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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Well-Known Member

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    Nick,

    Re inserts. Exaclty. If they make the shoes more comfortable, people should wear them.

    DW,

    Good points. But considering the number of feet in the world and the cost and limited supply of bespoke shoes, the vast majority of men will have to make do with RTW.

    You describe the problem- shoe companies have to use generic lasts, trying to produce a fit that is good enough for the largest portion of the population they can. Since they are generic lasts, there may not be a single individual whose foot actually fits such shoes. At least not by the standards of a bespoke maker. But since most men have no alternative to RTW, their choices are RTW as is, or RTW altered with inserts. If they can find some combination of inserts that make the shoes fit better, that is, make them more comfortable, then this is the best outcome they can get.

    I suppose the ideal might be a collaboration of a podiatrist and shoemaker whotogether will produce beautiful works of art custom molded to an individual's foot, size and gait. Very few people could afford such things. Many can get a reasonable degree of comfort without custom made shoes. They might get even more comfort with custom made, but there are mortgages to pay...
     
  2. chogall

    chogall Well-Known Member

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    What's the beef against shoe inserts? It's personal preference. Not everyone can afford shoes with arch support build in, such as Saint Crispins or Meermin. Shoe inserts could make flat insole shoes more comfortable by providing cushioning or other support functions.

    Besides, for some country shoes or hiking shoes it makes no sense to buy with any arch support. Especially for those who sometimes wear two layers of hiking socks and sometimes wear simple sports socks.
     
  3. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    "The real issue is that adding any kind of insert/insole into a shoe changes the insole shape; changes the relationship of the foot to the insole, and, as a result, changes the fit.

    This is the same as buying a shoe that is a half size too big in the critical heel-to-ball measurement. It's what's known as the "orange peel effect."

    Compounding all that, if the shoe was initially bought too large/long and the insert is being used to take up some surplus, you can end up with a shoe that is terrible for the long term health of the foot."
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    No argument...

    Of course, there is the piper to pay, too.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  5. chogall

    chogall Well-Known Member

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    Are you suggesting hiking or work boots true to size with paper thin dress socks? Or we should be buying those shoes/boots with the thick socks we wear with them? For all due respect, those thick socks act as sole inserts especially with those extra cushion sole socks.

    IMO different shoes should be fitted differently. For dress shoes I completely agree that insole inserts are unnecessary. But not everything is suitable to have that structured insoles.

    Just my 0.02
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    All that's worth taking into consideration esp. when purchasing footwear but, in the end...as much as we might prefer otherwise...you can't argue with the physics. Adding a sock adds substance to the foot and changes the girth and the shape.

    Here's a practical (I don't know how scientific) exercise that may shed some light on the issue:

    Take a one inch wide strip of thin tissue such as toilet paper and wrap it around your foot. Tear it to length. Now, very carefully, begin rolling it down its length. Roll it as tightly as you possibly can. You should end up with a dense, one inch wide cylinder of paper. The diameter of that paper cylinder...it will be roughly 3 or four millimeters in diameter...is how much substance would be added to the foot if you were wearing a sock made of tissue paper.

    Now, the foot can feel 1-2 millimeters variation in tightness. That doesn't mean that pain will be the result. But the foot can feel it.

    How much more substance is added with a thin cotton sock? Or a heavy wool sock? Even though the substance of a heavier sock is distributed around the foot, as well as compressed when the foot steps down, much of it remains to change the shape of the foot.

    Most bespoke shoemakers measure the foot with socks on, for that very reason.

    And most bespoke shoemakers would caution that the resulting shoe is meant to fit with that weight of sock and no other. Socks change the shape and girths of the foot. Period.

    I guarantee you that if you that if you buy footwear that needs to fit closely...such as a pull-on boot...while wearing heavy socks, the boots will be sloppy loose if you decide to wear them with thin socks. The measurements of your foot have changed. The shape of your foot has changed.

    And all footwear...in my opinion...should fit closely. So that the leather will move with the foot. So that when the foot moves, the leather moves...immediately...in every direction, in every dimension. Sure, excess room inside the shoe is more comfortable than not enough, but neither of these situations is a fit.

    The foot was "designed" to function naked. All shoes...regardless how well fit...interfere with the mechanics and health of the foot. It's only a question of degree.

    The foot is one of the most architecturally complex structures in nature. And it supports a relatively massive amount of weight...even in an earthquake. Every relationship of bones and ligaments and muscles is critical in the same way the mathematical relationships in a gothic cathedral are critical. You ignore them at your own peril.

    --
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  7. Munky

    Munky Well-Known Member

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    Sorry if this is very late in the day, but is 'fit' all about 'lasts'? If so, how do you find out whether or not a shoe made on a particular last will fit you (other than by buying bespoke shoes)? Apart, that is, from trying them on. But you can't try on all the shoes made on different lasts, in a shoe shop. Also, lasts tend to be given names that give you no clue to their shape - 'Capital', '024' etc. Is there a text to turn to that illustrates the variations in the size and shape of different lasts?
     
