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post #10141 of 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by wurger View Post

http://www.pediwear.co.uk/newsitem/60.php

for anyone else, it's also on the Loake appreciation thread

I've got to tell you that, in my opinion--as someone who has dealt with feet, fit, and lasts for most of his adult life--the advice given in that link is bogus. Period.

Anytime anyone advises downsizing even a half size...for whatever reason...it is as wrongheaded and contrary to all sense and logic as it can possibly get. When you downsize you are shortening the critical Heel to Ball measurement. Whether it apparently works or not...for a particular individual or, more likely, one who isn't at all particular...is immaterial. It is not a fit.

If the forepart of a shoe is too wide for your foot, the answer is a narrower shoe/last, not a shorter one. It comes down to the foot being required to fit the shoe, not the other way around.

Is it a sign of desperation, on the part of manufacturers, to deliberately recommend a misfit rather than address the issue seriously? Nevermind the customers who eagerly embrace their own version of Stockholm Syndrome.

[This is why I hate the Internet and Google Gurus as a source for reliable information.]

--
Edited by DWFII - 7/14/14 at 6:35am
post #10142 of 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by AAJJLLPP View Post

Can a shoe with basically no support be good for your feet because it is somewhat similar to walking without any shoes? Sanuk (I know they're ugly but thats besides the point) has a big marketing spiel about how there shoes are actually better for your feet because the flat sole and floppy upper allow the muscles in your feet to act like they were designed to. Just curious if there is any truth to this, or if it is just marketing BS and if you are going to put your feet in shoes you are best off with decent supportive shoes that fit well.

Think about this a little--think about the surfaces and the conditions that a "natural" foot has to adapt to. Think about the way in which muscles and ligaments are taxed...and strengthened...when the foot has to accommodate an uneven surface. How can a "flat sole and floppy upper" allow the foot to move like it was intended to?!

The foot in a shoe is like a couch potato...and the softer the couch, the more insulated from real life and activity, the less fit it is. When age begins to take its toll, it is unlikely that this couch potato will be able to function efficiently or meet the demands that are placed upon it, without a lot of whining.

The insole is everything...it is the backbone of a well made shoe..structurally as well as physiologically. It provides the protection and the support. It "sets" length and width. It controls shape. Fundamentally, the upper is mostly a means to secure the insole to the bottom of the foot.

Any kind of outsole short of thin rawhide next to a bare foot, is going to constrain the foot and prevent it from functioning as it was designed to do.

Your illustration...or the company...would be better off making the sole thin and flexible (and floppy) and the upper however they wanted.

But only if they are really interested in the "natural" health of the foot.

--
Edited by DWFII - 7/14/14 at 8:28am
post #10143 of 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by j1000 View Post

Can a cobbler convert a cuban heeled boot into a regular heel?

A "Cuban" heel is one that is constructed with concave vertical surfaces. Cuban heels tend to be higher...and thus more problematic...than the heels on most dress shoes. Lower heels cut in the same fashion are called "military heels," IIRC.

To convert a Cuban heel to a regular straight faced heel requires a total rebuild of the heel. Without the original last, this becomes a guessing game to one degree or another unless the shoes have never been worn...and even then....

Military heels are easier but still tricky without the last.

On the other hand, converting a straight heel into a Cuban or military heel is relatively easy.
post #10144 of 19060
I would think converting a normal heel to a cuban can have implications on the vamp creasing.
post #10145 of 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH View Post

I would think converting a normal heel to a cuban can have implications on the vamp creasing.

As long as heel height doesn't change...from the way the shoe was originally built...no harm, no foul.
post #10146 of 19060

I love the internet. Where else could someone like me, who has never even seen a shoe made, post right after DW and pretend I have something useful to say? To put a finer point on it, DW has vast expertise in this area, and I have none. The following comprises a small amount of fact and a lot of speculation. I offer it in the hope that DW and other experts may correct and elaborate.

 

Feet are complicated. There are lots of bones determining their shape. Absent congenital deformity, injury or prior surgery, everyone has the same basic design. That much is true, speculation follows.

 

Given the complexity of the foot, it is probably hopeless for shoemakers to give their lasts labels that would mean anything about fit. There are too many possible variations in foot shape, customer weight and gait, and orthopedic problems in the ankles and up for any naming or numbering system to tell one something worthwhile about how the shape of one last varies from another. They can describe the heel to ball length, the width at one or two points, and then give up on describing the fit.

 

 

Shoes do not seem to be sold primarily as devices for protecting and supporting the foot. Perhaps the small orthopedic/podiatric footwear market is sold this way, but for the most part, shoes are sold as fashion. Lasts not only determine how shoes fit, but also how they look. When developing a new last, the shoemakers have to pay at least as much attention, probably much more, to how the shoes look than to how they fit.

