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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.** - Page 878

post #13156 of 19038

Thank you all guys for all your wise inputs and interest in the issue. I own just RTW and MTO shoes (many from the web).  The best fits I got were thanks to the good advise of sales profesionals in a shop for Weston and Carmina. The rest of "salesman" were crap (retailers for Aldens, Church, C&J, etc) and I did not have sufficient knowledge about my fit/feet and spontaneuos shoe streching with wear . Currently I prefer to buy snug and tight shoes (taking into account DW that the insole fits me ) cause as Chogall described all of them strech from a bit to a bigger extend with wear and shoe trees. At the moment I am buying some pairs of Vass through the net in different lasts all of them in narrow widht (I tested them in normal widht and they loose a lot in the heel area).  If they are too tight I would first wear them for a month during 2-3 hours and then, if nedeed, take them to the cobbler following Nicks inputs.  Thanks a lot again.

post #13157 of 19038
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post


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.

:crackup:

post #13158 of 19038
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.

Yes and no.

Occasionally, when a shoe is too tight pain can develop in very specific areas. If you have a bunion, for instance, that RTW never addressed. Or toes that are cramped.

But stretching is causing the fiber mat to open up--the fibers themselves to slide apart. Excess (relative to status quo) to be formed.

Admittedly, when a shoe is broken in, some of that does occur. The further away from a real fit the more it happens...must happen.

But just as often, a shoe that has the right girth measurements will still be uncomfortable simply because of the way the leather is formed. A good example is the issue with the width of the insole. If the insole is too narrow for the foot, even if the girth is correct, the shoe will not be initially comfortable. The configuration of the shoe will be too "round" and too high where a lower, more oval shape is wanted. The sides of the vamp will tend to lift edges of the foot into an unnatural position. Bones will be forced out of alignment.

Eventually, the foot will press the vamp down into a more comfortable position, yes--but the measurement...the internal volume...will not have changed all other things being equal.

Similarly, with the insole itself. The insole is not stretching at any time--even when the foot is breaking it in. Just the opposite--the foot is compressing the fiber mat, not stretching, not pulling it apart. In fact, if a maker takes a well worn shoe apart and compares the insole to the bottom of the very last it was made upon, chances are almost 100% that the insole will be seen to have shrunk to some extent..

One of the useful characteristics of vegetable tanned leather is that it it can be made to take and hold a shape better than chrome tanned. Think of those now ubiquitous leather masks. You'll play hell doing that with chrome. On the other hand, chrome stretches more than veg...and compresses less.

Veg linings, insoles, of course, and heel and toe stiffeners (as well as veg tanned uppers if that is what was used) are unlikely to stretch much before reaching a breaking point, but they will change shape.

On really poor fitting shoes, no amount of time breaking in will alleviate the discomfort...chances are the foot will break in to the shoes--accommodate itself--before the shoe breaks in. In such unfortunate circumstances mechanical stretching is the only way to provide relief.

On good quality shoes, with a leather insole, just the insole itself settling into a footbed can make a difference. In fact, good quality shoes must be broken in to be optimally comfortable. Even...maybe especially...bespoke shoes. There is no short cut.

--
Edited by DWFII - 1/17/15 at 9:56am
post #13159 of 19038
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

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.

It's not for everyone, certainly. Just as buying and stockpiling gold is not an investment for everyone.

But if the long term health of your feet means anything to you, good fitting shoes...bespoke shoes, even...are an investment. An investment that yields the savings from bunion surgery, for example, avoids the sometimes crippling discomfort of fallen metatarsal arches, spares the owner chronic pain and makes walking and general physical activity possible, as well as pleasant well into old age.

The yield on your investment might be as simple as a longer life...or at least one that can be enjoyed.

--
Edited by DWFII - 1/17/15 at 6:41am
post #13160 of 19038
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post



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.

For hand welted shoes with a full leather insole, how much can be done to make the shoes wider at the factory? For example as part of the resoling process, can they use a wider last and perhaps cut the insole in half build and relast/rebuild the shoe to be wider?

I know there are implications for the upper when/if you introduce a wider insole, however they may have been stretched quite a bit by the wider foot over time. I have a few pairs that are too narrow, they were ordered on a wide last but we're still not big enough. I continue to order wider pairs as time goes by which has greatly diminished this as an issue, but I wonder what can be done to some of my older pairs.
post #13161 of 19038
Quote:
Originally Posted by Itsuo View Post

For hand welted shoes with a full leather insole, how much can be done to make the shoes wider at the factory? For example as part of the resoling process, can they use a wider last and perhaps cut the insole in half build and relast/rebuild the shoe to be wider?

I know there are implications for the upper when/if you introduce a wider insole, however they may have been stretched quite a bit by the wider foot over time. I have a few pairs that are too narrow, they were ordered on a wide last but we're still not big enough. I continue to order wider pairs as time goes by which has greatly diminished this as an issue, but I wonder what can be done to some of my older pairs.

At the factory? Assuming that it is a factory that does hand welting...

In context, it is worth remembering that lasting a shoe involves some stretching of the leather...although patterning methods tend to deliberately minimize such.

