Shoes?

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leonardo
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Shoes?

Post by leonardo »

Hi,
Not sure this is the right place for this question, but anyway. Recently bought a pair of latchets, great shoes but the leather sole is like walking on ice. What is the best and most authentic solution for this problem?
Cheers.
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Jim
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Post by Jim »

A good (but sadly inauthentic) solution is to go to Wilkos and buy the stick-on black plastic grippy soles and glue them onto the bottom of your shoes. 99% of the time the public won't see them and they do make walking about a lot safer, especially at the height of summer on sun-baked grass/hay.

You could also just rough up the leather a bit with a cheese grater.

Other than that, not sure...
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Post by Nigel »

sandpaaper em a bit then wear em lots

No easy solution
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Post by G Cooley »

Hob nails can help on grass and outside but most houses or castle do not like them on the timber floors. Even so they do slip.

Unfortunately it is often a case of wearing them and getting used to the fact that occasionally they slip on various surfaces.

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Jim
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Post by Jim »

In all honesty, I have had several cases of being put in danger by wearing new boots on the battlefield. One that springs to mind was at Tewkesbury a couple of years back when the field was essentially covered in dead grass that was lying flat and had gone all straw-like, and constituted what could be accurately labelled a "skating rink" for smooth-soled footwear. I slipped over whilst in a bill block and bashed my head quite badly. It could have been a lot worse if someone behind me had been swinging a weapon or something at the time.

I really would put some grips on the soles if I were you, or at least rough up the leather. For your own safety!
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Post by Phil the Grips »

Wear 'em and learn to walk in them properly- like Nigel says there is no short answer (now you know why fencing lunges in the era were a lot shorter than today)

Put them on in the house for a bit each evening and it helps break them in a bit and scuff up the soles- and landing on a sofa is lot comfier than a stone floor :)

Why go to the length of getitng decent footwear then wang black plastic soles on them? *shudder*
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Post by Jim »

Phil the Grips wrote:Why go to the length of getitng decent footwear then wang black plastic soles on them? *shudder*

Safety.
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Post by sally »

I went over a pair once with a scalpel, making very shallow criss crosses in the sole, once a bit of grit got in those grooves it helped a lot. No total solution that I know of though

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Post by Calendula »

Phil the Grips wrote:
Put them on in the house for a bit each evening and it helps break them in a bit and scuff up the soles

Why go to the length of getitng decent footwear then wang black plastic soles on them? *shudder*
Seconded. Get them comfy on your feet by wearing them a lot (latchets are weird and shapeless until you wear them in a bit) and get the soles scuffed. Insoles might help. If you're going to be wearing them outside for the most part, it's worth hobnailing the heels.

Even then, be mindful when walking anywhere smooth - pub floors especially!

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Post by Jim »

sally wrote:I went over a pair once with a scalpel, making very shallow criss crosses in the sole, once a bit of grit got in those grooves it helped a lot. No total solution that I know of though
Using a cheese grater is surprisingly effective, as well.
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Post by Tod »

Tod shoemaker to the rescue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do NOT use a cheese grater on your shoes :roll:. If your shoes are hand made you risk wrecking the stitching that holds the sole to the shoe (most muddyevil shoes don't have a stitched on sole).
If they are machine made then the sole leather in likely to be pressed and waxed (best way of explaining it) and by grating them you will take off the top coat not good, by normal wearing you impress as well as wear the sole.

These are options I give with my shoes and why:

Hobs in heels. Good if you are going onto grass a lot whether its cut or rough you'll get grip. Not good on modern surfaces such as paving slabes or concrete. Also wrecks wooden floors.

