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

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

  1. dlind

    dlind Senior member

    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    40
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Location:
    London
    I agree that it's certainly doesn't make that big of a difference but I was merely pointing out the differences. What is your opinion of pre-cut insoles vs. cutting the feather yourself?
     


  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,329
    Likes Received:
    2,950
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    The maker forfeits control whenever he buys pre-made components whether they be insoles or heel stacks or toe stiffeners...or even the inseam itself--in the form of gemming.

    He has no way to control the quality of the leather or how wide the feather should be etcetra. The thing is that precut insoles are only viable in RTW work...where a fixed last size and bottom paper can set the parameters for how the channel and holdfast are cut. It cannot work for bespoke work.

    On a bespoke shoe, the feather may want to be cut as much as twice as wide in the waist as around the forepart. To do that you need to know the precise dimensions of the last and be able to not only vary the width of the feather but blend it into the rest of the feather.
     


  3. Craft

    Craft Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Nothing to do with shoe care but I like the consistent contributors to this thread. Found some shoes on amazon by angel cola, they look very nice but looking for an opinion. Also I polished a pair of shoes I bought recently (this is shoe care related) there was an effect I achived on one shoe which I wish to replicate in the other but im not sure what I did. Priducts used all saphir - renovateur, light brown polish and way (thier high end line I guess). On one shoe one the actual brogueing and on the toe box there is a beautiful darkening / burn look to it which adds dimension and really adds to the shoe. However the other is more uniform and doesnt have this effect (ill try and get photos up later but this is urking me right now) I did nothing diffrent to ether except the one with the desired effect had some more renovateur added (found on discount rack amd the right shoe was rather dry) if u know what im describing a response of hiw to get this burn /darkening in desired places would be appreciated.
     


  4. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Senior member

    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    635
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    St. Crispin's insoles are not pre-cut.
     


  5. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    139
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    
    But isn't there a tradition aspect to this, viz a viz Austro Hungarian more of long stitches as opposed to English? In the same vein I find Japanese bespoke work probaly having the closest and finest of stiches and finishing but would you call that superior to all? I dont think so...
     


  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,329
    Likes Received:
    2,950
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    I don't care for the Austro-Hungarian look for the reasons I gave above. You can call that a subjective opinion but in fact tighter stitches actually hold things together better than long stitches. And of course they are...always...a hallmark of the makers dedication and his search for finesse and excellence, if only because they take markedly more time and skill.

    Beyond that, I've not seen a Japanese make who has done the kind of work that once was the signature of the great British makers where 18 to the inch was considered "middling work."

    And having said that, the best of the Japanese makers are undoubtedly in the very top tier. There is a commitment to quality and perfection among the Japanese makers that I admire and do not think is common in the West anymore.
     


  7. chogall

    chogall Senior member

    Messages:
    6,564
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    

    Well at 6 SPI outsole stitching isn't anywhere close to top notch. I can find a handful of OEM doing better by hand.



    SC insoles are not pre cut...
     


  8. venividivicibj

    venividivicibj Senior member

    Messages:
    11,218
    Likes Received:
    3,884
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2013
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    that is of course if you define top notch shoes as defined solely by SPI....
     


  9. chogall

    chogall Senior member

    Messages:
    6,564
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    

    It's not the definitive measure but it's one of the most apparent ones asides from upper leather used. Vass sole stitching is great, but definitely nowhere close to top notch.
     


  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    33,479
    Likes Received:
    8,847
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    

    Does this depend on the application of what is being stitched? I recall our brief exchange on the "ticket book" effect. Is that only reserved for softer leathers and denser leathers this doesn't apply as much?
     


  11. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    139
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    

    Its not about whether you care or not but there is no denying the fact that Austro Hungarian tradition has been around for centuries and has evolved over a period of time and thrived or thriving because of a reason...
    With the topic of shoes in general and not going into the classification of formal (oxford), derby and so on I dont think tight stitches looks good in every aspect on every shoe. Certain models mostly derby's in some lasts that Vass makes (3636 etc) need a more rugged look and will look odd to borderline ugly with 16 spi stitches.
    Again, this is subjective and personal preference somemight say.

    As to your point of more spi the better there is a point of diminishing returns, more fine means also more holes in the welt, outer and sole and with movement flexing this will lead to abrasion and cutting leading to more wear and tear,

    Look wise yes on a formal oxford or derby in the sleek lasts it definitely looks more appealing just as the Japanese have demonstrated loud and clear.
     


  12. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    139
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    

    Where did you see them mentioned as top notch? Ofcourse there is no point comparing a 500$ shoe with you 5K GG and call them below par.

    What about other things that your RTW shoes claim that are top notch?
     


  13. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    139
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    

    In same vein the stitching of your bespoke work is not even close to the Japanese top tier makers that I have seen which I would categorize as truly world class.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014


  14. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,329
    Likes Received:
    2,950
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    

    Yes, of course. It also depends on the substance and temper of the leather. Once upon a time the leather was good enough and the makers skilled enough that 50+spi ("64 to the inch")was not only possible but considered the gold standard for prize work. I suspect 6 to the inch would have been laughed out of the exhibition hall. Maybe even 10 to the inch would have been




    Well, I'm not sure the documentation is there to support that assertion. Not saying it isn't true but there is ample documentation of fine welt stitching in the literature and Art. I've never seen long stitches on shoes...even East European shoes...prior to the second World War. I suspect the AH Tradition...if you can call it that...relates more to privation than any consideration for best practices.

    I concede that there are people who like the look. Who consider wide expansive gestures to be more "masculine," rugged, what have you, than the less "in-your-face" stitching of classic western European work. And that's their choice...they are entitled to their opinion. I suspect it's all of a piece--if you cannot or will not define excellence in any terms but ostentation, it is likely that the rest of your wardrobe will reflect that same bias. But it kind of reminds me of the fish that when threatened puffs itself up to look twice its real size.

    And that of course is just my opinion.

    It is significant however that among shoemakers it is almost universally accepted that the finer stitching is indicative of more skill and more time and better quality. Only among consumers who elevate style and the superficial above such objective considerations as "substance"--workmanship, technique, materials, etc.--are long stitches and wide gestures meaningful.

    Of course, but the point of diminishing returns isn't anywhere close to 6spi. Today, I'd be nervous at 20spi, perhaps, but I'm not as good as the old guys were nor do I have access to the kind of leather they had.

    And BTW...if you subtract from the equation the use of All Purpose Neoprene cement,12 spi is significantly more waterproof than 6spi. But then it begs the question of why stitch the outsole at all--the cement will almost hold the outsole on by itself.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014


  15. sstomcat

    sstomcat Senior member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    139
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    


    Trying to put some context as there seems to be certain misinterpretations, nowhere do I mention stitching and stitching alone is a hallmark of excellence. This all started with which shoe is better made b/w VAss and St C and GG, but quickly morphed into a discussion around number of SPI stitching and which is superior.

    While there is no denying the fact that fine stitching takes more time ,finnese etc, I'm not sure that is always a mandate to term a product as excellent only on this aspect alone. I will not term a shoe as excellent that has 16 spi stitching but inferior leather counters that cracks in due course. We need to look at things holistically rather than pick on just one aspect albeit an important one.

    As I said an formal oxford with fine stitching looks unquestionable better but to apply this across the board for all shoes as universal is IMO questionable.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by