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Beckett Simonon shoes

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I meant to say earlier, that I sure would not have been able to tell from looking, even closely, that these shoes were Blake stitched rather than Goodyear-welted. eelhc's photo from earlier in this thread is a pretty good representation of the stitching looks like on the edges of the soles.
 
I am wearing the whole-cut BS shoes today. Nice fit. I would say consistent with whatever last AE uses for Park Avenue in D width. Very comfy, but with dress shoe stiffness.

No flaws visible to me. They look good, but I am guessing the uppers are of not as good a leather as more expensive shoes. Maybe a tad less in quality that full price AEs. Although I am probably not a good judge. Also time will tell, and I will be able to tell better after polishing them. They do not look to me to be corrected leather or anything. Excellent deal at whatever I paid for them which I think was around $150 when all was said and done. I do not think I would pay $400 for them. They certainly suit my purposes.

Sorry to be too lazy to post photos!
For ~$160, I feel like it's at a good price point for kids just starting to put together a business wardrobe until they can afford something a bit better. They can skip a few Latte's so they can outshine their peers with $100 rubber sole Bostonians.
 
What are you thinking of when you say a bit better?
I went to the Meerman retail shop in NYC and came away really, really impressed. Shoes run $195+ and blows shoes away that are 2x the price. It's crazy that one can get closed channel goodyear welt construction at that price point.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Hard for me to tell about Meerman from its website. Kind of an annoying website as it seems to demand an email address to let me look at anything and the photos show very little of the soles of the shoes, and I did not find any showing the heels. Do they use a heel that is part rubber, part leather on the bottom? That would impress me. Not sure I care so much about closed channel Goodyear welt as opposed to open channel, or I suppose, Blake I can understand why it would be more expensive.
 
Hard for me to tell about Meerman from its website. Kind of an annoying website as it seems to demand an email address to let me look at anything and the photos show very little of the soles of the shoes, and I did not find any showing the heels. Do they use a heel that is part rubber, part leather on the bottom? That would impress me. Not sure I care so much about closed channel Goodyear welt as opposed to open channel, or I suppose, Blake I can understand why it would be more expensive.
Stacked leather heel block and leather/rubber heel risers.

Here's a cobbler's view:

 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Sorry I did not respond to eelhc August 30, 2019 post earlier. I like those heels! I do not understand why Beckett Simonon does not offer that kind of composite heel. To me it looks much classier.

I am still waiting for zipper sided boots to come in from BS and have not ordered any other dress shoes from them. I am still very happy with the wholecuts. I am very happy with the Reid and whatever the GAT sneakers I got were. I am sorely tempted to order more dress shoes and/or boots--the single monk straps in particular and maybe the Chelsea boots. I seem to have plenty of dress shoes though. Part of the results of buying non-trendy quality, I suppose. They do not wear out and not go out of style.

I do have a couple of the BS belts in the Molina style right now, and have four more on order, two in Molina and two in the dressier model. Obviously, I am liking at least the Molina model. I have not tried the other. I like that the Molina is a single piece of relatively thick leather, which would be considered more causal. For me they work fine with suits and dress slacks, though. Call me a rebel! The only problem I have found with dress belts over the years as to wear is their becoming delaminated. A single piece should avoid that.

An update to Blake versus Goodyear welting, if I am using the term "welting" correctly, and if I do not have to make a distinction between Blake and Blake rapid stitch. I now hear on a You Tube video, I do not remember which one, or otherwise saw on-line, maybe both, that Blake does not allow for a cork layer on the inside top of the sole, so Blake provides less cushioning. I do not love that, but I cannot say that I notice it in the BS wholecuts I have. As I understand it, as we age, the bottom layers of our feet get thinner, so I am guessing that some extra cushioning is a good thing at my age.

Also, I think I read that Blake generally uses a thinner sole than Goodyear. I think the on-line description of the Hanger Project's relatively new resoling/refurbishing service talks about that. Overall I do not love that either. I would rather have a thicker sole and the resulting additional wear before resoling.
 

