The All-Inclusive Shoe & Boot Thread

Journeyman

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Messages
3,031
Ratings
3,225
Many cordwainers in Melbourne Australia don't want to machine stitch shoes anymore because they don't think it has much benefit over glued soles.
There aren't many actual cordwainers around anymore. Most of them are just shoe repair places that are rarely called upon to do anything demanding. They can put on a topy, stretch a shoe, replace a toplift or even a stacked heel, but actually re-stitching a sole is beyond most of them.

I had a pair of Loake plaintoe bluchers - thankfully, bought on deep discount from Herring Shoes - that needed a resole. I took them to my local shoecare place in the city and asked them if they could resole a Goodyear-welted shoe and they said they could. When I got them back, they'd stitched on a new sole by putting big stitches all the way through the shoe, from the inner through to a channel they'd cut in the bottom of the new sole. I was quite literally speechless when I picked them up.

I don't put a Topy sole on all of my shoes, but in Australia I really think that it is a good idea to do so. Otherwise, when soles wear out, it is almost impossible to get the shoes properly resoled here and the only option is to send them overseas, which is prohibitively expensive.
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887
There aren't many actual cordwainers around anymore. Most of them are just shoe repair places that are rarely called upon to do anything demanding. They can put on a topy, stretch a shoe, replace a toplift or even a stacked heel, but actually re-stitching a sole is beyond most of them.
Yes, a quality shoe repair man told me they do a day course and then they go to a shopping center and start repairing shoes.

Journeyman said:
I had a pair of Loake plaintoe bluchers - thankfully, bought on deep discount from Herring Shoes - that needed a resole. I took them to my local shoecare place in the city and asked them if they could resole a Goodyear-welted shoe and they said they could. When I got them back, they'd stitched on a new sole by putting big stitches all the way through the shoe, from the inner through to a channel they'd cut in the bottom of the new sole. I was quite literally speechless when I picked them up.
Wow. Gotta choose your cobblers very very carefully and grill them. Most are butchers.

I send a shoe to be restitched in the 80's to a shopping center cobbler. He said he would need to send it out. I paid big bucks and it ended up being glued together instead of stitched.

I went to one so called expert cordwainer famous in Melbourne. He made me a pair of crocodile boots. Paid $$$$ and got the biggest heap of $#%#@ i've ever seen. He said he'd stitch them with a welt. When l got them they were glued with a rubber rand added, and they weren't even blocked. They were rough as guts and didn't even fit right. They are still in the back of my closet somewhere. I'd be too embarrassed to wear them in public. He also used synthetics inside the shoe. Total garbage!!!!! His ability to topy a shoe was just as bad...I even did a better job as a kid, at least mine stayed on.

Journeyman said:
I don't put a Topy sole on all of my shoes, but in Australia I really think that it is a good idea to do so. Otherwise, when soles wear out, it is almost impossible to get the shoes properly resoled here and the only option is to send them overseas, which is prohibitively expensive.

EXACTLY!!! In oz it is essential to topy a shoe. Too costly to post it overseas and risky, + the cobblers here are hacks (they have told me themselves)...they will restitch a shoe as fast as possible and wear out those insoles and welts and rants in no time. Always use a topy in Australia.
 

shookt

Active Member
Messages
31
Ratings
4
I disagree, especially when it comes to fairstitch (blake-rapid) construction, that is an awesome construction and next best to hand welting imo.
Right...I’ve never understood why gyw has so much dominance over blake rapid. Anyway its handwelt for me here on out! I want old friends, even if they are few.
 

walker

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,442
Ratings
1,732
Right...I’ve never understood why gyw has so much dominance over blake rapid. Anyway its handwelt for me here on out! I want old friends, even if they are few.
I love my wood-pegged shoes more than anything else. literally, I don't feel a difference, they just make me feel better.
 

fxh

OG Party Suit Wearer
Supporter
Messages
6,078
Ratings
5,861
Shooey, I went up to the Kyneton Lost Trades fair today. Too many bearded old blokes in baggy jeans and belts and braces all together pretending they lived in some imagined mythical past.

Anyway Wootten was there with his shoes. Looked like he was selling some RTW. His style has improved looking at some samples and to my eye I was impressed with his “Uncle Tony” wholecut Blake on a sleek Italian last style with stacked almost small Cuban heel and slim waist.

