or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › **The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.** - Page 877

post #13141 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonHedonist View Post
 

 

That does seem to be a very neat solution. I also considered just having my leather guy sew a leather "lace loop" onto the tongue itself. Only issue there would be sourcing the exact same burgundy suede as used on the tongue.

 

After removing the laces, I have determined that the tongue itself was sewn on at a bit of a slant. Very slight, but enough to let it slide. :fu:

Look at your lacing pattern.  If you have standard lacing, and it is always left under right, then as you walk, the tongue is going to be pulled in the way of the lace friction.  So change your lacing, alter under/over at each hole pair.  It is basically a slab of leather being slid across a diagonal set of ribs. It is going to fall to one side.

post #13142 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by traverscao View Post

FWIW, I think shoe stretching at the cobbler can be really risky.

Any competent cobbler does this on a regular basis. If it were risky and, he is competent he wouldn't offer the service.
We leave the shoes in the machines at least overnight. I prefer not to do this vai the mail. We tell customers if it needs to be done a second time we don't charge for the second go-round. If you have a local guy with a good reputation he can and does do it.
The idea is to ease it not force it.
post #13143 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick V. View Post


Any competent cobbler does this on a regular basis. If it were risky and, he is competent he wouldn't offer the service.
We leave the shoes in the machines at least overnight. I prefer not to do this vai the mail. We tell customers if it needs to be done a second time we don't charge for the second go-round. If you have a local guy with a good reputation he can and does do it.
The idea is to ease it not force it.

That gave me sufficient relief, Nick. Thanks! I've heard of many horror stories, which explains my startling. 

post #13144 of 19048

Hi Nick, I know you are a really competent cobbler as I can tell from forum members (whish we had someone like you here).  Do you think you must have a lot of expertise in doing streching not to crease or ruin the shoes or is it a simple operation? . Have you ruin many shoes doing that when you started ? Do you think you get same results with a home strecher rather than a professional shoe streching machine?. Thanks in advance.

post #13145 of 19048

I have stretched some shoes myself. I have not had any disasters, but lots of anxiety. I have stopped using the strecther and instead got a pair of shoe trees with a very strong spring pressing the two halves apart. The spring is strong enough that it takes quite a bit of pushing to get the trees into the shoe. Once there they push the two sides apart, very firmly, but not nearly as hard as a stretcher can do. I don't use stretching fluid. I did not have any real problems with it, but I did worry that it was not good for the leather. Seems to take the finish off the lining. I don't know whether it causes any harm beyond that.

 

I typically put them in immediately after wearing the shoes, so they are warm and flexible. I leave them in for a long time, a week or more. I don't know whether they do anything after the first few hours, but I figure a long time with far gentler pressure than a stretcher may not work as well, but has to be safe.

 

Now, I have never had shoes so tight that they really needed to be stretched. I was just trying to get a little more width in the forefoot. I have no idea how well this would work for someone who needed more than a little widening.

 

I hope the experts can comment on my approach.

post #13146 of 19048
Understand something about stretching: In almost all cases, when you stretch a shoe, you are distorting the relationships of the last and the foot to one degree or another. .

Ideally, esp. in bespoke, the width and length of the insole...in the forepart, in the heel seat, everywhere where fit is significant...should be near identical to the outlines of an accurate foot print (toe character and space excepted). Of course, most shoes we talk about here are not bespoke and if stretching seems necessary the shoes obviously don't and didn't ever fit.

In any case, whether it be bespoke or RTW, the flesh of the foot will naturally overhang that outline to some extent.

So even in shoes that are made on standard lasts (RTW, IOW) whether they be from G&G or EG or where ever, there is a relationship. I don't know what percentage of overhang each last or each company will accept but I suspect it bears some similarity to the amount of overhang in real feet in real world situations.

When you buy a shoe that is too tight, you are, in almost all circumstances buying a shoe that also has too narrow an insole for your foot...across the treadline, and the toe, and probably the heel seat.

Now you can stretch those shoes. But the insole will remain too narrow. What is being stretched is the upper leather. The insole cannot be stretched.

And in every case the end result is that the upper will simply overrun/overhang the welt more than it did.

But the real question is, appearances aside, what are the real consequences? What happens to the foot, for instance?

