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How should a shoe fit?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I feel dumb even having to ask this. I recently made my first higher-end shoe purchase, which was the AE Bel-Air. Up till then I'd only worn cheap rubber-soled shoes. My size was always typically a 10, and from what I understand RTW shoes are always sold in D width to fit the highest number of people. So I bought the AEs in 10D. They seemed to fit well in the store, but after a few wears now, I realize they have a little "wiggle" room, in terms of both width and length. They're not loose, like flopping off, but I feel like I could've sized down in one or both dimensions. Also, after wearing them for a few hours the tops of the shoes at the creases rub against my toes, which I'm assuming should not happen.

How exactly should a shoe fit? Can it fit well but still not be snug? Or should it always fit snug, like there's a slight pressure against the foot?
post #2 of 16
I have the same question.
post #3 of 16
Leather expands......Are your shoe trees too large? If your shoe trees are too big, they will gradually stretch-out your shoes. However, it seems finding the "perfect" size is a fallacy in any type of non-bespoke shoe. You may want to consider an orthodic or similar insole to remedy the problem. If this does not help, consult a local cobbler. That said, I've been bashed on this site for suggesting that one should size .5 down when purchasing dress shoes to allow the leather to expand and conform to your foot.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
The shoes trees I got are the perfect size. You have a good point though and I can't help but think that even the right-sized shoe tree will stretch a shoe a little bit.
post #5 of 16
It may be that you should have gone with a 9.5D ...

Having said that, I have several pair of shoes that are similar: just a little too roomy. I've found that as long as it's not too extreme a pair of basic "Dr Scholls" cushion insoles can suffice.
post #6 of 16
Don't worry about the stated size inside the shoe. If you investigate many brands of shoes, you will find they vary wildly with regard to fit.


How should shoes fit?

First off, they should not cause any pain. You should be able to wear a pair of shoes all day without waiting for that moment when you take them off.

Secondly, remember that people have all different types of feet--some large in the front with narrow heels, some with super narrow feet, others with little bony protrusions. To add to the complications, most people's feet will change sizes during the day.

Thirdly, you don't want your feet sliding around in the shoes--you will get blisters if you walk around in them. But that is still better than shoes that are too tight, for they can do serious damage!

Shoe manufactures make a shoe on a "last", which is a form that they create, trying to guess what will work for most people. All shoe manufacturers use different lasts. Some will work for you, others will not.

Shoe fitting is an art, not a science.
There is no subsitute for trying on a bunch of shoes, and letting your feet tell you which ones feel best, realizing that nothing will be perfect, for the reasons stated above.


To the OP, why don't you try on a pair of 9.5D and compare them to your pair?
post #7 of 16
You should definitely try on a 9.5 as well for piece of mind (granted you have already purchased a 10, but you may find the 9.5 too tight and may be pleased with the 10). They say one should always try shoes on during the later part of the day as feet tend to swell slightly and are at their largest then. I used to purchase my shoes quite fitted and now I find that some of my shoes are too tight and aren't comfortable, particulary if I need to walk more than a block (which is par for the course in most cities, including San Francisco). Ideally, a shoe should neither be too tight or too loose, but as we all have different feet, sometimes the last of a particular shoe will not fit ideally no matter the size (one size may be slightly too small and a half size up may be too too big). But, speaking for myself, I would rather have a shoe be slightly loose (not too loose, it's a fine line) than tight so that the feet can move around while walking and for comfort. You can always add a Dr. Scholes type insole if slightly too big, but if too small, you're stuck, so to speak.
post #8 of 16
The important part is that you have realized that they will fit differently in a week than they did in the showroom. When I try on shoes they should feel immediately comfortable but maybe just the slightest bit tight in some areas which will stretch. For me, if it is a little tight up front it is ok because that area tends to stretch once broken in.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemax View Post
Also, after wearing them for a few hours the tops of the shoes at the creases rub against my toes, which I'm assuming should not happen.

I believe this is due to the shape of your foot compared to the slant of the vamp. I don't have much arch, so depending on the shoe, there can be a little space between the top of my foot and the vamp of the shoe if it's not more "sculpted." As any shoe creases normally there, it can feel odd to be "rubbing" against the top of your foot since it is not touching the top of your foot otherwise. An insole may help.

I have this problem with the AE SoHo, which is made on the same last as the Bel Air (zero last).
post #10 of 16
Actually the toe-rubbing thing seems to be from your foot being too thin. At least that's the reason in my case. I've padded the top of my shoe with a bit of neoprene at the crease and that has solved the problem. I'd imagine wearing a reasonably thick, whole-shoe insole would help too.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by yo! View Post
The important part is that you have realized that they will fit differently in a week than they did in the showroom.

When I try on shoes they should feel immediately comfortable but maybe just the slightest bit tight in some areas which will stretch. For me, if it is a little tight up front it is ok because that area tends to stretch once broken in.

Many people say this (and I believe them), but even my tightest shoes have not stretched enough to notice.
post #12 of 16
It also does depend on the shoes. If you buy the same brands there is no reason why they would not all be similar. I have seen brands that stretch a lot and ones which do not.

The most important part was the first line, that no matter how well they fit in the store one must look at it with slight skepticism because you could leave the store and they fit perfectly for the rest of your life or they can instantly stretch and ruin your perfect fit.
post #13 of 16
Shoe size varies with the makers. My "usual" size is 10D, but I own dress shoes in various smaller sizes (but none larger actually), depending on the brand.

The shoe should fit snug, not tight, with room to lace up and room for your toes. The leather will give a tiny bit in the first weeks of wearing. They should be comfortable when trying on.
post #14 of 16
I have noticed that more expensive shoes tend to have more particular fit. Less expensive shoes usually are more cushioned and flexible, in my experience, with a more generic profile that accommodates a wide range of foot styles. With less expensive shoes, heel slip is often the only thing I really need to worry about. As the price point increases, shoes start to seem far more form fitting and therefore it becomes much more important to get the sizing right.
post #15 of 16

You are right on all your points above.  I should add that not all feet will fit all styles of shoes.  A person can really like a style but can't wear those shoes because they do not conform to the feet.  The person should also take into consideration his/her arches when trying on shoes, not just for softness and comfort.  I speak from experience and I'd like to give an excellent example that works for me:  I know that when I buy Keds sneakers I don't have to worry that the fit won't work for me.  I find that every pair of Keds in my size fits the same way, no matter what style I buy.  I feel that Keds make the shoes with the same last for each size no matter the style, but it is my opinion and it works for me.  In fact, I can order Keds in my size and not worry that they will not fit.  ***Important note:  I found out that when buying shoes in an outlet they should be tried on and walk around and around the store before purchasing --- should be this way at ALL shoe outlets -- the Keds I tried on one time had the arch supports too far up, that is closer to the balls of the feet!  Probably mistakes that didn't make it to the dumpster!  IF one style is uncomfortable no matter what size you try on, and if you don't think that insoles will help, SEARCH FOR ANOTHER STYLE that you like.  I know from experience that insisting on buying shoes that I want in the size I normally wear even though they're uncomfortable gave me problems and in some cases can cause bruises or draw blood.  ***Don't just buy Keds because I do.  Find what works for you and don't just take out your wallet because you like the shoes. 
 

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