I got snobbed by a bespoke tailor lady who said she wouldn’t even talk about any styles later than 20s /30s!!!
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887
Shooey, I went up to the Kyneton Lost Trades fair today. Too many bearded old blokes in baggy jeans and belts and braces all together pretending they lived in some imagined mythical past.
I forgot about that. Would have been good to have been there. Glad l missed those bearded blokes in baggy jeans.


fxh said:
Anyway Wootten was there with his shoes. Looked like he was selling some RTW. His style has improved looking at some samples and to my eye I was impressed with his “Uncle Tony” wholecut Blake on a sleek Italian last style with stacked almost small Cuban heel and slim waist.
Jess has a good pedigree in shoos for an aussie bloke because he got good experience at Doc Cobbler before going out on his own.

His father was fully capable of making completely hand made shoes and boots. Here is one of his dad's fully handmade boots he made over 50 years ago in Oz. His dad was also mates with the mighty Bulgarian aussie master shoemaker George Koleff. George's assistant ended up working in the private shoo world to serve the `lucky few' with the nicest 100% handmade footwear available in Oz. No-one matches Mr J.H these days, yet few have ever heard of him, yet he is the best of them all.
Doc Cobbler  15.jpg Doc Cobbler  11.jpg

Jess got his start at Doc Cobbler in Melbourne. That shop made high quality blake rapid stitched orthopedic footwear that sold for big bucks. They were machine lasted and rough around the edges, but they were making well constructed shoes while most other maker were only gluing the soles.
Doc Cobbler  2.jpg


After leaving there Jess got smart and decided to make mainstream men's dress shoes. I've been meaning to catch up with him.
Doc Cobbler  18.jpg


fxh said:
I got snobbed by a bespoke tailor lady who said she wouldn’t even talk about any styles later than 20s /30s!!!
Probably just as well you never talked to her. She'd probably be as dull as dishwater and as weird as those bearded blokes in baggy/daggy jeans.
 
Last edited:

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887
Allen Edmonds are now using foam and synthetics in a number of their shoes.

I was a little shocked to see what Allen Edmonds are now doing to a number of their shoes. They are using synthetics while trying to promote it as advanced technology hahaha. I am sure many will fall for it, but it ain't cricket. It is obvious AE are trying to save on costs, but l don't think lowering the quality of materials in a shoe is the way to go.

Many of their shoes are the usual bench welted shoes. No problems here.
https://global.allenedmonds.com/the-bench-welt/

But then we get fancy terms such as feather welt and speed welt used in the world of traditional factory shoemaking, it is usually a red flag that something shady is going on and the customer is going to get shafted by some new hair brained idea being dressed up as the new wave of brilliance in manufacturing. And indeed what l am going to present you is indeed a con imo.

Lets first start with the Allen Edmonds feather welt shoes. Lots of foam/poron used in the middle of the shoe, but here is the doozy, they call it breathable by default because it needs perforations to be breathable, but then again,how breathable is foam with pin holes in it. See...the insole is no longer leather, it is made from poron foam. They also mix the cork with synthetics. The outsole also isn't leather. Of course they try to market the cost cut as shock absorbing and more comfortable because they must think we are so weak like precious little petals and we can no longer wear leather under our feet. Pthh, don't fall for it!
Allen edmonds Feather welt.jpg


Here is the Allen Edmonds speed welt. This is even worse, the insole, cork latering and slipsole all involve synthetics. The insole and cork include foam and the slipsole is vinyl. Only the outsole and the welt is made from leather on it.
Allen Edmonds - speed welt.png


The storm welt shoes are alittle better but they still use synthetic insoles.
Allen Edmonds storm welt.jpg



If all this is so great then why aren't the top makers using foam and vinyl in their shoes. Pity AE has to promote something bad as good. I do feel for them however because they are under pressure to manufacture in the U.S.A while keeping prices fair, but it is obviously hard to do.
 
Last edited:

Rambo

The Trollest Of Trolls
Moderator
Messages
28,063
Ratings
13,876
Allen Edmonds are now using foam and synthetics in a number of their shoes.

I was a little shocked to see what Allen Edmonds are now doing to a number of their shoes. They are using synthetics while trying to promote it as advanced technology hahaha. I am sure many will fall for it, but it ain't cricket. It is obvious AE are trying to save on costs, but l don't think lowering the quality of materials in a shoe is the way to go.