Undoubtedly the foot feels better than when it was cramped and constricted. But suddenly a portion of the weight bearing (plantar) surface of the foot is displaced upwards and weight is subtly shifted more to the center of the foot--where the metatarsal arches are...and where fallen metatarsal arches begin. Perhaps that is insignificant or unnoticeable for many people. Fair enough, but almost certainly the last and the shoe were not designed or intended to function with that much overhang--this is especially evident when we factor in the bottom radius. And if the last and shoe are not functioning the way they should, the foot is almost automatically ill served, as well.

People with Morton's Neuroma, for instance, will find their situation aggravated...no matter how much room is created inside the shoe...if the insole does not match the footprint.

Additionally, the shoe will tend to walk over, and out, more readily when the insole is too narrow for the foot.

Don't get me wrong...stretching is convenient, undeniably palliative, economical, and sometimes a necessity. But it should not be seen as a panacea--a better fitting shoe is ultimately a better solution.

--
Edited by DWFII - 1/16/15 at 8:17pm
post #13147 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Understand something about stretching: In almost all cases, when you stretch a shoe, you are distorting the relationships of the last and the foot to one degree or another. .

Ideally, esp. in bespoke, the width and length of the insole...in the forepart, in the heel seat, everywhere where fit is significant...is near identical to the outlines of an accurate foot print (toe character and space excepted). Of course, most shoes we talk about here are not bespoke and if stretching seems necessary the shoes obviously don't and didn't ever fit.

In any case, whether it be bespoke or RTW, the flesh of the foot will naturally overhang that outline to some extent.

So even in shoes that are made on standard lasts (RTW, IOW) whether they be from G&G or EG or where ever, there is a relationship. I don't know what percentage of overhang each last or each company will accept but I suspect it bears some similarity to the amount of overhang in real feet in real world situations.

When you buy a shoe that is too tight, you are, in almost all circumstances buying a shoe that is also too narrow for your foot across the treadline...and the toe, and probably the heel seat.

Now you can stretch those shoes. But the insole will remain too narrow. What is being stretched is the upper leather. The insole cannot be stretched.

And in every case the end result is that the upper will simply overrun/overhang the welt more than it did.

But the real question is, appearances aside, what are the real consequences? What happens to the foot, for instance?

Undoubtedly the foot feels better than when it was cramped and constricted. But suddenly a portion of the weight bearing (plantar) surface of the foot is displaced upwards and weight is subtly shifted more to the center of the foot--where the metatarsal arches are...and where fallen metatarsal arches begin. Perhaps that is insignificant or unnoticeable for many people. Fair enough, but almost certainly the last and the shoe were not designed or intended to function with that much overhang--this is especially evident when we factor in the bottom radius. And if the last and shoe are not functioning the way they should, the foot is not automatically well served either.

People with Morton's Neuroma, for instance, will find their situation aggravated...no matter how much room is created inside the shoe...if the insole does not match the footprint.

Additionally, the shoe will tend to walk over, and out, more readily when the insole is too narrow for the foot.

Don't get me wrong...stretching is convenient, undeniably palliative, and economical and sometimes a necessity. But it should not be seen as a panacea--a better fitting shoe is ultimately a better solution.

--

People have been successfully stretching shoes long before DW's career began and will continue doing so long after mine ends.
But I agree obviously proper fit is more important. It's not unusual to have "hot spots" in even a properly fitted RTW shoe. The first question I ask a customer is can you tolerate the feel? I usually get a response something like "yes but by the end of the day they hurt". If that's the case I tell the customer instead of stretching them wear them around the house for an hour or two for a few days then determine if you think they need to be stretched. Wear them on hard surfaces. If you are concerned about scuffing the soles (in case they have to be returned) tape the bottom of the sole with painters (blue) masking tape. This way if you have to return them the tape will peal off w/o damaging the sole finish. I have also heard stories where the store was out of stock on the correct size for a customer and the salesperson convinces the customer that a different size (one they had in stock) was the correct size. The worst scenario is when a customer tells me that they were on sale and there size was not available so he bought the closest size they had. When I hear that I suggest that he return them.

I agree with DW...In short, stretching is not intended to change the size of a shoe. Rather, it is very effective in easing hot spots on properly fitted RTW footwear.
post #13148 of 19048

It comes to a painful statement, where I really have to say, if one wants full investment in footwear, go bespoke.

 

Once I can get my hands into the world of bespoke wears, I won't turn around. Hope for that day to come soon.

post #13149 of 19048
Breaking in a new pair of shoes is a form of stretching itself. All those talks about how shoes form and mold to ones own feet is stretching as well.

Just don't stretch those heavily finished shoes. Or the very short fiber cordovan.
post #13150 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Breaking in a new pair of shoes is a form of stretching itself. All those talks about how shoes form and mold to ones own feet is stretching as well.

