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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Longbranch (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Silver Creek Slim, Camille Eonich)  |  Topic: Taking Care of My Boots 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Coal Creek Griff
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« on: June 08, 2015, 06:07:14 pm »


I donít know if this is the best board for this question, but here it is:

I have long had trouble finding the best boots for me.  I have looked for fairly ďauthenticĒ 1870s-1880s boots, but I have specific needs.  I am an amputee and have trouble getting my prosthetic foot into a tall boot where the upper is too tight.  I also need to have a low heel so that I can walk properly.

I finally scored a pair of Thomas Lincoln-brand boots from ebay for $40.  It was kind of a gamble, but Iím glad I took it because (with a little effort), I can get them on and the heel is low enough that I can actually walk.

Now I want to take care of them so that they last as long as possible.  The soles are leather and are already showing signs of wear (mostly scuffs at this point).  In the modern world, much of our walking is on gravel, concrete, etc.  Is there anything I can do to maintain some authenticity but protect the soles?  If I have to, Iíll have a thin rubber surface glued on, but Iím wondering if I have options.  Note: the photo of the sole is one from the ebay ad, taken before I bought them to show that they were unused.  I should probably avoid metal for domestic tranquility.  Iím willing to sacrifice authenticity for effectiveness since most people wonít see the bottom of my feet anyway.  I just donít want to have Vibram soles epoxied on or something which negates the general great appearance.

Secondly, Iíd like to have a way to protect the uppers.  I often walk in wet grass and it seems that repeated soakings might damage the leather.  What is a good preservative/conditioner (waterproofing agent?) that I could use.

I donít wear these boots every day, but they are so perfect I want to hold onto them.

Thanks!

CC Griff


* P1030692 CROP.jpg (189.2 KB, 791x966 - viewed 149 times.)

* Soles.jpg (137.68 KB, 1600x1200 - viewed 149 times.)
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Slamfire
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 10:00:46 pm »

 Hey, Coal..i do boot & saddle repair,,,anything you put on your boot's  that seal's the leather( schlac's,,tent water proofing,,etc. )will cause the leather to crack ( not a good thing),,but a good saddle soap ,will keep them soft and help shed water. Just ,apply a good liberal coat ,,and buff. And ,,,yes more than once a year ( lol). A zipper can be put in the "back" of the boot w/ a flap to cover the zipper,, just a thought.





  Hootmix.
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 11:30:46 pm »

Thank you, sir.  A zipper had been my fallback plan if I couldn't get the boot on, but happily I can. 

Is there a brand of saddle soap you'd recommend?  Our local tack shop went out of business,  but we have a couple good feed stores.   

What do you think about applying a thin rubber sheet (I know what I'm picturing, but don't know what to call it) to the soles. A little more traction would be a nice byproduct besides protecting them. I might be able to do that myself.  Is there kind of a "standard" solution?

Griff
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Old Top
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2015, 01:02:19 am »

Coal Creek Griff,

Making your boots last is fairly easy, one thing that I recommend is shoe trees, they put the boot back into a flat sole and do not allow them to curl.  They also make a boot secondary tree that keeps the barrel of the boot so it does not flop over.  What I have had good sucess with is after every time I use them I saddle soap them, buff that out and use mink oil  or snow seal for water proofing let that soak in and use boot polish.  I have one set of boots I have had for forty years that is just now wearing out.  I would also recommend putting a rubber heal on and a thin rubber sole, leather heels and soles slip too easy on wet grass or stones.  No your boots will not look like the old timers with dirt, mud and dust crusted on them but they will last many years with a bit of care and polish which softens and protects the leather.  Hope this helps

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Bruce W Sims
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2015, 07:59:07 am »

Just a side comment:

One thing I know I have gotten away from with ALL of my shoes and boots are the commercial
waxes that leave a real glossy shine. I used to think that shine meant a hard seal against
moisture and dirt but I found that it didn't. Further, I noticed that dry rot where the uppers
flexed seemed to come on faster.  I think the advice so far is sound. Keep 'em as clean
as possible; use the shoe trees; keep 'em out where they can get some air circulation (IE. don't
put 'em away wet in a closet) and use something that nourishes as it treats (IE saddle soap).

BTW: I don't know if anyone mentioned it, but IIRC there is a NEOPREEM patch that can be glued to the
sole. Depending on whether you walk on hard polished surfaces or not this might be something to think about.
Its suppose to provide extra grip for walking over most OUTSIDE surfaces and may wear better than rubber.

Just a thought.....

Best Wishes,

Bruce
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2015, 06:47:12 pm »

Thanks, gents.  I appreciate the advice!

CC Griff
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Jayhawker
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2015, 08:51:25 pm »

Leather soles.....wet grass.....you WILL fall on your dignity sooner or later....
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2015, 11:38:01 pm »

Have a 'good' shoe repairman put a thin rubber half-sole on and an equally thin rubber heel.

He'll be able to install it pretty unobtrusively and there won't be 'Vibram' lugs.

For a polish, I use Justin's Boot CrŤme in whatever color the boots happen to be - applied with a cloth and buffed the same way - there's no build-up.

I clean them with Kiwi 'Neutral' - it'll remove some of the oddest stains.

I second the use of shoe trees.

One reason for the stitching of the 'Cathedral Stitch' was to assist in reinforcing the stovepipe - but using newspaper will keep them upright if you store them - as will the secondary boot tree previously mentioned.

Any 'good' Western shop has these.

Scouts Out!
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2015, 05:19:09 am »

Leather soles.....wet grass.....you WILL fall on your dignity sooner or later....

been there... not mention,  in the entire area you might trod , you will find the cow pie !  Murphy Law !
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2015, 10:16:30 am »

Thanks again, fellas.  I don't even need slippery soles to fall--I manage on my own!

As a side note, the product "Sno Seal" was mentioned above.  For years growing up, we used Sno Seal to waterproof our hiking and climbing boots.  I have still not seen a better product for waterproofing leather mountaineering boots.  The inventer of Sno Seal, Ome Daiber, was our neighbor and I knew him, visiting his house and speaking with him many times.  I don't think his name still appears on the label, but it did for many years.

http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/12199033900/print

I'm planning to check into the rubber half-soles and heel.  That seems to be the best option to protect the bottoms of my boots and keep me on my feet.

CC Griff
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2015, 11:33:12 am »

When you do - tell the guy that you don't want them to be noticeable, and tell him why.

I have no doubt he'll help you.

Scouts Out!
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2015, 07:45:18 pm »

(...applying a thin rubber sheet (I know what I'm picturing, but don't know what to call it) to the soles. A little more traction would be a nice byproduct besides protecting them.
If you really want better traction, what about half soles in rubber?  I have a pair of leather shoes and a pair of Justin lace up ropers that I wear at work (retail, on feet all day for 8 hours or more).  The leather shoes got rubber caps over the leather soles, and that changed the geometry of the shoes, believe it or not.  It made the heel a little too low, and that affected wearability strongly.  With the Justin ropers, I just had the leather soles half-soled with rubber, and that works real well.  I've never had footwear that works for all-day on-the-feet wear as well as these.  I'll never get rubber-over-the-leather-sole-caps again.  But a definite yes to future half-sole resoling in rubber.

If you are worried about reversability, you can always replace the rubber half soles with leather half soles at some future resoling.  Only your cobbler and you will be able to see the difference.
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2015, 11:20:32 pm »

I do appreciate all of the advice I've been given, gents.  Thanks.

CC Griff
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Longbranch (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Silver Creek Slim, Camille Eonich)  |  Topic: Taking Care of My Boots « previous next »
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