Anyone ever try to modify dress shoes?

Discussion in 'Gear & Footwear' started by Big Joel, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Big Joel

    Big Joel Barefooters
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    So I work in an office and cant go barefoot in most situations. As a result, I usually try to wear wide dress shoes. I found a pair of black slip on shoes that are pretty comfortable and was wearing them a lot. A couple weeks ago, the soles finally wore through. There is a good shoe repair place by my house, and I was thinking of asking them to put a thin sole on the shoe and no heel. Has anyone else done this? Essentially minimalize your existing shoes? Or am I just wasting my time and money.

    Thanks!
     

  2. NickW

    NickW Guest

    I haven't done that with dress shoes but I have done that with boots. For me, it was well worth the money. Not sure on dress shoes though but I would imagine depending on the cost it would be worth it.
     
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  3. Smogz

    Smogz Barefooters
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    Usually a shoe with a heal is built to be pretty flat with the heal on. when you remove the sole and heal and replace them with a flat sole the toes will point a bit up in the air. But it works.

    I actually bought a pair of boots that is made to order with a flat sole.

    http://www.skramtraskskon.com/?page_id=4&shopp_pid=11

    They work very well but if I could change anything I would like the entire shoe to be more flat at the sole. I can post a picture of them some day when I'm home.
     
  4. Tristan

    Tristan Barefooters
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    Hmm I'm not sure I never have replaced a sole, I'd say look into the VivoBarefoot shoes but they are pricey so it might be cheaper to resole. I've been thinking about another similar question lately about modifying dress shoes....

    I already have minimalist dress shoes (the VB Ra) and love em but since I have to wear them mon-thur now my feet are just not use to the lack of breathability! I'm wondering if thats making my soles a bit softer too.

    Has anyone ever punched holes into a leather dress shoe to add some ventilation?

    I try to kick em off whenever I can but most of the time I'm not just sitting at my desk so I can't. I also usually wear Injinji socks and those help a little, the ultra thin wool ones are the best, but only available in quarter crew and I hate having skin showing between my shoes and pant legs. I've never had shoes really stink before either (well other than VFF that I just throw in the wash), and just 3 months of wearing these they are starting to smell. Never had to clean leather dress shoes before, how does one usually clean them?
     
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  5. Sid

    Sid Barefooters

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    I have 2 pairs of the VB Dharma and alternate them. I also put them on a shoe/boot dryer after work. I wear the Drymax dress socks, which are fairly thick, but somehow stay somewhat dry. I wore my 2 pairs for 15 months, and I might still have them now, except my feet have gotten bigger and I bought new ones a size up.
     
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  6. Tristan

    Tristan Barefooters
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    Yeah maybe a second pair would mean only 2 days a week for each shoe, and I could alternate so wouldnt ever wear a pair two days in a row so they could air out. Still though I wish they were more breathable, after work when I peel off them socks to go for a run my feet are really moist! And if I had someone nearby I was going to run with when I was peeling off those socks... :hungover:lol. Luckily I normally get to the park almost an hour before she does so they get a chance to air out!
     
  7. migangelo

    migangelo Chapter Presidents
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    i know someone who resoled some Patagonia shoes. he loves them. they're completely flat now.
     

  8. EricsLearning

    EricsLearning Barefooters
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    I chopped the heal off a pair of Rockport wing tips and the only issue ended up being that the heal had voids in the rubber which ended up being exposed. Didn't cause a problem but did look odd. I eventually found a pair of driving loafers which only have about a 3 mm heal and are super flexible. Not quite as dressy as the Rockports but they work in anything but a full on suit.
     
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  9. Mayka

    Mayka Barefooters
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    Trust me, if you do have to wear closed-toed shoes, not only does not wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row make them smell better, but because the shoes are drier, your feet also stay drier, which means less funk growing on your feet. Closed-toe shoes can take at least 24 hours to completely dry! Also, never wearing the same socks more than one day also REALLY helps both your feet and your shoes stay drier. And if you even really ever get attached to a particular dress shoe, you can even buy two pairs and alternate them every other day, and no one would even know! :p
     
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  10. Smogz

    Smogz Barefooters
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    Agree you should alternate with 3 pairs.
     
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  11. Zetti

    Zetti Barefooters
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    I do the same thing with cars...
     
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  12. Zetti

    Zetti Barefooters
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    Mostly because that's how bad my feet smell :stinkyfeet::wideeyed:
     
  13. Big Joel

    Big Joel Barefooters
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    Okay all. I bit the bullet and brought the shoes to a shoe repair shop. They'll be ready in 2 weeks. He is putting 3/16 inch vibram soles on the bottom and said he would put in a slight wedge in the heel to keep the shoes from looking like Aladdin slippers. I'll let you know how they turn out!
     

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  14. Zetti

    Zetti Barefooters
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    Please do...I'm very interested in this idea as well.
     
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  15. chadisbarefoot

    chadisbarefoot Barefooters
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    I am quite interested as well. I have been looking into doing this on a set of old leather bowler-style shoes that have worn out soles. Gonna try it myself, methinks.
     
  16. Big Joel

    Big Joel Barefooters
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    Hey all,
    So I got my shoes back from the repair shop and they arent exactly what I wanted or expected. Unfortunately, the shoe guy said my shoes had a "shank" in them under the arch to give the shoe some "stability." He put a flat bottom on, but added an extra layer of material from the midfoot through the heel, about a quarter-inch thick at the heel. They are still a big improvement over traditional dress shoes with a smaller heel to toe drop, but they certainly arent minimal as the sole is stiff and not thin enough to feel anything underfoot. If you are looking at doing this, you probably want to make sure your shoes dont have any sort of shank or other metal or plastic supports in the sole first. Otherwise, it might not be what you expected, kind of like how mine turned out.

    They also kind of look like old grandpa orthopedic shoes now. Not exactly stylish. Overall, sort of a disappointing adventure. I guess it make sense to fork over the cash for the Vivobarefoot or other minimalist dress shoes if you want the comfort of minimalist and the look for the office. I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else is up for trying this with their shoes and if so, how you get better results than me.

    If I can figure out how to upload pics, I'll try to post some.
     

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