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Gaziano & Girling Appreciation & Shoe Appreciation Thread (including reviews, purchases, pictures, etc...) - Page 817

post #12241 of 21764
Quote:
Originally Posted by wurger View Post

The ball of your feet at the widest part of the shoes, then feel.

Sure, but that's not saying much really. What I asked about was more along the lines of some measurable criteria, not how the shoe "feels". For example, How would another person than the one trying on a shoe, say a salesman, go about to judge the fit? He doesn't know how the shoe feels, of course...
post #12242 of 21764
@DWFII

If extra length is such a detriment, as opposed to extra width. Does that mean that any elongated last will have a similar effect on the wearer's foot over time? Even if the shoe is in the correct size?
post #12243 of 21764
Quote:
Originally Posted by JubeiSpiegel View Post

@DWFII

If extra length is such a detriment, as opposed to extra width. Does that mean that any elongated last will have a similar effect on the wearer's foot over time? Even if the shoe is in the correct size?

If fit properly, no. All of the extra length is in the forepart beyond the ball joint.

But it is another good way to illustrate the problem. If an individual grows up looking at his feet and seeing a certain set of proportions, etc., in an era when elongated lasts are not the "thing," and then elongated lasts come into vogue, his perceptions of fit will be distorted.

I suspect that a good many customers end up misfit because they don't automatically accept that their feet will look longer in elongated lasts.

If you're not fit heel-to-ball, you're not fit. Period.
post #12244 of 21764
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodog View Post

Sure, but that's not saying much really. What I asked about was more along the lines of some measurable criteria, not how the shoe "feels". For example, How would another person than the one trying on a shoe, say a salesman, go about to judge the fit? He doesn't know how the shoe feels, of course...

He has to go by what the customer tells him and how the customer responds. Oh, there are some visual markers--the crease under the arch just behind the ball. Too much room along the topline or at the back of the heel. Excess leather that can be chased between the thumb and the knuckle of the forefinger, esp. in the ball area.

But wurger is correct---having the medial joint "socket" into the proper position in the shoe is critical. That, and as indicated, feel.

Because short of taking a measurement from the back of the heel to the medial ball joint and comparing it to the corresponding measurement on the last there is no empirical way to measure even that most important standard of fit.

And how many RTW shoes, at any price, come with a set of "minimum requirements?" Minimum cpu speed, minimum system ram, minimum graphics processor and operating system, etc.?

Or even more to the point a "recommended" H-B length?
post #12245 of 21764
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
 
He has to go by what the customer tells him and how the customer responds. Oh, there are some visual markers--the crease under the arch just behind the ball. Too much room along the topline or at the back of the heel. Excess leather that can be chased between the thumb and the knuckle of the forefinger, esp. in the ball area.

 

 

Thanks again for the interesting info! Do you have any good photos of these areas and/or the "problems" in question? For example, what "crease under the arch" are you referring to? What is the "topline"? Excuse my somewhat newbie questions - I am not always that familiar with all this English shoe terminology.

post #12246 of 21764
It seems like SF is in need of a shoe fit thread, like the tailors fit thread. Maybe a compilation of pics and measurements can assist in helping someone judge how well their shoe fits. The bad part being, that so few have the knowledge to make those suggestions...
post #12247 of 21764
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodog View Post

Thanks again for the interesting info! Do you have any good photos of these areas and/or the "problems" in question? For example, what "crease under the arch" are you referring to? What is the "topline"? Excuse my somewhat newbie questions - I am not always that familiar with all this English shoe terminology.

There is a recent discussion here on SF about creasing under the arch...along with photos.

Topline is the top edge of the quarters, running from the top of the instep around the heel.

--
Edited by DWFII - 6/2/14 at 6:03am
post #12248 of 21764
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodog View Post

Sure, but that's not saying much really. What I asked about was more along the lines of some measurable criteria, not how the shoe "feels". For example, How would another person than the one trying on a shoe, say a salesman, go about to judge the fit? He doesn't know how the shoe feels, of course...

Unfortunately, to answer that question would require a book....almost impossible to answer, in any detail, in a post. However, Ferragamo answered this question in his autobiography probably as well as you can as a primer:

Open your hands and place them, right into left, palm to palm. Gently squeeze your left fingers around your right hand. Your thumb should be over the knuckle of your right fore finger and the other 4 fingers around the outside of your right hand. Wiggle your fingers. This is the start of seeing how a shoe should fit......gentle pressure around the ball of your foot (with the ball positioned, obviously, in the ball area of the shoe) and total freedom of movement of your toes.

This, however, is just a start, and is simple way to describe the fact that heel-to-ball is the first step in proper fitting. If a fitter misses on this, the rest is a mess of trying to go shorter/wider, longer/narrower, etc., etc.

