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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rather testing conditions yesterday - grey skies, windy, driving rain, heavy waterlogged clayey fields, no signs of life. But how better to enjoy the glamour of the English countryside in winter-time?

While the combination of a trilby and an elderly Burella kept my top half down to the knees completely dry, it was rather disappointing, and surprising, to find that my newish Tricker's shoes leak quite badly.

Ironically I had chosen this type of shoe in preference to a pair of Tricker's brogues because of a last-minute intuition that they might prove more waterproof. In fact they leak like a sieve.

I have contacted the shop but their view is that their shoes are only 'water resistant', not 'water proof', and perhaps I have been too sparing with the dubbin. They have commando soles and look like Land Rovers, but perhaps after all they are really only intended for disco dancing? Rather disappointing.

My Alfred Sargeant shoes never leaked. Proof, however, of the superiority of the old veldtschoen construction to the so-called 'storm welt' that Tricker's now employ.

Brown Shoe Wood Athletic shoe Peach
Hand Wood Gesture Finger Bag
 

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Thank you for this report. Very sorry for your disappointment, which I would share in your circumstances.

It looks as if the uppers themselves performed rather well, and as has been noted, it's the seams and welt that let you down. That said, I suspect these shoes would be entirely satisfactory in less trying wet conditions. Hopefully they don't reveal a decline in standards between the making of your AS and these.

I've never had a pair of veldtschoen footwear, and it's been a long time since I've read a detailed description of the process to make it. I do recall that it's very elaborate and pains are taken to make sure very thing is sealed up tightly. I think I may remember that even the thread with which they're sewn is impregnated with wax to enhance their properties.

It's a pity they don't serve as you wish, but they're still a handsome pair of shoes and hopefully will perform better in less trying conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What you say about "less trying wet conditions" is key to it. Unfortunately, most of England is rather subject to dampness at almost any time of year. Kent however is usually bone dry in the summer months, when perhaps the shoes may be more useful.

The tan gorse uppers are wonderful leather - I believe it has been used by Tricker's since at least the 1930s. But if the seams leak, especially around the welt, it cannot be good for either the wearer, or the long-term durability of the shoes. I do largely blame the 'storm welt', which inspection suggests could hardly have been better designed to channel rain and moisture inside the shoe. On veldtschoen, by contrast, the upper extends over the welt, such that all moisture is cast away from the shoe.

The shoes are certainly very comfortable, and look the part, even if the reality is somewhat at variance from this.
 

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What a pity! I think you may have been unlucky. I have a pair of storm welted, double-soled Trickers brogues that have kept my feet dry despite the perennially foul Welsh weather. Perhaps a good treatment with dubbin will solve the problem. Or perhaps Collonil Leather Gel?

Nevertheless, they are very handsome shoes and will look great again when dried out.
 

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It could be as simple as a pair with slightly faulty/sub-standard stitching. As good as Trickers are, every brand in the world lets a Monday product slip through once in a while.

I've experienced the same with ordinary Goodyear welts, but my storm-welted shoes/boots have yet to let me down in the manner portrayed, with or without dubbin.
 

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I actually did return a pair of Grenson boots to the factory once because even in rainy city weather the wet would seep in (not made in the UK, these were purchased as I was only 'getting into' quality shoes and boots). I got a replacement pair which weren't much better.

Since then, I've had Tricker's boots and brogues, several pairs, which are all going strong and have kept me bone dry. However, although I've worn them in the country and in bad weather, it was the sort of bad weather I would consider within what I consider the limits of something made in this way...

I mean, there's a walk in the country in rainy weather which involves crossing over a bit of muddy ground and through wet grass... In which case I would expect no problems... But then there's something like genuine foul weather hill walking, through marshy ground, properly sodden fields and whatnot... In which case, no, I think I would not expect bone dryness from Tricker's or any other similarly constructed boot or brogue. For that sort of thing I think I'd be opting for a modern boot using technical materials or a boot with a fast drying liner of some sort which is designed to get wet but dry out subsequently.

As calfnkip's mentor put it, I don't think a product constructed in this way could truly be expected to be truly 'watertight' or 'waterproof' considering the manufacturing process.

However, I am surprised the Tricker's factory said they do not consider their boots 'waterproof' as, although I in fact agree 'water resistant' would be a more accurate term, they do use the term 'waterproof' on their own site...
 

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I believe there may be one exception, of sorts, to sage member calfknip's observation, and that is shoes or boots made using authentic Veldtschoen construction and made from Zug leather. The diagram below depicts Veldschoen construction.


And explained in more detail here, along with virtually every other form of construction including diagrams and photos.

https://shoegazing.se/english/2015/08/15/guide-methods-of-shoe-construction/

Zug leather is typcially a grained leather, and is waterproof using only natural ingredients as I was tutored by magnificently knowledgeable member jamgood upon my arrival at AAAC roughly 10 years ago.

"Zug is a waterproof grained leather most often associated with "Veldtschoen" boots and shoes (Afrikaans for "field shoe", although the Vesdtschoen was developed by an Englishman, Albert Ingham of Northampton). Zug leather originates from the famous tannery of the Swiss town of the same name. The innovative, thrifty tanners of the area utilized a milk chocolate syrup in much the same manner as the Scots of Islay. The chocolate imparts the characteristic dark brown color and natural waterproofing of Zug leather."

Here -

https://askandyaboutclothes.com/community/threads/scotch-grain-leather.73426/page-2

The total process resulting in boots with this appearance.

 

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Said veldtschoen construction is basically an adaptation of the age-old Norwegian construction method called "beksøm", which direct translation is "tar stitched". The construction was the same, only less elaborate inside (no cork filling, just a simple leather insole), and the welt was sewn with thread soaked in tar to make it waterproof.

As such the invention of that particular welt is far older than Albert Ingham, quite likely preceding his "invention" by a hundred or more years. It was certainly around ca 1840 and can likely be traced back well into the 18th century.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
...

Since then, I've had Tricker's boots and brogues, several pairs, which are all going strong and have kept me bone dry. However, although I've worn them in the country and in bad weather, it was the sort of bad weather I would consider within what I consider the limits of something made in this way...

I mean, there's a walk in the country in rainy weather which involves crossing over a bit of muddy ground and through wet grass... In which case I would expect no problems... But then there's something like genuine foul weather hill walking, through marshy ground, properly sodden fields and whatnot... In which case, no, I think I would not expect bone dryness from Tricker's or any other similarly constructed boot or brogue. For that sort of thing I think I'd be opting for a modern boot using technical materials or a boot with a fast drying liner of some sort which is designed to get wet but dry out subsequently.
...
I don't think the conditions I described should have been beyond the capability of the shoes, yet clearly they were - it wasn't hill-walking, nor was the ground boggy, just very wet and very muddy. It would be both awkward and a little ridiculous to set off for a walk across the fields from my Kentish home in modern walking boots.

Since dubbining the shoes, especially the welt area and seams, I have worn them once on a similar walk and they remained dry; however the fields are now less wet. Nevertheless, my faith in Tricker's has been rather sorely tested.
 

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Sorry but you're wearing the wrong shoe type and shoe colour for very wet weather. For very wet weather you should have a pair of less expensive shoes that are of a glued construction between the upper and rubber or man-made sole. The upper to have minimal stitching and be of a treated leather for water resistance. Colour to be dark so water rings won't show up. Here are my Timberlands, they've always been watertight in the heaviest rain and are exceedingly comfortable. Cost of about USD100 in a sale about 3 years ago and worn regularly in wet weather.
Brown Footwear Shoe Grey Walking shoe
 
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