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Greenhorn looking for advice?


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I’m new to the shoemaking community, starting simple with some shoe repairs. I purchased a pair of used Free People Royale ankle boots for my wife, but the heel top lifts are shot. (at first glance thought the toplifts are some type of fiberboard? but now thinking maybe leather?) I figured I could repair them making them essentially “brand new”. I have searched the web for replacements, purchased a pair of size 3 12 iron ‘emu’ rubber top lifts, but they are way too thick and too big.

Just from looking at the original top lifts I'm guessing when new were approximately 1/8”-3/16” thick, veg tan leather with what looks like fine lines in them for traction? I can’t find any info on “iron” thicknesses or size measurements of top lifts. Can I just use some 1/8” veg tan leather and cut the lines in with a swivel knife?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I will post pics of the heel blocks and toplifts soon. 

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Measure the top-piece, length/ width i.e. 2"x 2.5, thickness approx 5mm (confusing mixing " and mm I know but thats how we work sometimes)

Then you have to decide how you will fit them, nails, glue, screws, this will determine the type of top-piece you are needing, leather, rubber, p.v.c. e.t.c.

 

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1 hour ago, Flash said:

Measure the top-piece, length/ width i.e. 2"x 2.5, thickness approx 5mm (confusing mixing " and mm I know but thats how we work sometimes)

Then you have to decide how you will fit them, nails, glue, screws, this will determine the type of top-piece you are needing, leather, rubber, p.v.c. e.t.c.

 

Here are the measurements, like I said in my original post I purchased emu rubber top lifts from myshoesupplies.com, they were size 3; 12 iron which were way oversized and too thick (almost 6mm). I was planning on glueing the top-pieces on as I have some Master All Purpose cement. 
 

 

8ECEDB04-607E-49B8-8823-567DAB73EE8C.jpeg

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B65396BA-6C1B-42A0-A645-B3DCB0E78FE2.jpeg

3F226EB0-A3A8-4A71-94BC-26C3F2509DEE.jpeg

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Hi good for you to giving it a go.

Can the top lift peel off or is it a full molded heel 

How do you plan to level off the heel block if its a molded heel 

How do you plan to shape the new top lift to the original heel block

How are you planning to colour match the edging 

Keep us informed with progress 

Thanks 

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4 hours ago, Fast Fix Elgin said:

Hi good for you to giving it a go.

Can the top lift peel off or is it a full molded heel 

How do you plan to level off the heel block if its a molded heel 

How do you plan to shape the new top lift to the original heel block

How are you planning to colour match the edging 

Keep us informed with progress 

Thanks 

Thank you! I've always been intrigued by the shoe repair field, if I lived closer to a repair shop I would be in there daily asking to intern to learn the trade! 

I've added 2 pictures to show the top pieces do peel off, and also a video of the heel block, it looks to me like a layered heel block made from fiberboard or leatherboard? If that is the material I will just rebuild and dye with some Lincoln Sole & edge dressing that I have. I have a 1" benchtop belt sander, I will use to shape the top lifts to the block. 

The pictures I posted yesterday are of the right heel, which looks like the wear hasnt gone into the heel block, however on the left boot there is a small spot on the lrft rear corner of the block where it has worn down a bit. Like previously stated, if the heel block material is leatherboard or fiberboard, my plan is to rebuild, unless there is another secret to building that spot up? 

 

Now I just need to find suitable top-pieces to replace, which seems like finding a needle in a haystack! 

4 hours ago, elfman said:

at a rough guess would say that is  21/4 by 2 5/8 beige comtesse top lift 

Thank you @elfman! I will look into finding these! 

 

IMG_7625.jpg

IMG_7624.HEIC.jpg

Edited by yankeesnick
re-upload video, first video did not have a picture
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