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Breaking-in new shoes - Page 4

post #46 of 60
Originally Posted by drink8648 View Post
Heavy or Double soled shoes should be addresed by the sales person selling you the shoes. A sole of this kind should be "broken" before the shoe is tried on. This is simply done by placing the shoe on a solid surface, pulling back the tongue and inserting your fist to the footbed at where the ball of the foot would land. Now lift the toe back a few times to simulate the flex at that point. Never just hold the shoe in your hands and flex without putting your hand inside for this could force the shoe to break in an inappropriate spot. You might still experience some heel lift after performing this task but it will minimal to what you will encounter if it is not performed.

Best Regards,


Please No. If a shoe salesman ever did that to my shoe he would be my ex shoe salesman.


PS: leather is a natural organic material. It will (and needs to) stretch slightly to completely conform to your foot. Different manufacturers use leathers that will stretch slightly differently. What works for my foot may not work for yours. I wear (and walk with) new shoes in the house on the carpet for a couple of hours initially. Than I let the shoe relax. The next wearing I will pick a 4-5 hour period I can wear the shoes without heroic walking. After that they can last the day. However I don't know that I have a shoe I have bought in the last 2 years that is really completely broken in. I suppose that I don't get more than 6-8 wearings/year out of my better shoes. As I put on one of the older pair (that may have fit a bit tight during the last wearing) I am amazed at how they are now much more comfortable.

If you want shoes that needn't be broken in you could do an aluminum or wood mold of your foot and away you go. That would not/could not stretch and should fit you immediately to be a proper fit.

post #47 of 60
Originally Posted by sho'nuff View Post
why do you guys like to wear shoes that initially tight that way?

i always go with a shoe which size always feel perfectly comfortable on my feet from the beginning.

I tried if your way, and ended up being a few pairs of shoes a half-size too big despite advice from experienced salespeople telling me to buy the snugger pair. High-quality shoes tend to have some give in them and conform to your foot pretty quickly. Now I basically go by the european sizing on the box. To me if it says size EU43, even if it feels snug or loose, I'll take it. It hasn't failed me yet.
post #48 of 60
I just got these Steve Maddens in from Zappos and after a half a day, I'm not sure I have any skin left on my heels,'s killing me. Any tips? Anyone use padding or anything or is this my penance for buying $75 shoes? Any for padding or expediting break-in would be great. Other Steve Maddens I've had in the past haven't given me any trouble at all. Thanks.
post #49 of 60
Originally Posted by Cardinalgill View Post
or is this my penance for buying $75 shoes?

post #50 of 60
Hah, fair enough I guess. On the more constructive side, now that I've made the mistake, any advice for softening the leather or padding or anything?
post #51 of 60
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
Seconded on double soles. The first few wearings are agony. It takes a while to soften up the "hinge" point in the sole. In the meantime (among other problems), your foot will lift inside the shoe and your heel will rub, causing blisters.

+1, but nowhere near agony or even painful at all. I do find myself walking differently because the hinge point isn't fully defined yet.

Originally Posted by edmorel View Post
Best fitting shoes I own are Sutor Mantellassi. First time I tried putting them on, I could barely get my foot in. They felt very tight at first, later that same day they opened up nicely. Currently, they fit like a glove, are as comfortable to my feet as 36D breasts are to my face and they have the best fitting heels of any of the RTW shoes I own. I feel like it's my birthday whenever Lance gets a new shipment in. If only that bastard gdl203 hadn't taken the wholecuts

Must try Sutors!
post #52 of 60
I find that with shell cordovan it pays not to wear the shoes more than 3 hours a day when they are new. I usually wear them around the house for 3 days before I take wear them out to work for a full day.

Calfskin is much more forgiving - I usually wear them for about 4 hours inside the house and then wear them to work directly. Some shoes are more difficult (C&Js with double soles) but some are very pleasant even for first wear (alden 947 all weather wakler with crepe sole).
post #53 of 60
I was injuried once by a new pair of dress shoes I painfully wore during a full day, having to smile and to behave as usual without opportunity to remove them before coming back home (a lot of walk to commute) and it will never happen again!

Most of the time, I don't really need to breaking-in new shoes. Nonetheless, I wear them at home first and, sometimes, I bring another pair of shoes at work on the first day, just to have an option.
post #54 of 60
Originally Posted by Cardinalgill View Post
I just got these Steve Maddens in from Zappos and after a half a day, I'm not sure I have any skin left on my heels,'s killing me.

Put a band-aid on your heel.
post #55 of 60
I have started to wear them at home for a couple of hours a day for a few days before venturing outside in them.

Nothing worse than wearing new shoes that feel great first time you try them on and then start peeling the skin of your heel or toe about 30 mins later, when you are out of the home you are stuck with them.
post #56 of 60
The only shoes I have owned thus far that required a 'break-in' period, are my Florsheim Kenmoors.
Every single pair of them required at least 2 weeks worth of wearing before they settled.
Band-aids at the ready, and some discomfort at first, but all of them broke in just fine.
I have discovered one trick...
If a new pair is rubbing under your ankles, get a spoon, take off the shoes, rub the spoon hard on the edge of the leather that rubs your ankles. Back & forth until you feel it start to give.
Then place them back on. Instant comfort & no blistering on your ankles.
post #57 of 60
+1 on the sutors. I have 3 pair and they are by far my best fitting shoes.
post #58 of 60
I'm very careful with breaking in calf, but I'm not with shell. For example, I bought a pair of shells last week while out of town and wore them from the store and for a couple of consecutive days thereafter. I had had my old shoes shipped to my home to avoid trying to pack them for the plane. I'd never do that with the calf shoes I purchase.
post #59 of 60
Slick soles are my only problems.
post #60 of 60
Obviously no new pair of RTW shoes are going to fit perfectly out of the box. There are a number of reasons for this:

1) How closly the shape of your foot matches the shape of the last the shoe was made on.
2) One foot is typically a little longer than the other (a few millimeters). [a full shoe size difference is only about 8.5 mm]
3) One foot is typically thicker than the other (but not noticeably).
4) an RTW shoe is built to accomidate the length of the foot from heel to ball, with variable room left for toes depending on the last style.
5) The width sizing of a shoe is determined by the girth of the foot, not the width of the foot.

A large part of breaking in a shoe is the flexing of the outsole. The more the outsole flexes the less your heel will rub in the shoe, and your toes will rub less as well.

The more toe spring (the curve of the outsole from the ball to the toe) the shoe has the easier it will typically be to break in.

A shoe that is too long will produce more wrinkles in the vamp leather because of the flex between the toe and the instep.

For those of you that want to try using a wet sock to stretch the leather. Please let the shoe dry on a shoe tree afterwards and condition the leather upper if the water soaks through. Water is never good for leather (inside the shoe or out).
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