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

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

  1. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Don't need replacing. This is normal.
     
  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    The "toplift" definitely needs replacing toot sweet. If you wear them much more you'll wear through the rubber and into the leather of the heel block. Not good.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    So who is 'right' on the issue of these heels? DWF, you write of the danger of wearing down the heel sack. If shoes are resoled and heeled, isn't the stack removed with the sole?

    It strikes me that, with a lot of shoes, the toplift is very thin and might well wear down very quickly. Those who walk a lot, every day (as does Patrick), must wear down toplifts like it's going out of style.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Munky,

    What you're seeing in the photos is a toplift. If it is worn much more it will start wearing away the leather lifts in the stack. To repair a stack that has been worn into the damaged leather, lifts must be replaced or "patched." Usually with a "skiver."

    In either case, it costs more money--time & materials-- unless the cost of making such repairs is built into the price of a toplift replacement. And in the case of the "patch," it's never going to have the integrity of the original undamaged leather lift. Or the same colour...which with very light coloured heels blocks could be a factor.

    If the shoe is resoled with a half sole, the stack need not be touched except to clean old cement off of it. And, in some ways that's almost the ideal solution, esp. on RTW, as it avoids disturbing the heelseat which is often nailed and clinched.

    If a fullsole is done, yes, the stack will be removed and remounted but not necessarily replaced...but the damage to the stack will still need to be dealt with.

    PS (and on edit)...as near as humanly possible, heels should be kept "square" whether they be whole rubber heels or just toplifts. Too much wear on the heel (usually outside corner) will throw the gait off and make the shoe run over to the lateral side (induced supination) and cause excessive and accelerated wear of the outsole.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  5. ScuffedBluchers

    ScuffedBluchers Senior member

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    THAT's why I'm always blowing through my outsole. I walk like a duck and always wear out the center of the outsole, after I've worn down the outside edge of the heel. So you're saying if I have that black rubber replaced more frequently, I will have to replace the outsole less frequently?
     
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    No, if you're wearing the outsoles out in the center, you're fine--that's where a healthy foot in a balanced shoe will wear out.

    I'm saying that if the heel gets worn down too much, esp. on the outside corner (which is where most people of European decent tend to strike), the foot will tend to walk-over the welts on the outside edge of the outsole. And there will be greater wear along that outside edge of the outsole, as well. Additionally, once the shoe is walked-over, it will tend to walk over. And it will tend to always have that distorted look.

    I don't suppose that most people who care about their shoes will wear the heel to that point, but I've seen stranger things and it tends to be self-reinforcing--you got away with wearing it a little too long last time, surely it won't hurt to wear it down just a little bit further this time.
     
  7. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    If I've got this right, then DW, a new rubber piece on top of the heel needs replacing just before the wear is into the rest of the stack. If this is the case, it seems to be that a high degree of obsolescence is built into a pair of shoes. I don't walk long distances and I wear my shoes in rotation. A pair of brogues that is around a year old are beginning to wear at the heel. Can I look forward to repairing heels at the rate of a pair a year, even with relatively light wearing?
     
  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Munky,

    Why would you expect it to be any other way? Shoes are our interface with a fairly hostile micro-environment. Any other way of thinking about it is, IMO, wishful thinking.

    Yes, heels ought to be replaced on a regular basis. If you want the skill and the feel and the look of a stacked leather heel, you have two choices--a relatively thin toplift (or a partial) that needs to be replaced to prevent damage to that stacked heel; or a leather toplift that will almost certainly, wear down faster than rubber. And yes, you can use heel plates and closely spaced iron nails, etc.. to prevent the toplift from wearing out so fast. Many old gunboats have heels made exactly that way.

    But then we're back to the same old arguments about Topy or rubber outsoles. If shoes are nothing more than utilitarian, then Crocs or clogs or wooden shoes ought to suffice. Or, for real durability and "What, me worry?" maybe something like this:

    [​IMG]

    and "shoe porn," is a malaprop and an exercise in futility and self-delusion.

