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Help! My new Allen Edmonds shoes hurt my feet

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by constantine, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. constantine

    constantine New Member

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    I came across this site a few weeks ago (about the same time I bought "The Suit") and have been an eager reader ever since. I've been particularly impressed with the "helpful/supportive advice" to snarkiness ratio on this board.

    Anyway, on to my question of the moment. After reading several discussions on this board, I decided to purchase my first pair of Allen Edmonds shoes last week. They are Park Avenues and they look really great. (The shoe salesman in DC got off a great line when I told him I needed a very conservative style. He said "well, the last three presidents were inaugurated wearing these shoes.")

    The trouble is that they hurt my feet. Before buying these, I wore only Ecco casual shoes and Johnston & Murphy dress shoes (I also have a set of custom orthotics that I put in all my shoes). When I looked more closely at my other (J&M) dress shoes, I noticed that they have padding under the ball of the foot. AE shoes do not have this padding. I went back to a different AE store and the salesman explained that there is a cork undersole and it needs to compress so it conforms to my foot.

    But for the time being, anyway, my hurt by the end of the day walking around in the AE shoes but not with my J&M shoes. Any advice? Has anybody had experience using an insole with AE shoes? I love the way these AE shoes look, but I think I may have to go back to Johnston & Murphy for the sake of my feet.
     
  2. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Well they do need to adjust to your foot, but is it merely discomfort or do your feet actually Hurt?

    Jon.
     
  3. constantine

    constantine New Member

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    Well they do need to adjust to your foot, but is it merely discomfort or do your feet actually Hurt?

    Jon.

    By the end of the day I would say that the balls of my feet actually hurt.
     
  4. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    Leather-soled shoes are never going to be as padded as rubber-soled ones, but well-made leather-soled shoes should be reasonably comfortable once broken in.

    Your feet should not hurt at the end of the day unless you've been standing all day or do a great deal of walking.

    That said, it's possible what you're experiencing is simply some shock from going to leather-soled shoes from rubber. You _should_ get over that. but if you give it a month or two and find that you can't (and you shouldn't be wearing your AEs every day during that time in any case; you shouldn't wear any shoe every day...), then yeah--you may have to wear rubber-soled shoes. If that proves to be the case, there are rubber-soled AEs and other "good" shoes that will probably look better than super-casual rubber-soles.
     
  5. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Especially because of their shankless construction, Allen-Edmonds shoes should be quite comfortable from the get-go (and I have bought more A-E shoes than the average bear). "Breaking in" should be minimal to non-existent, although I avoid doing a great deal of walking the first time or two I wear a pair of shoes.

    In my experience, there should be little difference in comfort between a leather-soled shoe and a rubber-soled shoe for normal urban wear. I have spent all day constantly walking the aisles of trade shows in my leather-soled A-E Park Avenues without discomfort...and I'm 64, if that makes a difference.

    Just a few thoughts:

    Were the shoes a good, comfortable fit in the store? If so, they shouldn't be giving you problems.

    I presume you don't have any foot problems or peculiarities or you would have mentioned them. Is this correct?

    Were the Park Avenues in your "normal" shoe size? The A-E #5 last used for the Park Avenue is a rather long, narrow one. Many men find they have to go to a shorter, wider size to get a good fit with shoes made on this last.
    size than normal to get a good fit although I am not among them.

    I don't know if this is of any help. You problem sounds rather mystifying.
     
  6. designprofessor

    designprofessor Senior member

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    I own several pair also. Is there room for additional padding like a gel insert in addition to what you already have?
     
  7. raley

    raley Senior member

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    I just bought some new Park Avenues, they are 1/2 a size smaller than what I normally wear.
     
  8. bigsink

    bigsink Senior member

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    I'm going through this same exact situation. I've never worn shoes with hard wood insoles-ahem-leather wrapped insoles like AE's.

    I think I will go a half size larger and buy padded insoles. is this unheard of in the dress shoe world?

