prunenoveggie

New Member
46
San Francisco Bay Area
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California
Sebastopol
In scouring the forum and reading through all the old Topy debate threads, I saw the idea of shoe "balance" being discussed many times, though hardly ever at length. It was usually used to describe the balance between the heel and the toe. I read that the heel should sit flat, not on the front edge, when the shoe is set flat on the ground.

If this is the case, I believe all of my shoes are unbalanced, including a few pairs of new Allen Edmonds that I've worn under 5 times. ALL of my shoes sit on the front edge of the heel when I set them on the floor. The back of the heel is not resting on the ground, and if I push the back of the shoe down so the heel sits flush on the floor, the front of the shoe comes up (albeit slightly). This is true of the aforementioned almost-new AE's as well as a shoe my cobbler recently re-heeled (he is a custom bootmaker and seems to do great work).

Here's a video of the heel. You can see I can press it down.
https://i.imgur.com/ebTEhTq.mp4

If the heels are supposed to rest flat when set on the floor, it seems a topy would actually help make the shoe more balanced. When the heel is flat on the floor, there is space between the floor and the lowest point on the sole. It seems to me a topy could help fill in (some of) that space.

So can anyone explain this concept of shoe balance to me? Are all of my shoes unbalanced, and if so, what does that mean to me and my shoes? What can I do about it? Or did I just read a misinformed explanation of shoe balance, as I suspect? Either way, I'm interested to learn more about the concept. Shoes are fascinating things!

I apologize for the long-winded, inarticulate post. Please let me know if you need my to clarify any of my thoughts. And I promise I won't keep posting so many threads...I'm up to five, and it's only been a week since I started posting. I'll try to cool it down a bit after this one :)
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
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When you walk, your foot hits the ground in a particular way. There is a particular angle at which your foot hits the ground. There is a normal distribution of load and a transference of that load as your foot moves through a normal gait pattern.

Your shoe is designed to absorb and distribute that load so as to protect your foot, complement your natural biomechanics and spare the shoe. Adding something to the bottom of that shoe will alter the normal function of the shoe vis a vis your natural gait pattern.

I don't have any shoes with topies. I wear shoes with synthetic (dainite, crepe, etc.) in fowl weather or I wear galoshes.
 

prunenoveggie

New Member
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San Francisco Bay Area
United States
California
Sebastopol
When you walk, your foot hits the ground in a particular way. There is a particular angle at which your foot hits the ground. There is a normal distribution of load and a transference of that load as your foot moves through a normal gait pattern.
Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for. To be clear, it doesn't matter if the heel is resting flat when set on the ground, correct? This is not a proper test of anything?
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
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United States
Illinois
Chicago
Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for. To be clear, it doesn't matter if the heel is resting flat when set on the ground, correct? This is not a proper test of anything?
Couldn't help you with that. Sorry. I suppose it depends to some degree on the shoe.
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
3,116
United States
California
San Francisco
Prunenoveggie:

Are your shoes comfortable?

Do your feet hurt when you walk? How about while you are standing? What about after you've been walking for a good while?

Do your shoes pinch or rub your ankles?

Do you have any blisters from wearing your shoes?

How do your knees feel after a fairly long walk? OK? Sore? What about your lower back?

******

You don't really need to give me the answers to the above questions; tell yourself the answers. Your responses, once you assess them in their totality, should help you determine for yourself whether you have a shoe problem or an overthinking problem.
If it turns out that you have the latter, then I have the solution: spend less time reading about shoes and more time watching old "What's My Line" shows on You Tube. Especially the episode where one of the panelists is Groucho Marx and one of the contestants is a blonde-haired young woman who is a professional wrestler. Good stuff.

More shows; fewer shoes.
 

prunenoveggie

New Member
46
San Francisco Bay Area
United States
California
Sebastopol
Prunenoveggie:

Are your shoes comfortable?

Do your feet hurt when you walk? How about while you are standing? What about after you've been walking for a good while?

Do your shoes pinch or rub your ankles?

Do you have any blisters from wearing your shoes?

How do your knees feel after a fairly long walk? OK? Sore? What about your lower back?
My shoes cause no ill effects, and to be honest I'm not the least bit worried about them. Even if there is some sort of problem with the balance, I'm sure they're much better than the shoes I used to wear. My question stems more from curiosity. I have trouble believing that all of my shoes are "unbalanced" in roughly the same way. I want to know more about the balance of a shoe, as it sounds fascinating.
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
3,116
United States
California
San Francisco
^ OK, then, as long as you're not stressed out. I hope someone can answer your question. By the way, John Lobbs don't seem to have this quirk, based on the very small sample that I just put through the "balance" test. The heels are absolutely flat on the floor.

Maybe there's something wrong with your floor? You don't live in that gravity-defying house at Knott's Berry Farm, do you? I guess it would be hard to drink coffee in that house. Every time you tried to take a sip, the coffee would dribble sideways across your face and into your ear. And I don't even want to think about how messy it would be to pee. Assuming I'm allowed to use the restroom. I think I'm getting my discussion threads mixed up. Howard! Help! Put down that can of whipped cream and get me out of here!

Just watch "What's My Line" episodes until someone answers you.
 
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prunenoveggie

New Member
46
San Francisco Bay Area
United States
California
Sebastopol
Just watch "What's My Line" episodes until someone answers you.
Believe it or not, I've seen most of the episodes. I think most people my age (under 40) have never heard of the show (or even Groucho Marx, sadly). But my father taught me well...at least when it comes to television. Fashion, on the other hand...well, he has his own unique sense of fashion, I suppose...
 

smmrfld

Super Member
1,691
United States
California
Pleasanton
I want to know more about the balance of a shoe, as it sounds fascinating.
You're really overthinking this whole shoe thing. Buy good ones that fit well, and take care of them. Pretty simple. Not worth all of your angst.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
30,070
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
As one wears their shoes, heels and soles are going to cease sitting perfectly flat on the floor, when at rest. Shoes conform to our feet...it's the nature of the (good) beast! As for Topys, they can extend the life of your shoe soles and in the instances that your shoe come fitted with those very hard, very thin, glaze finished leather soles, Topys can provide stable footing as you wear such shoes. Enjoy your shoes, my friend! ;)
 
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