Proper leather shoes

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  • These look great, I’ll consider this an upgrade when it’s time to replace the permanently grubby white vibram sole on my Redwing chukkas.

    I have a pair of not cheap but not expensive Merrell walking boots which had a crap fabric eyelet which broke halfway along Hadrian’s Wall in the summer. I just got around to fixing* with some DIY hook and rivet action, relegated to dog walking but saved from the landfill for the sake of a fiver.

    • I replaced all four, not just the broken one.

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  • Hi all, long time reader first time caller.

    I bought a pair of Solovair dealer boots on ebay. Size 8. I have some Solovair brogues in an 8 with a wider last than these that fit well (usually take 8.5 or 9). The dealer boots are the right length but are noticeably tight width wise. I've worn a few times but certainly can't wear with thicker socks. I'm hoping they'll stretch or I'll be able to stretch them width wise over time. Any advice on how to do that?


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  • Great idea with the speed hooks. Where did you send them?

  • my local cobbler does stretching for £10 (up to three times to get the right fit) - I'd take them to a cobbler

  • Original Cobblers in Orpington.

    I dropped them off as I fancied a trip out, nice folk, super busy.
    dozens of Red Wings in for various jobs.
    (IIRC they used to be the "official" UK resoler of RW boots)

  • Steaming the insides and wearing them sometimes works for small adjustments.

  • And here’s me getting my speed hooks replaced with eyelets on new boots!
    I tend to snag on them, hate those things.

  • I also hate speed hooks. Hate. They just slow you down.

  • Speedhook all teh things!

  • You don’t know how to use them. Prepare to be amazed

  • @mattyc @Airhead thanks! Will try local cobbler I think

  • I tie and untie my boots once a day…

  • A good high wax low oil polish Kiwi Parade gloss or Saphir mirror. Plain water, middle two fingers no cloth. Some swear by sylvet(?) cloth. You can remove small scuffs by rubbing with a piece of a pair of old tights.
    Everyone has their own theory I was taught by someone who had done The Guards Rowellian Company and inspected by a Household Cavalry Regimental Corporal Major and this always works,

  • Parade Gloss? I wouldn’t have expected anyone in the Guards to use anything but Kiwi Black.

  • in my Air Cadet days, we would use a lighter to melt the polish and give it a good shine

  • anyone know who sells Paraboot Michael in London, hopefully closest to N1?

    (Paraboot stockists page is a bit naff/don't trust)

  • Feels like Lamb's Conduit St shops could?

  • Oliver Spencer (Lambs Conduit Street and Shoreditch) stock them. Maybe worth phoning ahead to check they have the colour/size you want.

  • @kboy
    excellent, thank you both!

    I’m after these -

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  • Do any shoe/boot brands have a deeper heel cup than most?

    Not sure my terminology is correct. Heel counter maybe better.

  • Ah! They definitely won't have those, I think it is black and brown only. I believe Hip Store stock them but that doesn't help with going to see them in N1. Maybe End?

  • not that I've noticed by brand - only by model... not much help sorry, do you know what kind of shoe/boot you're after? you want a deeper/taller heel reinforcement? boots will have a deeper heel cup than a shoe

  • yeah... I was thinking of 'showrooming' them for fit then ordering online... I know it's bad but... maybe I could ask if they could order in for me etc

  • How much were they ? About £100 for the sole units?

  • Inspired a little by @DethBeard s post. Had my 15+year old Timberlands resoled with the Vibram wedge. Up here in Leeds it was £70 (don't think boots cost that originally).

    I like to look after and resole whenever possible because my feet don't do new shoes very well. The Timberlands were like slippers, but the resole with the wedge gave me a hotspot / nearly a blister on my heel again. Having to run them in again with short walks, wear around the house and work.

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Proper leather shoes

Posted by Avatar for StandardPractice @StandardPractice