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Stretching shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by tonylumpkin, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Well-Known Member

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    But they keep you (and other shoemakers) in business.
     
  2. Nick V.

    Nick V. Well-Known Member

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    Let it be known....Good for you!
     
  3. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that there is a large and significant difference between those who appreciate quality and fine things and those who don't appreciate them enough to respect the skills as much as the skilled. Those who fixate on personal and singular icons without any real understanding of what has informed their lives.

    I seriously doubt groupies contribute much to the promotion of the shoemaking/shoemakers or to the preservation of the knowledge.

    But if they do, I despair for the Trade.
     
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    It's a damn shame if it comes as a surprise to anyone here. Acting honourably should be a given.
     
  5. Nick V.

    Nick V. Well-Known Member

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    I'm done....Can shoe's be stretched?
     
  6. Nick V.

    Nick V. Well-Known Member

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    Again, questing my integrity with no basis. Cheap shot. So, You are going to make a brand new pair of boots for thoses that that don't fit exacaly in every dimension the way you measured, Right?
     
  7. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Again, "paranoia runs deep..." I wasn't talking about you...I was offering my personal observations about life and my perspective on it.



    I don't need to. If you'd read my posts for substance and not just openings for argument, you would have picked up on the fact that I make a fitter's model. I said as much in exactly those words.

    Beyond that, I do believe that shoes can be stretched for girth. My first contribution to this thread opened with a remark precisely to that effect. My objection was, and is still, with the notion that shoes can be stretched lengthwise without distorting or ruining them.

    If I didn't make a fitters model (which I do for every customer) and the shoes were too tight in the instep girth, for example, I could simply build up the last and reinsert it. No harm, no foul.

    On the other hand, if the boot or shoe were too big I would have no other choice but to relast or re-make, And in most cases re-making would be the only viable and honourable option simply because lasting a shoe or boot over too large a last will stretch the quarters such that relasting on a smaller last will throw off the "lines"...aesthetic lines...of the boot or shoe.

    PS...I thought you were "done." I was perfectly willing to give you the last word. But here you come feeling wounded for no reason and asking questions that have already been answered.

    No matter, I will answer every legitimate question as best as I can. As long as I understand what you're asking.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  8. meister

    meister Well-Known Member

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    Answer: In the true orthopaedic sense lengthways under which parameters a bootmaker works the answer is no ie
    "the notion that shoes can be stretched lengthwise without distorting or ruining them" etc.

    If you have a punter with an ill fitting/uncomfortable pair of shoes due to length issues the answer is yes. There is a machine that can accomodate you (to a limited extent) available from Nick V.

    One guy works to make proper shoes/boots that fit orthopaedically correct every time.

    The other guy runs a cobbler shop where punters with problem shoes can get a (satisfactory) quick fix for minor fit issues.

    Apples and oranges but I have enjoyed the spirited discussion and points of view.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  9. Nick V.

    Nick V. Well-Known Member

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    Okay so now we agree on stretching, girth maybe we did before. We also agree that insoles can not be stretched. Building up the last, I get it. So pumping up the last for length is not in effect lengthening. As I see it, the way this thread continues, you make lasts for every customer, right?
    It's good to hear that if you made something to short, you'll make it correctly....No Charge.
     
  10. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Nick,

    I don't pump up the last for length. Not after the boot or shoe has been made. Not ever.

    Yes, I modify a standard last for each individual customer. For each foot.

    When you aspire to make something that is extraordinary (regardless if you achieve that goal), when you ask a customer to pay you...perhaps more than they ever would have thought possible...for an expertise that both they and you want to be exceptional, you cannot weasel out. You cannot charge for something you should have done right. You have to step up. That's part an parcel of what you do and what you charge for.

    I just took an order last week for 4 pair of boots. Total=$11k or a bit more. I have to do the best I can...for them, for myself. That's the only way I can stay in business...the only way I can continue making shoes and boots...and still have customers interested and willing. It's reputation and one I have cultivated over 40 years.
     
  11. Nick V.

    Nick V. Well-Known Member

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    Now...we agree.
     
  12. NAMOR

    NAMOR Well-Known Member

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    excellent. who's down for a beer summit? :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  13. FillW

    FillW Well-Known Member

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    I tried this last night on a pair of snakeskin cowboy boots I have that fit way too tight.

    They're thawing out as we speak. [​IMG]

    I will report my findings next Monday.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  14. FillW

    FillW Well-Known Member

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    Report: The method didn't really work too good on the snakeskin boots but it did work OK on a couple of other cowboy boots I have and made them a little looser around the instep (which is what I wanted).

    I have several pairs of dress shoes that have the same tight instep problem but I'm getting a shoe stretcher and lotion to use one them to get a more gradual and precise stretch on each shoe.

    I'll update on how that works later this week (the stretcher should be delivered today).
     
  15. FillW

    FillW Well-Known Member

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    I got the shoe stretcher the other day and put one of my new loafers on it. I'll report how it worked tomorrow. The instructions said to leave it in for 48 hours. I hope it does the job and I can use it on some of my other shoes. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  16. FillW

    FillW Well-Known Member

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    Took the stretcher out of my shoe last night. The shoe is a little more wearable. Definitely not as tight as it was. I think I'll leave the other shoe in it for 24 hours and they should be loose enough to be broken in with a few wears.

    I have another shoe from a different pair that I'm leaving in for 24 hours and will take it out tonight. I'll report how that goes tomorrow.
     
  17. FillW

    FillW Well-Known Member

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    I have three pairs of shoes that have tightness issues around the instep area. One has been "fixed" by the shoe stretcher (the right shoe was tight due to bone spurs on my big toe). I have two pairs of loafers that were tight around the instep also. I think by tonight they should be stretched so that I can comfortably "break them in". I may have to tweak the shoes a little more though.

    I can see where it would be possible to stretch the shoes lengthwise a little, that is stretch the leather lengthwise with the stretcher I have.
     
  18. MDeKelver

    MDeKelver Well-Known Member

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    Good thread, this is worth some more discussion.

    I have a fine fitting pair of Alfred Sargents. Except, I have a bone spur/protuberance below my ankle right at the level of the top of the shoe, it digs in and causes excruciating pain. I have a pair of Saphir shoe trees which are nicely full in the ankle area. I have marked the offending location, and can slip a spacer (a spare button) to stretch the area. Should I apply conditioner or a stretching fluid to it? If I just leave it for a few days, will it form on its own?

    I have had this problem before with shoes in this exact same area. Most are lower in the ankle not to bother me.
     

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