It also doesn't make the point about length, which most customers totally misunderstand. RTW lasts are developed by factories, not last makers, and each last is developed with two things in mind - fit and fashion, generally. Inside of this, the factory will typically develop a last on their own idea of heel-to-ball fitting and then add, and shape, the ball-to-toe area to fit the fashion. The variable being, for the customer, that there can be wildly different overall length measures of a properly fitted shoe, even inside of a single brand/factory. Despite all the toe pinching that folks do in a shoe store, the distance between the end of your shoes and the end of your toes actually means nothing. I always used to prove this point by asking the customer 'if you were to lose your toes, would you buy the same size or 6 sizes smaller?'

Arch and instep position would be the next consideration.......instep being much easier to explain than arch. Shape and angle of instep is also a variable that a factory will dictate to the last maker as this relates to the wall of last, which relates to the fashion part of the design (again, this is very basic). I have read over the years here people talking about how much an oxford, for example, should be spread open when on the foot. In fact, this is silly. The easiest way, I suppose, to explain how you should look at the instep area would be to say that it should not interfere with the flex of the shoe and your foot while walking. Really, you should feel only slight tension - no sensation of another part of the shoe reacting to this tension while walking. It should just flow. There is no reason to look at the spacing of the eyelets to determine if the instep fits or not, unless there is an extreme. If the facings are totally blown open (you have a high instep) that's one thing, but the previous description of feeling a connected tension somewhere else is a better way of looking at it, I think. If you do have a pronounced instep, the usual rule of thumb is to go directly to a derby, where the instep volume is more 'flexible'. note - the reason these patterns developed have nothing to do with style - 'you can't wear derbies with suits' is an internet creation that makes people on my side of the fence cringe and/or laugh. The two base patterns in men's footwear were developed to accommodate fit, not fashion. The opposite would be a low instep, and this is MUCH tougher to work with in RTW fittings. Here you have a very complicated fitting issue, and one where you really do have to find a maker/last that is built for your type of foot structure. It is particularly difficult as a low instep is very much an American issue so, unless a last is developed for the American market (or for this type of foot in general....not particularly good for ROI though) it can be hard to find from EU makers. A good example of this would be the LONG success A/E has had with the 5 last - a last with a particularly shallow low heel measure which is geared for the home market, but, when they went international (Germany) they found they had to redevelop a new last for the Park Ave. as the German's couldn't even get their feet into it. If you have a low instep, and there is clearly no support at this point of the fitting, best to simply go to the next shoe until you find a last that is designed more for your foot. Or invest in tongue pads if you must......

Arch fitting. Well, I'm at a loss to find a way to describe this.......arch shape is highly variable and RTW lasts are designed to hide this area, as much as anything. Bespoke will spend a good deal of time carving this feature of the foot, but RTW simply tries to find a way to de-emphasize it. Right or wrong, that's the way it is. However, there are some points to discuss. If you have fallen arches (many of the generation that grew up in sneakers, for example, have broken down arches......this is also highly socio-economic in nature as many people who grew up in less than ideal financial situations - and had to wear poor fitting/poorly made shoes when the foot was developing now suffer from fallen arches) the chances of finding a RTW shoe that does not gap or twist is, unfortunately next to impossible. They are out there, but take a lot of hunting. Outside of orthopedic work, factories and last makers don't consider this issue in the development process. When you do find a last that works, it will usually be by accident and not intention (3B last by Martegani, for example, always help fallen arches well, without the gaping and breaking down....probably due to it's higher wall). If you are lucky, you also have a shallow foot and can, with the addition of an orthotic/insole, find a combination that works. In this situation, the best we can usually hope for (blending a good fitting into what the customer wants) is 'we found the best solution possible without hurting him further', unfortunately. On the other hand, if your arch is still strong (and not really a consideration as you don't notice it), it will generally follow the instep in regards to fittings....nothing really to note here in the discussion of RTW. Finally (at least in this very rudimentary commentary), connected to the arch would be the metatarsal. Most young guys (under 40 I guess) have little or no concern here, but as you age the metatarsal pads (easiest to say the middle of the ball of your foot) tend to flatten out making the width fitting at the ball all the more sensitive. In time, as this pad softens and flattens out, the nerve endings in the foot become more aware of tension and cause discomfort......make sure the ball is - while supported - not being squeezed to the degree that this becomes an issue. Again, everything should flex freely and the shoe should allow your gait to be relaxed.

Heel fitting.......another area where internet fitters usually have it wrong. First, there really is no basis to say 'I have a narrow heel' when, in the vast majority of cases, what you really have is the above mentioned low instep. The foot slides thru the margin of the fitting, sliding forward out of the 'box' and the result is gaping in the heel and your idea that 'I have a narrow heel...they always slide out'. Don't be alarmed, assuming the other boxes here have been checked, if the heel slips a little in a new pair of shoes. This is usually simply the stiff sole not yet forming a flex point, and it will after some wears. On welt and rapid shoes, it takes time....on blake, less. If, however, you do see gaping in the heel area, look again at the instep and start again.

