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New Shell Cordovan Shoes and Heel Pain - Now Known as Haglund's Deformity

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
I figured I'd ask this question to see if anyone had/has a similar experience.

I have three pair of shell shoes, the most recent being a pair of Vass and Alden PTBs

Over xmas vacation, I spent a full two days walking outside and inside shopping malls with the wife. I had two pair of shoes on the trip, one being the Alden shell PTBs and the other a pair of Alfred Sargent calf PTBs

The Aldens are pretty new, and I've worn them in the office a few times prior to this vacation.

Well, a couple of days after the vacation, I put the shell Aldens back on to go see a movie. I immediately noticed a tremendous pain in both heels, but moreso in the right than the left. It was agonizing, and I had to change shoes right away after leaving the theater, barely able to make it across the parking lot whilst constantly wincing in pain from the daggers piercing the heels of my feet.

I got home to see that the spots on the heel of my foot were fairly red, but there was no blister. They were on the posterior (outer) side of the heel (not the bottom of the foot), right on the bone.

My question is: is this a result of the shell being a tougher leather to stretch, and has anyone else experienced this sort of pain?

I have been wearing dress shoes, including shell, regularly for almost a year now, and the vacation was the first time that I put on some serious miles with a full day of street-walking in shell shoes. I'm just hoping I haven't developed a permanent problem on the heel. It's been about 8 days now and today in the office I have a pair of AE calf dress shoes on. The pain is still present when I walk, although now it is only in the right foot.
post #2 of 51
The only problem I've had with shells has been with one pair I have on the Aberdeen last. The pain wasn't in the heel, it was all over the foot; the shoes appeared to be comfortable for the first couple of hours or so, but after that.... It was so painful that I didn't think I could make it to the parking lot from work wearing my shoes. So is it possible that it's the last or that the shoes are too tight?

On the other hand, all other shell shoes have been absolutely painless for me to wear straight out of the box. In fact, as I've posted a time or two in other threads, I recently bought a pair of shell longwings while traveling and wore them for the remaining two days of my trip which included walking all over hilly SF. I forgot my shoes were new.
post #3 of 51
It just occurred to me that I'm wearing a new pair of shells today, Rider Bal high boots. I've had them for well over a year but reached for them today for the first time. I've already walked to and from another building for a meeting without any discomfort. Based on my experience I don't think your heel issue is due to the shells, but again that's based on my experience.
post #4 of 51
Thread Starter 
That's interesting, especially the part about walking all over San Fran with new shells. I was reading some literature from podiatry websites that suggested leather that is stiff will be much harder on the foot when it comes to friction and blisters (although what I have here is definitely not a blister).

I'm hoping it is just a spot that will callous over the next week or two and be fine, otherwise I don't know if I will be able to wear those shoes, at least for long periods of continuous movement (which is rare for me on a day to day office basis to begin with).
post #5 of 51
My one pair of shell shoes are extremely comfortable, but they're also just a little bit oversized on me (I only wear them on cold days with thick socks). The pain you're describing sounds unusually intense to be just due to an incipient blister; if it recurs you should definitely get checked out by a podiatrist to make sure you haven't developed plantar fasciitis.
post #6 of 51
Thread Starter 
Yeah I checked out the plantar's link and what I have is definitely different, since the pain is on the side of the heel where the bone protrudes, not on the bottom of the foot where you'd have the plantar pain.

I've actually had plantar's foot before and that sucks bad, especially for a runner like me. I had no idea how I got it, but luckily that pain went away on its own, ... just hoping this sore spot will do the same.
post #7 of 51
Sorry to here that Furo,

Nothing to add, but I hope you find a resolution.
post #8 of 51
It sounds like you have plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the muscles and tissues of the heel.

The condition may have been worsened by the shoes. However, I doubt that the shoes were the sole cause of the condition.

As simple guideline, if a shoe is uncomfortable, it may be doing harm. I thought that the ladies were the ones who sacrificed comfort!

