Toe taps

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ambulance Chaser, May 27, 2005.

  1. Earthmover

    Earthmover Senior member

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    I have about a once-every 1.5 week rotation. I only have toe/heel taps on shoes that I know don't have a recrafting service. So my Ferragamos and Mantellassis have it, while C&J and Aldens do not. I can actually tell and feel the difference with the plastic taps on, and I strongly prefer not to have them, despite the fact that I very quickly wear out the toes and heels. I understand why I need them, but I don't like them very much. Haven't tried metal taps yet, but I think they may be cooler.
     
  2. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    My first metal toe taps were on my cordovan Alden. It slipped a lot at first. After about 10-15 wears, slippage was not as bad. I was so in love in the shoe that I was using it about 3 times a week for a few months. The metal taps are still there but have worn down significantly. It does not slip anymore.

    When these metal taps wear out, I am getting a thin Topy rubber piece glued on to a small area. This was suggested by my cobbler. The grip is much better, but I wonder if they will stay glued for long. Only one way to find out....
     
  3. Duveen

    Duveen Senior member

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    Quick question for those in DC - can Sky (or anyone else) actually do an inset metal toeplate?
     
  4. Virginia Dandy

    Virginia Dandy Senior member

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    Quick question for those in DC - can Sky (or anyone else) actually do an inset metal toeplate?

    I would be very surprised if this were beyond their capabilities.

    As I mentioned on another thread, EG slipped toe plates (unsolicited) onto my last trunk show order (Ecton, 808, Edwardian). I hated them at first b/c they were noisy, marked up my wood floors and threw off my stride. I concluded that this was really due to the screws protruding above the surface of the plate by a milimeter or two.

    I really wanted the sky brothers to take them off - but that would have left the sole in a rather sorry state since they are inset. The fix we came up with was replacing the screws with nails that sit flush with the surface. They filled the screw holes with wooden pegs and a little glue so that the nails have something to grip.

    This has totally changed the character of the shoe for me. No noise - no marks - and not at all noticeable as one strides along. It's as if they're no longer there.

    Just goes to show how exacting matters of fit, etc can be for shoes. Very little margin for error.

    Excessive toe wear is not really an issue for me - so I would put myself in the "never" catagory - but at least I mind them less on the Ectons thanks to the Brothers Sky.

    They did the job on the spot while I slipped next door to Field's for a fitting - but that's a tale for another thread. . . .
     
  5. Englandmj7

    Englandmj7 Senior member

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    Fair enough. I will note, however, that I disagree with you in regards to the noise making (unless you mean the metal taps). The taps that I have always used (and which I assume are the norm since I have had them applied in many different places) are made of a compressed and flexible rubber, which would actually lessen, if anything, the noise that a hard leather sole makes. As far as the aesthetics of the bottom of the shoe go, I hardly think that two tiny black rubber half-moons negatively detract from a multi-toned and horribly scratched/scuffed leather sole. Indeed, neither is beautiful to look at. When I wear shoes without taps, the outer heel of the shoe as well as the toe wears down immensely. Taps actually keep the shoe "balanced" in that regard, as opposed to "obstructing" the way my foot falls. That of course, would depend on the wearer of the shoe, and I imagine that to some people it may be an annoyance (especially if you have "Princess and the Pea" feet)......

    Skalogre -

    The Kiwi taps are the same thickness as several other brands of taps that I have had put on; They are identical to the basic rubber ones you can get at your local cobbler.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Kiwi also makes rubberized pad-things that adhere to the bottom of the shoe. Great surface area than the taps, but they appear to be fairly thin (I've only seen them in the package but I'd guess they're no more than 1/8" or so in thickness.)
     
  7. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Some people like the sound that the metal taps make. Apparently they are quite popular in Austria-Hungary.
     
  8. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    Some people like the sound that the metal taps make. Apparently they are quite popular in Austria-Hungary.

    Yes, I can imagine that the goose-stepping crowd would find a certain appeal in that.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Tomasso

    Tomasso Senior member

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    Yes, I can imagine that the goose-stepping crowd would find a certain appeal in that.

    [​IMG]


    Could the Nazi's have flourished wearing rubber soled boots? I think not.
     
  10. Nonk

    Nonk Senior member

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    I seem to be quite hard on the toes of my soles, so I get most of my shoes fitted with steel taps. About £2 in any decent cobbler in the UK.

    I like the noise, and coming from a military background it is ingrained in me as the sound of importance and authority.

    This allows me to continue with my delusion that I am someone of consequence.
     
  11. wilson brother

    wilson brother Senior member

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    I thought this was about how you tap your toes when your favorite song is on the player.

    I am doing that now with Wendy (the song) [​IMG]
     
  12. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

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    As Earthmover notes above, the construction of the shoe itself might be a consideration. I recently found 2 pairs of Mantellassi and 1 pair of StefanoBi shoes, all of Norvegese construction (actually the StefanoBis look like some grand and frightening combination of Bentivegna and Norvegese). These are the only shoes I've put protectors on, mostly because I don't think there are any good answers to the question of what to do once these particular shoes wear out.
    A year or so ago I found a great pair of classic Weston hunt shoes at the thrift store. They were apparently very well cared for and in a magnificent shade of brown. I brought them home and set out to convince myself that I actually liked them. It took me a long time to figure out that they had been resoled by glueing a new sole onto the bottom. The work was very well done, but it still somehow upset the whole balance and look of the shoe (and I'm certainly not extremely precise or picky, this was just my natural reaction).
    Anyway, there's a reason few find cause to disagree with bengal-stripe. If you find yourself wearing out the toe prematurely, the inset metal seems like an elegant solution with a fine historical precedent.
     
  13. moonraker2

    moonraker2 New Member

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    I seem to be quite hard on the toes of my soles, so I get most of my shoes fitted with steel taps. About £2 in any decent cobbler in the UK.

    I like the noise, and coming from a military background it is ingrained in me as the sound of importance and authority.

    This allows me to continue with my delusion that I am someone of consequence.



    Yes toe tips as we call them in the UK work well, the blakey type can be fitted right at the edge of the toe. These come in various sizes and are best fitted when the shoe is new to stop wear.

    I also use the UK style built in 1/4 steel heels. These fit flush with the heel and i usually get them done with a leather top piece as well . I find the toes dont make much noise, but the heels do.
     
  14. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    Inset rubber, the best of all worlds:

    [​IMG]


    - B
     
  15. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    Inset brass >> inset rubber. New Yorkers, stop f***ing around and protect your toes. Empire Shoes, 991 Lexington FTW.
     

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