Rubber from Overshoes Coming Off on Shell Uppers

WmPatrick

Starting Member
15
Dear Friends

I haven't posted -- or read -- on this forum in a few years, but: this post is past due.

About four years ago, I bought a pair of AE Leeds in #8 shell, and bought Tingley Dress Rubber Overshoes to protect them. However, after several wears I noticed something black and sticky on the shoe uppers when I would remove the Tingleys and, feeling inside the galoshes, concluded that the rubber from the galoshes was coming off on the shoe uppers! This apparently has permanently stained the #8 shell. It's sickening.

Angry and confused, I called Tingley: the rep told me that this "happens" with some leathers that went through a particular tanning process -- the rubber reacts with the tanning chemicals and rubs off on the leather! I felt furious, but saw no point in escalating the issue: simply threw out the Tingleys, bought a pair of Totes, and have had no problems since.

Until today: I used the Totes with a new pair of AE McNeils in black shell -- and the same thing happened, viz. black rubber smudges appearing on the shell uppers, and obvious wearing on the insides of the galoshes!

Friends, I have *scoured* the forums and net for *any* word that others have experienced similar problems, but have found nothing. Why haven't I posted here about this problem? Frankly, I didn't think anyone would believe me -- that it would be a waste of time, etc. But after this has happened twice -- and I feel pretty desperate for a way to protect my shoes -- I thought I'd take a chance and ask for help.

And so: have any of you heard of or had personal experience with any issues like this?

Finally, it may be that the solution for me is to wear boots on rainy days and to carry my shoes in a backpack....

Thanks in advance for any help!

Bill
 

MWhisler

New Member
77
United States
ND
Valley City
Over the past year or so I've acquired 5 pairs of Shell's, all #8, and I used Tingleys this past winter for a couple weeks and just did not like what I was seeing when I took them off. I didn't really invistigate what was happening like you did, but I knew it couldn't be good. So I bit the bullet and bought a pair of Swim's from Allen Edmonds, quite spendy, but they have a nice soft lining that hasn't left anything on my shoes.

So I believe you if that counts for anything.

Michael.
 

sbdivemaster

Super Member
1,843
United States
Shangri-La
..
I believe you; the question is why is it happening?

What kind of shoe polish, if any, are you using?
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
29,400
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
Sorry to hear of your bad fortune, WmPatrick, and honestly I am at once suprised and concerned by your experience. Having worn both Totes and Tingley overshoes with my shell cordovans over the years, the only thing I noticed occurring on a fairly regular basis has been a temporary marring or dulling of the shoes finish on some ares of the shell cords, when I removed the overshoes. A few minutes buffing with a brush or an old nylon always returned the shoes to a pleasing luster! Having now read the OP, in the future I will be pulling the overshoes on experiencing some degree of trepidation, on those occassional rainy days. ;)
 

WmPatrick

Starting Member
15
THANK YOU all for your replies! A few comments:

MWhisler -- you write that you "just did not like what [you] were seeing" when you removed the Tingleys: (1) did "what [you] were seeing" permanently stain your shoes? and, (2) re. the Swims, which model did you acquire, and how long do you expect them to last, re. the soles wearing through? the other concern I have with the Swims is that, e.g. black polish from my black-polished shoes will come off on the #8s

sbdivemaster -- (1) according to the Tingley rep, it's happening because of a reaction occurring between the rubber of the overshoes and the chemicals used in the tanning process of the leather -- what angers me is that, when I described the issue to the rep, she was aware of the problem, yet the company apparently had not made potential buyers aware that this could occur; (2) I have not polished the #8s with anything, only recently having used Safir Renovateur once on them, which I did long after the original issues; the black McNeils I had the cobbler polish once with Safir Cordovan Shoe Polish

eagle2250 -- did you use the overshoes with any non-black, e.g. #8-colored, shells, and if so, did you notice any permanent discoloration deep into the leather? also: what do you mean by "OP" in your post?

THANK YOU all, again!
 
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eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
29,400
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
^^
I've worn the overshoes with #8 shell cordovans, as well as with black, whiskey and cigar tones of shell. I cannot recall recall wearing them with my Dark Cognac shell cord Ryder boots, but suspect I may have, on occassion, done so...so far, no permanent discoloration (I will be keeping my fingers crossed). OP is an acronym for opening post.

Have a great wekend!
 

MWhisler

New Member
77
United States
ND
Valley City
THANK YOU all for your replies! A few comments:

MWhisler -- you write that you "just did not like what [you] were seeing" when you removed the Tingleys: (1) did "what [you] were seeing" permanently stain your shoes? and, (2) re. the Swims, which model did you acquire, and how long do you expect them to last, re. the soles wearing through? the other concern I have with the Swims is that, e.g. black polish from my black-polished shoes will come off on the #8s


The marks I saw did not permanently stain my shoes, but it took some good brushing and venetian cream to shine them back up.

I bought the Swims "Mobster". Living in North Dakota the taller model works well for all the snow. As for how long they will last it's hard to say. You're gate and how much you weigh all come into play. Also living where I do when I wear them about 4-5 months out of the year, and it's generally while walking on some sort of snow or ice. So there isn't alot of friction to wear down the overshoes where as if you wore them on pavement while it was just raining, they would probably wear more.

Either way I think they will last a number of years. Granted this is the first year I wore them, they do seem very well constructed. Just like with shoes the back part of the heel will most likely be the first place to wear through.

And for the polish wearing off from black shoes, I can't help you there. I am now a Color #8 Shell person at all times.

Hope that helps.
 

WmPatrick

Starting Member
15
Thank you again, for all of your help!

Note: I since have found reference, on another forum, to the Tingley overshoe-caused spots. For my part, I think I am going to order a pair of Swims.

Cheers, Bill
 

sbdivemaster

Super Member
1,843
United States
Shangri-La
..
First, I hope you understand that in no way am I implying that you are to blame. :icon_smile:

Second, it's horrible that Tingley seems to be aware of the problem, yet really aren't warning consumers or working to fix the issue. (Sounds to me like they are trying to pass the blame on to AE.)

Third, it's my understanding that AE uses Horween shell cordovan leather, and that Horween uses the vegetable tanning process for its shell cordovan. There is nothing in the vegetable tanning process that would react with rubber. So, I find Tingley's explanation of "chemicals" used in the tanning process of the leather being the culprit very hard to believe.

The reason I asked about shoe polish is that polishes like Kiwi (which I'm sure you wouldn't be using anyway) use naphtha and turpentine, 2 major solvents used in the manufacture of rubber. Even then, those should be long evaporated from the polish before using the overshoes.

Let us know if you find out more.
 

WmPatrick

Starting Member
15
It's all good, sbdivemaster -- THANK YOU again, even for responding!

The whole situation is unbelievable to me, esp. the rep's recognition that this happens! I think I jackassedly suggested that I might take this to the Better Business Bureau or "sue" Tingley for ruining my shoes (!), neither of which I have done, but this is exactly the kind of case that would warrant it; it gave me small satisfaction to hear her gasp at the possibility, but did not bring back the original luster of my shoes!

I'll be in touch with updates; please, do the same!

Cheers, Bill
 
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