Cutting the insole

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washek

Re: Cutting the insole

#76 Post by washek » Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:47 am

Lance:

Thank you very much. I have Vass' book, and I will look for those you recommended.

Washek

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Re: Cutting the insole

#77 Post by producthaus » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:30 pm

I am adding another question to the one Paul started RE : filling in the negative space around the perimeter of the insole to support the curved shape created by forming it to the last...

I saw this wonderful picture on the R.M. Williams website showing the use of rib tape and cork. I was wondering if someone could explain the rib tape further, as it seems to be used exactly for the purpose of filling in and supporting the outside edge of the curved insole. Are there other terms for it, is it synthetic?
11211.jpg

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Re: Cutting the insole

#78 Post by tmattimore » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:02 am

The only tape I am aquainted with is the prime system which is a tape containing a leather rib that is stuck to the insole, the rib serves the purpose of a hold fast to which the upper and welt is sewn. I have seen it on factory brands of boots more than on shoes, the system works quite well for a while but as any cobbler will tell you when it goes it is gone. It is most often used on syntho insoles such as texon. It requires a machine to install properly and is used with inseaming machines.
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Re: Cutting the insole

#79 Post by dw » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:40 am

Nick,

These are my opinions...supported by nearly 40 years of experience and much of the literature...but opinions nevertheless--your mileage will vary...

First, "gemming" (as the ribbing is known) is a factory implemented technique. In my opinion, it is a much inferior technique for making a shoe when compared to competently done hand welted technique. There are logical, rational, and even empirical reasons for that assessment but that's for another post.

Second, the insole does not need filling when properly hand welted. Perhaps a little bit of scrap lining leather...nothing more. See the photo below:
11213.jpg


Third, cork is fugitive. Cork is often touted as a cushioning agent but when the shoe is in wear the weight of the foot will cause the cork to migrate out from under those areas receiving the greatest pressure. Thus, just when and where you need it the most, it disappears.

Gemming is, as Tom suggested, not as sturdy as the surrounding materials. It is not fragile to the point of being delicate but the only thing holding it in place is glue. When that glue fails...as it eventually will, short of placing the shoes in a box and/or wearing them only on rose-petaled carpets once a year...the whole shoe is jeopardized.

More importantly, however, gemming is the first step in a long but certain slide towards the bottom rungs of quality.

As can be seen in your illustration, even the leather insole that is a hallmark of quality construction has gone missing in the process of making that brand (and many others) of shoe. Leatherboard is akin to "shoddy" (or particleboard, if you do any woodworking). To the extent that it is leather at all, it is more binder than leather.

Gemming and all the attendant compromises that inevitably follow do not add "comfort, flexibility" or "durability" (particularly not durability )as compared to hand welted construction. Gemming actually adds nothing except expediency...and subtracts much.

Finally, by the time you get to the stage where you are considering gemming...there's no room (or need) for the shoemaker.

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(Message edited by admin on April 20, 2010)

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Re: Cutting the insole

#80 Post by tmattimore » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:40 am

Ditto's with DW on cork. I have tried it with both sheet and the caulk gun variety. I have found that the scrap under the cutting table is still the best and most economical way to deal with this and it lasts longer.
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Re: Cutting the insole

#81 Post by producthaus » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:14 am

Thanks for the responses, its helpful to position "what not to use" just as as it's important to also know "what to use".

I am going with cement lasted for my first few pairs of shoes, as there are so many other things to learn about. This means I wont have welt, etc, to fill in that area, but it sounds like skived scrap leather is a very suitable answer as Tom and everyone reaffirms.

Perhaps I'll revisit this issue once I have the upper lasted to the insole.

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Re: Cutting the insole

#82 Post by paul » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:36 pm

"I am going with cement lasted for my first few pairs of shoes, as there are so many other things to learn about. This means I wont have welt,etc, to fill in that area, "



Nick, Your comment above makes me think you didn't get the question right, or the answers you got didn't address your real question.

The illustration you posted showed the inside layers and the insoles, thus the replies about gemming. However your note quoted above could seem to imply a question about "rand welt".

Rand welt is available from shoe finders and it is cementd to the upper after lasting, and then the soles are cemented on, tho sometimes MyKay stitched, so that the rand becomes a false welt, filling in the curved area you were referring to earlier.

If I'm mistaken, just take it with the grain of salt, otherwise more info about rand welt has been and can be discussed.

Paul

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Re: Cutting the insole

#83 Post by producthaus » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:39 pm

Yes, I was trying to grasp at rand, now that responses have come in. Nassar posted how he makes heel seats in Outsoles on Sunday, June 14, 2009 - 09:34 am. I think this is what I was wrestling with, I need to take up that gap between the curved heel and flatter sole when cement lasting and no false welt is used.