 

I have perhaps overstated the hoplessness of describing fit. Somewhere I got the idea that orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists would evaluate problem feet and prescribe orthotics when needed, but that technicians actually made them. I think this is true, but I am not sure. If it is true, then the doctor has to have some way of communicating to the technician what needs to be done. This would involve a lot of highly specialized knowledge about how feet work in the real world, what orthotics and perhpas other orthopedic footwear can do, what kinds of corrections are possible, and how to employ them. For that matter, I assume the doctors and technicians can talk to each other about a patients foot problems and have some meaningful communication about foot shape and optimal last design. But if I am right about this, the conversation is likely to be completely meaningless to anyone who is neither a foot doctor nor an orthotic technician. Even the shoe makers probably pay very limited attention to such considerations since, for the most part, they are not selling orthopedic shoes.


There must be some standard principles of lasts and shoes that precludes certain designs as likely to be uncomfortable or damaging for such a large portion of the population that no one would make a shoe that way. I suspect these have been learned by trial and error over the thousands of years of footwear making, rather than developed from scientific understanding of the mechanics of feet.

 

What can shoe makers then do to give you some idea of how a last might fit? They can say things like one last has a higher volume and another is narrower. Whether that works for you depends on where you need room compared to most lasts and where you need less to fit your foot. Too many variables, to the extent they can be described, way too technical. The alternative- give the last a name so that customers who find it comfortable can find other shoes with similar fit. But do not pretend that the name has anything to do how it fits. This seems to be what they do.

 

What can customers do? Try on shoes until you find some that fit well. Since DW says that the comfort will change over time, this probably means finding shoes that fit when new, and seeing how they perform over the years. If they still feel good, or better, come back to them. If the comfort deteriorates over time, don't buy more like that.

 

If you have the time, money, and access to one or more stores with very knowledgeable sales staff, you might find someone who can help you. Measuring your foot, looking at shoes that are comfortable on you, and hearing your reactions to various options, such people might be able to steer you to shoes you would like. My limited experience suggests that such people are few and far between.

post #10147 of 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Think about this a little--think about the surfaces and the conditions that a "natural" foot has to adapt to. Think about the way in which muscles and ligaments are taxed...and strengthened...when the foot has to accommodate an uneven surface. How can a "flat sole and floppy upper" allow the foot to move like it was intended to?!

The foot in a shoe is like a couch potato...and the softer the couch, the more insulated from real life and activity, the less fit it is. When age begins to take its toll, it is unlikely that this couch potato will be able to function efficiently or meet the demands that are placed upon it, without a lot of whining.

The insole is everything...it is the backbone of a well made shoe..structurally as well as physiologically. It provides the protection and the support. It "sets" length and width. It controls shape. Fundamentally, the upper is mostly a means to secure the insole to the bottom of the foot.

Any kind of outsole short of thin rawhide next to a bare foot, is going to constrain the foot and prevent it from functioning as it was designed to do.

Your illustration...or the company...would be better off making the sole thin and flexible (and floppy) and the upper however they wanted.

But only if they are really interested in the "natural" health of the foot.

--

 

I have purchased some of Allen Edmonds ortho inserts to help with fit on a few pairs of shoes - feet just enough different size to make proper sizing a problem on certain shoes. I actually like the feel so much of the AE insert is there a reason I should not size new purchases for the anticipation of putting these in? I would be buying a pair for each shoe not swapping them in and out.

 

Just curious.

 

Here is a picture of it in the shoe and the shoe without it

 

 

post #10148 of 19060
Quote:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post
 

I love the internet. Where else could someone like me, who has never even seen a shoe made, post right after DW and pretend I have something useful to say? To put a finer point on it, DW has vast expertise in this area, and I have none. The following comprises a small amount of fact and a lot of speculation. I offer it in the hope that DW and other experts may correct and elaborate.

 

Feet are complicated. There are lots of bones determining their shape. Absent congenital deformity, injury or prior surgery, everyone has the same basic design. That much is true, speculation follows.

 

Given the complexity of the foot, it is probably hopeless for shoemakers to give their lasts labels that would mean anything about fit. There are too many possible variations in foot shape, customer weight and gait, and orthopedic problems in the ankles and up for any naming or numbering system to tell one something worthwhile about how the shape of one last varies from another. They can describe the heel to ball length, the width at one or two points, and then give up on describing the fit.

 

 

Shoes do not seem to be sold primarily as devices for protecting and supporting the foot. Perhaps the small orthopedic/podiatric footwear market is sold this way, but for the most part, shoes are sold as fashion. Lasts not only determine how shoes fit, but also how they look. When developing a new last, the shoemakers have to pay at least as much attention, probably much more, to how the shoes look than to how they fit.

