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  • tapgrrl 4:38 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    More from Mr. Ed–horseshoe plates this time 

    Here’s two sets of photos sent to me by Mr. Ed.  The first is of a pair of burnt-orange Flagg Brothers front buckle boots from 1969-1970-before I was born!–flat heeled and tall.  Nicely large horseshoes! 

    The second is a pair of recent shorty Western boots with, he says, 3 3/4″ heels!  Wow!


    NO TOE TAPS?  Or side taps either.  Well we all have room for improvement, don’t we?  Thanks, Ed., for sending them to me so I could post them.

    • Ed 6:49 pm on March 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry I just do the side or front taps. Things sometimes are slippery enough as it is. Gotta dig out some beatle boots and others for next time.

  • tapgrrl 8:07 pm on March 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    3rd pair of taps on these boots 

    Photos from Mr. Ed, who may be a “lurker” on the site.  Welcome, Mr. Ed.  Write some more as a comment to this post about your history of wearing taps and anything else tap-related you’d like to share.

    • Ed 10:12 pm on March 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      These are a pair of boots from ebay that had holes where the taps used to be.Now on my 3rd pair size 6 taps. These were loud as hell without the taps. Sound loud and proud on a marble type floor with these boots. Love scraping on a newer sidewalk. Note carbon discoloration from taps on heels. This is my current in use winter boots As a child of the 60’s I grew up with these. I dare you not to get aroused when you hear these bad ass boots come your way. Got more pics {beatle boots flag bros} and more current to post. I have wide range of horseshoe and cast iron taps. Due to Nor’easter my internet is hit and miss here on Long Island. I will post soon.

    • Blake 10:42 am on March 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds like we are of the same vintage growing up in the 60’s. Will be great to see your additional photos. Going to post any videos on youtube so we can hear them?

    • Ed 10:33 am on March 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Doing a video will be limited everything here is carpeted. Maybe the tiny bathroom though; stone tiles, I can give some sound effects. I grew up around Flag Brothers boots. Even without taps the heels on them were always very loud. Have 2 pair of brown boots from Flag. One with gold buckles, one without. Got on E-bay. haven’t set them up yet. Have a pair of Kinney boots; a look a like to the flag with buckles with horse shoe taps. And a pair couple pairs more modern beatle boots set up with taps among others. Will try to do more pics next week. I collected boots til I ran out of room. There other surprises I will dig out.

  • tapgrrl 11:00 pm on March 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Banana taps? Never saw those! 

    Blake sent these photos of two pairs of his oxfords. One of them is titled “banana plates”. I never saw that shape before.

  • tapgrrl 9:16 pm on March 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Tapnut–Are his shoes the “last taps standing”? 

    I received another set of photos from Tapnut: Some nifty penny loafers with double-thick horseshoes, #8 toe taps, and FOUR side-taps on each shoe, every hole inserted with screws. But it’s been many months, probably over a year, since anyone else has shown me taps on their shoes or boots and it might be that long since I’ve applied taps to shoes–mainly because I’ve not bought any shoes lately!

    If anyone else has photos they want posted on this site, just send them to me– I’d particularly like to see some well-worn taps–not too well worn, just evidencing some substantial public exposure.

    Here is Tapnut’s fine creation. I’ll leave it to him to comment on why he chose this setup and how he likes them.

    • John F Tublewicz 11:21 am on March 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I had big taps on the heel of my gator boots but removed them I came into a room with terrazzo floors and my boot slide out from under me I didn’t get hurt but I wonder how some people can live with so many taps

  • tapgrrl 10:00 pm on December 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Awesome Tassle Loafers 

    A year ago Tapnut 2 (I believe that’s what he identifies himself as here) sent me photos of some loafers he tapped up and I neglected to post them as he gently reminded me this week. They are awesome with double horseshoes that look like double-thick single horseshoes–no space between them–as well as a nifty outer ring of metal that he crafted from silver bracelets. Also nice-sized side taps and large toe taps. I want some! Here’s more of what he wrote about them: “For some time, I been looking for other metal treatments…
    The metal band on the heel was the best I could come up with this time.
    I haven’t noticed a problem with side taps, so far…perhaps it’s because my soles are a little thicker.
    But I am a bit concerned with my latest creation because their size may restrict toe flex.
    I use #4 flat head wood screws….available at larger home depots.
    I use 3/8″ for sole taps….they don’t poke through the sole…even my thinish soles.
    For the heels, I use 5/8″ or 3/4″.
    In both cases, I have to drill out the holes in the plates for the screws to penetrate.
    Then I have to countersink the holes too so the screws will at least be flush with the plate.
    Use a carbide-tipped countersink on a power drill.
    For the sole taps, an ice pick is sufficient to get the screws started,
    But on hard heels, I usually have to make a pilot hole.
    And yes, I use screws to get a solid attachment and identical sound.”

