Originally Posted by smoothie1
Just be careful when stretching cordovan shoes. It's easy to stretch them too much and also to cause distortion in the shape. But best of luck. Cheers.
Or it can tear. It doesn't stretch much, it will tear under enough tension before it stretches enough to make a huge difference.
This old pair, for example, that my dad had been putting trees in that were too big.
(Crappy photos, I know)
Another example would be how carmina stopped making certain laceless boots in shell because the leather would frequently tear when they remove the last. (Albeit carmina shell is dryer so probably more susceptible to tearing.)
What is most likely happening when you stretch the instep of a pair of LHS is that these threads are doing most of the stretching (or breaking) like has happened on all of my pairs of LHS from my high instep.
Just a word of caution. I would not hesitate to adopt Mr DV's technique for the LHS, but just thought I'd warn others who might think that they can stretch a pair of shells that are too small to fit based on his experience.