Rubber front soles. I buy in mat form and cut and fit. You can get rubber (not plastic) soles from Woolworths or Wilkinsons, maybe sold cobblers sell them. Clean the sole of you shoes. There must be no moisture or any dirt. Lightly sand the sole, not with the grater they give you with the soles but with fine sandpaper. Clean off all the dust and rub with a clean cloth to make sure there is nothing loose left on the sole. Put on the glue they give you and folow the instructions. Put glue on the rubber soles.
When you put the rubber soles on, start next to the heel, push the sole down from here so there is no air trapped under the rubber sole. Press as hard as you can. Get a hammer and hammer the rubber sole all over. You really need a cobblers last for this so you can get the soles well hammered down. Leave for at least one day. Take a very sharp knife and trim around the edge of the sole to fit your shoe.
If you can get a cobbler to put on stick on soles it would be better as they have stronger glue and the tools to do it.

What not to do!
I strongly recommend against putting hobs in to the soles of any boots or shoes. The damage they can do you your feet when walking on hard surfaces in not worth it. The area of each hob will impress into your feet.

Hope this helps, PM me if you want more info.

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Post by John Waller »

Jim wrote:
Phil the Grips wrote:Why go to the length of getitng decent footwear then wang black plastic soles on them? *shudder*

Safety.
Do it proper like

Also a payre of shone of thikke cordwene and they muste be frette with smal whipcorde thre knottis up on a corde and thre coordis muste be faste sowid un to the hele of the shoo and fyne cordis in the mydill of the soole of the same shoo and that there be between the frettis of the heele and the frettis of the myddill of the shoo the space of thre fyngris.
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Post by m300572 »

Tod is it possible to get the small hobs still - the first pair of authenti shoes I got had little hobnails, about 4mm across and roughly half spherical - not like the huge things that seem to be standard now.
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Post by John Waller »

m300572 wrote:Tod is it possible to get the small hobs still - the first pair of authenti shoes I got had little hobnails, about 4mm across and roughly half spherical - not like the huge things that seem to be standard now.
Sara Juniper fitted some similar to a pair my wife has. She wouldn't sell me any though. She sourced them from the US.
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Post by Tod »

I've two types. The big type with a D caste in the centre. The other flatter type I have (fitted to my muddyevil boots) are lower in height and have a criss cross pattern on the face. I got them (after searching every where) off ebay. The big hobbs are mega bucks on there thought.
I'll ask Sarah where she got hers from, knowing her her it was a limited supply, which is some thing we both have problems with. There aren't many hand shoemakers around.

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Post by Andy R »

Tod wrote:I strongly recommend against putting hobs in to the soles of any boots or shoes. The damage they can do you your feet when walking on hard surfaces in not worth it. The area of each hob will impress into your feet.
A good pair of shoes with a decent sole will take hobs on the sole with no impact what so ever.

Not to mention that the army's been doing just that for the last few hundred years with no ill affect.

The only pair I have ever had issues with were shipped out from Karachi (I was in a hurry okay..!)
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leonardo
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Post by leonardo »

Thanks for all the help. I've decided to put the 'grippy soles' as per some folks recomendations, as I've slipped on my backside on wet grass before and I had shoes with grip, I'd just prefer not to do it again in the name of authenticity.
Cheers.
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Post by Tod »

Andy R wrote:
Tod wrote:I strongly recommend against putting hobs in to the soles of any boots or shoes. The damage they can do you your feet when walking on hard surfaces in not worth it. The area of each hob will impress into your feet.
A good pair of shoes with a decent sole will take hobs on the sole with no impact what so ever.

Not to mention that the army's been doing just that for the last few hundred years with no ill affect.

The only pair I have ever had issues with were shipped out from Karachi (I was in a hurry okay..!)
No offence Andy but I do know what I'm talking about. Army boot soles are not the same as re-enactment shoes. Both Sarah and I will not put hobbs on soles. You want to do it fine, but I studied "feet" at college and there's no way I would recommend putting them in soles in any re-enactemnt foot wear.

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Post by Andy R »

Fair enough, but as in re-enactment most grip comes from the ball of the foot (generally) and having worn hobbed soles for nigh on 20 years with no ill affects (even doing the Ridgeway march in 92 or 93) I'm more than happy with them.