Yes, the upper can be relasted on a wider last, esp. if the foot or mechanical stretching has created some excess. ntempleman was talking about this in another thread. I, myself, have relasted to a longer size (more difficult than relasting to a wider size) on several occasions. Not a job any maker looks forward to but it can be done. Much depends on the leather (chrome or veg) and how the shoe was patterned and lasted--how much stretch is still in the uppers, IOW.

And if it is done over a wider last of the same shape and model, as it should be, and wider insole (as it must be), and if the change isn't too severe, the shoe should be nearly good as new, all other things being equal, with no deleterious effects from relasting.

--
Edited by DWFII - 1/17/15 at 7:20am
post #13162 of 19038
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

At the factory? Assuming that it is a factory that does hand welting...

Yes, the upper can be relasted on a wider last, esp. if the foot or mechanical stretching has created some excess. ntempleman was talking about this in another thread. I, myself, have relasted to a longer size (more difficult than relasting to a wider size) on several occasions. Not a job any maker looks forward to but it can be done.

And if it is done over a wider last, as it should be, and wider insole (as it must be), and if ithe change isn't too severe, the shoe should be nearly good as new, all other things being equal, with no deleterious effects from relasting.


Very encouraging to hear, now I just have to figure out what it would cost. Thank you @DWFII!
post #13163 of 19038

I've begun the antiquing process for my lollipop Stows. I don't plan to do much and I think I'll halt it here for the time being. But with two coats of burgundy and two (thin) coats of black in targeted areas, I'm seeing a much improved depth and richness. When my Saphir black arrives I think I'll do some finer detailing.

 

post #13164 of 19038
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

It's not for everyone, certainly. Just as buying and stockpiling gold is not an investment for everyone.

But if the long term health of your feet means anything to you, good fitting shoes...bespoke shoes, even...are an investment. An investment that yields the savings from bunion surgery, for example, avoids the sometimes crippling discomfort of fallen metatarsal arches, spares the owner chronic pain and makes walking and general physical activity possible, as well as pleasant well into old age.

The yield on your investment might be as simple as a longer life...or at least one that can be enjoyed.

--

No bespoke footwear was required to have perfectly functional feet or to avoid any of your proposed problems. Just need some loosely fitted footwear instead of wearing foot corset or rubbet stilts.
post #13165 of 19038
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

No bespoke footwear was required to have perfectly functional feet or to avoid any of your proposed problems. Just need some loosely fitted footwear instead of wearing foot corset or rubbet stilts.
Several observations...

I didn't say that bespoke was required. A good fit is.

A good fit is not...repeat not...loose fitting shoes. If it were, the boxes shoes come in would suffice. A good fit is much more complicated than such subjective considerations as "loose"...or snug or tight.

And the problems I mentioned are like lung cancer--the cigarette smoker can smoke for years and years and never have any problems...until they do. Everyone lives...until they die. Or like a bridge that has rust eating away at it--the bridge will function as it was designed until the rust takes over and then it collapses.

Unlike the short term yields on investments that everyone seems to expect these days, such problems take time--they are long time coming but when they come there's no going back. Think of a financial meltdown--ignoring the root causes only insures that the inevitable collapse will be all that more catastrophic, when it comes.
post #13166 of 19038

My new Tricker's have very smooth leather that looks as though it will 'roll' rather than crease.  They are made of chrome leather and much softer and smoother than my 1880 Loake shoes. Are the Loake's likely to be made from Chrome leather, too? Given that the Tricker's were almost twice the cost of the Loakes, I guess that what I am seeing is a rise in quality. Any comments would be welcome. Yours, as always, Munky.

post #13167 of 19038
Quote:
Originally Posted by Itsuo View Post

Very encouraging to hear, now I just have to figure out what it would cost. Thank you @DWFII!

You're welcome.

fistbump.gif
post #13168 of 19038
Was pleasantly surprised that Bick4 fixed the dryness issue for several pair of cordovan shoes. Took several applications, but it worked, unlike venetian and other common approaches to fix this problem.
post #13169 of 19038

Some thoughts about fit. Many of us can't afford bespoke shoes. For ready made shoes, there are a number of confounding variables. Our right and left feet are a different size and shape. We may need shoes that are between the half sizes available. The shape of the shoe may not be ideal. Left foot may be bigger or smaller than right foot. 

 

Many, on here, believe that adding insoles is not a good idea. My experience is that adding a thin insole often makes my shoes more comfortable and improves fit. Once the shoe has worn in, I mostly find it possible to take out the added insole.

 

If the use of insoles, in this way, is a bad thing, what advice would be given to those of us who are wearing off -the -shelf shoes?  Please don't say, 'make sure your shoes fit properly'. As indicated, above, there are many things that mitigate against our finding the right fit. 

post #13170 of 19038
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrybrowne View Post

Was pleasantly surprised that Bick4 fixed the dryness issue for several pair of cordovan shoes. Took several applications, but it worked, unlike venetian and other common approaches to fix this problem.

 

I recently had success with Lexol for that purpose ...did you try Lexol firs and find the Bick did a better job?

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