Doc4

I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
I would rather have a thicker sole and the resulting additional wear before resoling.
Do you prefer to have naked leather soles "hitting the road"? Your recent posts about that Saphir product you were coating your soles with makes me think "yes" to that.

My preference ... and really, I do this with all my shoes that have leather soles ... is to have a Vibram half-sole added. Ends up looking like this:

1575913031607.png

It;s the shoe on the right.

I get a LOT more mileage out of the shoes that way ... ultimately making the difference in thickness between a Blake and Goodyear close to irrelevant.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Doc 4, is the half sole simply applied--glued or sewn, I suppose--to the underlying leather sole, or is part of the leather sole cut away as a cobbler would do with a half-sole resoling? I suppose with the latter, one could wait until one has warn through the original all leather sole. If the former, does this make the front of the shoe thicker so that one has to make the heel higher or anything like that? Just how thick is the Vibram half sole?

A few thoughts. I suppose I was under something of an impression that a full leather sole "breathes" and thus makes the shoe more comfortable. But I had wondered whether applying Saphir sole guard sealed up that breathebility (sp?). I do not think I have convenient local access to a cobbler/shoe repair person I really trust. Whatever that place is near DuPont Circle is good, but I have found is an incredibly difficult place to park and it is not all that close to a subway stop. I think Allen Edmonds recrafting service actually offers a rubber half sole option, and I have considered that from time to time.

That said, I do not know that I love the look. I vainly like a composite leather/rubber heel--I guess "composite" is the right word. A largely vibram sole is not immediately appealing to me. If I walked around a lot in the rain, a half vibram sole might be very appealing. As it is, where I park is exposed to weather, but immediately adjacent to getting under cover. The sole guard is nice in that it helps keep my shoes from being saturated with water from just a quick exposure to wet pavement. I do not do all that much walking on pavement or sidewalks or anything very rough anyway. Over the years I have had some thinner soled shoes that seemed to wear through quickly.

Thanks for the tip, though!
 
Blake stitch doesn't necessarily use a thinner sole. It's that the sole is stitched directly onto the upper and insole, not through the welt (although there are still welts on most Blake stitched sole). On many Goodyear welted shoes, there's cork filling between the insole and the sole in the gap/space created by the addition of a welt.

Blake stitched shoes though, are going for a sleeker, slimmer look so many tend use a thinner sole.

If I lived in a city where I walked to work in dress shoes, I would generally prefer shoes that had the additional support, cushioning and wear layers. As I live in the burbs (borderline country) and generally drive to work, walk from the lot to a carpeted office building and sit on a chair for most of the day, I can live without the additional support or wear layer.

As far as adding synthetic half soles of some type. Most guys add very thin ones so the shoes don't look too clunky tend to do it for the additional traction + weather protection.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I am no cobbler and all I know if what I read in various sources. Here is what the Hanger Project web site has to say about Blake stitching:

Can you resole blake stitched shoes?
Yes, we can absolutely resole shoes blake stitch shoes, which have the outsole stitched directly through to the insole without the use of any welt. They require a thinner outsole than Goodyear welted shoes, but we can absolutely do this using our JR Rendenbach oak bark tanned leather outsoles. Unfortunately, it is impossible to convert blake stitched shoes to Goodyear welting.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Doc 4, is the half sole simply applied--glued or sewn, I suppose--to the underlying leather sole, or is part of the leather sole cut away as a cobbler would do with a half-sole resoling? I suppose with the latter, one could wait until one has warn through the original all leather sole. If the former, does this make the front of the shoe thicker so that one has to make the heel higher or anything like that? Just how thick is the Vibram half sole?

A few thoughts. I suppose I was under something of an impression that a full leather sole "breathes" and thus makes the shoe more comfortable. But I had wondered whether applying Saphir sole guard sealed up that breathebility (sp?). I do not think I have convenient local access to a cobbler/shoe repair person I really trust. Whatever that place is near DuPont Circle is good, but I have found is an incredibly difficult place to park and it is not all that close to a subway stop. I think Allen Edmonds recrafting service actually offers a rubber half sole option, and I have considered that from time to time.

