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breaking in Alden shoes

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
so I've been wearing my new Alden cordo longwings for approx 1 week and am wondering if they will ever loosen up. The toebox seems to be no looser than day 1 and although they don't feel tight when I put them on after a while they actually feel pretty uncomfortable. Is this to be expected or did I screw up the sizing again?
post #2 of 17
I don't have the cordovan longwings, but the chukkas on the same Barrie last. I've not noticed that they stretched much at all, though mine were sized generously from the start. What is the nature of the discomfort?
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
My feet start feeling numb after a while. Compared to my other shoes they seen to have adequate room. I like shoes to be a bit snug when new so they mold to my feet after some wear. This doesn't seem to be happening with these. I may have them stretched but wanted to get some feedback before I take that route.
post #4 of 17
Maybe your feet are swollen. How do your other shoes feel right after taking off the Aldens?
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
My other shoes feel fine. I.m hoping that it will just take a little extra time for the cordo to mold to the contours of my feet rather than the shoes being the wrong size. The double layer of leather along with the heavy sole makes this a very stiff shoe.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesduc View Post
so I've been wearing my new Alden cordo longwings for approx 1 week and am wondering if they will ever loosen up. The toebox seems to be no looser than day 1 and although they don't feel tight when I put them on after a while they actually feel pretty uncomfortable. Is this to be expected or did I screw up the sizing again?

It's not worth it wearing shoes that don't fit or hurt your feet. Even though the Alden longwings are super cool, they may not be right for your feet.

If you've been wearing them for a week and they still hurt significantly, that points to one of two things.

Either the shoes are the wrong size and/or width,

or,

the combination of the last and construction of the shoe are not compatible with your feet.

Get an impartial opinion of the fit of the shoe from a knowledgeable shoe salesman. You may also want to consult with a podiatrist.

My own personal experience has been that shell cordovan shoes do not break in much. I think that may be one of the reasons that manufacturers usually make cordovan shoes with a "full fit."
post #7 of 17
It is often recommended that one size down a half size with the Barrie last, which is what is used with the Alden long wings. However, I've never done this and I currently have over a half dozen pair (I really like long wings). Mine fit fine from the beginning and get even better with time.
post #8 of 17
Have you tried the old trick of walking around in dewy grass? The moisture will accelerate the break-in process.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies so far. So is stretching an option? They feel fine eveywhere but the toebox. These are 9D and I tried 9.5D and they were swimming on me. I'm really bummed because I love these shoes and can tell with the right fit they would be very comfortable.
post #10 of 17
The toebox is the least stretchable part of the shoe. It is strongly reinforced to keep its shape. Some makers use synthetic forms between the lining and upper to create the toebox shape, others use heavy leather. I've never disassembled an Alden so I don't know what they use but the chances that it will stretch are slight to nil.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by well-kept View Post
The toebox is the least stretchable part of the shoe. It is strongly reinforced to keep its shape. Some makers use synthetic forms between the lining and upper to create the toebox shape, others use heavy leather. I've never disassembled an Alden so I don't know what they use but the chances that it will stretch are slight to nil.

Let me rephrase that. It is not the toebox exactly but the part right behind that. Maybe the forefoot?? If cordo stretches like calf it is the easiest place to stretch a shoe. Opinions?
post #12 of 17
In that case it should conform through wear to your foot shape. Cordovan does this slowly but it will happen.
post #13 of 17
Sounds like you need an E width in the same shoe.
post #14 of 17
Have you considered taking the shoe to a good cobbler to have to the toebox stretched? I've had this problem with a few pairs of shoes, and having the shoes professionally widened slightly has often helped.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
So to update in the hope that it may help somebody else. The problem with the shoes is that they allow my foot to slide too far forward so my forefoot? and my toes get cramped up. The problem has been solved easily enough by a leather heel insert which keeps my foot secured where it should be.

Needles to say it's a big relief because I really love the look of these shoes and knew with the correct fit they would feel great. Thanks for all the replies and advice. Mike

P.S. I've still got a pair of #8 size 9C for sale for $300.00
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