Gucci Bit Restoration

Bit loafers have all but become my go-to loafers for (almost) all situations.  I have quite a collection – mostly from Oak Street Bootmakers as their style is the most classic, and fits my feet exactly as they should.  They work with everything from a suit to shorts and a polo.  Keep them shined and they are as cool as it gets.

Mrs. RCS is a big fan of The Real Real.  She scrolls a lot and has found some really good stuff.  Every once in a while she’ll send me an item, usually just to get a reaction.

Late last year, she sent me these Gucci bamboo bit loafers:

Honestly, Gucci bits have never been on my radar as I’m completely satisfied with the OSBM lineup.  However, these struck a nerve.  And when looking at a pair of pre-owned loafers, there are a LOT of considerations that need to be accounted for:

  • How’s the condition?  Well, the uppers looked good, but the soles and the heels were very well worn.  This also raised questions about the insides – were they gutted out or still intact?  Medium risk.
  • How’s the fit?  Gucci is super weird with their sizing, and since I’ve never owned a pair, I had to do quite a bit of research.  After speaking to some friends and digging deep into the Interwebs, I learned that if I wear a 9D in Alden, then I’d wear an 8EU in Gucci.  Low risk.
  • What’s the price?  I watched these and they were asking $120.  That was a tad high, considering they’d need to be reconstructed.  I forgot about them for about a month, and when I checked them again they had been marked down to $75.  All things considered, it was worth the risk.  Purchased.

They arrived, and I immediately felt like they were a good purchase.  They needed work, but the upper leather was in fine shape (I actually really liked the textured look), and the bamboo was in great shape (apparently this can get ‘worn’).  The only issue was that they were a tad wide, but not the end of the world.

I reached out to my man Bill at LaRossa Shoe and got a reconstruction set up.  He said to send them up and he’d get to work.  I mentioned to him that they were a bit wide, so if there was any way he could resolve that during the resoling, it would be much appreciated.

He texted me about two weeks later, letting me know that they were on the way.  He completely rebuilt the soles, adding padding and new insoles.  The outsoles were completely redone, with new heels.  All of the leather was seriously conditioned and polished.

I opened the box and put them on – they fit like a GLOVE.  Here are the ‘after’ shots:

I get that pre-owned shoes aren’t for everyone, but with higher-end models, it’s not something to sleep on.  The construction is such that they can be rebuilt and restored, extending their life much more so than some of the cheaper mall brands.  I am really excited to put these to work – both with jeans and 5-pockets, as well as shorts this Summer.

I love the look.

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9 Comments

  1. 01/18/2022 / 9:16 AM

    HUGE fan of the Gucci horsebit. They last forever. I have pairs that are 17+ years old that averages out to being less than 7 cents/day once you do the time and cost over the life of the shoe. Only 1 pair has needed to be re-soled, and the look never goes out of date. Great find on the interwebnets

  2. DH
    01/18/2022 / 9:34 AM

    Nice score. Based on my experience with that pebbled Gucci leather, I’d hit those with some mink oil and then a couple rounds of leather conditioner, then another shine; it tends to look a bit “dry” if that makes sense.

  3. SMB
    01/18/2022 / 10:45 AM

    Those look really good after the restoration. Not sure how i feel about the bamboo bit though.

    I just pulled the trigger on a pair of Alden Tassel Loafers in shell. I have two pairs of Rancourts and two pairs of Allen Edmonds. I am looking forward to my first pair of Aldens. I bought them second hand and they will likely need some similar work.

    • CCE
      01/18/2022 / 8:28 PM

      You’re going to love your Aldens- best shells on the market. I’m an Allen Edmonds guy myself, but Aldens are near and dear to me, and they’re still made in the USA.

  4. SMB
    01/18/2022 / 5:31 PM

    Jay, how did he address the width issue?

    • CCE
      01/18/2022 / 10:59 PM

      Not sure what was done here, but in my experience, a good cobbler can add padding (usually with adhesive) in the toe box or even “raise” the entire footbed a tad with padding to prevent slippage (you can get similar outcome with aftermarket sole insert). The goal of course is to create more points of contact between foot and leather. This article is a great example of how buying quality footwear can last you a lifetime.

      • SMB
        01/19/2022 / 7:25 AM

        Thanks CCE. That was a very helpful explanation.

  5. HL
    01/19/2022 / 10:33 AM

    Awesome. I have wanted some Gucci Bits for some time. Don’t NEED them – but ya know.

  6. 01/19/2022 / 6:53 PM

    Love a good restoration. Kuddos to the Mrs. for the find.

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