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

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

  1. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Hi all

    @Nick V. , @DWFII and others with experiences like this:

    I figured the dry weather isn't good for shoes! Took these shoes out (wear them in spring/summer/fall) and the front looks "dry." See pics for comparison. Is it wrinkling due to dry air and can I revitalize with say Bick 4? Not sure why it's happening just to the front.

    For shoes stored for the seasons, especially during winter, suggestions for care: occasional conditioning (if so, how often)?

    Thanks
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  2. inimitable

    inimitable Senior member

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    I've a pair of C&J shoes that had been resoled once (not at the factory). Just took them in for a second resole and was told the welt was very dry. The new sole has been attached, just, but you can clearly see the welt is damaged//disintegrating. As C&J won't take these back for a recraft now (where they would replace the welt) I can only assume they are good for the bin once these soles are worn? Can anyone see a solution?
     
  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Several thoughts...

    No one can tell anything from a photo. But dryness...esp. with leathers that have a top coat...is almost never able to be determined by how it looks. If the toe cap is dry, it was dry when the shoes came from the factory. If the wrinkling was there, most likely it was there when the shoes were new...and perhaps went unnoticed. The wrinkling appears to be in the finish rather than the leather.

    Bick4 is my conditioner of choice. I don't believe it can harm your shoe. I am not able to envision a scenario where it could be applied too often (maybe just a failure of my imagination). I use it, along with a highly polished beef bone, to chase wrinkles when blocking and lasting...maybe that suggests a possible course of action?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
  4. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks DWF. I suspect you might be right as usual! Can you explain the use of a beef bone in this context? I might just be a bit more consistent with Bick 4, especially during winter.
     
  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    A photo would be nice to see anything resembling a solution.

    If they were hand welted, re-welting would probably be a snap. If they are GY and the maker won't recraft them...roll the dice. Nine times out of ten when the welt is damaged after only one resoling, the damage was done by the shoe repair that resoled them--not picking the old stitches, not bothering to re-calibrate the stitcher so that it stitches in the old holes, grinding the welt too close to the new/old stitches.

    On the other hand, if the welt is truly dry and disintegrating after only one resole, what does that tell you about the quality of the leather being used by the maker?
     
  6. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Sorry one more question: conditioning regimen for shoes put away for season? Should one condition stored shoes in winter to maintain leather and if so how often?
     
  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I just went down to the butcher and asked for a beef leg bone. I hung it in the summer sun and let the hornets strip away the fat and meat. Then I sawed it into reasonably sized lengths and sanded and polished the bone so that it was ultra smooth.

    I put a little Bick4 on the leather and use the bone to push and guide errant pipes and wrinkles smooth.

    Because...if...the bone is polished smooth and the Bick4 acts as a lubricant, there is virtually no risk of scratching or damaging the leather.

    edited for punctuation and clarity

    --
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
    2 people like this.
  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Again, I have a hard time imagining applying Bick4 too often. But as long as humidity is in a "normal" range and heat comfortable for you, conditioning once and storing would seem reasonable--I have leather stored in bins that is 20+ years old which seldom if ever gets conditioned (maybe I'll regret that someday...I Iive in high desert).

    Shoe care can be a fetish ritual...things I read on SF sometimes lead me to believe that you can overthink these things (another concept that is hard for me to imagine considering the divine gift that we've been given) but you can also become so consumed and so dependent on other people-- advertizing, manufacturers hype, anecdotal accounts, etc.--to think (and do) for you, that you eschew (give up on) thinking altogether.


    edited for punctuation and clarity

    _
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  9. Nick V.

    Nick V. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I agree with DW could be several things.
    However we work on C&J's everyday. They have an account with us. I can tell you first hand they are not using inferior leathers. If they were (in this case) I would see welts failing prematurely on a regular basis. To imply that they may be using inferior leather is misleading and unfair.
    Any competent shoe repair shop could re-welt them. The factory may not want to do them not because they need a new welt rather, they are more concerned about other damage a shoddy shop may have caused in a previous repair.
     
  10. callmechris

    callmechris New Member

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    [​IMG]
    I purchased a pair of Iron Rangers recently after a few days of wearing they develooed bubbling on the sides. Sent the boots back to Redwing who said it was an issue with the leather, and sent me a new pair. Within a week of wearing the new pair i am having the same issue. I have oiled the boots by the book and take good care of them. I am at a complete loss as i have never had this happen to leather before. Any ideas?
     
  11. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    Can DW or someone explain why there would be a need, or a point, to replace the insole? Protected as it is by the uppers and outsole, does the insole ever outlive the upper? It would seem more likely that the insole would be in good shape while the uppers, exposed to the elements as they are, deteriorated beyond repair.

    Since replacing the insole also means destroying the footbed that has developed, why would someone do it if they did not have to?

    Do uppers ever fail after having been relasted for replacing the insole? I would have thought that replacing the insole would require so much deconstruction of the shoes, working with older, perhaps more fragile leather, that it would be cheaper to make new ones. The new ones also are less likely to find the fit changing or the leather cracking due to the stress of taking them apart and putting back together.