  8. phototristan

    phototristan Well-Known Member

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    Just sharing a short video I did conditioning shell cordovan with Saphir Renovateur:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Fit is about feet in shoes (not their natural habitat). Theoretically lasts model feet in terms of girths and lengths. But since shoes are made over lasts and lasts control so many aspects of the shoe that it is almost impossible to isolate or attribute any one specific determiner of fit.

    That said, if the measurements of any model of last don't correlate to to the corresponding measurements of your foot, there will be no fit. You could almost buy the box and stuff a wad of cotton batting in it and be as comfortable.

    Last numbers, lasts names, etc.. are marketing hype--devices to create distinction or interest in the absence of critical or relevant information. If nothing else, aside from an only imperfectly agreed upon standard of sizing, there is no uniformity or standard or consistency among lasts,or last models or last manufacturers. Even within the same company it is possible to find two 9D's, for instance, that are not the same length, nor have the same internal volume. Between two model years, even, that can change.

    As for how you find out if a shoe fits you...you can try it on, of course.

    And if you are aware...preferably hyper-aware...of where your medial ball joint is "socketing" within the shoe; aware of the width of your heel seat and treadline and how those aspects relate to the internal dimensions of the shoe; aware of the mechanics of how a shoe holds the foot in place, and a small, common-sense list of similar considerations, you can come pretty close to getting a decent fit in an RTW. Maybe even a "perfect" fit.

    But I guarantee you that almost any shoe, within reason, will feel comfortable in the first 20 minutes of wear. It's what comes after--a year or so down the road--that tells the true story. And that's why such attention to your feet within the shoe is so important.

    The bespoke shoemaker has to take all those factors...and more...into consideration. If he does not, the fit will not be there. Bespoke or not--there's no magic wand.The manufacturer seldom gives such issues a second thought simply because it is caveat emptor when it comes to RTW.

    But again think of the foot and how it is structured and what it is designed to do and in what conditions...why wouldn't you want to educate yourself and be deliberate when buying shoes?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  10. Munky

    Munky Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, as always, DW, for your helpful and detailed response. It really does help in understanding how and why shoes do or do not fit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
  11. AAJJLLPP

    AAJJLLPP Well-Known Member

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    Can a shoe with basically no support be good for your feet because it is somewhat similar to walking without any shoes? Sanuk (I know they're ugly but thats besides the point) has a big marketing spiel about how there shoes are actually better for your feet because the flat sole and floppy upper allow the muscles in your feet to act like they were designed to. Just curious if there is any truth to this, or if it is just marketing BS and if you are going to put your feet in shoes you are best off with decent supportive shoes that fit well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

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    Well humans were designed to walk on their feet so I'd say it's better... The only reason people "need" support is from coddling their feet for years.
     
  13. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    I saw a Kickstarter project for something like that...floppy "dress" shoes that were like wearing no shoes. And I'm in the "it's bullshit" camp: I walk barefoot most days, for a few miles on the beach. I think it's good for your feet to be used as nature intended. But when I'm wearing shoes, I like them to hold my feet - and I'm revising my shoes constantly as I find better solutions. The reason is that walking in floppy shoes is nothing at all like walking in bare feet: you're manoeuvering your feet in the shoe to make the shoe interact with the ground in a way that roughly represents what your foot is supposed to be doing. If the shoe doesn't fit, you're compensating and trying to hold the loose shoe in position, instead of walking naturally. It's not that the foot needs holding together by the shoe. It's that if there's a shoe between your foot and the floor, it needs to be holding your foot closely to represent most closely what your foot is trying to do. At least that's the way I see it.
     
  14. wurger

    wurger Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Pediwear's blog has a Loake last comparison.
     
  15. tradbrah

    tradbrah Well-Known Member

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    Is there a somewhat consensus on what conditioner is best for shell cordovan? I've applied a bit of Reno, and it gives the shell a dull look. I'm shooting for the "Alden-like" shine. VSC? Saphir cordovan polish? Alden paste wax?
     
  16. j1000

    j1000 Well-Known Member

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    Can a cobbler convert a cuban heeled boot into a regular heel?
     
  17. Munky

    Munky Well-Known Member

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    Hi Wurger,Yes, the Loake table is also buried in Loake's own site.

    I think what I was looking for, though, is a guide to the range of different lasts, not just the width of them, but how they feel when they are on. On another site about shoes, people often talk about preferring one last over another and some seem to have knowledge of a range of lasts. Is this just gained from wearing shoes made on a particular last or is there an objective way of describing them?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  18. Munky

    Munky Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, Wurger, I found the piece about lasts, on the Pediwear site and it is what I had in mind. Thanks.
     
  19. wurger

    wurger Well-Known Member

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    how a last feels on one's feet depends on one's feet, there is no objective reference point in describing them without wearing them, and that is a subjective reference point too.

    Like if another member wears the same size as I do in a lot of shoes, I my case, DpprDr, we are comfortable in referring to each other for advice.

    But what if myself or DpprDr like to wear our shoes tightly, or with a bit of room, either way, our feet can be quite different but can still wear the same size.
     
  20. wurger

    wurger Well-Known Member

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    http://www.pediwear.co.uk/newsitem/60.php

    for anyone else, it's also on the Loake appreciation thread
     

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