In any event, see a podiatrist. The condition is treatable by stretches that you can do at home/office. If the condition is more serious you may need an orthodotic device. Bring the shoe to the podiatrist. Get his opinion. His first recommendation may to ditch the shoes.

On a side note, I had a couple of Adlen cordovans which I gave away after about 10 wearings. I found them uncomfortable and not worth the trouble. I would rather have a comfortable calf skin shoe than a so-called indestructible one.

Good luck.
post #9 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seitelman View Post
It sounds like you have plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the muscles and tissues of the heel.

Thanks for the suggestion, but this is definitely not plantar's foot - the pain is a visible red sore spot on the outside of the heel, about a 1/2 inch up from the bottom.
post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, but this is definitely not plantar's foot - the pain is a visible red sore spot on the outside of the heel, about a 1/2 inch up from the bottom.

Solution - send me those pesky shells. I'll take them off your hands, no charge.
post #11 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luftvier View Post
Solution - send me those pesky shells. I'll take them off your hands, no charge.

done!
post #12 of 51
A few shell shoes have caused the outside of my ankle bones grief if the rear quarters are just a wee bit tall. I've had good success by applying vigorous hand pressure to mold and conform the area to my ankle bone structure, even pushing the heel counters inwards with force to hasten the break in process. The natural motion of the ankle is so minimal while walking that it would take forever to achieve the comfort expected naturally.

Since observing the salesmen at Aldens Madison Avenue years ago totally manhandling new shells by bending it like the letter "U" to acheive a better try-on fit, I've come to realize new Alden shells need to be commanded to fit, not coaxed.

But of course all bets are off if its a foot thing rather than a shoe thing. Good luck.
post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyw View Post
A few shell shoes have caused the outside of my ankle bones grief if the rear quarters are just a wee bit tall. I've had good success by applying vigorous hand pressure to mold and conform the area to my ankle bone structure, even pushing the heel counters inwards with force to hasten the break in process. The natural motion of the ankle is so minimal while walking that it would take forever to achieve the comfort expected naturally.

Since observing the salesmen at Aldens Madison Avenue years ago totally manhandling new shells by bending it like the letter "U" to acheive a better try-on fit, I've come to realize new Alden shells need to be commanded to fit, not coaxed.

But of course all bets are off if its a foot thing rather than a shoe thing. Good luck.

I had to do the same to my Alden chukkas. I figure it's equivalent to getting my ski boots "blown out" to fit my extra-pointy ankle bones.
post #14 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyw View Post
A few shell shoes have caused the outside of my ankle bones grief if the rear quarters are just a wee bit tall. I've had good success by applying vigorous hand pressure to mold and conform the area to my ankle bone structure, even pushing the heel counters inwards with force to hasten the break in process. The natural motion of the ankle is so minimal while walking that it would take forever to achieve the comfort expected naturally.

Since observing the salesmen at Aldens Madison Avenue years ago totally manhandling new shells by bending it like the letter "U" to acheive a better try-on fit, I've come to realize new Alden shells need to be commanded to fit, not coaxed.

But of course all bets are off if its a foot thing rather than a shoe thing. Good luck.

That first point is spot on. I'm thinking that the shell is just harder to break in than a calf shoe, and that fact compounded with the amount of time I walked around in them that day - more than I've ever walked in a dress shoe since transitioning from the Army to civilian life.

And I'm no rookie when it comes to foot pain and blisters ... 8+ years of road marches have taught me some tricks to combating blisters, but this sore spot on my outer heel bone is oddly different, so thought I'd see if someone had a similar experience with shell.
post #15 of 51
I have a pair of Alden Shell shoes, and have never had a problem with them.

I did however have a pair of saddle shoes in calf from J&M than seemed to fit fine but would cause shooting pains in the achilles tendon of my right foot when I walked in them for very long. Streching the back of the shoe didn't seem to help so I donated them.
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