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New Goodyear welted shoes, what to expect?

OutOnTheBlue

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I’ve recently purchased a Goodyear welted shoe, a split toe derby from Japan Sriwijaya (Fortuna Shoes). They have leather soles. I have never owned a leather soled shoe good year welted before, what should I know about breaking in the shoes and when the leather sole is going to provide grip, and any advice on how to break them in?
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JFWR

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I’ve recently purchased a Goodyear welted shoe, a split toe derby from Japan Sriwijaya (Fortuna Shoes). They have leather soles. I have never owned a leather soled shoe good year welted before, what should I know about breaking in the shoes and when the leather sole is going to provide grip, and any advice on how to break them in? View attachment 1720722 View attachment 1720723 View attachment 1720723

The leather sole will provide grip once it is roughed up. In order to rough them up, you should go take a walk out on the street. The concrete, granite, asphalt, or whatever will scratch up the leather, which will accordingly become quite nicely grippy. Mind you, leather soles will never be quite as grippy as, say, a pair of cleated rubber soles, and you should be mindful of some surfaces, especially wet, hard surfaces like bathroom tile. Still, good leather soles really do develop quite a great deal of grip, and if you want to make sure you scratch up your shoes enough, you can really try to dig your soles into the ground a bit and give your feet a bit of a twist or two.

Suffice it to say, you should also do this on a dry day, on dry surfaces. Don't go walking on wet mud. Don't go walking on grass. Go walk on paved sidewalks and streets. Some people even like going on more rugged, rocky walk ways. That works, too. But don't walk on something soft or wet.

As for breaking in a pair of shoes, a GYW shoe is not substantially anymore difficult to break in than any other leather shoe, which is to say: it's going to take some time. Hugo Jacomet once said that some bespoke shoemakers suggested to him that the minimum time to really break in a shoe is 24 hours of wear. I'd tend to agree with this. Part of that time can just be having your feet in the shoes, so the leather begins to warm up and conform to your foot, but most of it is going to mean wearing your shoes as go about your day, walking, standing, etc. As leather shoes sometimes can be quite rough on your feet as your feet are getting used to them, please be sure to stop if you start to develop the early signs of a blister. For instance, I almost inevitably get blisters on my achilles tendon area of my heel when I break in a new pair of dress shoes. As a consequence, I bandage that area first so that I won't have to deal with a very, very painful blister. If your other shoes have given you blisters for the first few wears, I'd suggest preparing yourself as well.

Also, I find that polishing the shoes helps to break them in. After all, the process of polishing rubs in creams and waxes and subjects the shoe to some pressures that help to break up the stiffness of the leather.

Basically, go walk in your shoes (on a nice day) and you will break them in and you will make the sole grippier. Expect the shoe not to be broken in fully for several wears, but it helps if you polish the shoes and wear them even when you're sitting down. Eventually, once you hit about the 24 hour mark of real wear (plus some time of wearing them just sitting down), the shoes will be nicely broken in, and should be hence forward quite comfortable and fit you nicely.
 

St1X

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I'd recommend you to take your shoes to a cobbler and install a rubber sole protector and a metal toe tips - it will greatly extend the lifetime of your soles.
 

JFWR

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I'd recommend you to take your shoes to a cobbler and install a rubber sole protector and a metal toe tips - it will greatly extend the lifetime of your soles.

This will extend the lifetime of your soles, but you won't have the pleasure of walking on a leather sole if you put a toppy on it. The toe plates can be useful for shoes you really want to protect, though, I agree.
 

breakaway01

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This will extend the lifetime of your soles, but you won't have the pleasure of walking on a leather sole if you put a toppy on it. The toe plates can be useful for shoes you really want to protect, though, I agree.
Whether or not you’d benefit from a toe plate depends on your own gait. I don’t wear my toes down appreciably. Before you decide to have toe plates installed, look at the wear pattern on an old pair of shoes.
 

OutOnTheBlue

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The leather sole will provide grip once it is roughed up. In order to rough them up, you should go take a walk out on the street. The concrete, granite, asphalt, or whatever will scratch up the leather, which will accordingly become quite nicely grippy. Mind you, leather soles will never be quite as grippy as, say, a pair of cleated rubber soles, and you should be mindful of some surfaces, especially wet, hard surfaces like bathroom tile. Still, good leather soles really do develop quite a great deal of grip, and if you want to make sure you scratch up your shoes enough, you can really try to dig your soles into the ground a bit and give your feet a bit of a twist or two.

Suffice it to say, you should also do this on a dry day, on dry surfaces. Don't go walking on wet mud. Don't go walking on grass. Go walk on paved sidewalks and streets. Some people even like going on more rugged, rocky walk ways. That works, too. But don't walk on something soft or wet.

