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Author Topic: VFF classics heel tab removal  (Read 6554 times)
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walking crab
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2011, 02:30:30 PM »

Just wanted to say thanks Moosepaws for the instructions on how to do this!

I've got grey/orange Classics and the heel tab was never a problem, but my new Smartwool Classics have  a much stiffer ecostep rubber and I found the heel tab a problem from day 1. After being rubbed the wrong way several times, I decided to take the plunge and modify them following your instructions and it was a doddle!

The rubber shelf left behind after removing the tab had a hard edge due to the hardness of the material, so I used a modelling scalpel to radius the edge of it, cutting a smooth curve out so it has a nice depression once the grey suede-like material was glued back in place. Here's how it turned out!





Also removed the elastic as I found it unneccessary and comfort improved vastly on my original Classics after removing it as well.




I am excited to try this with my smartwool classics, I did not cut the heel tab down on them far enough the first time. I'm glad to see someone else has successfully done this mod
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2011, 02:30:30 PM »

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chrisnet
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2011, 03:47:11 AM »

WOW THANKS SO MUCH!!!!!

I did this mod and LOVE my Smartwool Classics so much more! I followed the instructions to a tee and it worked great. Thanks so much for the useful guide.
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Mr. Leigh
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« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2011, 11:20:20 AM »

I wish Vibram would update their Classic and remove the heel tab altogether.  I understand that it was designed to pull the heel up and aid in getting the shoe on, but most people find it intrusive to the back of their heel and end up cutting it off anyway. 
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2011, 10:50:25 AM »

wow you put way more work into it than I did.  5 minute mod at most to my smartwool classics.  Chopped off the bungees, chopped off the tabs with the fabric.  Two pieces of moleskin and a bit of gorilla glue to cover up the rough edge.  Your mod looks very clean though, mine looks utilitarian!

Care to share a few pics?

Mr. Leigh, have you gotten your smartwools back out yet? I remember you posting somewhere else your toenail is almost fixed. I just got my smartwools yesterday and within 10 minutes of having them on I cut the elastic strap, and now my right heel is being rubbed by the heel tab. I was wondering if you had tried a mod yet. I would be hesitant to chop the heel tab clean off, but I will need to do SOMETHING. Thanks
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2011, 10:50:25 AM »

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Mr. Leigh
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2011, 11:46:28 AM »

@ Stefanie

I have not gotten them back out, simply because I have several pair and have been enjoying my honeymoon period with my recently acquired Speeds.  I have not removed the heel tab on any of my Classics because luckily they have not bothered me.  I am about to gain a modified pair of Walnut Classics (not Smartwool) that I found for sale on this forum, so I will see what I think of the mod.  They seller only half removed the tab, so I think I will clean the look of them up a bit by doing a full removal.  The elastic cord has been removed as well. 

I was thinking about heating and bending the tab backwards, possibly holding it in place with a clamp for a while and then letting it cool, rather than a full removal of the heel tab on my Smartwools.  That is, of course, if I find them to be problematic.  My thought was if the tab were heated and bent, held in position a while and allowed to cool, maybe the stiffer material of the ecostep sole would remember the new location and stay further back away from the foot, therefore not rubbing on one's ankle.  Just a thought.
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So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. 
And never mix up your right foot and your left.

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Suess
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« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2011, 12:23:55 PM »

@ Stefanie

I have not gotten them back out, simply because I have several pair and have been enjoying my honeymoon period with my recently acquired Speeds.  I have not removed the heel tab on any of my Classics because luckily they have not bothered me.  I am about to gain a modified pair of Walnut Classics (not Smartwool) that I found for sale on this forum, so I will see what I think of the mod.  They seller only half removed the tab, so I think I will clean the look of them up a bit by doing a full removal.  The elastic cord has been removed as well. 

I was thinking about heating and bending the tab backwards, possibly holding it in place with a clamp for a while and then letting it cool, rather than a full removal of the heel tab on my Smartwools.  That is, of course, if I find them to be problematic.  My thought was if the tab were heated and bent, held in position a while and allowed to cool, maybe the stiffer material of the ecostep sole would remember the new location and stay further back away from the foot, therefore not rubbing on one's ankle.  Just a thought.

Makes sense, thanks!!
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« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2011, 11:23:16 AM »

Stephanie, did you end up leaving the heel tab intact?  I saw pics on another thread and it looked like all you did was removed the elastic.  Is that correct?

I still have not gotten around to taking the time to break in my Smartwools.  I am certain that my nail bed issue is resolved, however I am currently wearing a pair of modified Classics that I bought off the forums instead.  Elastic removed and heel tab half removed.  So far, no issues with either mod.  I usually wear sandals in the house, in the winter months, so I think I will be using my Smartwools to replace them.  Once I begin wearing them regularly, I will post comments regarding the fit, heel tab, heel inversion, etc.
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So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. 
And never mix up your right foot and your left.

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Suess
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« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2011, 11:53:20 AM »

Stephanie, did you end up leaving the heel tab intact?  I saw pics on another thread and it looked like all you did was removed the elastic.  Is that correct?

I still have not gotten around to taking the time to break in my Smartwools.  I am certain that my nail bed issue is resolved, however I am currently wearing a pair of modified Classics that I bought off the forums instead.  Elastic removed and heel tab half removed.  So far, no issues with either mod.  I usually wear sandals in the house, in the winter months, so I think I will be using my Smartwools to replace them.  Once I begin wearing them regularly, I will post comments regarding the fit, heel tab, heel inversion, etc.

You are correct, Mr. Leigh. All I wound up needing to do was remove the elastic and a few 'almost' heel inversions on the right shoe. Still a little tightness in the right toe, but I still enjoy them =). I am now eyeing my next pairs.... stems and black jayas..
& yes, do keep us updated please!
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Mr. Leigh
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« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2011, 12:13:59 PM »

I too had my eye on the Stems after I read Justin's review of them.  Now that I see that Speeds will be available in an indigo blue color, I may go that route instead.
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So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. 
And never mix up your right foot and your left.

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Suess
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« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2011, 02:25:30 PM »

I too had my eye on the Stems after I read Justin's review of them.  Now that I see that Speeds will be available in an indigo blue color, I may go that route instead.

Wow, I just may have to invest in some black speeds (if they ever come to the U.S. for women) -- with the way you talk so highly of them! I just need a non-toe barefoot shoe for work. So I will support the stems!
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Mr. Leigh
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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2011, 02:28:46 PM »

Yes indeed, I do love my Speeds.  I was looking at the Stems as a non toe shoe alternative as well.  I tried the Merrell barefoot line, but they are far too narrow.  I have wide feet and short toes.  Hoping the Stems will be a little more forgiving.  I looked at the New Balance line, but did not bother trying them on.  I did not care for the blaze orange or yellow/gray colors they come in.
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So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. 
And never mix up your right foot and your left.

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Suess
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« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2013, 06:15:21 PM »

I wish Vibram would update their Classic and remove the heel tab altogether.  I understand that it was designed to pull the heel up and aid in getting the shoe on, but most people find it intrusive to the back of their heel and end up cutting it off anyway. 

Has anyone noticed that the back of the Frescas look IDENTICAL to my classics mod? 
Vibram - thanks for using my idea, but a free pair as a thanks for capitalizing on my idea would have been really cool of you!

Update:  I got a pair of frescas, and they're smaller than the classics, and narrower.  Now, I'm off to sell my 41's (any takers?) and try to hunt down a 42! But, at least there's no heel tab.
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