Why JR Rendenbach Leather Soles Are The Best In The World | Shoe Recrafting With Hanns Rendenbach

Hi! I’m Kirby Allison and we love to help
the well-dressed take care of the wardrobes I’m here today with Hans
Rendenbach the fourth generation of the JR. Rendenbach tanning family and we’re
in one of his storage rooms where behind us we have some of the finished JR
leather that has gone through there oak bark tanning process in this video we’re
gonna speak a little bit about the properties of a JR leather outsole
that oak bark tanned outsole and really what differentiates that from everything
else that’s available in the market so Hans thank you so much for all the time
you’ve been spending with us today it’s been an absolute pleasure you know to
really see the full tanning process and I think I may have spoken about this
earlier but I’ll say it again and that’s just how really struck I’ve been by the
simplicity and the purity of the tanning process you know having not known much
about the tanning process I would have expected more chemicals being involved
to catalyze that tanning process but really your ingredients are very simple
it’s just you know for different types of oak bark or not oak bark but for
different types of tree barks you know that each have their own properties that
catalyze that tanning process control it you know for the four to six months and
they’re in the pits and produce you know some of the most magnificent leather
outsoles in the world yes and as a result you have at the end of the story
a payoff for assaults and when you smell you smell say a zit range like you smell
smell it in the pit yard and this is a result of a long time of a special
natural tannic and yes you has to have some properties some some advantages of
the quality I would say the first and this is advantage what everybody speaks
about the first time it’s a resistance to abrasion you have a very
high durability you can walk a long time on it and yes it’s true it’s a very very
important point but if you have a very dense and closed fiber structure and you
have this long time natural tanning process then you gather as a result a
combination fiber structure tanning agents and water we
have not any filling materials in the sole and so you have a very high
resistance abrasion and this is we don’t forget to say it if you when you buy the
most expensive high its and to have a very dense fiber structure from the
beginning on in zayats sense this is a result yeah and so now that’s I mean how
gr is so well known for having such long lasting leather outsoles and then some
of the cobblers I know you know that that used JR you know will say that
you can easily get twice as much wear if not more out of a JR leather outsole
then you can an ordinary leather outsole yes we are, we are very careful to say
things like this because as you know it is a natural product and every height is
different and so we have differences but you can say that you have a very very
long wearing and you have not a problem even if you go one month earlier to the
repair or not but it is a long long time since we can guarantee and you don’t
have a problem yes that’s true and there’s also an element of water
resistance that you were saying that is again unique to the oak bark tanning
process yes it can’t be replicated you know through any type of chemical based
tanning you know speak to me a little bit about that
so autumns threatened of the soil sweats when you come in contact with water and
this swelling leads to a further closing of the fiber structure so the water
agent cannot go through and this is very very important because this reaction
becomes more important concerning the advantage of the soil as long as you
wear it in every day’s lives it means becoming in a wet condition trying walk
on it give pressure on it this over a certain time makes the quality higher
increase the quality and not decrease it and this is a difference if you have a
very fast and age often they close the cap capillary tube it
between the fiber structure with filling material and this filling material gives
you from the beginning on the feeling that you have a very good resistance
through water but it’s not true after a certain time so bought our agents wash
it out opens a fiber structure and Zen’s of
water agents go through yeah so the JR leather outsole it
maintains its water resistance for a much longer time than something that is
you know tan and filled with any of those agents exactiy it’s not a robust
or but in the few of a leather sole it has a very very long resistance again I
mean for the longest time I always perceive the leather outsoles as being
more delicate and less durable than say you know half souls you know have rubber
soles this and the other but you know I think one of the things that I’m really
becoming to appreciate about the JR outsoles is that yes it’s not a rubber
sole you know you it’s not going to be on a Wellington boot per se yes but it
still has an incredible durability and water resistance to it yes that actually
makes it a very durable outsole that you can walk and rain maybe not all day but
a little bit of water is not gonna damage the shoe at all no as you can
walk across gravel and it’s not going to again you know ruin the outsole yes and
you just it lends a longevity to the shoe exactly you know in the same way
that good tires yes are so it is a very important part
of the shoe and don’t forget Kirby that we have other advantage for me which are
very very important let let us speak about the pretty the soil absorbs 40
percent of its own weight of sweat so you have always a try feeling in the
shoe you are in a very good health condition and this is for me very
