Originally Posted by dsc
I just got these:
When I tried them with the buckles undone, left shoe stays on my foot when walking normally, but right shoe keeps slipping and popping out from the shoe as if it's a bit loose. You reckon it's going to be a problem with monks? I cannot lace them harder if I need to and I'm a bit worried they will get loose as the leather stretches. They are a UK8, I can try swapping for UK7.5, but then I think the left shoe will be too tight as it's snug at the moment (my right foot is slightly smaller than my left). I never had monks so I'm not sure what the fit should be like.
dsc, I'm a bit unclear on your situation. Are they too loose when buckled or unbuckled?
It sounds like you have one foot slightly larger than the other, which is not uncommon. There's no way around this, but some lasts fit better than others, and some styles better than others. Monks - either single or double - can be more difficult to fit because of how they're closed. You can obviously see how a laced shoe would not have this problem. You can always pull laced shoes tighter, whereas monks can only be buckled so far.
The best really is to find a last that fits both of your feet well. Barring that, you can either have a cobbler punch a new hole in the monk strap, so that you can close the strap more tightly, but this depends on how the monks are constructed and whether you can really pull them tighter. I have a pair of single monks, for example, that have a bit of an elasticized band near the buckle, and it's easy to pull the buckle further if I need to. The other option is to have a cobbler put in a heel insert into one shoe. That's a bit of a makeshift solution, and depending on the kind socks you wear, it might not be the best. Thin cashmere socks, for example, can wear through quickly if rubbed too often against a rubber insert. Still, it's a solution you can consider.
As for shoes stretching out, you're right that leather stretches over time. I personally just always make sure that new shoes feel comfortable and snug when I'm seated. Then, when I'm walking, the shoes should feel a bit tighter. This is fine since my feet expand when I'm walking (because of the weight I put on them, they tense and flex). Over time, the shoes should get more comfortable as the leather stretches - just enough to accommodate the tension in my feet as I walk. I find this is the best way to balance how shoes should feel at first, and ten years down the road.