns probably determine the answer to this. But I have found taps to greatly extend the longevity of my soles if not my shoes. The catch is that you should use the white nylon type, and not the black rubber kind, which are as soft as chalk and easly worn down quickly. Their cost adds up if you don't put them on yourself. The white kind last forever and do preserve the sole. I suspect some of it has to do with raising the shoe slightly above moisture, but this is just supposition on my part.
     


  12. Dan G

    Dan G Senior member

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    I too, am particularly hard on the tips of my shoes. Can anyone recommend a good cobbler in midtown Manhattan?

    Thanks
     


  13. Lomezz

    Lomezz Senior member

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    Dan G - I use Nelson B in the MacGraw Hill Building (48th and 6th)- Websitw For other recommended names see Cobbles Avoid Shoe Service Plus on 55th during lunch hour - it's a mob scene :)
     


  14. marc37

    marc37 Senior member

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    l can't say anything with authority, but l feel that metal heal caps should not be used: they jar the heal and can [consequently] expose the heal to alot more punishment over [a long period of] time. l have a personal theory that metal caps crack leather heals. Eventhough plastic tips wear down really quick, a person should be prepared to change the plastic tips every 5 wears. Sometimes l will have a tap on my heal for 12 wears; other times [l give other parts of my heal a chance to {rebalance and wear}] l will remove the tap until the heal wears [enough on the other side] and rebalances. l check my soles after every wear: l know my shoes inside out. Plastic/metal tips are great to put on the ends of shoes [so you don't get unsitely wear at the end of the shoo]. [​IMG]
     


  15. Dan G

    Dan G Senior member

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    Thanks for the info Lomezz
     


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