A few pages ago people were talking about using home shoe stretchers and referred to a few on Amazon. I've had AE stretch one for me with success but I'd rather just spend a few bucks and do it myself instead of bringing them in every time I get a new pair if they need it. Question... those that have done this, did you treat the leather with anything first? Some are saying 50/50 rubbing alcohol/water (I think it was rubbing alcohol I read anyway but need to confirm). Some said heat with a hair dryer first. What is the consensus? Treat first then stretch or just stretch?
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I have two pairs of AE from the now defunct Executive Collection that feature executive rubber soles. I also have some other Vibram soled AE's - Benton, Ellsworth, Wilbert, Black Hills, etc. I wear on rainy / snowy days.
AE Wilberts in the rain, or a pair of boots I had made locally from some waxy pull-up aniline leather. I plan on picking up one more pair of Chromexcel rubber-soled boots at some point in the next year for general use (including inclement weather)... at which point I'll have three pair that work, and so in long wet periods they'll each have a couple of days to dry out between wearings.
Depending on what my day entails I will either go with my Quintons (suede upper, dainite-style rubber sole) or smooth leather shoes with SWIMS galoshes. If it's snow or slush I wear the latter as I don't want to get any salted water on my Suede shoes.
Ok, here goes. First, as I said, there are many shades of non-black: dark brown, merlot, walnut, bourbon, chili, and some others. There is only one shade of black. So if I just want one shoe of each color, I have 1 black shoe and 5 brownish shoes.
I am also a lot less likely to buy certain types of shoes in black. I have no use for a black loafer, due to the incongruence between the formaility of the color and the informality of the loafer style. I also don't have any black bluchers, for similar reasons. I have about 4 pairs of loafers and 6 pairs of bluchers. None of these is black.
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