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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Dillardiv

    Dillardiv Senior member

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    Thanks. They aren't really that visible from regular wear. Definitely can't complain about the price.
     
  2. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    I think one of the issues to consider first is that construction methods often reflect the quality of their components. This obviously isn't always true. There are Goodyear-welted shoes made from total crap, and there are cemented shoes made from the best leathers. However, as a rule of thumb, it's a relatively safe assumption. Since cementing is the cheapest construction method, most shoes made this way also use inferior components.

    The insoles of cemented shoes are quite likely to be made of fiberboard (essentially high-tech cardboard).

    Cemented shoes can be repaired, contrary to what many may tell you. However, it is undisputable that repairing a cemented shoe is much more "risky" than repairing a stitched shoe such as a Goodyear-welted or Blake/Rapid. When the sole is removed from a cemented shoe, there isn't anything holding the rest of the shoe together. Furthermore, when you rip off the old sole from a cemented shoe, you may damage the other glued components as well. This can set off a domino effect that leads to the shoe not fitting properly afterword. The uppers of cemented shoes are simply wrapped around and glued to the underside of the insole, then the sole is glued to that. So, the sole is essentially glued to the uppers themselves.

    It is the norm for cemented shoes that are made of cheap materials to simply be considered "disposable" because the cost of repairing them is generally not worth it considering the deterioration of the other cheap components in conjunction with the sole. When the sole wears out, the rest of the shoe isn't looking good enough to warrant investing more money in them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Do you mean cemented as in only using glue to hold the sole on, or glue in addition to stitching? If the latter then that is normal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  4. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    True, I was assuming he knew that.
     
  5. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Thank you, MoneyWellSpent, as always, for your detailed response to my query about cemented soles. Referring to Patrick's point, my shoes of this sort have stitching right the way round the edge of the shoes. Are these likely to be cemented and stitched? The makers of my shoes offered a curt 'this range is cemented and not welted'.
     
  6. jd13jd13

    jd13jd13 Senior member

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    Probably a pseudo-stitch. Many cemented shoes have them for the look.
     
  7. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Exactly. I don't know your shoes in particular, but it is surprising how many shoe manufacturers go through the effort to disguise their shoes to look like they are constructed in a different way than they actually are.

    Watch this video: They touch on it there.
     
  8. mikeharo

    mikeharo Senior member

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    You have me thinking about this more now and I have question about cemented shoes. I like the shape of C&J's Cheam for my wedding next year. They are cemented soles. Do the same sentiments hold true for formal shoes?

    For some background, these shoes will not be worn more than once per year beyond my wedding next year.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  9. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    No, it isn't unusual for strictly formal shoes (like patent leather ones) to have cemented soles even by the most expensive brands. They are going for the cleanest look possible, and thus don't want to have any welt to increase the girth of the shoe. Shoes like these get worn so rarely by most people, that they will likely last a lifetime despite being made in an "inferior" way.
     
  10. mikeharo

    mikeharo Senior member

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    Thank-you for responding. That makes sense and I figured as much.
     
  11. FootFitter

    FootFitter New Member

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    @Dillardiv This is not completely something you can fix. I would go ahead and treat and condition using the Saphir Renovating cream tube and go ahead and purchase a pair of shoe trees. When walking in your shoes for a long time you create moisture which expands the leather and lining in your shoe. When you remove your shoe, if you don't have a shoe tree to absorb the moisture/sweat the shoe will not maintain its shape which then causes these creases. Cedar Shoe Tree is best!
     
  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    High end shoe manufacturers ($1k+) usually Blake stitch formal patent shoes from what I have seen.
     
  13. JermynStreet

    JermynStreet Senior member

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    I agree. Why is that? Blake stitch is really useless IMO. I suppose it just allows the maker to make the sole poke out less, but a really good GY welting machine could do that just the same.
     
  14. BootSpell

    BootSpell Senior member

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    Interesting that you say Blake is useless. I'm certainly no expert but have heard opinions where weather issues aside (water seeping in through the stitching holes), that Blake/Blake rapid is of no inferior construction than Goodyear. As pointed out, Blake does offer the ability to make sleeker looking footwear.

    Could you expand on why you think Blake is "useless"?
     
  15. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Are you referring to the manufacturer's that normally charge more than 1K, or to the actual shoes themselves? Edward Green Holborn is cemented, while their Carnegie is Blake stitched. I don't know about the John Lobb Soiree. It doesn't seem to be consistent in who Blake stitches and who cements.

    I think those who choose to Blake stitch are likely just going off of the premise that stitching is considered higher quality than cementing as a stereotype. A welt sewing machine can only get so close, no matter what. A Blake stitching machine can stitch on a sole leaving it flush with the upper since the stitch is running inside the shoe. This is impossible with a welt sewing machine since the stitch is around the perimeter of the welt/sole.
     
  16. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    The Blake stitch is definitely inferior to a welted shoe for the reasons you just mentioned. Essentially, you have a shoe that bears all the problems I described in my post from earlier today when Munky asked about cemented shoes. The only difference being that the stitching will prevent the sole from falling off over time. However, the rest of the construction between a Blake and a cemented shoe are much the same. When the sole is taken off, there isn't anything holding the shoe together. This can open up a real can of worms when repairing a shoe.

    A Blake/Rapid, however, is probably near equal with a Goodyear-welt in my opinion, but I would still go with Goodyear generally. There are pros and cons to both, but I think the scale tips in the Goodyear-welted's favor. Blake/Rapid shoes almost always use fiberboard insoles rather than good quality leather ones, unless you are buying the obscenely expensive ones (in which case I'd just put my money towards a hand-welted shoe). With Blake/Rapid, you still have the annoying stitches inside the shoes that your toes can feel. Also, if you tend to wear into the welt on your welted shoes and thus into the midsole on Blake/Rapid shoes, then when it comes to resoling, you really aren't saving the uppers from any more wear and tear during the recrafting process by going with Blake/Rapid. In other words, if they are replacing the midsole on your shoes at each resoling, the uppers and insole will only withstand this for so many occurrences before it's integrity is shot, just like a Goodyear-welted shoe when replacing the welt. However, with a Goodyear-welted shoe, only the upper is taking a beating during recrafting, while with Blake/Rapid, both the insole and upper are. Finally, if you are looking for a flexible shoe, then a Blake/Rapid is a bit stiffer than a single sole Goodyear-welted one. A Blake/Rapid is closer to a double soled Goodyear-welted shoe in regards to stiffness.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. kentyman

    kentyman Senior member

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    Awesome information as usual.

    I will say I was under a different impression regarding stiffness; I thought Goodyear was always stiffer for some reason. Perhaps I'm remember Goodyear being compared to a non-Rapid Blake?
     
  18. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

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    Yes, a Blake stitched shoe only has a single sole (frequently thin) stitched directly through the upper and insole. A Blake/Rapid has a midsole that is around the thickness of a welt stitched on in the same way, and then a full outsole stitched to the midsole using a welt stitching machine. Since the midsole is a full size sole, it contributes more to the rigidity of the shoe, whereas a welt is only around the perimeter. Also, with the prevalence of fiberboard insoles that are used in Blake/Rapid shoes, that is a factor as well. The leather insoles that are used in Goodyear-welting are less rigid than fiberboard ones.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. kentyman

    kentyman Senior member

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    Is there any technical reason they chose fiberboard over leather, or is it more just what those brands traditionally decide to pick?
     
  20. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Cost and availability. More cost.
     

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