    Here’s his pics:

    • Blake 10:54 am on December 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      These look awesome and are so artfully crafted. Would be wonderful to hear the sound they make, but they look unworn at present. Pristine!

  • mark12547 4:29 pm on November 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Heavy boots with horseshes, toe bumpers for sale   

    I came across a pointer to some pretty massive and “enhanced” boots on eBay:

    With double horseshoe heel pates, toe bumpers, side plates, everyone would know when you arrived!

    • Ed 12:49 pm on November 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Have 2 pair of Beatwear Beatle boots with horseshoe taps on the 21/2″ heels. Loud as hell. Have attracted alot of attention from people who love how nasty my black suede boots look and sound. I always start to scrape my heels as I talk to them, before I let them have a look at the taps. Got the boots and boxes of taps on Ebay

    • Blake-NC 9:45 am on November 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      They must sound great! Nice you have some interested in seeing the taps after they hear them.

    • mark12547 4:02 pm on December 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      More boots enhanced with metal:

      Enhancements most visible include horseshoe heel plates and the metal toe protectors that some motorcycle boots have.

      @tapgrrl: It may be nice to grab pictures to add to the collection here.

  • tapgrrl 9:32 pm on September 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Wowsy! Horseshoe taps stacked HIGH plus toe bumpers sticking straight out and hobnails 

    Alright I’ve given away everything significant about these boots in the title but you might want to have a look at the 10+ photos now on ebay:
    Here’s one photo for you:

    • Tapnut 1:36 pm on September 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The toe bumpers are a bit much!

      • mark12547 3:27 pm on September 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Those toe bumpers don’t look like they were a good fit, hanging out with the two holes closest to the flange being unused. A more conventional toe plate would have been better in this case if the owner didn’t want to remove any of the hobnails.

        • mark 9:33 am on April 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply

          where can these toe bumpers be found?

          • tapgrrl 9:33 pm on April 3, 2018 Permalink

            It takes a lot of perseverence. I kept looking for them on ebay, generally searching in the categories of “shoe accessories” and “shoe care and repair” and finally found a collection of about 5 pair, as I recall, which are now on 4 pairs of boots and my saddle shoes. I doubt if any shoe repair place has them any more.

  • tapgrrl 8:50 pm on August 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    A request from a follower of the blog 

    Someone who follows the blog wrote me offline with the following request about dance heel taps.  “I recently got these heel taps (see pic attached) and wondered if there is anyone who has instructions on how to mount them, given that they are not too common here in the UK and the local shoe repair guy might not have a clue how to do it. Is there anyone out there you know who might be able to help? I know where the little brass disc fits in, just not sure about the flat metal disc.”


    So reply with a comment if you can help him.  Thanks.

    • Blake 11:58 am on August 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      can you include the photo the person sent you. I am not sure what kind of taps they are.

    • Blake 12:03 pm on August 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      sorry, I did not see the photo the first go around..
      I am not sure, since I never saw dance taps like these, but wonder if the flat circular piece gets mounted directly on the heel,in a portion that the brass thing would click against it, if it will be loose and clicky. looks like all the nails go around the perimeter of the tap plate.

    • mark12547 7:48 pm on September 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The “Jingle” implies an attempt to maximize noise with a piece that “jingles” around.

      I concur with Blake:

      Set the big piece on heel and mark where it goes and mark the circular hole on the heel. Remove.

      Using two short nails (if there are shorter nails), nail the small circular plate at the center of where the hole was. This will be the solid back of where the brass piece hits when the heel is stomped.

      Place the brass fitting on top of the circular disk, with the flange (wider part) down on the circular plate. The big piece goes on top of that with the brass piece sticking through. The big piece can then be nailed onto the heel.

      The brass piece will probably be a bit lose so when the heel is stomped the brass piece will hit the circular plate and make a bit of extra noise.

      At least that is how it looks like it should go on.

      • Blake 8:02 pm on September 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Sounds like a good plan to enhance the sound.

        • mark12547 12:08 am on September 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          But probably not as noisy as, say, Stevens Stompers (clogging taps) that use two plates to clang together when struck or stomped.

          • Anonymous 10:18 am on September 12, 2017 Permalink

            Many thanks!!

