Originally Posted by Dr MikeHockerts
I'm looking for some help. This thread has been very useful for doing the postmortem on my purchase of some Alden Indy boots (trubalance last?) in cordovan #8 size 12D. There's a lot of great knowledge here. Thank you. I won't bother to post pics because you know the boots I'm talking about. You've all seen them in this thread.
I am really enjoying the boots BUT I am having problems with breaking them in and this is where I am looking for advice. This is my first pair of shell cordovan footwear so I am not familiar with the break in process or the care although I have read up on it. I didn't really know what I was buying at the time so I guess I'm lucky I ended up with a pair of Aldens. I just thought they were great boots.
I have only worn them for a few hours around town on 3 or 4 occasions now so they are still basically brand new. The leather is starting to form to my foot. The left boot is creasing nicely and it is already very comfortable. Unfortunately, the right boot has creased in such a way that on the left side of the toebox a fold cuts into the tendon on my big toe and on the right side of the toe box it comes down on the knuckle of my 4th toe like a nutcracker. It gives me pretty sharp pain with every single step. My question to you is: Is there anything I can do about it?I think I know part of the problem. I bought these boots at my favourite little shoe shop in Oslo. Stock is really limited and they were a "display model", the last of the boots, so I got them for a pretty hefty discount compared to regular Norwegian prices. Unfortunately this also meant that the right boot had sat on the shelf for however long with who knows how many people flexing it and squatting and yoga stretching and doing all of the weird things people seem to do when they try on shoes. The left boot was unworn and uncreased. The wear on the right boot was very minor but I think it helped create the creasing that doesn't seem to match the shape of my foot.
I'm also sure the sizing is not perfect. I would probably take an 11.5 or 11 or something going on the advice to "size down" but every other pair of boots I own is a 12 so it can't be that far off. And as I said, the left boot is already pretty comfy after probably 12 hours of wear. It was literally the only pair of Alden boots they had so I didn't have the option to try or buy another size anyway. Exchanging, refunding, resizing, etc. is not an option.
I've considered the "pen method" for creasing but I think it's way beyond that point. Maybe in order to make new creases to combat the old creases?
Should I try to soften or work the leather? The cordovan feels really stiff so maybe just some flexing and forceful massaging will loosen up the offending areas or will this just make the creases deeper and more painful? I have some of that Saphir Renovateur. Will that help to soften the leather if I work it into the creases? I'm hesitant to put much stuff on these boots because I don't want to mess with the finish.
What is your general experience with the duration for breaking in? At this point I am just waiting it out. I figure it take more than 10 or 20 hours of wear to break in a pair of stiff and heavy boots. Should I just wear thick socks and suck it up? I assume they'll get better eventually. I'm sure some of you have experienced something similar when buying the "lightly used" boots for sale on here. The creases in the boots fit someone else's feet. I really want to love these boots and from the left boot I can see how comfortable they can be. Any advice is appreciated.Thanks.