The last thing I will point out here is the overall volume, particularly at the vamp (top of foot behind ball joints). If this area is 'baggy' and flexing into your foot - pass. This will not go away, and is connected to the whole instep issue above. More or less. If, however, everything else works are described, and there is some tension here of note, there CAN BE the possibility that it will shape to your foot - although not always, or even often. So much now depends on the leather, time on the lasts in the factory.....too many variables to make a blanket statement, for sure. Basic calf usually won't give enough here to be comfortable.....deerskin, yeah......kangaroo, sure......exotics, forget it. Waxy calf, possibly......cheap calf, yes.......box calf, no......on and on and on.

All of this is really just a guide....and doesn't even consider different types of shoes, which also is a factor. Loafers will fit different than lasted shoes, slip-ons shouldn't be expected to fit the same as laced shoes, sport shoes have a whole other philosophy. Very complicated this fitting and selling on the internet, with the result that MOST people, from what I can see, are wearing shoes that don't fit. At least not well but, as they say, 'this ship has sailed' and there is no going back now. However, there will be a fitting guide available on-line at some point, that starts to address this problem - and it is a problem - it just hinges on a powerful seller willing to invest in the concept that on-line customers deserve the same service as in-shop customers. Not there yet but one very large web seller I do production for actually has started discussion with me on this topic, and we'll see if it comes to fruition. I'm hopeful it will, but you need financial support, time, a lot of voices, and the willingness to tell customers their shoes don't fit and that's a large hill to climb. For now, your kinda still on your own.

Or, go to a shoe store!

ps - yeah, I know.....disappointingly, even the best stores now don't really give a damn about shoe fitting. Years ago, another guy and I authored the shoe fitting guide for Nordstrom. The booklet was distributed around the stores and signs were made hanging in each department so customers could see what the salesman was doing (this is when we were a very good shoe department...sadly, not the same now) and why. It fell apart quickly for a variety of reasons. Mostly due to the fact that, if a salesman were to do his job fitting correctly, he'd probably go broke.
post #12249 of 21764
Quote:
Originally Posted by JubeiSpiegel View Post

It seems like SF is in need of a shoe fit thread, like the tailors fit thread. Maybe a compilation of pics and measurements can assist in helping someone judge how well their shoe fits. The bad part being, that so few have the knowledge to make those suggestions...

 

   we have a few here who could provide the info we would need.

   however, if the heel to ball measurement is optimal, it should be a no-brainer for each of us to lock it in memory.

   we're gonna geek out taking tape measures to buy shoos but what the hey.

   what I would like to know . . . . is there validity to looking at a shoe to determine where the last design expects to ball to sit ?

post #12250 of 21764
Quote:
Originally Posted by RIDER View Post

...

Very nice Ron,

And I liked Ferragamo's comment. It does no one any good...nevermind the shoe...to have excess volume around the foot.

I would only add/observe that at least from a bespoke maker's point of view most people who think they have high insteps, don't...anymore than they have narrow heels. What they have is a heavier mid foot.

Unless the foot prints very narrow in the heel-to-ball/arch area, the chances are slim that the instep is high. The two are nearly synonymous. And functionally, if the maker measures the girth around the middle cuniform and the root of the fifth, studies what he is seeing in the footprint and tracing, and then fits what is there the result will almost always be enough volume in the shoe to enter and to fit comfortably regardless of the style of shoe--oxford or derby.

I tell my students...this is a very simple and basic analogy...that the foot is like a water balloon. It can have a number of different configurations/cross-sections in the "instep" area and yet have the same measurement/girths. Fitting someone who has a fairly substantial lateral "pad" in the area of the root of the fifth as if he had a high instep--modifying the last by increasing the height of the cone of the last--almost always results in the foot aching on the lateral side. To the point that the shoes may be unwearable.

The pedograph/footprint is almost the only way to really determine whether a customer has a high instep or not. I don't believe any of us have seen one of those in a shoe store...dealing with RTW...lately. Although there used to be, IIRC... a machine that offered a view of the bottom of the foot....even the best shoe salesmen had no real use for it--it was a gimmick to sell more shoes.

I might also add that even with a derby, esp. if it is brand new, if you can enter a lace up shoe without the use of a shoe horn, the chances are good that the shoe doesn't really fit.

On edit...

Re: heel fitting. Without a proper pedograph to determine the width of the heel and compare it to the heel seat of the last, heel fit is, and always will be, one of the most common misfits. And one that is too seldom recognized as affecting the fit in the instep, as well.

