Breaking-in new shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kolecho, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Wear new shoes full day, half day, a couple of hours at home etc.

    What is the word of wisdom on this subject?
     


  2. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    I think it depends on your pain tolerance level
     


  3. Shoe-nut

    Shoe-nut Senior member

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    I am never fearful as the end of the day will always eventually arrive. [​IMG]
     


  4. Maharlika

    Maharlika Senior member

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    I'm sorry but shoes should feel comfortable from the begininng. If you needed to 'break' them in then you bought the wrong size.
     


  5. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Did I say my shoes are not comfortable?

    All new shoes need to some breaking-in. Where have you been?
     


  6. josepidal

    josepidal Senior member

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    Kolecho, I bruised my big toe trying to wear a brand new pair of EGs for a full day, though these are reputed to be a bit tough at the start. I would go for no more than two hours a day. You can bring the new pair to work, for example, and wear it for two hours there.
     


  7. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Ouch. Cordovans, properly fitted, would not do that to you. Calf shoes are another story. I certainly will not take a walking city tour with any new shoes, but breaking in new shoes in the office should be tolerable for at least a half day, even EGs, assuming the office is carpeted.

    I am breaking in a new pair of cordovans today in the office. No pain at all towards the end of the day [​IMG]
     


  8. epa

    epa Senior member

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    You mean that cordovans adapt better to the foot? Please, confirm. If so, I will consider going for cordovans from now on. Breaking in shoes is one of my big concerns. When the shoes don't hurt the first days, I often find them too big after some months; I prefer to buy them "slightly too small" than "slightly too large".
    Sometimes I have walked the shoes with wet socks for short periods at home, before using them for work, and I have found that to be helpful.
     


  9. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    Breaking in new shoes can be uncomfortable, but it should not be painful to the point where one sustains an injury after a half day in the office. That is too much IMO. In my experience, cordovan is easier to break in than calf because it is softer and molds easier to the shape of the foot.

    Narrower lasts are also tougher to break in than wider ones. Lasts that are too narrow force the feet to "fold" and not rest comfortably when walking. This is surely very very painful. Also, different people have varied tolerance of pain.
     


  10. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    When you guys say you buy them small or tight, where exactly do you feel the tightness?
     


  11. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Senior member

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    I've found that the wet sock trick is great for shoes that are slightly too narrow through the toe box. Wearing them for an hour or two with the socks in place is far better than most stretching services, which tend to stretch shoes through the entire forefoot in addition to the pressure point. I've tried to cull most of my mediocre fitting shoes from the wardobe.

    My break-in pattern usually includes a few hours around the apartment to create some wear in the corkbed and to soften the soles a bit. Double soles can wear like boards for their first few outings*. Same goes for Dainite soles.


    *Disclaimer: As a New Yorker we walk a lot. Stiff shoes can cause foot fatigue if worn for a full workday.
     


  12. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Seconded on double soles. The first few wearings are agony. It takes a while to soften up the "hinge" point in the sole. In the meantime (among other problems), your foot will lift inside the shoe and your heel will rub, causing blisters.
     


  13. yachtie

    yachtie Senior member

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    I just take them for a couple of walks, then they're ready to go.
     


  14. janne melkersson

    janne melkersson Senior member

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    I agree with Maharlika on this one. It is a bad sign if the shoes needs to be breaken in using the feet as a tool to adjust the shoe up to the right fit.

    Of course, a shoe will be softer after a time of wear but all high end makers that I know of try to avoid that softening process by using 5mm leather insoles, 6mm leather outsoles, 4mm leather heel stiffeners, 3mm leather toe stiffeners (or ditto celastic toe boxes) and finally leather side linings as a bridge between the heel and toe stiffener. All this to make the shoe durable.

    If the feet are used as a last it could happend that the insole will be to narrow and the feet will be hanging over the edge of the insole. Which in the end, besides not looking good, are weakening the shoe and casuing callus on the feet.

    The problem Manton mentioned about is mostly a consequence of a last that has to litlle "toespring" and/or the ball point of the clients ball does not correspond with ball point of the last. If this is as it should be the maker can make the insole of sheet iron and it will be no problem to walk. Sometimes this phenomenon can be caused by a to large heel and instep measure.
     


  15. Shoe-nut

    Shoe-nut Senior member

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    Breaking in new shoes is relative to an almost infinite number of variables. If you think about it, trying on a shoe is really never an indicator of how the shoe will ultimately wear on your foot. The fist few steps around the shoe store are a rather problematic evaluation not always perfect. I am sure we all have had a pair of shoes in our life that even though it felt comfortable initially that eventually turned into a shoe that you couldn't wear.

    On the other hand I have had a number of shoes that were out of the box comfortable requiring virtually no break-in at all.
     


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