    With regard to the C&J shoes with dry welt, I had the impression that replacing the welt was a routine repair for a cobbler. If the welt is failing, just replace it. Is there more to it than that?
     
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    It depends on the quality of the insole, of course, but good quality insoles of some substance, will often outlast the upper...for all the reasons you listed. It also depends on the foot. Every foot is different and some people have what can only be termed "caustic" perspiration...at least caustic as far as the leather is concerned. The insoles will crack, the linings may crack. well before their time, and, as a result, the insole as well as the integrity of the shoe is compromised.

    On a handwelted shoe, your guess is as good as anyone's.

    On a GY shoe...as with the shoe with dry welt...there may be a need to replace welt on more than a spot basis. At which point the insole may often be replaced along with the welt simply because where there is a problem with the welt, there is often a problem with the gemming also. And the gemming must be attached to the insole in a separate operation that takes place outside the shoe. As the welt fails, the outseam is affected. Dirt enters the "in-between" (in-between the insole and the outsole) and degrades the inseam and gemming. Additionally, as the outseam fails additional stress is placed on the inseam and gemming...and since they are only attached to the insole/shoe by cement (which in turn is being degraded by moisture and dirt)...they too begin to fail. This is one of the reasons why someone like myself sees (or, rather, has seen) more failed gemming...in boots that are worn hard...than cobblers and recraft departments that only see shoes that are worn inside and on carpets strewn with rose petals (or some metaphorical variation). :lol:

    You cannot reverse time or wear. As NickV suggested it is often more practical...esp. from a purely monetary perspective...to simply make a new pair of shoes than get into replacing one or more parts of the upper or lining.

    Again, with HW it is often that simple. And over the years--decades even centuries--it has become almost the "given Word" that it is that simple. But if the repairman encounters relatively extensive (lengths more than two inches) of failed gemming ...especially in the waist...it can be problematic. This is especially true when the shoe has been worn for a while with failed gemming--the shoe will tend to walk out of shape. In such cases...in most case, although it may not be immediately noticeable or problematic...it is always a guess to re-position or replace the gemming. Many shoe repairmen...and I've been there in my early days...confuse the simplicity and straight-forwardness of replacing welt on a HW shoe with replacing welt on a GY shoe...if only because HW is a relative rarity these days.

    So...the answer to your question may depends as much upon the probity and mindfulness of the person replacing the welt as much as any other factor. But, objectively, "yes," there probably is "more to it than that. "
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  13. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    Fascinating. I have at times spent more on repairs of some shoes than it would have cost to replace them. This happened because they were no longer wearable, but I could not bring myself to throw away shoes that could be saved.

    Another reason I don't buy expensive shoes. If I had such possessions, I would not be able to make a business decision to discard them when a repair by an expert shoemaker would extend their lives.

    Glad to know there are people out there who can do the job for those willing to pay.

    Curious as to the start of this recrafting discusison. Why were the shoes recrafted? Was it the welt problem? I go the impression that was noticed at the time, but the original recraft had already been done?
     
  14. EnglishShoes

    EnglishShoes Senior member

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    Which is the best Saphir colour for Barker's Rosewood calf shade?

    I have got Cognac and Medium Brown cream and wax. Would these be a good match or do I need a Havana/Mahogony?

    I've ordered these Barker Ewan but they haven't arrived yet so I'm keen to see if anyone has matched a Saphir colour to Rosewood.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. inimitable

    inimitable Senior member

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    Thank you for your reply, I hope the following photos illustrate what I am trying to get at. The welt is definitely dry, I can pick it apart with my nails.

    I should probably have sent them back to the manufacturer for the repair work, but I go through my soles relatively quickly and find it hard to stomach £120 each time.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Finding a quality cobbler in London seems to be rather difficult. I was quoted £60 to rewelt and £90 for a resole. Total £150 ($230). This is more than sending back to C&J for a full recraft.


    I agree, a quality cobbler should rewelt the shoe, but most here shy away from it (or are unable to do it).
     
  16. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking at. At first glance I couldn't even believe it was a leather welt. I can't remember ever seeing the worse. Hard to tell what the cause is or even if it would be easy to fix. But what choice do you have?
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  17. inimitable

    inimitable Senior member

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    Yes, quite. I think I need to find a new cobbler. Will most likely be sending any other shoes back to the manufacturer where possible. Thanks anyway.
     
  18. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    You're welcome...
     
  19. FredAstaire1899

    FredAstaire1899 Senior member

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    When a pair of MTO/bespoke shoes are made with contrasting lining, for example, black shoes with scarlet red lining, is the contrasting lining used only in the heel, or in the tongue, laces and forefoot as well? What is the general recommendation such that the contrast lining is not visible when worn?

    Thanks!

    Edit: I am considering the situation for a pair of Oxfords.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  20. DRAGUI99

    DRAGUI99 Well-Known Member

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    Sunday outing [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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