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Toe metal protectors

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Haemus, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. HelloMrFancyPants

    HelloMrFancyPants Active Member

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    Nov 26, 2006
    The plates I've had installed at Empire don't go up to the welt, they are fastened into a groove cut in the outsole with shallow brass screws. It doesn't take a great thickness of metal to add a good deal of durability.
     
  2. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    The plates I've had installed at Empire don't go up to the welt, they are fastened into a groove cut in the outsole with shallow brass screws. It doesn't take a great thickness of metal to add a good deal of durability.

    That sounds great.

    - B
     
  3. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Senior member

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    The one issue with flush plates being retrofitted, rather than made with that in mind, is that the welt would have to be cut around the toe.

    I don't really see this. Surely the metal toe plates wouldn't be so thick as to require cutting up into the welt. My visualization of the process would have maybe 2 mm. of the outsole (maybe half its thickness at the toe) cut back to accommodate the plate, with, perhaps, some very short nails used along with glue. However, I've never had this done after purchase, so would be interested in learning more about it.

    I have to agree with Roger on this one. Since the plates do appear to be about 2mm thick, the cobbler would only need to sand/trim down that much outer sole leather. With a lot of channelled soles, that would not be deep enough to expose the channel, definitely not deep enough to reach the welt.

    For sure, the procedure would cut into the stitching on a stitched aloft sole. My guess is they dab a bit of glue to prevent further fraying, and then proceed with the installation of the taps. Unless you later have the misfortune of stepping into a vat of solvent, the sole won't come apart. Keep in mind that all the layers of outsole leather are glued together, not just stitched. I used to wear down the soles on Bass Weejuns way past the visible stitching without any consequence.

    Unfortunately, there's no chance in hell I could find flush mounted plates around here. It's even less likely I'd trust one of the key/shoe repair shops with the work if I managed to source the plates myself.

    I have settled for a bunch of metal taps similar to the ones zjpj83 had installed on his shoes: http://www.styleforum.net/showpost.p...72&postcount=6

    I plan on installing them myself once I go out and get shorter nails/screws/tacks than the ones included.
     
  4. XdryMartini

    XdryMartini Senior member

    Messages:
    141
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    I'm looking at getting an MTO G&G in the near future. Does anyone know if G&G will put these on as part of the order?

    I've seen a lot of G&G bespoke with them added (however I can't quite afford them yet!)


    Yes, G&G will do toe plates on MTO's and stock shoes... Two kinds as well. Regular and beveled like on their bespoke. When I get home, I'll link a few pics...
     
  5. Imakeyourshoes

    Imakeyourshoes Active Member

    Messages:
    30
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Northampton
    I have to agree with Roger on this one. Since the plates do appear to be about 2mm thick, the cobbler would only need to sand/trim down that much outer sole leather. With a lot of channelled soles, that would not be deep enough to expose the channel, definitely not deep enough to reach the welt.

    For sure, the procedure would cut into the stitching on a stitched aloft sole. My guess is they dab a bit of glue to prevent further fraying, and then proceed with the installation of the taps. Unless you later have the misfortune of stepping into a vat of solvent, the sole won't come apart. Keep in mind that all the layers of outsole leather are glued together, not just stitched. I used to wear down the soles on Bass Weejuns way past the visible stitching without any consequence.

    Unfortunately, there's no chance in hell I could find flush mounted plates around here. It's even less likely I'd trust one of the key/shoe repair shops with the work if I managed to source the plates myself.

    I have settled for a bunch of metal taps similar to the ones zjpj83 had installed on his shoes: http://www.styleforum.net/showpost.p...72&postcount=6

    I plan on installing them myself once I go out and get shorter nails/screws/tacks than the ones included.


    I think he meant the stitching around the toe instead of the welt, when the guy at work fits the sunken taps on our shoes he cuts into the channel and slices it off with a knife across the toe, as opposed to that french site showing it being scoured, which would take the stitches out for sure on welted, but when he does it at our place you can still see the stitches keeping it all together before he attaches the taps with a cordless drill, they fit flush this way and its still lockstitched together also, its simple if you know how to use a knife
     
  6. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Senior member

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    I think he meant the stitching around the toe instead of the welt, when the guy at work fits the sunken taps on our shoes he cuts into the channel and slices it off with a knife across the toe, as opposed to that french site showing it being scoured, which would take the stitches out for sure on welted, but when he does it at our place you can still see the stitches keeping it all together before he attaches the taps with a cordless drill, they fit flush this way and its still lockstitched together also, its simple if you know how to use a knife

    ^This should put everyone's concerns to rest. It is also interesting to note that installation by the maker is not less intrusive than a retrofitting, as others may have been led to believe. Thank you for the inside knowledge Imakeyourshoes. I certainly wish you would post here more often!
     
  7. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    Jan 18, 2007
    I think he meant the stitching around the toe instead of the welt, when the guy at work fits the sunken taps on our shoes he cuts into the channel and slices it off with a knife across the toe, as opposed to that french site showing it being scoured, which would take the stitches out for sure on welted, but when he does it at our place you can still see the stitches keeping it all together before he attaches the taps with a cordless drill, they fit flush this way and its still lockstitched together also, its simple if you know how to use a knife

    Imakeyourshoes, your posts rock.


