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.