Originally Posted by oboy_oboy
My GTs have molded nicely and are very comfortable. I have pretty normal feet, so they were never uncomfortable but they certainly molded a bit with wear.
I have a newer pair of Beckman chukkas, and they fit a bit different: fully lined, so quite a bit more snug. They feel stiffer overall and are taking longer to soften up, though they have the same insole so I suspect they will end up the same.
You could add a thin insole layer like a Dr. Scholls or even one of the super thin versions of a Superfeet-like insole for a better fit (but you'd need to size appropriately for the latter, for sure.)
Well, I did some more digging, and it seems Red Wing Goodyear welted shoes have a layer of cork underneath the leather insole and above the welt. This might be what accounts for the foot-molding, and the reason why the leather insole cannot be removed. The Postman style seems to have a cushion crepe sole that facilitates this even more, but I think I'm a bit more confident about the regular ones now, as I hope it'll be like a pair of Birkenstock sandals, with the cork/leather footbed. I can't find any info on their site about a Goodyear welt on the Beckman GT or Chukka, though.
I could size up for an insole, but I'm slim, so they'll look oversized on me. I usually wear an 8 to 8.5 i most shoes, but I measure a 7.5 on a Brannock (again, high arches and slightly wider feet). I can squeeze into a 7.5, so I'm considering just skipping the insole and stretching the leather upper a bit to accommodate the width of my feet. Is this a good idea?