Red Wing Resoling in Europe: Wijsman Cobblers (Part 2)
Let One of Europe’s Best Cobblers Do the Resoling of Your Red Wings
One of the most convincing arguments heard by first-time buyers of Red Wing’s is their Goodyear welt construction means they can be resoled. Denimhunters’ own Red Wing fanatic, Michael van Hal, recently wanted to have the outsoles of his 699 Loggers replaced so he got in touch with one of the best in Europe, Ger Wijsman of Wijsman Cobblers. In the first part of this mini-series about Red Wing resoling in Europe, we introduced you to the boots and the expert cobbler. Now it’s time to actually see some action!
Removing the Original Outsole
Resoling a pair of Goodyear welted boots is a fairly standard procedure for a skilled cobbler like Ger Wijsman.
First, the original outsole is removed. For this particular pair of Loggers, this step required a bit more work than usual. The threads were tougher than what you see on similar boots. In combination with the stiff and rough material of Vibram sole, made it quite the task to remove it without damaging the upper.
Once the outsole is removed, the shank is examined to see if it can be used again. The foam material surrounding the shank on these boots was crumbled and easily removed. Ger wasn’t surprised since this material, which Red Wing used back around 2004/2005, is known to not be as durable as the cork paste they’ve switched back to today.
Choosing A New Outsole That Matches the Boot’s Style and Quality
The original black rubber outsoles were rather chunky; for the new outsole a slightly sleeker style was chosen. After stripping the original outsole, Ger built the new one layer by layer, part by part. This gave Michael complete control of the look of the sole.
Using (almost) identical machines as the ones they use in the Red Wing factory, Ger offers the same quality that you’d expect to get if you sent your boots back to where they were made. He even uses the same waxed threads to stitch the larger part of the outsole, which, in addition to making it look like an original repair job, ensures the sturdy feel that you expect from a Red Wing.
To complement the look of the new outsole while staying true to the Logger theme, the boot has been laced with two-tone leather laces and equipped with false tongues from Wesco (ordered from Iron Heart’s webshop). All in all, the boots feel like new (but with an already patinaed upper).
Get Your Boots Resoled Today!
A special thank you goes out to Ger Wijsman for inviting Michael over and letting our readers get a glimpse of how he works. For more info about Wijsman Cobblers, visit their website, Facebook page or Instagram profile.
By the look of things and the other projects at Ger’s workshop, we will be seeing more customised Red Wings in the streets soon. One thing is for sure, Ger is guaranteed to deliver only the highest possible standards in the cobbler craft.