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Flat-soled ghillie brogues?

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  • Flat-soled ghillie brogues?

    This is a long shot, as I've already searched online and found basically nothing.. but you never know.

    I wear flat shoes. "Minimalist" or "barefoot" shoes as they're sometimes called, though I try to stick to ones that just look like shoes, nothing elf- or clown-like. (I wear Lems boots). They're basically wider, don't have an elevated heel, don't have an arch support, and aren't pointy. Without going on extensively about why, suffice it to say that it's a medically sound thing to do, based on natural movement, and helped get rid of a back issue I had. I feel a lot better since switching to this type of shoe.

    The downside is that now conventional shoes are very uncomfortable! This presents a problem for me when it comes to my ghillies. I had a cobbler reduce the height of the heels on my ghillie brogues and and stretch them, but they're still painful.

    My options seem to be 3:
    1. Use a minimalist wingtip style dress shoe, and use the laces from the ghillies. This isn't ideal (or cheap) - they'd look different from what everyone else in band wears.

    2. Find a cobbler that would actually make me custom ghillies (shoes can be made with a false heel btw, so they'd look like everyone else's but be comfortable for me inside). This would be absurdly expensive.

    3. Suffer in normal ghillies. I could possibly find a very wide size and trim the heel down a bit, but still...ouch.

    Just wondering if anybody has any experience with this issue, or knows of a product I haven't been able to find. Especially since I'm about to be walking in my outfit for many miles over the next two months!

    Note: Diabetic or "Orthotic" shoes are not what I'm looking for. I'm aware that they're available in our shoe style, but they are something different than what I mean.

  • #2
    Re: Flat-soled ghillie brogues?

    You can try looking this way... http://www.ghillators.com/index.php . Can you get a much more minimalist shoe than a croc??? Looks like they didn't make them for long though, and might be limited on sizes.

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    • #3
      Re: Flat-soled ghillie brogues?





      A long-time mate of mine... and while serving
      in the MoD... always went to a (damned good)
      cobbler... and had his footwear double-soled.

      I would think (...if... I've understood your request
      correctly)... that you could get them double-soled...
      and with... a flat sole.

      Would this alleviate your situation?

      Just a thought...



      My friends all know,
      With what a brave carouse...

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      • #4
        Re: Flat-soled ghillie brogues?

        For sure suffering is not a viable option!

        Comfort and foot-health are obviously paramount.

        Why on earth wear ghillie-brogue style shoes at all?

        They have never been universal, standard, or required in Highland Dress.

        Wear any comfortable black or brown shoes that at least vaguely resemble dress shoes, if you're going for a traditional look.
        proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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        • #5
          Re: Flat-soled ghillie brogues?

          Thanks for the replies,

          I looked up the ghillators, Frytamer, and they're hard to find. They apparently stopped making them, and are selling their inventory. Only two sizes left (neither are even close to mine). I found some vendors still listing them in online stores, but upon attempting to get them found them to no longer be stocked. Odd, because looking up past threads about them on here they seemed very well liked.

          Pip, what I mean is a shoe that is just flat. No heel, no arch, no pointy toe sticking up, just a flat sole shaped like the bottom of my foot. I did see a cobbler about the ghillies I have though, and he was able to make them a bit more comfortable.

          Panceltic, I may in fact just have to wear comfortable shoes with the ghillie laces, at least for long parades. I know some pipers who do this. They really want us all to have the same uniform in our competing band though, so maybe I'll just endure it for the team on games days.

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          • #6
            Re: Flat-soled ghillie brogues?

            Wear what you like that is a reasonable match to the band...no need to suffer for our art lol.
            "...I think that I will take two small bottles of Dubonnet and gin with me this morning, in case it is needed..."
            Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother

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            • #7
              Re: Flat-soled ghillie brogues?

              Any sources in the US for just plain marching brogues?

              Cheers -

              Wes

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              • #8
                Re: Flat-soled ghillie brogues?

                I wear neutral as well as minimalist shoes and have experienced the same thing; I can't go back to my boots or normal shoes now that my feet have corrected themselves. Currently I have Altra for my exercise and Merrells and Vivobarefoot for dailies.

                There are some Oxfords made that are minimal ie neutral, wide toe box, sole is I believe around 3-4mm, and can be folded on themselves. Can't remember the name of them but I researched for the same thing for my work shoes. These shoes had a clever cut to the footbed which gave a visual impression of a sole and a dress shoe upper.

                Vivobarefoot also makes dressier shoes which might work. I ended up with the Ra II's for work and like them a lot.
                Happy Piping

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                • #9
                  Re: Flat-soled ghillie brogues?

                  Why not buy a pair of the minimalist wingtip brogues and cut the tongue out? This would result in a close match to the regular ghilles if you used the regular ghille laces.
                  Carpe Diem

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                  • #10
                    Re: Flat-soled ghillie brogues?

                    Originally posted by William McKenzie View Post
                    I wear neutral as well as minimalist shoes and have experienced the same thing; I can't go back to my boots or normal shoes now that my feet have corrected themselves. Currently I have Altra for my exercise and Merrells and Vivobarefoot for dailies.

                    There are some Oxfords made that are minimal ie neutral, wide toe box, sole is I believe around 3-4mm, and can be folded on themselves. Can't remember the name of them but I researched for the same thing for my work shoes. These shoes had a clever cut to the footbed which gave a visual impression of a sole and a dress shoe upper.

                    Vivobarefoot also makes dressier shoes which might work. I ended up with the Ra II's for work and like them a lot.
                    Hi William -
                    You know exactly what I'm talking about. I believe you're ahead of me, I'm still trying to get my footwear for various situations sorted (steel toe work shoes are a tough one too).

                    What I've decided to do, (as suggested by others as well, thanks for the replies) is to wear comfortable black dress shoes for parades, in this case a pair of Lems. I'm comfortable in their boots, so I got a pair of their shoes, which have the same soles. I can change out the laces for ghillie laces to blend in a bit more if need be. I don't think I'll cut out the tongues though, because I'll want them as my dress shoes when not in a kilt as well.
                    Last edited by DapperDan; 03-08-2019, 01:41 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Flat-soled ghillie brogues?

                      I often wear simple black walking shoes from New Balance. They do have a minimal heel rise, however my orthotics fit well within them. Its for fallen arches.

                      Another option to consider is possibly having a cobbler remove the heel, grind down some of the midsole and then attach a low heel of the normally denser, longer wearing rubber. It may be that the shank between the footbed and outsole would need to be removed to accommodate a flattened sole profile as well.

                      Consider seeing a Pedorthist for properly fitted or customized shoes.
                      They will work with you if you can express clearly, or show them what you need. and they usually have the training to modify footwear.


                      If you are with a pipe band that wears spats, wear your normal black shoe. As for my self, I wear black leather New Balance walking shoes, and adding ghillie laces, 99% of the population would never notice the difference.
                      Breaching the peace? What bagpipes officer?

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