Quality shoes

Dec 20, 2020

    1. After a long break from BJDs, I found that my dolls' shoes had crumbled into bits :eek:
      Sneakers made of fabric are still okay, but PU and even leather boots crumbled or peeled. These were all stored inside the dolls' boxes or in ziplock bags.

      Does anyone have recommendations on where to find longer-lasting shoes, or what material to go for especially for boots?
       
    2. Leather is best, but you need to invest in a good conditioner oil for them, and treat them at least every few months, especially if they're going to be stored for awhile.

      If it's the glue holding them together that's failed, then I'm not sure if that can be prevented much.

      I heard treating pleather with baby oil also can make it last longer, but it generally does not hold up over time, generally.
       
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    3. If you want to spend the money and like the styles, Freedom Teller makes classic leather shoes and boots for men and women.
       
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    4. All my dirt cheap pleather shoes from Monique trading have held up perfectly for years and years

      My more expensive pleather shoes made from places catering specifically to the BJD community have nearly all shredded and crumbled.

      The real-leather shoes are doing fine.

      It's irritating to find that I wasted a small fortune on the expensive shoes and boots form the BJD specific suppliers only to have them fall apart where much cheaper ones (many that I've had for far longer) still look as good as new. It shows what a rip-off a lot of BJD specific merchandise can be. It's like the hugely inflated prices for BJD eyes compared to (for example) reborn doll eyes, and the disparity in wig prices between those aimed specifically at the BJD market and those marketed generically as doll wigs.

      Teddy
       
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    5. Chances are that the ruined "leather" shoes were actually made of bonded leather. It contains real leather pieces but is mixed with a bonding agent, and depending on the quality can have more or less leather in it. Bonded leather is also not durable and will separate and peel.

      I've had pleather and bonded leather shoes that have lasted almost 15 years and others that have fallen apart after five years. Eventually anything made from pleather will die a peel-y flakey death. (I've always said this is why you don't find a lot of vintage 80's/90s goth clothing - it all disintegrated.)

      My answer to this is problem with synthetic leathers is to try and find more real hide leather goods for my dolls. And when I can't, I buy them new pleather items. I know it will break down - so I just try to use the items and keep them in use for as long as they survive. If my doll isn't actively wearing them and they are still in like-new condition, I'm thinking it's better to sell them along than pack them away.
       
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    6. Thank you for the tip on the conditioner & baby oil! I will try that.

      Thank you for the shop recommendation! I am looking for antique-style boots mostly. The toe-shape of those shoes look so perfect though <3

      I'm surprised Monique turns out to be so sturdy! Yes it was really heartbreaking to find so much money turned into packets of grey crumbs!! I would rather have gotten cheaper pairs from Taobao but I assumed I was investing in quality. Would you happen to know other shops that sell specifically real leather girls' boots or antique styles?

      More than one pair of my Volks' shoes peeled, so maybe that is the reason :S Thank you for the information on bonded leather! I wonder how to avoid purchasing that - Is there something that you look out for that might give it away?

      Thank you again for the fast responses and help!!
       
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    7. I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with volks pleather (I bought some Old clothes still in the package off mandarake, and immediately destroyed a pair of pants and a jacket putting them on my doll. Right now, what I’m wondering is how viable it would be to “reskin” pleather garments with flexible fabric paint/latex paints, potentially.
       
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    8. I wish I did.

      I get leather shoes (in both basic and fancy mary-jane styles) from Boneka in Germany and they also do flat lace up ankle boots, but no heeled styles. I get leather dance pumps in various colours for my SD size girls from Lisa's dolls, but they're made for Sasha dolls and just happen to fit SD feet, so she doesn't do them for other sizes unless you can send her some feet to fit them on. She does other styles but mostly variations on flat mary-janes slip-on styles, or sandals. These styles work well for most of my dolls (who are children) but al the antique style boots and shoes i got for the few older kids in the resin family were fake leather and are nearly all crumbling now.

      Good hunting. Let us know if you find anything

      EDITED TO ADD: I've seen (but not purchased) these "silk" boots on Etsy BJD Vintage style Silk boot in SD10 / MSD size | Etsy which might not be subject to the flaking issues of fake leather, but I don't know if they're really silk, or something silk-effect.

      Teddy
       
      #8 Teddy, Dec 21, 2020
      Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
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    9. Honestly, I would just head to Taobao and purchase slightly more affordable doll shoes because most of the doll shoes regardless of brand will peel and flake after a few years. If they are gonna flake, you might as well buy more affordable ones and use them for as long as they last. I have had shoes that cost $100 and they peeled as badly as those that cost $20. It might also have to do with your climate. Putting the pleather items in perhaps a humidity and temperature controlled environment like a wine fridge might allow them to last longer. I have resorted to purchasing just cloth/fabric shoes, the inside tends to be also made of pleather but at least the outside will be fine even if the inside is flaking.
       
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    10. I am so sorry to hear that! I love the cut of Volks jackets :( What a shame... do the pieces have enough shape to retrace a pattern?

      I will share if I manage to find any sources! Read through a bit more of the forums to find that this isn't the first time this issue has been brought up. Those boots you linked are gorgeous! And these ones too oh my <3

      Thank you for sharing that. I am in Singapore and it's true that I have lost some items to the tropical heatwaves, even though they are all stored in cabinets away from the windows =n= Perhaps Taobao is the way to go if that is the case even for 'real' shoes.
       
    11. They're nice, but the heel style is way too modern for my tastes.

      Teddy
       
    12. I’m from Singapore too! So I know how bad the leather or pleather behaves in our weather! Real leather gets mouldy and pleather just peels and flakes off after a few years of if you don’t use it often enough! Would recommend just 1/2 pairs per doll or just share something that is very versatile and that can be easily matched so you don’t have to buy too many and feel the heartbreak with you have to throw them in the dustbin :chomp::atremblin
       
    13. Probably! I’m going to try refinishing this first though. I’m really bad at sewing. These were definitely old, so I wouldn’t be concerned about them crumbling super quickly. The pants were also exacerbated by the fact that the doll wearing them had broader hips than intended.
       
    14. Thank you for the tips! Good to know real leather won't help much ;n; Off to Taobao it is~

      Good luck!! I hope you manage to salvage it somehow :>
       
    15. Pleather is vinyl on cloth. It deteriorates when exposed to a humid climate. Like, anything more than 35% humidity and sometimes not even that's good enough.

      Tip 1. You may be able to prevent this by storing them in an airtight container with some of the dessicant silica crystal packets you get in some packaging.

      Tip. 2 Satin finish Vinyl and Leather paints like those from Angelus Leather Paints can probably save some of your pleather shoes for a little while.

      Sadly, in the end, plastic is plastic, and pleather or bonded leather are especially fragile plastic. It will deteriorate, whereas anything made out of real leather has the potential to last centuries. (outside of outright tropical climates)
       
    16. So a while ago Dollmore posted a pair of boots on their instagram and claimed they were high quality leather: Dollmore.net :: Everything for Doll & more

      I bought these boots in 2008 with my first doll and they're still like-new, with only a little wear from use. No peeling or cracking, the glue hasn't even given out. And I have dolls wearing them, one has had them on all year. I've lost many newer shoes to peeling and cracking. So I'd say these are pretty good. They have a few other shoes that have lasted for me too - and some that haven't...though I honestly think the shoes I've bought from Dollmore that have gone the way of most "leather" bjd accessories are no longer available on their site.