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Re: Cutting the insole

#84 Post by producthaus » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:16 pm

I am worried that my insole is a bit too thin for welted construction. I measured and it's 3mm thick. I heard that 4mm - 5mm is more typical?

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Re: Cutting the insole

#85 Post by romango » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:49 pm

Nick,

Of course, it is easier and a little more fault tolerant to use a thicker leather but, is also depends on the characteristics of the leather.

If you can pierce the leather with your awl, sufficient to get your thread through, without ripping it out and/or resulting in a hole that will easily rip out, then you are good to go.

Shoulder leather seems best suited to this as it has longer fibers.

Try making a few holes on a test piece and do a few stitches of mock welting and see how it hold up.

- Rick

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Re: Cutting the insole

#86 Post by courtney » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:41 pm

Nick,
on my last pair I used an insole that was about 5mm thick and felt like I filled the cavity adequatley.

I dont know if the actual welt or the hold fast was a problem but I could feel something popping up a little higher that was uncomforatable.

I also have some foot problems that definatley could be the cause of that though.

I would want to use a thicker insole than 3mm though.

And, not to be a killjoy but from a beginners viewpoint I wouldnt welt the shoe if I was you and you were planning on wearing them because if they are not quite right in fit it is way easier to adjust them if its cement construction than welted.

Courtney

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Re: Cutting the insole

#87 Post by courtney » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:55 pm

If my last is reletivly flat on the bottom with a 1/2 in. heel, is it a terrible idea to cut my insole from the last bottom pattern and just tack it on dry? there really isnt a whole lot of curvature to mold, just asking?

Courtney

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Re: Cutting the insole

#88 Post by artzend » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:40 pm

Courtney

That is what is done in factories, but they use board of some sort. The problem here is that you have to make sure that when you last the upper over, it doesn't catch the edge of the insole which will be sitting up a bit as there is generally a bit of curve there.

I used to do it that way until I learned about moulding it to the last and came to the decision that it was better to mould. Mind you, with a 1/2" heel, it should be ok.

Tim

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Re: Cutting the insole

#89 Post by joshDuvall » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:47 am

I hope this is the correct place to post this.

I just cut my first insole. I had a few questions. I had my insole cut and feather cut and trimmed the arch area a little more (I have a high arch and hardly get any print from my arch on my pedograph). Does it look like I've trimmed it in too far?

Also I was wondering how my feather looked and how you determine how far behind the treadline or inside/outside ball to go on a 3/4 welt?

I guess I should have said I have the book by McKinney/Cottle and so far that's the only book I've read and it doesn't really go over how far in to trim the arch area of the insole. I will eventually get DW's book hopefully.

I guess I'm looking for an overall critique of this first insole.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Josh Duvall
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insole by JoshDuvall1989, on Flickr

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Re: Cutting the insole

#90 Post by dw » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:15 am

Josh,

Looks about right to my eyes. Esp. for boots, I've never seen any advantage of trimming the insole narrower in the waist than the bottom paper would be cut. If the measurements/girths are correct the boot will fit and some stability is lost if the insole is trimmed too narrow.
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Re: Cutting the insole

#91 Post by HNW » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:23 pm

I couldn't decide whether this might be a question more suited to this thread or that of 'One "Last" Question' so I hope you'll excuse me if out of place.

Theoretically, if we take a boot, goodyear welted (my apologies, DW!) on resoling could the existing gemmed canvas rib be removed and a new welt subsequently hand stitched in replacement to the insole?

I surmise this would require a good enough insole in the first instance, let's say for the sake of argument good veg tanned leather, circa 3/16" inch - 8 iron or so, 12oz ? - and of course the original last.

Theory permitting, is it actually practicable?

Thank you for entertaining my novice questions.
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Re: Cutting the insole

#92 Post by dw » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:26 pm

My take would be that it is theoretically possible but you would, of course, need free and unrestricted access to the insole to channel and hole it.

Also the chances are good that the new inseam would be in a different place on the upper than the old, so having the original last is probably also a must.

It's easy to formulate the question, but except in extraordinary circumstances...and yes, I can think of one or at most two...it is based on false premises simply because GY construction and quality insoling are seldom co-existent.

There is no necessity for good insole when using GY so inevitably the pressure mounts to go first to thinner insoling, then poorer quality, then finally to leatherboard. Not every GY manufactured shoe is using leatherboard...yet...but neither are they using the same quality insole that they would choose...would almost be forced to choose...if they were handwelting.

Practicable? The first two paragraphs illustrate some of the difficulties involved.

