Warning - Stick on soles

Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by Leather man, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Leather man

    Leather man Super Member

    There has been a discussion recently which strayed into the merits of Topys - I think a brand name for what we over here call " stick on soles". There seems to be a general, though not universal, view here on AAAC that Topys are a good thing and that shoe manufactuers are going over the top by warning us against applying them to our lovely leather soled shoes. Most of us seem to think it does no harm and recently members have posted wonderful pictures of G&G shoes with Topys stuck on by Dean Girling himself - thus proving the merits of the addition and blowing out of the water any criticism of this device.

    So, the impression was given that Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling approve of stick-on-soles. NOT TRUE. I am not saying anyone lied, rather it was the impression given.

    I spoke to Dean Girling two days ago to place an order and asked him about this. I told him I had seen the pictures on here and SF. He said to me, and I quote " Adding Topys to our shoes is a big "no no" for us. We strongly advise customers against it. Yes we have done it for some customers because they insisted they wanted the Topys adding. We are here to meet our customers wishes, but we certainly don't always approve of them!" I went on to ask him why and he gave the usual reasons that I have heard from Church's and Edward Green's - that they add 1/16th of an inch to the sole - thus unbalancing it and they stop the sole leather breathing thus causing it to crack. This won't be obvious because a rubber sheet is stuck on top but it will affect the performance of the shoe. Dean went on to say that water is not nearly so harmful to leather soles as some of us would beleive ( including me until this conversation) and he said that if customers want a shoe with great grip and for very wet weather he advises a shoe with a Danite sole not adding a Topy to a leather sole.

    Of course, the customer is king and Gaziano and Girling are kings of customer service so they will bend over backwards to meet our requirements, but that is not the same thing as approving of what we ask for.

    So , its official - Gaziano and Girling DO NOT APPROVE OF STICK ON SOLES. :teacha:
  2. Rossini

    Rossini Honors Member

    Thanks, thats great info & clarification.
  3. jeph

    jeph Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    United States
    New York
    New York
    I believe that stick on soles are harmful to the whole shoe, because they "unbalance" the climate in the shoe. The upper leather is better preserved when the whole shoe can breathe, and I think that a shoe with Dainite soles generally looks worn out quicker because of this.

    But that is just my opinion.

  4. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage Connoisseur

    I understand what the G&G guys are saying, but on the other hand not all of us spend out days padding about on office carpeting, never walking very far. I need my shoes to last over long walking distances, even my good shoes, and water+pavement wears out soles very quickly.

    Also, I think the "balance" thing is a bit bogus, since I've seen so many shoes with flat heels too high for anything other than sitting in leather office chairs.

  5. Bog

    Bog Super Member

    American Samoa

    The only reason you are against Topys is that without Topys shoes wear out quicker, and need replacement, therefore forcing us to purchase more shoes, and enhance your profit statement.

    That is all there is to it.

    Adding 1/16 of an inch to the sole does nothing to unbalance the shoe. What does this mean, unbalanced? Shoes are never balanced. The heel is always heavier, the foot is always applying weight in an uneven way while a person walks.

    A shoe does not breath through the bottom. Nor does it expell hot air from said place, the same can not be said of several posts above.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
  6. Leather man

    Leather man Super Member

    Hi Bogdanoff - you obviously feel strongly about this. Of course you are entitled to your opinion and that's fine. I was merely reporting what Dean Girling said to me - and he's a man who's prepared to put Topys on if you insist - unlike other shoemakers.

    As for me, I understand what Dean Girling is saying and it makes sense to me. On a personal experience note, I found in the days I added stick on soles that my feet grew much hotter in my shoes and sweated much more as a result. So I think there is something in the line of thinking that says the shoe breathes downwards as well as upwards if the leather sole is left bare.
  7. Leather man

    Leather man Super Member

    PS - the shoe is unbalanced if nothing is added to the heel - you changed the proportions of the shoe - here in the UK nothing is added to the heel when a Topy is added to the sole - as per the pictures of G&Gs with Topys on AAAC.
  8. DunninLA

    DunninLA Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    Haven't used them, but just two obervations --

    I agree shoes are not balanced to begin with, and in fact adding Topys might *better* balance the shoe from it's unbalanced starting point

    The reason Dainite or other thickly soled shoes (double soled or even triple leather soles (i.e. Weston Chasse) show wear sooner (if made with leather balanced for single soles) is that the upper is put under 2-3 times as much strain in bending the sole while walking. Has nothing to do with breathing. For this reason double or triple soled shoes are usually designed with thicker leather in the uppers (certainly my Weston demi Chasse #598 are).
  9. Rich

    Rich Super Member

    Will the shoe be unbalanced when 1/16th of an inch of leather is worn OFF the sole? And just how gas-permeable is a leather sole plus insole? Not very, I would say.

    The only argument I can see against Topys is that there is a sort of conflict of fundamental values - traditional methods and materials versus modern synthetic polymers and chemical glue (shudder), rather like using plastic stoppers instead of corks for fine wine. I think this is a repectable, though irrational, argument, but I find the advantages of Topys outweigh the uneasiness I feel about 'defiling' my leather soles.
  10. marlinspike

    marlinspike Advanced Member

    United States
    I would gladly not refrain from Topys if I didn't need to resole every few months without them.

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