Blakey's Malleable Castings
is a small piece of metal that cobblers
attach to the sole
of a shoe
to reduce the amount of wear, (similar concept to the use of hobnails
). There are small, "half-moon
" shaped pieces for the toe
end and arc
inserts. The use of such devices became popular in the early 20th Century, when leather sole
s were more prevalent than they are today. Not to mention the fact that people walked a lot more than they do today!
I distinctly remember the kudos accorded to those fellow schoolboys whose footwear was equipped with "blakey's" - they allowed you to skate down concrete passages and create sparks as you flew by! Quite Dickensian, really.
"Blakey's" were so-called because of who made them: A company called "Blakey's Malleable Castings", which was esatablished in 1902 near Leeds to manufacture these devices.