--
Edited by DWFII - 6/2/14 at 7:26am
post #12251 of 21764
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoGent View Post

   we have a few here who could provide the info we would need.
   however, if the heel to ball measurement is optimal, it should be a no-brainer for each of us to lock it in memory.
   we're gonna geek out taking tape measures to buy shoos but what the hey.
   what I would like to know . . . . is there validity to looking at a shoe to determine where the last design expects to ball to sit ?

Probably. But you nevertheless have to know that it is only gonna be a rough gauge. As someone said here recently...once upon a time shoes came in quarter sizes.

As far as H-B or overall length (stick) measurements is concerned, knowing those figures is praiseworthy enough but knowing how to use them is another thing. If you know your stick and you know your H-B, Sabbage said that the H-B should be 8/11 of the stick. OK, that will tell you if you have short toes or long toes. So now you have to find a shoe salesman that can measure your heel to ball as well as your stick and come up with a shoe that has a last length that is correct for your H-B-either by extrapolation or by having those figures stamped on the inside of the shoe or on the box.

Add to that the discrepancies in last lengths, heel to ball, and so forth that Rider alluded to, and bottom line...it is no wonder that most people who know anything about shoes and feet agree that the vast majority of shoe buyers are misfit from the get-go. Probably never even had a chance.
post #12252 of 21764
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Probably. But you nevertheless have to know that it is only gonna be a rough gauge. As someone said here recently...once upon a time shoes came in quarter sizes.

As far as H-B or overall length (stick) measurements is concerned, knowing those figures is praiseworthy enough but knowing how to use them is another thing. If you know your stick and you know your H-B, Sabbage said that the H-B should be 8/11 of the stick. OK, that will tell you if you have short toes or long toes. So now you have to find a shoe salesman that can measure your heel to ball as well as your stick and come up with a shoe that has a last length that is correct for your H-B-either by extrapolation or by having those figures stamped on the inside of the shoe or on the box.

Add to that the discrepancies in last lengths, heel to ball, and so forth that Rider alluded to, and bottom line...it is no wonder that most people who know anything about shoes and feet agree that the vast majority of shoe buyers are misfit from the get-go. Probably never even had a chance.

 

   thank you sir, all this has to start somewhere + I don't really know anyone these days who assumes or even expects the majority of sales associates

   to function as anything much more than order takers. On second thought . . . . stock pullers

post #12253 of 21764
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

...

Re: heel fitting. Without a proper pedograph to determine the width of the heel and compare it to the heel seat of the last, heel fit is, and always will be, one of the most common misfits. And one that is too seldom recognized as affecting the fit in the instep, as well.

--

Amazing post, as always. As someone who suffers from "narrow heel" or whatever nomenclature that society now uses, what would you say the best way to determine fit is, specifically around the heel as it relates to heel to ball?

I find myself unable to wear loafers/chelsea boots as I get massive heel slip, and RTW laced shoes are hit and miss on me in terms of feel. It seems that the sleeker lasts often fit me better as I have a longer and narrower foot. Please feel free to PM me if we don't want to continue the random tangent in the G&G thread. Thanks!
post #12254 of 21764
Quote:
Originally Posted by usctrojans31 View Post

Amazing post, as always. As someone who suffers from "narrow heel" or whatever nomenclature that society now uses, what would you say the best way to determine fit is, specifically around the heel as it relates to heel to ball?

I find myself unable to wear loafers/chelsea boots as I get massive heel slip, and RTW laced shoes are hit and miss on me in terms of feel. It seems that the sleeker lasts often fit me better as I have a longer and narrower foot. Please feel free to PM me if we don't want to continue the random tangent in the G&G thread. Thanks!

Can't speak to loafers but for chelseas or any kind of pull-on boot (and lace-up shoes are affected as well although perhaps not as much), the "long heel" is critical to prevent slippage. The long heel is a girth measurement taken around the outside corner of the heel of the foot to the middle cuniform. Think of the tension you want to hold the front/instep of the foot back into the heel of the shoe...the long heel girth is taken along that line. Both the instep girth and the width of the heel of the foot, or how much meat is at the sides of the foot (some feet are very firm and some are more flaccid), affect the long heel girth.

You can have the instep measurement perfectly correct and still get slippage because the bulk, or lack thereof, of the heel is not being taken into account.

So...realistically you already know you have a narrow heel. Look at, study your heel. Measure if you can, how much of your heel is firmly contacting the ground when you have weight on it. The insole of the shoe should not be significantly wider. If you are getting "lint" (sock debris) building up at the edges of the insole in the heel seat area, it probably indicates the heel seat of the last is wider than your foot.

The insole...everywhere...should be no wider than the footprint--where your weight bearing foot contacts the ground.
post #12255 of 21764
^ I quote Harry Kalas here and apply it to you: DWFII, you are the man! Honestly, thank you. Your post is now a document living on my hard drive.
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