    I cant fit a thin padding the way are on my feet right now.

    Should I tough it out so it breaks in? or go a half size large rand get insoles?

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  9. Dewey

    Dewey Senior member

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    I'd ask, are you wearing them every day, or every other day? Maybe you are making the transition from one kind of shoe to another, too quickly.
     
  10. cvac

    cvac Senior member

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    Some AEs come with padded insoles built in. I find these are slightly more comfortable. Not sure if any of the current models have them, but my discontinued "drydens" do.

    If you are used to padded insoles, you may have to find some really thin ones to fit inside the shoe without altering the fit.

    The salesman is right about the cork underneath the insole. I'm not sure how long it would take to mold to your foot.

    For what it's worth, my everyday shoes are gym shoes and sneakers and I've found it takes a little while to get used to AE's.
     
  11. academe

    academe Senior member

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    I also use orthotics; unfortunately they don't fit in my leather-soled shoes, so I go without when I'm using them. I've had a few leather-soled shoes that were comfortable in the store, and later turned-out to be less than comfortable after extended wear. I would consider getting a gel insert to cushion the area of your foot that hurts the most. Also, as other posters have suggested, rotating through your shoes helps, rather than using them every day.
     
  12. bigsink

    bigsink Senior member

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    Do all AE's have cork underneath?
     
  13. cvac

    cvac Senior member

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    All of the leather soled ones have cork underneath the insole, but some have a padded insole instead of the hard flat one the PAs come with.
     
  14. bigsink

    bigsink Senior member

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    ah - I have the hard as bricks ver.

    So no one ever gets a half size up to accommodate an additional padded insole?

    Why would a comfortable insole be excluded from these shoes in the first place?
     
  15. kngrimm

    kngrimm Senior member

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    E's should be good out of the gate... if it's the harder footbed, then you're in for a long, hard slog.

    The only time my AE's hurt my feet is when the last is too narrow and my foot needs a little more room. I purchased shoes stretchers and leave them in for a week... then they are perfect.

    Maybe try to get some more room? Otherwise, you just aren't cut out for this brand... May I suggest EG at $1000 a pair? : )
     
  16. billiebob

    billiebob Senior member

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    For some of my harder shoes (like Alden and Polo), it took many wearings for my feet to create supportive impressions in the midsole. They will never be as comfortable as rubber soled shoes, but they are a lot better than when they were new. Walking in them speeds this process.
     
  17. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Of the 40 pairs of A-E shoes I own, I have experienced discomfort only once, from a pair of shoes on the #1 last, which is usually an extremely comfortable last for me.

    Several people have mentioned the #5 last, on which the Park Ave. is built. Some men find, since this is A-E's longest and narrowest last, they have to go to a shorter, wider size than normal. This has not been the case for me. Today I wore my Fairfaxes in chestnut, which are also on the #5 last, in my normal size. Quite honestly, I don't think I could get a better, more comfortable fit if I went to high-end bespoke.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. bigsink

    bigsink Senior member

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    I have a pair that fits perfectly (like a glove!) I think i will wear them out and hopefully break in the leather and insole a tiny bit. Getting a larger size and an insole may be a step backwards...
     
  19. The Deacon

    The Deacon Senior member

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    ah - I have the hard as bricks ver.

    So no one ever gets a half size up to accommodate an additional padded insole?

    Why would a comfortable insole be excluded from these shoes in the first place?


    I sized up a width when I bought my AE Cambridge shells in 2006. This worked for a bit. Ultimately I found them much less comfy then my double soled pairs of Alden Shells and rather than have a cobbler add a double sole or risk rejection( who won't deviate from single sole for these shoes) from AE refurbishers I have since sold them. Without the thin insert it was like walking with thin sheets of plywood.
     
  20. bigsink

    bigsink Senior member

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    I just cant fathom how plywood would be comfortable at all.. and why anyone would WANT that in a shoe.
     

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