    • Wally 9:58 am on October 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Last week there was a “news” story locally about learning to “clog”…the Heartland Country Cloggers of Northern Indiana offered an 8-week training program; they will be performing at various area events. They showed a picture of a normal shoe with what they called a hinge tap, didn’t show up well. It looked like a normal full-heel tap and toe tap. The trainer who was an older lady commented that their efforts will “bring a smile to many faces; they really enjoy it.” Well, I can tell you from experience (my comments have been posted many times on this blog) that when I go walking through the local mall, it does being a smirk to many people’s faces, 98% of the time to women, both young and old. Some even provide comments, approving of that “cool sound” Interestingly, the guys, have never made comments. Have never been able to figure that one out

  • tapgrrl 8:55 am on September 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Horseshoe Taps are Still Selling 

    I had an email exchange recently with one of you (Tapnut, I believe is his name here) about whether there is a market for horseshoe taps anymore. Here’s what I found. I went to the Amazon listing of one of the retail shoe repair people who sell on line, azsaddledoc. Then I looked at how many pairs that seller has sold of different sizes. Over the time he has been selling them online, whatever that is, he has sold 620 pairs of horseshoe taps by my count. That’s a pretty big number, but we don’t know how long a period that covers. Interestingly, the size I thought was most popular, 9-10, was only a small fraction of his sales. The most commonly purchased size was 11-12, which I think are just shy of 3″ across. Next most common were 5-6’s, which is what fit a lot of my boots and loafers. So maybe there are women buying them still! Other horseshoed tapgrrls!

    I also looked for how many pairs that he sold IN THE PAST MONTH. All that was available was the number of pairs for which he’s received feedback, which is a small portion, probably, of his total sales. Anyway, he sold 12 sets of horseshoe taps in the past month. That’s not many compared to the 620 total, but still that’s only 30 days. If he got feeback on half of his sales and has been selling taps on line for 2 years, that would be about the same rate as over that whole time. But I bet he’s been selling for longer than that, so maybe the sales have been INCREASING!

    Actually, Eagle crescent taps were more common. I only counted the larger size Eagles. There were 700 pairs of size 8 sold and 621 pairs of size 7. Over the past month, 8 pairs of size 8 and 6 pairs of size 7.

    Remember that’s just one on-line seller!

    That’s enough numbers to spin my mens cowboy boots horseshoe taps 1















    • john f tublewicz 2:01 pm on September 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      i had to remove my heel taps as i have spinal stenosis not as bad as it sounds well one day i hit a terrazzo floor and i almost lost it very embarrassing but i kept the toe taps if i didn’t i would wear down the toes of my alligator boots

      • Blake 9:38 am on September 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        your alligator boots must be great and nice you have the toe taps on them. Sorry you had to remove the heel taps.

    • Blake 9:36 am on September 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Wonder who is using them? Would be great to see and hear some on boot heels and a variety of shoe heels.

      • mark12547 2:24 am on September 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        A few weeks ago I was brewing coffee at the Santiam River Rest Area, North Bound (I-5 in Oregon, between Albany and Jefferson at milepost 241) and heard the rare sound of heel plates. I looked out the window and managed to see a pair of cowboy boots with underslung heels, and on those heels were some pretty small horseshoes centered on the bottom of the heels with a bit more than 1/8th of an inch of heel rubber around the outer edges. The heel rubber absorbed most of the sound of the plates; you would have to know what you were hearing to know there were plates because it was no louder than an exposed nail.

        • tapboot 2:46 pm on October 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply

          These women probably needed horseshoe taps so they could ride horses without having to wear spurs. The horseshoes make a good substitute to spurs.

    • JR 2:56 pm on September 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Mark12547
      So are you class of 65? Anyway I’m just behind you (if my assumption is right) and I clearly recognized the sights and sounds of metal from the days be gone. From a young age I make a point of looking at a women’s shoes or boots to check out for metal taps. A couple years ago I was gassing up at a truck stop near ND and Dodge pick up pulling a horse trailer pulled up next to me with two women, around late 30s or early 40s. The driver started filling the Dodge and I looked at her cowgirl boots then her sexy jeans and figure and I thought she would be MORE perfect with metal taps. After putting the nozzle in her tank she reached in her truck bed and grabbed a screw driver, lifted her foot towards me and began digging the mud out of her metal horseshoe tap then the other heel. Then as she stomped her heels to shake the rest of mud and obviously show off , I must have gotten into a staring trance, because the other woman said “Sis has really changed since getting divorced lost a ton of weight and loves flirting guys with her jeans and boot taps” Wow


      • mark12547 1:53 pm on September 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        High school: 1972; College: 1976.

        “Embellished” heels are almost unheard of around here in the Pacific Northwet, probably because the frequency of rain means too much of a slip hazard even on otherwise acceptable floors.

    • Anonymous 6:17 am on September 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      There are still some marching groups that use them.

  • tapgrrl 8:23 pm on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    More retro shoes and boots with horseshoe taps 

    Folks, here’s some more shoes and boots from Fred. Have any of you put taps on similar shoes or boots? Add comments! (Hit “reply” on the upper right corner of this message.) He also sent along a sound file, but that apparently can’t be added to the blog. Oh well, enjoy the pics.

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