Many of their shoes are the usual bench welted shoes. No problems here.
https://global.allenedmonds.com/the-bench-welt/

But then we get fancy terms such as feather welt and speed welt used in the world of traditional factory shoemaking, it is usually a red flag that something shady is going on and the customer is going to get shafted by some new hair brained idea being dressed up as the new wave of brilliance in manufacturing. And indeed what l am going to present you is indeed a con imo.

Lets first start with the Allen Edmonds feather welt shoes. Lots of foam/poron used in the middle of the shoe, but here is the doozy, they call it breathable by default because it needs perforations to be breathable, but then again,how breathable is foam with pin holes in it. See...the insole is no longer leather, it is made from poron foam. They also mix the cork with synthetics. The outsole also isn't leather. Of course they try to market the cost cut as shock absorbing and more comfortable because they must think we are so weak like precious little petals and we can no longer wear leather under our feet. Pthh, don't fall for it!
View attachment 31767

Here is the Allen Edmonds speed welt. This is even worse, the insole, cork latering and slipsole all involve synthetics. The insole and cork include foam and the slipsole is vinyl. Only the outsole and the welt is made from leather on it.
View attachment 31768

The storm welt shoes are alittle better but they still use synthetic insoles.
View attachment 31769


If all this is so great then why aren't the top makers using foam and vinyl in their shoes. Pity AE has to promote something bad as good. I do feel for them however because they are under pressure to manufacture in the U.S.A while keeping prices fair, but it is obviously hard to do.
the answers to all your questions lie with the current ownership of Allen Edmonds:

https://www.caleres.com/

the most important thing at the top of the page? the share price.
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887
the answers to all your questions lie with the current ownership of Allen Edmonds:

https://www.caleres.com/

the most important thing at the top of the page? the share price.

I think we all know how this is going to end up. Just read some of the nonsense they write on the website, it is as fake and fluffy as it gets, and it tells me that these people are giving empty lip service like a used car salesman or politician would do. Red flags everywhere, and it tells me these people don't have anyone except their own interests at heart. It is corporate talk from a company that lacks soul, and before too long it will gobble you up and leave you out in the cold. When good companies get into the wrong hands of these types of people you will see what happens....quality goes down and soon they will manufacture overseas while peddling the lie that quality will remain the same. I know a snake when l see it.


The fluff of www.caleres.com
Here is some of the corporate fluff they push which raises red flags. It reeks of the `me me ME' mentality. People see through these cheap public relations stunts these days. It is obviously written by someone straight out of university who is out of touch.

They feel the strong need to tell us the following, "Our mission is to inspire people to feel good"
What on earth does that mean???

They also want to tell us they are "CARING"

They also want to tell us they have "CREATIVITY". Well replacing leather for synthetics is creative l suppose, only a corporate type who sits in an office who knows nothing about shoes would force such a thing on the shoemakers at AE.

They also have "PASSION"...yeah,passion for $$$$ and for themselves.

They also have "ACCOUNTABILITY"...yeah, for their shareholders and certainly not for anyone else. They'd even sack everyone and wouldn't lose an ounce of sleep over it.

They also say "We're proud to be recognized every year for our accomplishments". So what have they accomplished this year? All they have done is start making shoes with garbage materials that no shoemaker worth his salt would even consider doing in his craziest dreams. Yeah, they have accomplished ruining the reputation of traditional factory shoemaking, but this is what clueless kids in the office do, they cost cut because they don't know how to build a real business. R.M.Williams had the same types of numbskulls until Reg came back and sacked the lot of them.

Some more puke worthy stuff from their website: " every shoe we create benefits from the knowledge and skills gained over a century of design and craftsmanship". Since when is using foam and vinyl stem from great knowledge and craftsmanship??? That is not knowledge, that is just some kid making dumb decisions on the office.

Even more empty self praise: "Looking ahead, we will continue to build a preeminent company recognized the world over for its tenacity and creativity in creating the perfect fit"

Creativity in creating the perfect fit? What????
https://www.caleres.com/c/about

And of course they have to virtue signal about how caring they are because there is no point helping others unless everyone hows how caring you are, right?
https://www.caleres.com/c/about/community

The real heros are the ones who do things to help others without having to tell everyone how wonderful they are. When people and companies start virtue signalling about how wonderful and perfect they are it is usually a red flag that they have many skeletons in the closet and are not near as virtuous as they make out. Does this company really care about the sick, or are they just saying and supporting them for self interests?
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887
Robert Powers is back with some of his biggest shoe adventures yet. He is an average joe who has recently developed a real keen interest in shoes. I love his enthusiasm.

