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Medical & Repairs & Black Patent Leather

Coel Hen

Active Member
Dec 4, 2006
Reaction score

With the new year comes the realization from my doctor that I have plantar fasciitis, commonly known as "bone spurs" [a misnomer], in the right heel. It comes from, inter alia, too much running, as well as lack of arch support.

This prompted a rather hard look at the shoes in my closet, after finding on the 4th try the proper arch support orthotic: a 3/4 length Dr. Scholl's insert. As a result, the insert not only fits the trainers, but also the various boots [cowboy and lace up], low quarters, and Sperry boat shoes which I own. The sum of it is that I do not have to throw any shoes out on that basis alone. [At least it will give me time to replace those with a custom made shoes].

However, in the course of events, it appears that rather than a 13 D, which I have worn since 1970, my correct size is rather a 13 1/2 AA. Most importantly, I have a very high instep--which was obviously known to me--and a very high arch, which was not known. Furthermore, there is a difference between the left and right foot as far as the curvature of the arch.

Older Shoes Repair Action plan:

1. Black cap toe oxfords from Ducker and Sons Oxford, c. 1976, resoled for the 1st time with new heels. Fine with inserts.

2. Dark Brown full brogue also from Duckers, c. 1976, fitted with new heel for the 4th or 5th time. Fine with inserts.

3. Birkenstock sandals, 2005, new sole. Will tough it out with no inserts, optimistic of recovery by summer.

New Purchase:

4. Anderson Bean cowboy boot, 13D, Copper Cow with 13" Mint Glove Tops, toe: DB [square]; heel: A; see picture:

Significantly, while a 13D, it is known for its higher arch and narrower width than other cowboy boots. In addition, the boot has a custom cushion insole. While being fitted, I found that there was really no more than the 1/4 to 1/2 inch slippage in the heel which they always recommended, previously having had 1-2 inches in order to accommodate the higher instep. Furthermore, the leather over the instep was quite snug, although there was a tremendous amount of room for the toes. Cautious, I asked the salesman at Cavender's in Tulsa, OK if that was normal, and he said it was. Immediately, I noted the pain of the heel was gone, as the weight was evenly distributed along all parts of the foot, which was completely unexpected. It dawned on me that I had, in fact, now experienced for the first time a boot that fit, also knowing that I had never owned one before that had fit. Well, it is like wearing butter on my feet. Not bad for $229, and first rate trendy among the western crowd.

Pending Purchase:

5. Black patent leather low quarters.

The ones I have are Bates poromeric, remnants from military days, with a split in the rubber heel and sole the size of an Antarctic crevasse. In need of replacement.

Searching the web for 13 1/2 AA anything, I visited 5 websites [shoe.com, etc.] and found only one pair, not one I would be seen in on this planet, and definitely nothing in black patent leather. The goal is to have something to wear with tuxedo as well as mess dress uniform--no small task. They exist, of course, on various websites in the $300 to $400 range for RTW, but not military specs, and not custom made with arch support . . . .

So on this forum I find out about Dehner Shoes, not the Albert slipper or silk bow on the pump, mind you, but a lace up. See www.dehner.com; click on "military customer" on upper left; then "check out our military uniform boots & shoes"; then "oxfords [eyelets & straps]"; it is similar to the picture on the right, but note that the picture is not patent leather.

Emails on Saturday to the company resulted in three emails back and forth with the company president. In short, he can do a custom made black patent leather lace up with leather sole for $275. I just go to one of his shops an hour away and they are measured and details sent to Omaha, Nebraska. At the risk of telling you something you already know, this is more durable than a synthetic, and also more comfortable, ensuring ease on the dance floor at balls, which is something I need to do more of, to be sure. That beats off the rack. As these are measured and worn, I will keep you posted.

Shoes only in need of polish:

6. Dark Brown Lucchese cowboy boots, 13 D, 2000. Fine with inserts.

7. Cordovan W.S. Foster Scottish hunting boots with vibram sole, 2000. Fine with inserts.

8. Medium Brown polished moccasin/slip from W.S. Foster, 2003. Fine with inserts.

Best wishes to all,


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