 

I have perhaps overstated the hoplessness of describing fit. Somewhere I got the idea that orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists would evaluate problem feet and prescribe orthotics when needed, but that technicians actually made them. I think this is true, but I am not sure. If it is true, then the doctor has to have some way of communicating to the technician what needs to be done. This would involve a lot of highly specialized knowledge about how feet work in the real world, what orthotics and perhpas other orthopedic footwear can do, what kinds of corrections are possible, and how to employ them. For that matter, I assume the doctors and technicians can talk to each other about a patients foot problems and have some meaningful communication about foot shape and optimal last design. But if I am right about this, the conversation is likely to be completely meaningless to anyone who is neither a foot doctor nor an orthotic technician. Even the shoe makers probably pay very limited attention to such considerations since, for the most part, they are not selling orthopedic shoes.


There must be some standard principles of lasts and shoes that precludes certain designs as likely to be uncomfortable or damaging for such a large portion of the population that no one would make a shoe that way. I suspect these have been learned by trial and error over the thousands of years of footwear making, rather than developed from scientific understanding of the mechanics of feet.

 

What can shoe makers then do to give you some idea of how a last might fit? They can say things like one last has a higher volume and another is narrower. Whether that works for you depends on where you need room compared to most lasts and where you need less to fit your foot. Too many variables, to the extent they can be described, way too technical. The alternative- give the last a name so that customers who find it comfortable can find other shoes with similar fit. But do not pretend that the name has anything to do how it fits. This seems to be what they do.

 

What can customers do? Try on shoes until you find some that fit well. Since DW says that the comfort will change over time, this probably means finding shoes that fit when new, and seeing how they perform over the years. If they still feel good, or better, come back to them. If the comfort deteriorates over time, don't buy more like that.

 

If you have the time, money, and access to one or more stores with very knowledgeable sales staff, you might find someone who can help you. Measuring your foot, looking at shoes that are comfortable on you, and hearing your reactions to various options, such people might be able to steer you to shoes you would like. My limited experience suggests that such people are few and far between.

 

 

You have a lot of free time...

post #10149 of 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

There must be some standard principles of lasts and shoes that precludes certain designs as likely to be uncomfortable or damaging for such a large portion of the population that no one would make a shoe that way. I suspect these have been learned by trial and error over the thousands of years of footwear making, rather than developed from scientific understanding of the mechanics of feet.

The foot--statistically average foot--is the standard for lastmakers. The bespoke maker has no such standard---he fits "what's there." The manufacturer's standard is expectations...even if they have to be lowered or manipulated.
Quote:
What can shoe makers then do to give you some idea of how a last might fit? They can say things like one last has a higher volume and another is narrower. Whether that works for you depends on where you need room compared to most lasts and where you need less to fit your foot. Too many variables, to the extent they can be described, way too technical. The alternative- give the last a name so that customers who find it comfortable can find other shoes with similar fit. But do not pretend that the name has anything to do how it fits. This seems to be what they do.

What does any of that tell you? What does a name or a number tell you? Many people will buy a shoe that seems to fit in the forepart because it's "not too tight," but even so the insole can be too narrow and the foot will hang out over the welt. And probably as egregious or moreso, the reverse is equally true. Names mean nothing...as I said, regardless of the name, the model of last (and its dimensions) that is used for any given shoe can change from year to year, without the name or number of the last changing.

People here use those numbers and those names to urge, or advise, others to use the same last. But are your perceptions the same as mine? More than that, a good shoemaker realizes that you don't just fit the foot, you have to fit the head as well. (That's probably the only thing that shoe manufacturers have taken as gospel from generation upon generation of bespoke makers or even podiatrists.)
Quote:
What can customers do?

Educate yourself...don't rely on hype or public relation campaigns. Stop being dependent. Or a victim.
Quote:
... very knowledgeable sales staff...=...such people are few and far between.

Nothing in the names, or in the numbers, nor even in subjective and/or anecdotal experience from sales people or friends, will tell you what the H-B measurement on a RTW shoe is.

--
Edited by DWFII - 7/14/14 at 11:36am
post #10150 of 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahuna75 View Post

I have purchased some of Allen Edmonds ortho inserts to help with fit on a few pairs of shoes - feet just enough different size to make proper sizing a problem on certain shoes. I actually like the feel so much of the AE insert is there a reason I should not size new purchases for the anticipation of putting these in? I would be buying a pair for each shoe not swapping them in and out.

If you were satisfied with the fit before and if you are taking out an insert/cushion insole and replacing it with another, better insert (as it appears in the photos) then probably nothing significant will change. Otherwise, you're borrowing trouble, IMO.