important if you have an expensive pair of shoes it’s very comfortable so it’s
gonna wear cooler very cooler and it is very good for the form stability if you
have a bottom of a shoe which you’re very firm and dense fiber structured
very yeah I don’t want to say hard I want to say it’s a closed construction
then it’s not possible after a certain time that shoe change the form it stays
in the in the form you have poured through and this is very important and
often you see if you go to the shoe repair and I have a look on the shoes
there are much quicker than they have for it so it’s very good for the form
stability and another point the laser is very
light in weight that means this laser is because we don’t press materials into
the fiber structure with special ways of you can do it we only have four I told
you fiber structure attending agents and water so the laser is very light it’s
and we call it a specific light laser and if you compare it sometimes with
fast ten laser it’s twenty thirty percent lighter in weight and this is a
big advantage yeah absolutely I mean you know one of the hallmarks of a really
well-made pair of shoes a Goodyear welted shoe or a bespoke shoe is its
finesse its lightness yes you know that it has durability yet still is light on
the foot which you know throughout the day makes a much more comfortable shoe
to wear because yes it’s requiring less work you know to walk in yes and another
point for me is very important to say there are ten Ares which have also their
a twent since it is not a question about
it but typical for the JR is said all the advantages we have spoken now are
combined in one product and this is great and completely natural – yes so at
the end of the day I mean and I’ve spoken to bespoke shoemakers the most
important characteristic of a leather outsole is durability yes and that it’s
long lasting yes and so that’s resistance to abrasion
yes resistance to water yes you know it’s breathable and flexible yes you
know an hour at Kirby Alessandra crafting program we exclusively use
JR because that’s the quality standard that we’re committed to and
that we really represent you know but there’s other cobblers throughout the
United States and throughout the world you know that used JR but you know
that commitment to quality and that high quality of craftsmanship even within the
shoe repair business is difficult to find yes that but it’s always Kirby
it’s all always very satisfied for me set you can see it when I speak about so
leather and I’m the owner so tannery and it’s my job and I like my product
and we we we want to speak very serious about advantages it makes no sense to
speak about things which are not true which are not serious but most and the
best compliment we always get is a compliment from the market when we see
that’s a really good shoe repair shops usage JR that’s the best compliment we
have and so in order to find a JR leather outsole needs to be stamped with
the JR passing that’s how you know it’s an authentic yes JR leather outsole
yes and if you see this stem then you can be 100% sure it is a JR sole coming
from entry you know it’s amazing is that you know whenever you’re holding a JR
sole you’re really holding four generations you have commitment to
producing a highest quality you know leather that’s available in the world
and today I mean you were describing earlier that you know and entry of you
know there used to be over 30 tanneries yes and in the mid you know 20th century
everyone switched you know to either chrome tan or using other accelerators
to the tanning services but exactly you know your father you know was with
steadfastness commitment yes really maintaining this traditional way of
tanning and you know the irony is that you know you were saying that you guys
were made fun of then but today you’re the only tannery left in this region and
Kobe I remember it I was at riot in in this time and I remember I remember it
very well and we often discussed this question at home where my father er he
likes to speak about his job in the area about the bowels of business and he
often asks a question don’t we do a mistake not to switch over in a more
fast n age to do to to produce a cheaper product because it was a time not only
they wanted to produce higher quantities who want to have cheaper productions as
there was a very very high competition everybody wants to be cheaper and no and
he stays with his decision and now we know it was it was correct but have a
look and I think this is a very good sample have a have a look to the German
show industry the German shoe industry thought we must be cheaper every year
cheaper and cheaper and we lost the quality standard we have had many years
ago and the end of the day is we don’t have anymore a very big shoe industry
firm a sense that we have some very good shoe manufacturers but you can number it
on on one hand but we lost to shoe industry and it’s a good high quality
human factories now all over the world but not in Germany and I am very happy
that we have done not the same mistake it’s very I mean you can always find
someone to do something cheaper yeah it’s very different a client is someone
that something better yes Hans thank you so much thank you
thank you for thank you all the world that you put in
thank you know to what you do here thank you if you enjoyed this video give us a
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  • Kirby, Thanks for educating us on the importance of high quality shoes, polish, conditioner, and so many other essentials for the well groomed gentleman. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  • Love the information!