As for breaking in a pair of shoes, a GYW shoe is not substantially anymore difficult to break in than any other leather shoe, which is to say: it's going to take some time. Hugo Jacomet once said that some bespoke shoemakers suggested to him that the minimum time to really break in a shoe is 24 hours of wear. I'd tend to agree with this. Part of that time can just be having your feet in the shoes, so the leather begins to warm up and conform to your foot, but most of it is going to mean wearing your shoes as go about your day, walking, standing, etc. As leather shoes sometimes can be quite rough on your feet as your feet are getting used to them, please be sure to stop if you start to develop the early signs of a blister. For instance, I almost inevitably get blisters on my achilles tendon area of my heel when I break in a new pair of dress shoes. As a consequence, I bandage that area first so that I won't have to deal with a very, very painful blister. If your other shoes have given you blisters for the first few wears, I'd suggest preparing yourself as well.

Also, I find that polishing the shoes helps to break them in. After all, the process of polishing rubs in creams and waxes and subjects the shoe to some pressures that help to break up the stiffness of the leather.

Basically, go walk in your shoes (on a nice day) and you will break them in and you will make the sole grippier. Expect the shoe not to be broken in fully for several wears, but it helps if you polish the shoes and wear them even when you're sitting down. Eventually, once you hit about the 24 hour mark of real wear (plus some time of wearing them just sitting down), the shoes will be nicely broken in, and should be hence forward quite comfortable and fit you nicely.
Thank you for the advice! This is actually the first pair of leather shoes I have in recent memory so I have no idea which areas would give me blisters, as I’m extremely used to wearing really soft sneakers
 

bicycleradical

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Whether or not you’d benefit from a toe plate depends on your own gait. I don’t wear my toes down appreciably. Before you decide to have toe plates installed, look at the wear pattern on an old pair of shoes.

Whether you want toe plates all really depends on your gait. I did not install any and it took me four years of wear to need to replace the sole on one of my pairs of GYW shoes. YMMV.
 

JFWR

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Whether or not you’d benefit from a toe plate depends on your own gait. I don’t wear my toes down appreciably. Before you decide to have toe plates installed, look at the wear pattern on an old pair of shoes.

Yeah. I get the toe plates to avoid stubbing my toe on uneven concrete blocks on city streets, which are common in central Illinois, and also common in parts of Brooklyn - both of where I routinely walk.
 

JFWR

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Thank you for the advice! This is actually the first pair of leather shoes I have in recent memory so I have no idea which areas would give me blisters, as I’m extremely used to wearing really soft sneakers

You might have to take the pain from the first wear, then.

I have narrow heels, so a blister usually forms on the heel for me as there is some slippage until the leather conforms to my foot better.

Here's my suggestion: Aim to walk around your block once in your new shoes. If you feel pain like a blister forming, take the shoes off.
 

Neo1

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The leather sole will provide grip once it is roughed up. In order to rough them up, you should go take a walk out on the street. The concrete, granite, asphalt, or whatever will scratch up the leather, which will accordingly become quite nicely grippy. Mind you, leather soles will never be quite as grippy as, say, a pair of cleated rubber soles, and you should be mindful of some surfaces, especially wet, hard surfaces like bathroom tile. Still, good leather soles really do develop quite a great deal of grip, and if you want to make sure you scratch up your shoes enough, you can really try to dig your soles into the ground a bit and give your feet a bit of a twist or two.

Suffice it to say, you should also do this on a dry day, on dry surfaces. Don't go walking on wet mud. Don't go walking on grass. Go walk on paved sidewalks and streets. Some people even like going on more rugged, rocky walk ways. That works, too. But don't walk on something soft or wet.

As for breaking in a pair of shoes, a GYW shoe is not substantially anymore difficult to break in than any other leather shoe, which is to say: it's going to take some time. Hugo Jacomet once said that some bespoke shoemakers suggested to him that the minimum time to really break in a shoe is 24 hours of wear. I'd tend to agree with this. Part of that time can just be having your feet in the shoes, so the leather begins to warm up and conform to your foot, but most of it is going to mean wearing your shoes as go about your day, walking, standing, etc. As leather shoes sometimes can be quite rough on your feet as your feet are getting used to them, please be sure to stop if you start to develop the early signs of a blister. For instance, I almost inevitably get blisters on my achilles tendon area of my heel when I break in a new pair of dress shoes. As a consequence, I bandage that area first so that I won't have to deal with a very, very painful blister. If your other shoes have given you blisters for the first few wears, I'd suggest preparing yourself as well.

Also, I find that polishing the shoes helps to break them in. After all, the process of polishing rubs in creams and waxes and subjects the shoe to some pressures that help to break up the stiffness of the leather.

Basically, go walk in your shoes (on a nice day) and you will break them in and you will make the sole grippier. Expect the shoe not to be broken in fully for several wears, but it helps if you polish the shoes and wear them even when you're sitting down. Eventually, once you hit about the 24 hour mark of real wear (plus some time of wearing them just sitting down), the shoes will be nicely broken in, and should be hence forward quite comfortable and fit you nicely.

JFWR drops the mic....

Well said - damn fine explanation!
 

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