Just don't stretch those heavily finished shoes. Or the very short fiber cordovan.

It's rather bizarre putting it that way, chogall. Forming and molding cannot be made stretching, because that is when the foot is naturally adapting with the footwear. Stretching occurs when the footwear needs to be altered unnaturally, with the help of solvents or moisture to expand it in one single direction (width most cases).

 

Heavily finished shoes can look like hell right after a short break in. Shell can mold over time, but I agree, no stretching for shells.

 

Not to mention certain exotic footwears are also very much allergic to stretching. 

post #13151 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by traverscao View Post

It comes to a painful statement, where I really have to say, if one wants full investment in footwear, go bespoke.

Once I can get my hands into the world of bespoke wears, I won't turn around. Hope for that day to come soon.

It's never wise to rationalize bespoke shoes as investments. They depreciate over 80% right after you made the deposit, another 80% when you put your feet on the ground, with cost of maintenance higher than salvage value.

Investment my ass.
post #13152 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by traverscao View Post

It's rather bizarre putting it that way, chogall. Forming and molding cannot be made stretching, because that is when the foot is naturally adapting with the footwear. Stretching occurs when the footwear needs to be altered unnaturally, with the help of solvents or moisture to expand it in one single direction (width most cases).

Heavily finished shoes can look like hell right after a short break in. Shell can mold over time, but I agree, no stretching for shells.

Not to mention certain exotic footwears are also very much allergic to stretching. 

Both stretching and wearing will apply ample moisture to the shoes. Wearing also applies heat in additional to moisture, making leathers more malleable.

Both stretching and wearing are inserting a form different than the original last into the shoes.

At the end the shoes will be more comfortable.

So it's really the same. Just one is using your own feet and one is using a stretcher. And all the pain associate with breaking in a new pair of shoes.
post #13153 of 19048

What would your suggestion be, if you would display that kind of view on bespoke?

 

Personally, I would go for bespoke whenever I can. The only exception I can think of would be St. C. A high quality, true bespoke footwear from a true shoemaker would be a wise investment, in my opinion. 

post #13154 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post


Both stretching and wearing will apply ample moisture to the shoes. Wearing also applies heat in additional to moisture, making leathers more malleable.

Both stretching and wearing are inserting a form different than the original last into the shoes.

At the end the shoes will be more comfortable.

So it's really the same. Just one is using your own feet and one is using a stretcher. And all the pain associate with breaking in a new pair of shoes.

I thought stretching only limits to the vamp area and regarding width wise more.

post #13155 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapasman View Post

Hi Nick, I know you are a really competent cobbler as I can tell from forum members (whish we had someone like you here).  Do you think you must have a lot of expertise in doing streching not to crease or ruin the shoes or is it a simple operation? . Have you ruin many shoes doing that when you started ? Do you think you get same results with a home strecher rather than a professional shoe streching machine?. Thanks in advance.

My comments in post #13148 pretty much sum my experience and as a result my opinion on the topic.
As I mentioned earlier it's basically a "low and slow" process. If you wind up with creases you didn't ease the leather, you forced it.
For the DIYer's if you are going to a wedding lets say tomorrow and want to blast the shoe because you're afraid they will be killers by the end of the night rest assured you will wind up with creases at the very least maybe worse damage.

Of course the professional machines are better. They have different size and shaped inserts which yield more flexibility obtaining correct fit. They also have a devise that keeps the heel stable to start and during the stretching process. And understand they are built to be used everyday and to last years. That's much more abuse than a home devise is intended for. However, it's not fair or practical to compare a machine that costs several hundred dollars to a home used (which many use in the're shoe shops) hand machine that retails for about $30.00 and cheaper versions found on the net.

Having explained that.....the home stretchers can be effective if used properly. That is of course if you are willing to be patient.
Here are some tips:

When you insert the stretcher be careful not to let the back end of the stretcher come down on the top of the counter (heel). That can crush and damage it.
Before you insert the stretcher spray some liquid stretch (liberally) inside the shoe.
Hold the sole of the shoe in your palm so you can feel the sides of the upper with your thumb on one side and the other side of the upper with your other 3 or 4 fingers.
Tighten the stretcher until the leather becomes taunt. Give the stretcher 1/2 turn more (NO MORE THAN THAT!!!!!).
Let rest overnight.
Be prepared to repeat the exact process the next day or as needed.
Condition the shoes when stretching is completed.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › **The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**