That said, I do not know that I love the look. I vainly like a composite leather/rubber heel--I guess "composite" is the right word. A largely vibram sole is not immediately appealing to me. If I walked around a lot in the rain, a half vibram sole might be very appealing. As it is, where I park is exposed to weather, but immediately adjacent to getting under cover. The sole guard is nice in that it helps keep my shoes from being saturated with water from just a quick exposure to wet pavement. I do not do all that much walking on pavement or sidewalks or anything very rough anyway. Over the years I have had some thinner soled shoes that seemed to wear through quickly.

Thanks for the tip, though!

I did some more thinking about this, after ending up walking around in the rain a bit both yesterday and the day before in shoes that had leather soles that by happenstance I had not treated with Saphir sole guard and having semi-damp feet the rest of the day. I have a couple of pairs of AEs that have full rubber soles, but otherwise are regular dress shoes in appearance. If I am thinking about it, I tend to wear those on a rainy day if I think I am going to be walking around outside at all. To me the idea of the Saphir sole guard is to 1) see if it helps extend the life of the soles, but 2) to help if I end up walking on wet ground or in the rain, where I have not thought to wear rubber soled shoes. Where I live I do not think I need to be prepared for that on a daily basis. I basically leave an attached garage from home and drive to an interior garage at work, albeit one that exposes my car and the pavement surrounding it to rain. But I think I am leaning toward the next recrafting I do trying some rubber half soles. Not all my shoes, but two or three.
 

Doc4

I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
is the half sole simply applied--glued or sewn, I suppose--to the underlying leather sole, or is part of the leather sole cut away as a cobbler would do with a half-sole resoling?
Don't know. I suspect any shaving of the sole would be to even out any uneven wear that might be existing (eg if one over-wears the toe.)

The soles are 2.8mm thick.

I was under something of an impression that a full leather sole "breathes" and thus makes the shoe more comfortable
To the extent that the sole breathes, I suppose so. I'm not thinking of this as a major aspect of shoe comfort ... a lot more breathing through the much thinner upper, I suppose.

I do not know that I love the look.
I seldom spend a lot of time flashing the soles of my shoes to people, so don't mind the slightly less attractive look. I'm willing to make the trade-off for the significant increase in durability.

But maybe I do more outdoor walking.
 
Doc 4, is the half sole simply applied--glued or sewn, I suppose--to the underlying leather sole, or is part of the leather sole cut away as a cobbler would do with a half-sole resoling? I suppose with the latter, one could wait until one has warn through the original all leather sole. If the former, does this make the front of the shoe thicker so that one has to make the heel higher or anything like that? Just how thick is the Vibram half sole?
Cobblers will sand down and rough up new soles to install half soles. The surface takes to glue better.

Can you resole blake stitched shoes?
Yes, we can absolutely resole shoes blake stitch shoes, which have the outsole stitched directly through to the insole without the use of any welt. They require a thinner outsole than Goodyear welted shoes, but we can absolutely do this using our JR Rendenbach oak bark tanned leather outsoles. Unfortunately, it is impossible to convert blake stitched shoes to Goodyear welting.
Blake stitch is a generic term but there are many different types of blake stitched shoes. Becket Siminons shoes do have welts and their boots have storm welts.

The few local cobblers still left will install almost any thickness leather outsoles to blake stitched shoes depending on the construction.

Technically it's possible to convert blake stitched shoes to goodyear welting but it would depend on the shoe and would probably be cost prohibitive.

What I find odd is that the Allen Edmonds recrafting service always replaces the welt. This doesn't make sense to me since it would essentially eliminate a key advantage of a goodyear welted shoe.
 

Doc4

I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
what you had done is not the AE recrafting V-Tread, is it?
I just took a photo off Google Images. I get mine done by the local cobbler who looks like he's been doing this job for fifty years in a shop that look like it's been there for seventy. Heck, when I pay with Visa, he still uses one of those "ca-chunk ca-chunk" slide machines.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
What I find odd is that the Allen Edmonds recrafting service always replaces the welt. This doesn't make sense to me since it would essentially eliminate a key advantage of a goodyear welted shoe.
This a confusing subject area. The Hanger Project seems to push toe plates as preventing permanent damage to the shoe by preventing wear into the welt. https://www.hangerproject.com/kirby-allison-dress-shoe-toe-plates.html If AE can replace the welt and, in fact, does replace the welt every time, what the is the big deal about damaging the edge of the weld at the toe?
 