Just my :2cents:
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Re: Cutting the insole

#93 Post by HNW » Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:24 pm

Thanks DW, appreciate your insight.

Think I will stick to my preferred blake method. If only more present day companies would adopt it over the prevalent goodyear method, the latter manufacturing process regrettably more or less ruling out footwear I otherwise admire! :sigh:

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Re: Cutting the insole

#94 Post by HNW » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:56 am

If I may, could I pose another hypothetical scenario for debate?

And so, taking the goodyear welted boot again as example, let's say our intention is to abandon the existing sole(s), welt and rib altogether, and instead rebuild our upper upon a simple mackay stitched new leather sole, I imagine we might only be limited by the amount of available upper material we have to sandwich between new insole and outsole to secure by way of the mackay / inseam stitch?

Would there be any reason that there was not sufficient upper material to pin down in this fashion I wonder.

Thank you in advance as ever for entertaining the more obscure reaches of my fascination. Any thoughts welcomed to satisfy my curiosity.
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Re: Cutting the insole

#95 Post by HNW » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:08 am

While still pondering the validity of repair, essentially Mckay stitching new midsole to innersole in place of the holdfast or rib, I found some images had saved from a site that made period reproduction footwear among other items. Apologies, they are in Japanese, but the images are interesting in themselves. Well to me anyhow.

Image

Image

Image

No mention or rather reference in diagram of the canvas holdfast or rib whatsoever. Which got me thinking, I am sure that I recalled a conversation I had read here from many years ago that suggested 'early' method of goodyear did not necessarily go hand in hand with gemming.

If this is the case and diagram two a viable method I wonder how likely it is that it is an accurate reflection of shoes made at the time.

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Re: Cutting the insole

#96 Post by homeboy » Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:54 pm

I know this goes against normal guidance, but I've never been too shy of trying something different. Bear with me to the final pic of a technique cutting the insole which I thought had some merit. I first got the idea from James Ducker of Carreducker Bespoke Shoes.

I cut my "blocker" insoles (Bakers of course) oversize and soak in clean water for a few minutes. Then I usually let them "case" overnight. The next morning I'll place four tacks down the center into the last. Maybe a couple in the medial/lateral arch area. Rough trim and then I use an Ace Bandage to wrap the last completely. The ace bandage molds the insole tightly to the last. I'll let that set for most of the day. By the end of the day, I remove the ace bandage and trim my insole to darn neat final trim, depending on the moisture content.
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Insole #2.JPG
Insole #3.JPG
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Re: Cutting the insole

#97 Post by homeboy » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:10 pm

The next couple of pics shows the insole after the boot has been made. I would be hesitate to try this technique on a customer with a flat arch. Having said that, if your modifying the bottom of your last to fit your customer (maybe lowering the arch with a leather "cookie" here and there) it may be OK. Anyway, I have high arches and these boots fit me better than any I have ever worn or made....PERIOD! The first hour or so, the support was a little much, but after the insole got wet and molded to my foot.....BINGO! It's like a built-in orthotic. It just completely wraps my heel and ankle area. And the boot still looks normal (not a deep foot-bed as needed with other orthotics). Anyway, just thought it might interest some. Hell, like Dee-Dubb says, ain't nothing new under the sun now-a-days. Fire away with any and all comments!
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Re: Cutting the insole

#98 Post by homeboy » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:26 am

Ha! Look what I found on the web today. This from a shoemaker in Australia. Dee-Dubb was right.....ain't nothing new under the sun!
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Re: Cutting the insole

#99 Post by dw » Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:39 pm

Jake,

Yeah, that technique has been around for a while I built a pair of boots for a fellow two/three years ago who pronated a bit and I not only made the built-in arch support I shaved the last at the medial heel breast and back. I built a pair of alligator balmorals for a fellow in LA last year with an incorporated arch support.

And I've seen photos of insoles cut like that from high end European shoemakers among them Anthony Delos. Also seen older boots made with arch supports built in.

It's a natural progression. Not sure that it can be as effective as a purpose-built arch support for pronation or fallen arches simply because with time it tends to collapse a bit. But good for high arches certainly.
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Re: Cutting the insole

#100 Post by lancepryor » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:14 am

Jake:

I do that sort of insole pretty often -- the English call it "insole up in waist," I believe. I have a really high arch, so I like the additional support this approach provides. I think the first time I did it was when I was in Budapest with Marcel.

Carreducker had a couple of blog entries on this back a few years ago
http://carreducker.blogspot.com/2010/09 ... waist.html
http://carreducker.blogspot.com/2010/09 ... ist-2.html

Unlike Carreducker, I extend my sock liner to cover the extended insole, rather than doing a separate lining cover for the insole's waist.

Lance

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