Here he hand stitches a sole on an Allen Edmonds shoe. He does a decent job for his first try. I couldn't stop smiling when l watched this.

While he mixes stuff up and still is rusty on his shoe knowledge, I really admire him for his willingness to learn and study shoes. Here he rips open shoes and shows shoe diagrams, and this is the start of when someone can really get to understand how shoes are built. I recommend this to anyone who wishes to understand more about shoe construction. While he misses an essential point on the gemming and the inseaming to the feather, none-the-less he does a great job at showing people how a shoe is constructed.


Goodyear Welted vs Blake Stitched Construction Shoes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpEpqJ0eO0g&t=974s


See...Robert Powers is a typical bloke. He gets in his shed, he mucks around with his tools and he does manly stuff. That is my type of guy. Having a shed is a path to manhood!!!
 

Rambo

The Trollest Of Trolls
Moderator
Messages
28,063
Ratings
13,876
I think we all know how this is going to end up.
its been going this way for quite some time. i know AE are beyond your level of shoes but I read a lot of the AE sales threads on reddit and other platforms and the amount of complaints has been trending upward for quite some time. I believe this is the second or third private equity company AE has been sold to since 2010. their customer service has gone in the shitter as well.

It is corporate talk from a company that lacks soul
to be fair to other corporations, they all lack soul.
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887
I tune out as soon as I hear the word "passion"
I tune out when l read that they want to make people feel good and are caring. Lots of people are caring and want to do good things, but you don't need to tell the world about it. What type of person talks like that. It's so fake and hollow weird. What are these people up to, what game are they playing???
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887
its been going this way for quite some time. i know AE are beyond your level of shoes but I read a lot of the AE sales threads on reddit and other platforms and the amount of complaints has been trending upward for quite some time. I believe this is the second or third private equity company AE has been sold to since 2010. their customer service has gone in the shitter as well.
Very interesting to know this. Thanks for letting me know. Something tells me more complaints will be forthcoming, shoes are not meant to be build with synthetics. The factory workers must be horrified with the decisions being forced upon them from head office.
 

Rambo

The Trollest Of Trolls
Moderator
Messages
28,063
Ratings
13,876

Rambo

The Trollest Of Trolls
Moderator
Messages
28,063
Ratings
13,876
Very interesting to know this. Thanks for letting me know. Something tells me more complaints will be forthcoming, shoes are not meant to be build with synthetics. The factory workers must be horrified with the decisions being forced upon them from head office.
then there was this gem

 

Rambo

The Trollest Of Trolls
Moderator
Messages
28,063
Ratings
13,876
i also believe they shifted a large portion of their materials construction to the Dominican Republic and are then shipping them to the Wisconsin plant.
 

Rambo

The Trollest Of Trolls
Moderator
Messages
28,063
Ratings
13,876
here's a meermin customer service/quality post


to be clear this guy's complaint was the literal leather peeling off, not that god awful seam...
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887

Pthh, here we go again. Using dubious buzz words to sell out.


Shooey calls Allen Edmonds out for their word games.

"modern shoe styles designed with crafted, comfort performance"
What that means is they are going to use cheap synthetics to build the shoes so they can cost cut. It's marketing talk designed to baffle the brains of potential customers.

"Artisans of Freedom"
Virtue signalling again. Forget about artisans of freedom and all those buzz words, just make shoes the proper way with good materials. My message to the marketers of AE...fancy words don't change the reality....you can't change a toad into a frog by words alone...YOU are selling out AE, and no amount of fancy words and slogans are going to change that until AE do the hard things by working out a way to introduce quality back into manufacturing and make it work. Slogans and fancy words are cheap marketing that anyone out of college can do, but real marketing is making people want to buy your product and to want to come back because they can identify with the lifestyle, the quality and the service. Hollow words can't save a sinking ship, only doing good things that customers like can save a sinking ship.