    - B
     
  8. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    ^This should put everyone's concerns to rest. It is also interesting to note that installation by the maker is not less intrusive than a retrofitting, as others may have been led to believe. Thank you for the inside knowledge Imakeyourshoes. I certainly wish you would post here more often!

    I'm not sure that's what he meant, since the proviso is that the person who is installing the toe plate knows how to handle a knife properly. As I. points out, that is not how the French site shows it being done.

    Such cobblers are a subset of those who put toe plates on. If you have someone like that around, great, but that is going to be a rare thing in the U.S. at least.

    - B
     
  9. Imakeyourshoes

    Imakeyourshoes Active Member

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Northampton
    the french site is scouring because its not a welted shoe, its a sole unit, which is why hes scouring it, nothing in there to damage, with a channelled sole you can't really go scouring it, a knife allows you to do it slower
     
  10. Shikar

    Shikar Senior member

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    Aug 12, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    the french site is scouring because its not a welted shoe, its a sole unit, which is why hes scouring it, nothing in there to damage, with a channelled sole you can't really go scouring it, a knife allows you to do it slower

    [​IMG]

    Regards.
     
  11. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Senior member

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    Understood. However, can you say that the method shown on the french site, although different than yours, is wrong?
     
  12. Imakeyourshoes

    Imakeyourshoes Active Member

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    Northampton
    no of course its not wrong, thats how you would do it if it was a sole unit, but the original concern was about a welted shoe, so i explained how they do it for them, nobody would faff about with a knife when you can go to a scourer and do it in 10 seconds if possible
     
  13. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    Location:
    Southern California
    These nails won't produce anything like the protective effect of a metal toe plate. They're little more than purely decorative.

    According to G&G, they do protect the toe, but not as well as a toe plate.

    --Andre
     
  14. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    no of course its not wrong, thats how you would do it if it was a sole unit, but the original concern was about a welted shoe, so i explained how they do it for them, nobody would faff about with a knife when you can go to a scourer and do it in 10 seconds if possible

    That's because your colleagues and you in Northampton know what you are doing.

    Sadly, when it comes to shoes, cobbling talent is getting scarce on this side of the Atlantic.


    - B
     
  15. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    Gmunden, Salzkammergut, Austria
    That's because your colleagues and you in Northampton know what you are doing.

    Not to forget the rest of European's shoe making elite. [​IMG]

    My cobbler uses a knife.

    Anecdote: I asked a well known shoemaker to install flushed plates on a wood-pegged sole and I wanted to watch the procedure, so he invited me into his workshop. After he did one, I asked him to do it myself. I nearly sanded down the sole, but we could save the shoe. Conclusion: Take the knife and it is a safe call.
     
  16. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
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    San Francisco
    I'm looking at getting an MTO G&G in the near future. Does anyone know if G&G will put these on as part of the order?

    They will.
     
  17. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Senior member

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    Imakeyourshoes, as far as your firm is concerned, are we to understand that you install flush mounted plates on welted shoes the same way, whether as part of a MTO job, full bespoke or retrofitting?

    What I mean by that is when a customer specifies flush mounted plates, do you finish the sole any differently to allow/prepare for that? I always assumed that even if it's specified by a customer right from the start, it is no different than a retrofitting: the `plate guy` (for lack of better/proper term) is handed a pair of shoes with fully finished soles to work on. Is that the case?
     
  18. soleman

    soleman New Member

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    2
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    Sep 26, 2008
    Great link!! I get the protective soles on all my shoes and it really helps!! The flush metal plates are interesting but I know I could not use them in my office building--too loud and slippery on the marble floors
     
  19. Roger

    Roger Senior member

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    I think he meant the stitching around the toe instead of the welt, when the guy at work fits the sunken taps on our shoes he cuts into the channel and slices it off with a knife across the toe, as opposed to that french site showing it being scoured, which would take the stitches out for sure on welted, but when he does it at our place you can still see the stitches keeping it all together before he attaches the taps with a cordless drill, they fit flush this way and its still lockstitched together also, its simple if you know how to use a knife
    Just a small point here. It seems as though this would work fine as long as the channel is close to 2 mm. deep, but what if it isn't? Suppose the stitches sit at a 1 mm. depth from the sole surface, for example. Or, more generally, what if the stitches in the channel are at a depth that is less than the thickness of the toe plate? Does the cobbler then grind down the toe plate to make it sit flush?
     
  20. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Senior member

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    Just a small point here. It seems as though this would work fine as long as the channel is close to 2 mm. deep, but what if it isn't? Suppose the stitches sit at a 1 mm. depth from the sole surface, for example. Or, more generally, what if the stitches in the channel are at a depth that is less than the thickness of the toe plate? Does the cobbler then grind down the toe plate to make it sit flush?

    Maybe they carefully cut around the stiches, slowly removing all the leather necessary (down to 2mm) without even slicing into the stitching. That area of stitching, although still attached, would be `loose`, having 2mm less leather under it. Tightening the plate down over those stitches would prevent them from coming undone. Just a thought...
     

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