  • Thanks for watching! If you want to learn about our Kirby Allison Certified Shoe Restoration Program: https://www.hangerproject.com/shoe-care/recrafting-shoe-repair.html

  • Kirby…would it be possible for you to devote a full video to an indepth discussion of cordovan shoes, including Horween, and mentioning anything you think to be important about cordovan?

  • You missed a trick here Kirby, sole music need, not soft jazz lol ..only joking (Fantastisch) video, have a great Christmas with your family

  • Love these informative videos with different manufacturers! The series with cleverly and Gaziano was amazing aswell! Any other shoemakers that you'll be visiting anytime soon that you can inform me of?

  • What sole was used for your cleverly shoes`Was it JR?

  • Thanks for sharing! So reassuring to know the actual quality and trait difference with JR soles. Definitely worth the investment indeed!

  • Enjoyed the video as always wanted to ask a question about your tie I don't see that tie for sale on hanger project any more is that going to change any time soon?

  • Just a quick note, not all JR soles have the JR stamp on it. If you buy a bend then there are no marks on the surface only in the back of the leather bend.

  • Is J.R leather used for any other leather products such as wallets or watch band's? Most of us have had the privilege of a sudden unplanned swim. For both the best and worst possible reasons.

  • The video series featuring this visit to JR Rendenbach was delightful, informative, and well edited. Can’t wait to see more exclusive videos like this from The Hanger Project.

  • It's always possible to find someone who's making it for cheaper but it's hard to find somebody who's making it better.

  • Hey Kirby, sorry if this is off topic from the video, but I'm looking to buy some laces from The Hanger Project for a pair of black cap-toes, but I don't know whether I should go with flat or round waxed laces. Any suggestions?

  • When I was building my shoe collection a decade ago, I was in York County, PA. There was an old cobbler who learned his craft at Hanover Shoe many years ago. He prided himself in his fluency with the manufacturing processes of all the major quality American shoe brands. No matter what I brought to him, he could bring it to factory perfection. He would always brighten when I came into the shop, and couldn’t wait to see what I was going to pull out of my bag. And every time I dropped off or picked up a pair of Aldens or Allen Edmonds or vintage Florsheim he would always remark to me on what an increasingly rare pleasure it was for him to practice his craft on truly excellent shoes.

    However, he always hot rodded them with a JR outsole, and he explained to me why he did that. He promised me I was wearing the toughest soles money could buy. I have found that painting them yearly with a light coat of Leather Honey keeps the fibers in top condition and actually adds a lot of durability versus ones I did not treat. I never use Harness Honey on non-wear parts of my shoes because they need all organic conditioners. But JR outsoles absolutely love the stuff and drink it as fast as you apply it. You will wear that sole out ten times faster than any deterioration that might be caused by the composition of the product. It is hands down the best sole treatment I’ve ever tried and I recommend it to anyone who walks on leather soles a lot. It is a product that is used in cold climates to keep sweaty tack from becoming brittle and breaking down due to the salts in the sweat of the horse. Bridles, reins and harness gear last many times longer with regular applications of this stuff. I do not recommend it for shoe uppers because high quality upper leather is meant to last much longer and the all natural ingredient list is a closely guarded trade secret. I don’t know what’s in it, or how it will affect the fibers over the long term. Saphir’s ingredient list is more transparent and you have a better reassurance of longevity for uppers sticking with it. However, it’s possible Leather Honey could be the best thing that ever happened to your shoes’ uppers. We will never know, since the makers of the product refer to its ingredients in only the vaguest terms.

    All of that being said, Kirby, I highly encourage you to test this product on your next rebuild with a JR outsole. Give it a normal break-in period, then paint a small amount of Leather Honey on the bottom of the sole, from heel to toe, with a new 2” synthetic paintbrush set aside for only this. I keep mine in a ziplock with the handle sticking out. Let the shoes sit overnight after applying, then reapply periodically (I do it more or less semiannually) and compare the wear you get from the treated sole with an untreated one you use for control. You have just taken the toughest shoe leather in the industry and made it tougher. Not more water resistant, maybe more flexible, but tougher for sure.

    It adds no smell. It does not make the sole slippery. If anything, traction is better. I’m still using the same jar I started with 20 years ago when it was called “Harness Honey” and it’s still more than half full. A tiny amount goes a long way. I have it on dress shoes and cowboy boots. And my Maine-built Canoe Moc slippers get it all over. When I get inside the house those things go on my feet immediately. My most worn pair of shoes. They also last longer with regular cleaning and conditioning with Leather Honey, and I can do that because their soft construction means once they wear out they must be replaced. I got an extra year out of the last treated pair.

    Open pore, exposed leather (like bark talked outsoles) loves this stuff. Try it.

  • I have a question. Very nice video thank you for making it, and i know what soles i will be choosing next time. is the (Saphir sole guard oil) recommended on these JR soles also ? or does it in some way compromise the special advantages of the JR leather sole?

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