Shoemaking: Toe Puff Preparation

I've got some enquiries on what leather I use for our toe puffs so here's a short post.

Our toe puffs come from Baker, a tannery in Devon UK which specialises in oak bark tanning. Baker's pit tanning process takes about 14months with fantastic end results 

Toe puffs from Baker come pre-cut in about 2/2.5mm thickness.

 Before and After

The edges need to be skived down, with the straight edge paper thin. The round sides are skived to slightly less than 1mm so that they are still strong enough to be lasted.

Skived Edge

On fitting shoes, I use different toe puffs. On the left is a split leather toe puff from Japan, it comes pre-skived and already thinned but still requires some adjusting to get a smooth toe profile. On the right is a celastic type toe puff, interestingly this particular one is supposed to be used like a leather toe puff with paste. I have yet to try it out but will be one of the things on my list.

Split Leather & Celastic Type

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