    If you're not interested in the delights of a stacked leather heel, then up to one inch heels ( and sometimes more) can be replaced with a "whole heel"--one inch of rubber. Which may last about the same length of time as the thin toplift before they start throwing the shoe...and the foot ...off balance. Maybe even the body itself--I notice that my spine tends to go out of whack more readily when my heels are run down.

    When I think about shoes I marvel how...over the course of their history...so many techniques, so much of the overarching philosophy of western shoemaking evolved to actually be replaceable. That good shoes can be repaired...without much difficulty or skill, if it comes to that.

    But like anything that has an intrinsic value beyond the utilitarian, it requires some attention and maintenance and certainly something more than cavalier indifference.

    Just riffing...nothing personal...

    --
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  9. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    DWF, Sometimes you make me smile! I am not at all sure that I was exhibiting 'cavalier indifference', just keenness to learn something about heel stacks! Yours, as ever, Munky.
     
  10. nubirth

    nubirth Well-Known Member

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    basic question. when shining shoes, do you avoid putting shoe polish, conditioner, etc. on the shoe stitching? how are the stitchings cleaned?
     
  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I don't think so either...but anyone who has ever done repair will tell you that it's not all that uncommon...even among affluent "gentlemen." Maybe moreso.

    Only "sometimes?"

    --
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  12. lexxdeleon

    lexxdeleon Senior member

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    Thanks for chiming in with that great info, I'll have to get the lifts replaced asap and keep an eye out on my other shoes as well. Now to find a competent cobbler in Orange County.
     
  13. Nick V.

    Nick V. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I normally suggest that when the worn area of the heel gets down to about the thickness of a dime it's time to replace. This way the customer gets the most use out of a pair of heels without damaging the base.
     
  14. benhour

    benhour Senior member

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    as DWFII mentioned the "toplift" (didnt know it called this way, i always called rubber guard hahaha) needs replacing as soon as possible (no more specification needed as DWFii provided everything )!!

    the thing i want to point out more is that 45 times and that result its quit too fast for what i know!! maybe the rubber was too soft for the tureen you were walking on!! i have used the half rubber/half leather toplifts from vibram(among other brands also) and these are far more durable than any other!!!

    ps. happy to see you all back here after my absence!! (had a surgery )
     
  15. Munky

    Munky Senior member

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    Welcome back, Benhour! I hope that everything went well and that you are recovering well. Very best wishes, Munky.
     
  16. macpol

    macpol New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I recently bought a pair of boots and I'm brand new to leather care. These boots change their shades of brown throughout the shoe in random areas. My concern is that I will completely ruin the colours as I have seen with other shoes. Could anyone recommend a polish that will not ruin or darken the leather?

    Excuse the poor photo, but you can sort of see how the colour changes randomly.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    For extending the life of heels, as DW indicated, one can use nails or put something over the edge where the wear is most dramatic. I read of one person who would apply a layer of ShoeGoo and replenish it as it wore. More common are plastic or metal plates. The metal ones apparently wear a long time but are noisy and slippery. I have found V cleats to be too slippery to be safe. I have some shoes on which I am trying brass nails. Too soon to tell whether it helps. The plastic heel plates are cheap, easy to apply and seem to do the job.

    If you don't approve of any of these methods, then figure regular toplift replacement as part of your maintenance routine. If you are a typical SF shoe lover with expensive shoes, then periodic attention from a cobbler is probably a good idea anyway.
     
    2 people like this.
  18. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Any polish, from this point on, will darken the leather more. Only wear will make it less. I presume the leather seen here is an oiled leather, more or less similar to Horween Chromexcel, yes?
     
  19. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    If it is oil leather, then forget about polish. Either a dubbin grease, dressing, or Saphir Greasy Cream is the best.
     
  20. macpol

    macpol New Member

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    Thanks for the insight, I'll look into that.
     

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