In fact, just about everyone I know who I do c17th and up enactment with put nails in the soles of their shoes/boots...
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Post by Andy R »

Tod wrote:Both Sarah and I will not put hobbs on soles.
Actually, if you go to Sarah's web site, you'll find that she does...

http://www.sarahjuniper.co.uk/e19c.html
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Post by John Waller »

[quote="Tod" Both Sarah and I will not put hobbs on soles.[/quote]

Hobs in my wife's pair from Sarah.
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Post by m300572 »

but I studied "feet" at college and there's no way I would recommend putting them in soles in any re-enactemnt foot wear.
Is that because of the hobs pushing on the feet in strange ways Tod - there are some interesting hobnailing patterns on some Roman shoe soles (not sure what the uppers were in some cases but probably military footwear) that may have been designed to alleviate some of these.
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Post by Tod »

I just rang Sarah and she will NOT put hobbs in shoes full stop. The only time she will is for Roman shoes. She used to but not any more.
Sarahs reasons are that they help to make shoes rot though the hobb holes, and she gets asked to take them out when people want to go into houses.

My reasons are that the hobb will impact into your foot, your foot spreads the weight of your body as it moves, but with hobbs the weight is more loacalised. That isn't the best description but I'm sure you get what I mean.
You can try and stop this by fitting a Baker mid sole, but then your shoes become very stiff which creates other problems.

One solution is to get re-enacmtnet shoes that are made like modern (military or hard wearing) shoes, but then they are re-enactment shoes any more and what you have is a modern shoe in the style (sort of) what you want. Much like most of machine made stuff which are maybe the worst to put hobbs in. By the way I'm talking about pre 1900 shoes, manufacturing changed a lot about then.

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Post by laura »

I've recently been chaperoning a child to specialist podiatry sessions and have learnt a LOT about footwear's effect - child's problem is with a HIP but it's the footwear that's caused it. What Tod says is what the specialist podiatrist is telling us, only his advice is free and hers is rather a lot of money...

The only leather-soled footwear I have is my grandmother's 1940s dancing shoes - I carry sandpaper in my handbag for ceilidhs because if you think leather soles on long flat-lying dry grass is bad, try a full-speed whirling Strip the Willow on a wooden floor that's got polished by decades of dancing and then had drinks spilled all over it! ;-)

Sandpaper makes a surprising difference, but footwear that fits properly and is done up properly makes an even more surprising difference to how secure your footing is.

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Post by Hraefn »

Fit your own hobs
http://missouribootandshoe.tripod.com/id7.html
http://www.najecki.com/repro/Shoes.html
Or get a second pair of shoes for battlefield use with rubber bits or just cut down some desert boots(JOKING!), why b*gger up some expensive autho shoes.
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Post by Andy R »

laura wrote:I've recently been chaperoning a child to specialist podiatry sessions and have learnt a LOT about footwear's effect - child's problem is with a HIP but it's the footwear that's caused it.
for sure.

My wife has just had an issue which was caused by Crocks of all things.
(you know, the shoes that surgeons wear for long hours when opperating and are generally very good for feet)

I've been wearing hobs for longer than Tod's been re-enacting and done some very long marches in them (the Ridgeway for one..!)

What did for my feet (foot) was falling of the damned cuddie last year, twisting my ankle and giving myself a varicose vein in my foot - off all the things.....
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Post by Brand »

Used to wear heel hobs but these were even more dangerous on marches through towns e.g. Tintagel so I removed them. If you train in your shoes often enough you learn how to get grip!

Alternatively you could glue leather strips to your soles (some dark age evidence but most likely these were termporary repairs) this does give you much improved grip.

Todd knows what he's talking about- try to avoid hobbs.

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Post by m300572 »

Its the Hraefn posted hob that I am thinking of - the leProvo ones are the commonly available type in this country but are too big and the wrong shape for (eg) Roman footwear.
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Post by Andy R »

These are the "low rise" hobs I take it?

I was just looking through some of the books with photos of Euro Napoleonic re-enactors - not a single shot of the sole of a show showed anything but hobs, but these are the "less proud than the common ones we see here" type
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