I know you’ve got sole – my first brogues redone

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A while back I wrote a couple of posts about my Church brogues. First about discovering them in a local charity shop and discovering how appropriate they were for me, and then the process of having them resoled to make them more usable to me.

Being utterly enchanted with the result of the freshly ruggedized fancy shoes, I was in no doubt about what needed to be done when my knockabout brogues were starting to display signs of distress. The problems aren’t readily apparent, as see on the photo below, but my fastidious eyes saw trouble looming. Back to Shoehealer they must go!

Not surer-expensive or super-fancy, but still solid knockabout brogues!

Not surer-expensive or super-fancy, but still solid knockabout brogues!

The brogues in question are a pair of reasonably priced brogues by One True Saxon, a British brand that was known for decent clothes, before going downhill, disappearing, and possibly resurrected again. In any case, these are about three years old and have seen a lot of use. They are of a pleasing design and nicely worn it, and never fail to gather plenty of likes when displayed on Instagram, so there was never any question of not fixing them up.

The main failures were as follows:

  • The heel layers were parting, and kept needing glueing
  • Stitching was coming apart on the uppers
  • The heels had worn through the rubber sole
The original soles were rubber over leather, but pretty much zero grip. Guys need traction!

The original soles were rubber over leather, but pretty much zero grip. Guys need traction!

So, fixing they needed, and I wanted to upgrade a little. The flat, featureless original rubber sole was always a bit useless. No grip, and boring as a flat rubber sole can be. I’m a big fan of the classic commando-style sole of the country brogue. This is as used on my Grenson’s and my Ice-Cutters. It does have it’s problems, but it’s still a distinct and hard-wearing sole with lots of grip. Totally awesome in today’s harsh office environments. It shows you have the right rugged and pioneering spirit and will not settle for second best. Or so I like to think.

Some stitching coming apart as well. Does not bode well unless fixed!

Some stitching coming apart as well. Does not bode well unless fixed!

So, with a brief note explaining the woes of the enclosed, off they went by post to Shoehealer in Doncaster in England.

And after a suitable period of time had passed, they appeared back at the mansion. And with great anticipation they were unwrapped for inspection!

After a vacation at Shoehealer in Doncaster in the North of England, the brogues are back, suitably refreshed.

After a vacation at Shoehealer in Doncaster in the North of England, the brogues are back, suitably refreshed.

And quite wonderful they are too! The uppers are stitched, the heels entirely rebuilt, and the soles are immaculately clad in fresh new Goodyear brand rubber. Ready for years of further use and enjoyment.

Now that's much better! Freshly resoled with a proper commando lug sole with heaps of traction.

Now that’s much better! Freshly resoled with a proper commando lug sole with heaps of traction.

This, folks, is why we spend a little more and get shoes that are made properly. Get a pair of cheap shoes and you’ll toss them out when issues appear. Get a pair of slightly more expensive Goodyear-welted shoes (i.e. that the soles are stitched on and replaceable), and you can get them fixed. This is the way of the proper gentleman, stylish and sustainable. There is much to be said for buying good stuff, keeping it a long time and repairing it when needed. Save the environment one resole at a time?

Now only resoled, but also the heels have been rebuilt as works of art.

Now only resoled, but also the heels have been rebuilt as works of art.

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3 Comments

  • Rob 26/09/2016 at 18:37

    They look great. You’re right about One True Saxon. Once Ian Paley (ex Paul Smith) left and the brand was sold to Scotts that was the end. Though I think they had started to decline sometime before that. In their day they really offered something a bit different without breaking the bank.

    Reply
  • Kris 10/11/2016 at 13:54

    Hello there I have a pair of Boots with a Dainite looking sole, they are really good boots with a good year welt. I would like to soles like the ones above put on but I have no idea what to ask my cobbler for, I live in cornwall and I think my choices are limited so any information I can pass on to my cobbler would be fantastic.

    Thank you in advance

    Kris

    Reply

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