To sole gaurd or not ?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dreamtripper, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. dreamtripper

    dreamtripper Senior member

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    With some of the recent rainy weather, I am considering adding Vibram sole guards to some of my shoes. Practically it seems like a good idea, but aesthetically I can't bring myself to put sole guards or a nice pair of EGs or Lobbs. Any thoughts on sole guards? - do you typically relegate these to work-horse or casual type shoes or would you be comfortable putting them on your nicest dress shoes as well?
     


  2. Akeem

    Akeem Senior member

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    my daily-wear shoes all have them. those less worn do not.
     


  3. makewayhomer

    makewayhomer Senior member

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    I put a vibram cover on the first 2 "nice" everyday shoes bought. good call I think.

    my Park Avenue I have left naked and won't vibram them. I wear it only a few times / year so no need.

    my most recent pair of shell PTB's I will leave naked and wear the soles through, and when it comes time to resole I think I will have a Dainite sole put on. that is most practical of all for an everyday shoe I think.

    so I have a mix of both
     


  4. NewYorkBuck

    NewYorkBuck Senior member

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    Many years ago I read on AA on how sole guards can prevent correct flexing of the shoe and can lead to bursting seams/threads. Opinions were divided but there was enough "yays" to make me think it may not be a good idea for my best diggs.

    What I have done is buy a few less expensive rubber sole models for inclimate weather. Makes walking safer and is less hard on the wallet.
     


  5. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think they are very tacky and ruin the look of a nie pair of leather soled shoes. For bad weather I recommend having a pair of bad weather shoes. Why would you want to be wearing EG's or Lobb's in the rain anyway?
     


  6. Fred H.

    Fred H. Senior member

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    Tacky or not, for those of us who are hard on shoes, zips are a god-send. Heels and zips replaced for $55. Soles NEVER need to be replaced.
     


  7. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have never heard of a "zip". But I can almost guarantee that I am harder on soles than most anybody being that I only wear leather soles and walk about 20 miles a week in nyc. The key is to have enough shoes that having to resole is not really an issue.
     


  8. dasai

    dasai Senior member

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    I think it's a largely personal choice, but I myself would probably not bother putting sole guards on handgrade shoes, if only because on my budget, they'd be for special occasions only. Any leather-soled shoe I wear once a week or more gets the treatment, which is to say I have them on my AE MacNeils.

    However, I do get flush toe plates put on as a rule, as I wear out the toes extremely quickly. There's a cobbler in Osaka who will do it for ¥1500 a pair (compared to twice that at the Hankyu department store).
     


  9. ThatGuy

    ThatGuy Senior member

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    Nothing says small-timer to me than a nice pair of shoes with topys on the bottom. It screams "I bought these on B&S and can't afford a resole" [​IMG]

    I own four very nice pairs of shoes. Non of them are topy'd. Leather is very heard wearing and is fine in the rain. Plus, if I wanted my soles to have rubber on them, I'd by Danite soled shoes in the first place.
     


  10. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    This whole concept more or less ignores the fact that good shoes are constructed the way they are so that the sole may be replaced fairly easily and the shoe restored to its original lines/sleekness, etc..

    That said, once you get going down this path the logical next step is to put topy on topy so that the topy never has to be replaced.

    I've seen it.
     


  11. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    no thanks...part of the reason I buy leather soled shoes is cause I like the appearance.

    When they need a resole, they need a resole. Its what, $120 at a top shop every few years? I can stomach that.
     


  12. makewayhomer

    makewayhomer Senior member

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    Nothing says small-timer to me than a nice pair of shoes with topys on the bottom. It screams "I bought these on B&S and can't afford a resole" [​IMG]

    it also screams "I don't like cracking my head on ice"
     


  13. blahman

    blahman Senior member

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    This whole concept more or less ignores the fact that good shoes are constructed the way they are so that the sole may be replaced fairly easily and the shoe restored to its original lines/sleekness, etc..

    That said, once you get going down this path the logical next step is to put topy on topy so that the topy never has to be replaced.

    I've seen it.


    I just picked up my pair of Borrellis today that I had topys put on. Soles are now ugly as sin, but considering how crapola Australia is in terms of anything quality, its the only choice. Its a major task just to even find a decent pair of oxfords let alone a cobbler you can trust with resoling. And should one find a cobbler, the price will be twice as what anyone can get in EU or US. So svrew them, I'm Topying.
     


  14. Xenon

    Xenon Senior member

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    This question comes up once in a while so here is my list of best to worst:

    1) All my nice shoes will have leather soles only and left intact but will never see contact with rough or aggregate surfaces (asphalt, rough cement, mud, rain ect). For winter or outside use I will have a few pairs of leather soled shoes that have been covered with topy or other types of membranes.

    2) keep nice leather soled shoes intact and don't use outside and have rubber soled beaters for outside uses.

    3) Have all leather soled shoes covered with topy, ect

    4) Keep nice leather soled shoes intact and use outside regardless

    5) Wear only rubber soled shoes thinking they are nice [​IMG] :[​IMG]

    Clearly a covered leather sole (topy) is not the equivalent of a rubber. A topy is infinitely thinner and less ugly than rubber (vibram ect). A leather sole is hard wearing except when wet, where it will soften and pick up all sorts of grit. This embedded grit will abrade the sole more and also abrade any type of flooring including granite that you walk on.

    lastly a well built shoe (welted or blake rapid) can be resoled but not having to disturb the stitches and leather sole is more desirable. Quite simply I do not trust third parties to accomplish a trouble and damage free resole 100% of the time. That resole will never be as good as the best original sole. This is akin to factory OE (Original Equipment) paint job on your car. Your Porshe, BMW, Bentley ect will never see a paint job as good as the original it came with ( including all the phospate and corrosion protection layers) if involed in an accident. There isn't a body shop in the world that reapplies all the necessary layers in the same diligent manner that is done in the factory.
     


  15. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    thats cool and all, but its a pair of shoes. They aren't meant to have an infinite life span.

    You wear them (and given most people on here have multiple shoes, not terribly often), get them resoled a few times, and then you move on.

    Its like putting plastic covers on your nice leather couches because you don't want them to wear.
     


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