This a confusing subject area. The Hanger Project seems to push toe plates as preventing permanent damage to the shoe by preventing wear into the welt. https://www.hangerproject.com/kirby-allison-dress-shoe-toe-plates.html If AE can replace the welt and, in fact, does replace the welt every time, what the is the big deal about damaging the edge of the weld at the toe?
Because when the new welt is stitched on by the Goodyear welt machine, they put additional holes on the bottomside of the upper. A skilled cobbler can hand welt and use the same holes but this in not always the case. Once the bottoms of the uppers are "Swiss cheese" the shoe can no longer be resolved.

If one can say keep the same welt for say 3 sets of soles, a pair of shoes can go throrough a LOT of soles. Big deal when dropping $1K or more for some shoes.

Blake stitch shoes can be resolved but each resole punches additional holes in the upper.

Allen Edmonds replaces the welt and uses a Goodyear welting machine recrafting. IMO this is not good practice. No need to replace the welt every time.

Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Interesting information, eelhc. It is hard to research and figure this stuff out from what is on-line. Sounds like a sensible approach would be to replace the soles before the welt is affected, and when the welt is Swiss cheesed from multiple re-solings to then replace the welt, in order to preserve the upper for as long as possible. As you say, in this way a pair of shoes can go through a lot of soles.

And you set out a disadvantage to Blake stitching, which is what I was really asking about in the my initial post.

The Hanger Project folks emphasize that their brand of sole should last three times as long as lesser quality soles. I suppose that seems even more important with Blake stitched shoes given what you tell me. I am intrigued with the HP recrafting service. But they are charging a premium for it.

My BS side zipper boots are now supposed to arrive tomorrow. At first Federal Express said Sunday. Seems like I have been waiting for these all year. Did not think I really cared about the wait, but I find it annoying at this point!

So far, I am not sure I would pay a $50 premium for AEs over the BSs or not. I suppose I will need a lot more experience with durability.
 
Interesting information, eelhc. It is hard to research and figure this stuff out from what is on-line. Sounds like a sensible approach would be to replace the soles before the welt is affected, and when the welt is Swiss cheesed from multiple re-solings to then replace the welt, in order to preserve the upper for as long as possible. As you say, in this way a pair of shoes can go through a lot of soles.

And you set out a disadvantage to Blake stitching, which is what I was really asking about in the my initial post.

The Hanger Project folks emphasize that their brand of sole should last three times as long as lesser quality soles. I suppose that seems even more important with Blake stitched shoes given what you tell me. I am intrigued with the HP recrafting service. But they are charging a premium for it.

My BS side zipper boots are now supposed to arrive tomorrow. At first Federal Express said Sunday. Seems like I have been waiting for these all year. Did not think I really cared about the wait, but I find it annoying at this point!

So far, I am not sure I would pay a $50 premium for AEs over the BSs or not. I suppose I will need a lot more experience with durability.
I believe the Hangar Project uses JR soles. Available at my local cobblers as well. Great soles but certainly not exclusive to the Hanger Project. Same with workmanship. They don't have the corner on skilled cobblers. All things being equal, I'm try to spend my money locally. In this case though, HP prices are 2~3x local cobblers. Also, it ain't that hard to condition and shine shoes so I'm not going to pay for that service.

Is it a problem that a Blake stitched shoes can't be resoled as often? Maybe. At $200 and under, Beckett Simonon shoes have decent uppers but they're still not quite to AE, Alden, etc standards. I suspect the uppers will be done after the 3rd resole anyway. Meermin on the other hand... I think they're the best shoe in the ~$200 price range. Everything from the leather quality to the closed channel Goodyear welting, I came away impressed from their shop. I would definitely pay the slight premium over BS and get a better shoe than AE IMO.
 
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