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Knee issues, hard leather soles, gel inserts, and sizing up 1/2

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Reevolving, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. Reevolving

    Reevolving Distinguished Member

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    I sometimes fear that wearing hard leather soles will eventually take a toll on my knees later in life. I raise this topic, again, because I recently added a certain leather soled shoe back into my Fall rotation. It is about 1/2 size too large. I happened to have a pair of gel heel inserts, and decided to put them in. Normally, I can't fit something like this into my shoes, but the 1/2 size disparity accommodated them perfectly. With the heel gels, I felt like I was walking on clouds. Only sneakers are more comfortable. They were almost as soft and bouncy as my J&M's which have a "bubble air gel" inner sole.

    It made me think that I might size all future dress shoes 1/2 larger and add a heel insert gel. This seems to be a good compromise for now. Have any older members done this before resorting to ugly (but practical and comfortable) shoes to preserve your health and well-being? Has anyone had to give up leather soled shoes due to knee and joint pain later in life? Wearing thick rubber soled shoes (with thick plush inner soles) adds an entire component of shock absorption to complement your knee cartilage that is wholly absent from leather soled shoes. A heel gel is a step in that direction. Do you size up 1/2 or fit it into your current size?

    For the delusional posters who insist that rock hard leathers soles are softer and more plush than sneakers or Ecco/Rockports, please save your internet insanity for another thread. In the real world, there is not a single orthopedist (or flight attendant) on the planet who will advise a person to wear leather soled shoes to reduce knee and joint pain. Women, who are obsessed with uncomfortable shoes from an early age know about this all too well. I'd like to hear from people in the real world, not people in their basements who never leave the house or go to a job. Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012

  2. HansderHund

    HansderHund Distinguished Member

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    I'm not old enough to give you long-term information but I know what you mean. I have some knee trouble in my late 20s and I'm not sure how hard leather soles have affected or will affect my knee problems. Having said that, there are a number of days that I end up walking 4-5 miles between offices and on/off public transport. In these cases, shoes such as Eccos are hard to beat. They won't get a lot of aesthetic love on this forum, but a rubber sole makes my feet and joints far less sore at the end of the day.

    The shoes I love are worn when I'm in a single building a majority of the day. I don't have too many problems if I'm just standing/sitting in them.

    I'm sorry I can't offer more information, just a bit of personal experience.
     

  3. vezatron

    vezatron Senior Member

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    You need a shoe built for your foot. Try bespoke, the Alden Modified Last, the Carmina Forest Last, or Vass U Last.
     

  4. thinman

    thinman Distinguished Member

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    I wear prescription orthotics and size up 1/2 to accommodate them. The only problems I've encountered come with extremely narrow lasts like Vass's F last, where the orthotics don't seem to fit in the shoes quite right.
     

  5. chogall

    chogall Distinguished Member

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    Do you have knee issues? Or any bespoke experience?
     

  6. chogall

    chogall Distinguished Member

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    I got ankle issues and nothing's better than walking barefoot. Cushioned shoes impedes my ankle stability and dress shoes do not.
     

  7. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Mahatma Jawndi Dubiously Honored

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    nvm
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012

  8. Reevolving

    Reevolving Distinguished Member

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    The best of reEvolving, back for 2019 !
    I no longer wear ANY shoe with leather soles.
    I exclusively wear rubber soles.
    All leather soles have been sold or put in a glass display case.
     

  9. Thin White Duke

    Thin White Duke Distinguished Member

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    That pair you had with the beautiful wood-grain look on the soles that you were loath to wear and mess them up? (I think it was you!) - hope they made it to the glass case!
     

  10. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Mahatma Jawndi Dubiously Honored

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    I tried to look up the sports bar thread for old time's sake but couldn't find it.

    ='((((
     

  11. am55

    am55 Distinguished Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 3:42 PM

  12. Blake Stitched Blues

    Blake Stitched Blues Senior Member

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    My first decent pair of shoes were a pair of leather-soled Barkers that I bought with one of my first paychecks back in 2005 or early 2006. I thought the soles were wooden at first and nice as they looked, I couldn't believe how slippery and impractical they were, as well as how stiff and 'hard' they felt underfoot. The shoes did eventually break-in but I never quite got over the feeling that they just weren't all that great for my feet. Fine for wearing in a carpeted office but absolute murder on the feet and knees for any kind of sustained outdoor walking on concrete pavements.

    14 years later I still own and wear leather soles on the rare occasion that I wear a suit but I have no great love for them. For day to day wear I'd much rather be in soft rubber or crepe soles. I do own a few pairs of moccasins on very thin, flexible leather soles and a full-length padded insole that I like a lot. The RM Williams Comfort and Dynamic Flex models are a nice compromise also.
     

  13. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Mahatma Jawndi Dubiously Honored

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    People who buy shoes for comfort are cops.
     

  14. Aloysius16

    Aloysius16 Senior Member

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    I’m in this club as well unfortunately due to a back injury that makes it difficult to wear anything other than the bounciest of rubber soles. It’s a real shame that they all have to be so bloody ugly though. I wish there was a source of sleeker footwear on a forgiving footbed and sole (heel especiall) than the Ecco and Rockport stuff I am reduced to.
     

  15. Blake Stitched Blues

    Blake Stitched Blues Senior Member

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    I feel like my Stylefo membership card will be officially revoked with this revelation, but my last shoe buy was a pair of suede derbies made to Herring's specifications by an otherwise undistinguished manufacturer called Steptronics. The suede is not super high quality but it's about on par with what Loake and Sanders use and the shoes are on a soft rubber sole with tons of padding and arch support on the insole. I have no idea how they'll hold up in the long-term but they're cheap, comfortable and a lot better looking than the Eccos and Rockports I've seen. I like them a lot for days when I'm going to be on my feet a lot and the Plantar Fasciitis is being a bitch. They also do a suede oxford, a grain derby and some calf wing-tips.

    [​IMG]
     

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