Uh, I don't think so.
Originally Posted by dugel
The hobnails simply live in the soles. I don't see how they can damage a shoe, at least not the damage you show. But I'm not a cobbler and don't play one in "Struggles for Succession," either, so perhaps you can elaborate? It looks to me as though the leather of those soles rotted out, not something you can blame on hobnails. Do they cause the wearer to put unequal pressure on the center of the sole? Could be, especially if they are put only around the lip of the sole. Period accounts mention star patterns and other ways of distributing the hobnails.
Generally hobnails are not particularly PEC (plain, everyday, common), at least from what I have read, though they are recovered from dug sites. They do provide greater traction off-road, but are tricky on asphalt, tile and anything else slippery. But as a retired hockey player, the "ice skating" part isn't so fearsome for me.
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