I will tell you this...when I make a pair of shoes for a customer that insists on an insert, I build up the bottom of the last to some percentage (usually half) the thickness of the intended insole. I don't simply build up the dorsal surface (top) of the last to create more volume--that's not an adequate solution--it doesn't address the orange peel effect and the shape of the footbed.
post #10151 of 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post
 

I love the internet. Where else could someone like me, who has never even seen a shoe made, post right after DW and pretend I have something useful to say? To put a finer point on it, DW has vast expertise in this area, and I have none. The following comprises a small amount of fact and a lot of speculation. I offer it in the hope that DW and other experts may correct and elaborate.

 

Feet are complicated. There are lots of bones determining their shape. Absent congenital deformity, injury or prior surgery, everyone has the same basic design. That much is true, speculation follows.

 

..........

gennerally i think if you see how a bespoke last is made most of your questions will be  answered outomatically!! :)

post #10152 of 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


If you were satisfied with the fit before and if you are taking out an insert/cushion insole and replacing it with another, better insert (as it appears in the photos) then probably nothing significant will change. Otherwise, you're borrowing trouble, IMO.

I will tell you this...when I make a pair of shoes for a customer that insists on an insert, I build up the bottom of the last to some percentage (usually half) the thickness of the intended insole. I don't simply build up the dorsal surface (top) of the last to create more volume--that's not an adequate solution--it doesn't address the orange peel effect and the shape of the footbed.

 

I actually put that insert right over what was in the shoe..being that my right foot is larger. With this pair of AE shoes my right foot fit very well while my let foot the shoe was loose - these inserts got my left foot(smaller) to fit perfect and my right foot a touch snug...I am very happy with the results and wanted to make sure there most likely would be no long term negative effect on the shoe.

post #10153 of 19060
Quote:
 generally i think if you see how a bespoke last is made most of your questions will be  answered automatically!! :)

Probably, but we are talking generic lasts in the RTW market. Custom made bespoke lasts may not produce a perfect fit everytime (according to DW), but the problems should not be due to an attempt to fit hte foot into a standard last.

post #10154 of 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by tradbrah View Post

Is there a somewhat consensus on what conditioner is best for shell cordovan? I've applied a bit of Reno, and it gives the shell a dull look. I'm shooting for the "Alden-like" shine. VSC? Saphir cordovan polish? Alden paste wax?

I posed the identical question a couple of weeks ago and received no response. That, in and of itself, might answer the question: no, there is no consensus, at least none I can devine from pouring over most of the 10,000+ posts in this thread.

Except, I think there is almost universal agreement that one should keep the shoes free of damaging grit with regular wiping down and brushing. Like chicken soup, it can't hurt.

And no doubt you're aware that, as with calf, whatever "product" you employ is best used in moderation.

But as far as actual "conditioning," I see no evidence of consensus. Some love Reno on shell while others wonder if it actually contributes to drying. And there are those who doubt that cordovan, as dense as it's surface is, can absorb much of anything anyway.

If on my deathbed it is finally revealed to me that shell is infused with all the natural conditioning it will ever need when you bring it home from the store as long as you never mess it up, I won't be shocked.

Having said all that, I guess my 3 newish pair are about 97% "Mac Method" and 3% Reno. My Carter Administration-era Imperials got tuned up Nick V. last year with both VSC and Reno, and my early 80's Hanover PRB's were greatly improved in appearance by me applying some burgundy AE shell conditioner. So I'm all over the place.. They all look good but I'm not sure it is because of what I do or in spite of what I do.
post #10155 of 19060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Count de Monet View Post


I posed the identical question a couple of weeks ago and received no response. That, in and of itself, might answer the question: no, there is no consensus, at least none I can devine from pouring over most of the 10,000+ posts in this thread.

Except, I think there is almost universal agreement that one should keep the shoes free of damaging grit with regular wiping down and brushing. Like chicken soup, it can't hurt.

And no doubt you're aware that, as with calf, whatever "product" you employ is best used in moderation.

But as far as actual "conditioning," I see no evidence of consensus. Some love Reno on shell while others wonder if it actually contributes to drying. And there are those who doubt that cordovan, as dense as it's surface is, can absorb much of anything anyway.

If on my deathbed it is finally revealed to me that shell is infused with all the natural conditioning it will ever need when you bring it home from the store as long as you never mess it up, I won't be shocked.

Having said all that, I guess my 3 newish pair are about 97% "Mac Method" and 3% Reno. My Carter Administration-era Imperials got tuned up Nick V. last year with both VSC and Reno, and my early 80's Hanover PRB's were greatly improved in appearance by me applying some burgundy AE shell conditioner. So I'm all over the place.. They all look good but I'm not sure it is because of what I do or in spite of what I do.

Hankering for pictures of well worn shells.  Any chance of a few snaps? 

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