""The Artisans of Freedom products promote American craftsmanship and quality"
No it doesn't. Synthetics in shoemaking is not quality,it is cost cutting. See how hollow all this stuff is. They think they can fool people with all of this nonsense, but people are waking up to this stuff fast. This rubbish would have probably worked 3 years ago, but it has jumped the shark now. These people need to get real and get out of dream land, they need to stop playing these silly word games. Silly word games don't change the world, they need to learn this. These marketing people are lousy at their jobs, their marketing ideas are as inspiring as wet paper bags.
 
Last edited:

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887
here's a meermin customer service/quality post


to be clear this guy's complaint was the literal leather peeling off, not that god awful seam...
I especially love reading the customer service complaints from those famous places like Louis Vuitton. It's just like they are saying, "we don't care about you ,we only care about your money, so don't bother to expect customer service from us because we have better things to do like sell to suckers who don't know quality from their elbow. We can be this way because we are too big to fail. If you have a complaint, we don't want to hear it, just go away! We can be utter creeps because people are lining up to buy our expensive products because marketing has baffled their brains into thinking our plastic/PVC coated bags are actually luxury. We don't use much leather in our products anymore because none of our customers can tell the difference between PVC coated canvass and leather". :saywhatagain::iseewhatyoudidthere:


I remember going into LV in the 90's and studying the `so called' leather bags, and I remember how they felt cheap and like plastic. Only 6 months ago l find out that LV have been mainly making plastic coating their bags for a long time now. But that's the thing...when you are good at marketing you can take advantage of suckers because there is one born every minute. Take their money and don't give them any customer service, and try to manufacture in China on the sly and put a made-in-Italy stamp on it to make people feel they own luxury. Prada got caught doing that, they forgot to take the made-in-China tags out of their handbags and ladies on the purse forum busted them hehe. :omegarage:

I haven't found any evidence of LV manufacturing in China on the sly yet, but l am waiting in the shadows. I bet they do for at least some of their stuff. :omegarage:
 
Last edited:

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887
then there was this gem

Might be o.k on a boot like Jeffery West because it suits that target market and the shoe aesthetic, but not for an AE market imo. The kids designing these things don't understand, you just don't do a hardcore design like that for a frumpy looking boot. So many people are all about education yet they lack common sense.


https://fox6now.com/2019/02/01/60-a...off-from-port-washington-production-facility/

60 Allen Edmonds employees laid off from Port Washington production facility
Hey Rambo, l am not a mind reader, but l know what is coming. When hopeless blokes get in charge of companies, the downward spiral is always guaranteed. When these dubious folks think they can run AE by trying to fool people with fancy slogans and hollow words you know the future is going to be in China or somewhere else within a short time. All these two-bit company directors can do is strip down the companies and cut quality and sack people, and this is what they are doing because all the Tom Dick and Harry's are doing it because it is easy.

It wouldn't be too hard to be a CEO these days. All you need to do is sack people, cut corners in quality, move to China and pay slave wages without benefits.
 
Last edited:

fxh

OG Party Suit Wearer
Supporter
Messages
6,078
Ratings
5,861
I always say if you aren't very bright and intelligent its a good idea to get a good education - because most people can't tell the difference.
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887
Cost cutting in manufacturing of $10,000 Tom Ford alligator shoes. Fake blake stitching at the waist, and all glued from the waist to the heel with only the front area of the shoe stitched. As a result the shoe is coming apart at the waist (first 2 minutes of video).

They also cost cut by using a glued rand to make the sole look thicker than it is.

They also do a bevelled waist by putting plastic under the leather (13 mins in).

For Rambo Rambo : a domestic canine resides at the premises during the daytime. Proof of this is at 36 minutes.
TOM FORD Restoration - Bedo’s Leatherworks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9xjsm0nRYk
 
Last edited:

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
1,903
Ratings
2,887
A fantastic goodyear welt replacement video. The best there in online. The welted was ruined by continuous resoles, so Bedo hand welted a new welt to the gemmed feather of the AE using an awl with a hooked end (no pig's bristle needed here). Probably not as tight and secure because the inseaming holes would be bigger, but o.k for a rewelting job for goodyear).

This is a beauty, and it is my top GYW video. It's really good we have this on film now. Bravo!



Here is another great video. Second fitting with G&G's Daniel Wegan. Highly recommended.
 

fxh

OG Party Suit Wearer
Supporter
Messages
6,078
Ratings
5,861
I'd heard that the Australian-ism " No Worries" was being used more and more in USA but this is the first time I'd heard it used naturally - @ 18.13
 
Top Bottom