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 My Problems Trying To Resole Sperry Shoes
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Sole Survivor

3 Posts

Posted - 03/31/2011 :  3:49:57 PM  Show Profile
Hi, I have been wearing Sperry Topsiders for over thirty years. I used to buy a pair for dates, and when they got scuffed, wore them deck-side, and they graduated to work shoes when they got bad. I didnít like them for a year until the first resole, when they got broken in.

Sperry used to sell resoles. The tennis shoe market ruined the shoe market, because the shoe industry convinced consumers that shoes molded from rubber for pennies are worth hundreds of dollars, and traditional shoe companies couldnít compete with these worthless throw away products. Sperry sold out some years ago to a throw away company. (As I understand things in my perspective) and they stopped making replacement soles, as well as beginning to make molded soles, and a cheaper product, though they did not lower their price. Who can blame them? If clowns will buy ďPenny Tennys,Ē why not sell them?

I went round and round. I hunted high and low for soles. I bought new Sperrys, and hated them. Hold the toe and heel, and make a motion like you are wringing a towel, twisting opposite directions with torsion, and they twist effortlessly. Not a working shoe. Resoled, they are much more rigid, and provide a superior base.

I finally found a place in Sausalito, California, a small shoe shop advertising Sperry resoles. I took them in and he resoled them with a substance resembling the stippled surface of an uncarpeted pick-up truck floorboard. I rejected them, and he went through a hunt for a siped sole like the Sperry product. He found a sole made by Goodyear, siped the same design as the traditional Sperry, but white, and very heavy. They lasted OK, not like the Sperry product.

I tried Anthonyís Shoe Service on Geary Street in San FranciscoÖ [I just removed` part of my narrative because it gives away an idea I have, and I want to avail myself of the solution, rather than give it away to someone to beat me to the solution.] Anthonyís Shoes is a good business. I got two resoles there. One was a generic sole that didnít have siping, didnít hold up, and is ugly. I donít know how to find the Goodyear product again. The white color was a bit goofy looking, but for a work shoe, they were passable.

I just called Vibram. I bought a pair of Sperry Topsiders with Vibram stickers. They said that those soles are made in China, and that Vibram does not make them, probably licensed the name to Sperry for their Chinese company to use to label their product. I looked at Vibram soles, and spoke to the sales woman. She recommended the 232 Black non-marking soles, and the 251 caramel non marking soles. She couldnít call them non-slip for liability reasons. Any siped sole can slip. They are purportedly slip resistant. I consider using part of an old Sperry sole to give to a manufacturer to fabricate, or buy comparable rubber sheet, and hand-sipe the soles, re-fabricating the soles in every way, and taking that to a shoe repair person. That Sperry siping, if it is patented, must have run out years ago. Someone should bring the product to a Chinese, (or American) company to manufacture resoles. Sperry has abandoned the product line, so there should be no liability issues.

No one makes a sailing moccasin for a working sailor, amateur or otherwise. I guess you are expected to use a pair of work boots, or the flimsy Sperry product, tennis, molded, soft and supple, donít step on a nail, and donít turn your ankle. Iíll get it figured out one of these days.


784 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2011 :  08:42:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hartland's Homepage
That vibram 251 is also known as the Jasmine sole.

I installed a pair on a guys timberland dock-siders who owns a yacht in Florida...he specifically asked for that sole and he has used that sole for 20 years...

I removed the original sole, reassembled them using the midsole construction process.

(The timberlands have a wider profile, wider heel than the sperrys which makes them look a bit more chunkier)

see link below...(vibram 251)

the page shows pictures of many vibram soles, not all are available to our shoe repair industry...some are only for the manufacturing side. If the manufacturing company discontinues making that shoe, sometimes the sole will be released to the shoe repair shops, and then when they are gone, they are gone.

*I believe I have a couple of the 222 soles in brown and white on hand that I got from a supplier who decided not to buy them.

I still have some good year soles, but I never really liked the the way they were made, didn't always fit very good....*personal opinion

Gene's Hartland Shoe Repair - Saint Paul MN

Edited by - Hartland on 04/02/2011 08:56:31 AM
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