John Lobb with Goodyear welted Baker leather resole
A pair of John Lobb double monks with a double leather sole should last a lifetime. But here we were looking at how our client had worn through two layers of leather on the sole. After consulting with our client, we chose our premium grade Goodyear Welted Baker leather resole.
J&FJ Baker leather is produced in the last traditional tannery in the UK. Oak bark tanned for 14 months, this means the leather is extremely durable and was able to withstand quite a beating. Because they were a formal dress shoe, we chose to keep them blind welt stitched. We simulated the original colouring of the sole. As they were a double leather sole, we used a softer middle layer that would add comfort and flexibility. At just under 2cm leather soling thickness, very few establishments can welt stitch at that thickness. However, thanks to our long term procurement of top-class machinery we were able to stitch neatly through all the layers. Finally, we adorned them with Slovenian brass nails.
The Baxter & Black Process
- Knowing that we were undertaking an extensive full sole we first went about taking off the heel block. We then took off both layers of the old leather sole.
- With the old cork exposed, we could easily scoop it out. We then set about unpicking the old welt stitches from the welt.
- With the stitches unpicked we fit new spreadable cork into the shoe and set it aside for it to dry.
- Roughing the middle sole we then apply two layers of glue and set aside.
- With the cork dry, we apply two layers of glue to the bottom of the sole.
- Having allowed both to adequately dry we then heat activate the surfaces. We bond them together and set them aside to cure.
- We rough scour the surface of the leather Bakers sole and apply two layers of glue to the surface and set aside to dry.
- With the bonded surface between the shoe and midsole having had time to cure we then rough the outer surface of the midsole and apply two layers of glue.
- After enough time having past for both surfaces to cure we can then heat them and bond the midsole and bakers leather outsole together.
- With the midsole and Baker’s leather outsole bonded together we the shoe aside and let sit.
- Using the original heel block as a template we cut the required heel block layers out of leather and select the JR dovetail rubber/leather dress heels.
- We rough all the heel layer sides and the underside of the JR dovetail dress heel and apply our initial layers of glue and set them aside.
- With the bakers leather outsole and the midsole having cured we can then trim the edges to the welt edge.
- We then mellow the bakers leather outsole with water and find the corium line.
- With our knife, we cut a horizontal line in line with the corium line of a depth of 1cm from the sole edge.
- Using our lip folder tool we push up the newly cut lip and reveal the freshly exposed leather.
- We use our sole groover to mark the groove line that we will machine welt stitch into.
- We adjust our welt stitcher to the correct spi and stitching depth so we will stitch into the groove.
- With the welt stitched we wet the area that has been stitched and the flap of leather. We use our specific starch paste to cover the area that we then fold the flap down to cover the stitching.
- Using a sleeking bone we smooth the flap area down working from the middle of the sole and pushing towards the edge getting rid of any wrinkles in the leather.
- With the sole drying, we marked out the area where the heel block would sit and glue the first lift on. We then balance the other lifts and heel top piece by sanding down the first life, if needed.
- With the fist lift glued in place, we secure it further by nailing it to the leather sole.
- We then glue on the other lifts and heel top piece and set aside to dry.
- Once dry we shape the heel block and heel top piece
- We then shape and fine sand the sole edge and apply wax that is then set with edge irons. We then hand polish the edges to a high shine.
- After this, we polished the rest of the shoe with Saphir Crème and Saphir waxes to a high shine
- The bottom of the leather sole had hard wax applied to it and using a sole iron we heated the wax and worked it into the leather. And final polished it with Saphr waxes.—