Another boot upgrade to gaze upon

I recently found a pair of really splendid looking boots. The leather was unusual and lovely, the brogueing to a very nice pattern and the lacing and shape very satisfying. They did indeed provoke instant lust. And they were very much on offer as well, so it was a given that they would be travelling home with me.


There was an obvious problem though. I say problem, but in a greater perspective I think we can agree that unless you are totally obsessive about the soles of boots, you might consider this a mere flaw. A flaw that can and should be remedied, mind you.


The flaw? The soles are made of what looks like blue neoprene, or something quite similar. We are talking soles with zero grip, no pattern at all and according to the seller they are lethal in the wet or on slippery surfaces. Apparently several customers had experienced the almost ice-like properties and not appreciated it. Credit where credit is due though, on dry road there was a level of comfort that was almost sneaker-like.


The boots are a Mark McNairy design in his “New Amsterdam” series, made in Britain by Sanders & Sanders in Northhampton. So a pretty classic design, with some cheeky details, made by one of the long established British makers. Thankfully without bad boy McNairy’s trademark expletives writ large across the sole.

So, what could I do about this? Time to check in with Richard at Shoe Healer again. And luckily even this style of sole, without the more usual stitching through the sole, was not beyond redemption. The process would involve shaving off the existing sole and building up a new one. And as I was quite taken by the blue sole, a replacement Dainite sole in blue was source. Yes, these things matter to some of us.

If you’d like to follow the process, please look through the photos in this gallery. If you’d just like to see the end result, scroll down!

And here they are. Brand new blue Dainite soles. Notice the fancy blue pinstripe? Sublime.


Thanks to Shoe Healer for another great job!


  • James 26/11/2016 at 08:02

    I have this exact sole in brick red on a pair of Sanders chukkas and wouldn’t change it for the world. Truly sneaker like comfort. Agree that it doesn’t make much sense having them on a heavier boot like this though.

  • John 26/11/2016 at 15:28

    Really fantastic job. especially with the blue pin stripe – very stylish. Do you mind me asking the price you paid for the re-sole? Thanks!

    • nick 26/11/2016 at 17:15

      I paid 85 pounds and return shipping.

  • Mark 30/11/2016 at 20:58

    Looks great. Do you know if Shoe Healer will refurbish the heel cups inside the shoes? Mine always wear out and alot of shoe brands won’t fix the leather linings.

    • nick 30/11/2016 at 21:00

      I’d drop Richard a mail and ask, include photos. I’d guess that they most likely can!

  • Neil G 01/12/2016 at 16:53

    There are plenty of great British boots that come wth that sole already though. Seems a big deal to buy a boot and immediately have to resole…

    • nick 01/12/2016 at 19:26

      That depends on what you pay for the boot to start with. If I was paying 400 pounds for a pair of Trickers, I’d naturally not immediately resole them. It’s an entirely different case when I paid 1/20th of that. Right?

  • Trousers 31/01/2017 at 21:08

    Would this be the same Shoeheeler who runs a shoe shop and cobbler in Donny market place?

    • nick 01/02/2017 at 06:07

      If Donny is Doncaster, that would indeed be the case.

      • Trousers 05/02/2017 at 16:04

        Indeed Donny is Doncaster. It’s nice to see a local business like that getting international business.

        I once spent a pleasant hour in that shop while the owner explained to me just why a pair of Trickers is more expensive than a pair of Loakes. He pulled out a Trickers brogue boot he’d sawed in half, to reveal all the hand stitching and steel tacks in the sole. He is very passionate about handmade English shoes.

  • Daniel Sosa 08/06/2018 at 22:12

    Came here to see the blue off, got a pleasant surprise instead. Thought you were terrified by the color over the lack of pattern, but the end result has proven me wrong in so many ways. Blueish Dainite soles well matched with a gorgeous boot had satisfied my inner urge for more quality threads this blog.


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