View Full Version : The Taming of the Shoe...

13th Dec 2014, 17:04
It must be 3 to 4 years ago that I last bought any new shoes: a pair of Rockport USA 'boat shoes' (to replace multiple and ageing pairs of Sebago Docksiders - don't ask me why I like wearing 'boat shoes', apart from finding them comfortable for everyday use). They were 'on sale' and reduced from about 120 down to 40.

It still took a couple of weeks to 'wear them in' though, just like all the shoes I've ever bought: in fact, the stain leftover from a bleeding blister still remains visible in one shoe of the last pair I bought.

So what gives?! Since I've worn shoes, mankind has landed on the Moon etc., but we (unless I'm alone) still have to go through the process of 'wearing new shoes in'...?!

Compare that with jeans today: folks can buy 'new' jeans full of holes and which look like they're 20 years old. Neither new 'new' jeans or old 'new' jeans have ever scratched my balls though (even the genuine Levi's 501 'shrink-to-fit US-made ones).

Why can't (or won't) shoemakers sell us new 'new' shoes which have been adequately 'worn in'?

Over to the other foot...

13th Dec 2014, 18:03
I find Skechers to have a comfortable worn in feel from the off. A brand new pair worn wandering around town all day were absolutely fine, no discomfort, rubbing or blisters. Haven't bothered buying anything else for the last four or five years.

13th Dec 2014, 18:24
Why can't (or won't) shoemakers sell us new 'new' shoes which have been adequately 'worn in'?

Its all to do with their choice of standard last ... which is why you never really find out how good someone's shoes are until you've walked a mile in them.

Cheapest option is just to get thicker socks to provide the extra cushion you need between your skin and the shoe inner.

Alternatively seeing as the season of goodwill is around the corner, you could ask a generous present giver whether they'll sponsor you a pair of bespoke handmade shoes. I'm reliably informed they're the mutt's nuts and fit like gloves.... the only real downside of such an endeavor would be having to part with €1000 plus or minus a couple of hundred ... however take good care of them and you'll probably die before they do, so possibly a worthy investment that your feet will thank you for !

13th Dec 2014, 18:34
I don't think "handmade" shoes would offer a solution. What I'd like to be able to buy perhaps are shoes which have undergone a mechanical 'wearing in' process before I start wearing them. Why not a pair of robotic legs which imitate human-walking? If shoes take a week to 'wear in' normally, a machine could probably reproduce that in a few hours or less. I'm sure these machines exist in other applications (eg. electro-mechanical switches which have been "laboratory-tested" over 20,000 cycles etc.) so it what's stopping shoemakers from offering similar at a (small) surcharge?

13th Dec 2014, 18:37

I suspect you are not getting the right fit. SWMBO is in the shoe business and tells me all her store managers go through major training covering among other things---Shoe Fitting. She claims that about 60 to 80% of people are wearing poorly fitting shoes.

13th Dec 2014, 18:38
I don't think "handmade" shoes would offer a solution.

Alright, if you're too stingy then there's always an off-the-shelf walking shoe/boot manufacturer whose name escapes me who line their stuff with wool.

I bought a pair of their boots before a hiking expedition somewhere a few years back... never wore them in and never had any blisters. Fantastic boots !

13th Dec 2014, 18:39
The wife claims that "proper well-made shoes" should NEVER need wearing in. I have rarely found this to be the case, and keep sticky plasters for toes and heels handy after buying new shoes.

(Exception: the shoes I bought at Jimmy Shoes in the Essex Road, London, this year, have always fitted perfectly. They were made in Spain and are now living there.)

Windy Militant
13th Dec 2014, 18:44
Apart from the fact that everyone's feet are unique and pre worn shoes can still give you blisters, I know this from buying army surplus boots when I was working on the building sites.
There is a place you can hire someone to break your shoes in for you. Coincidentally they were on about this on the radio earlier this week but a goggle search only brings up sponsored adverts these days so I've not been able to find any of them.

13th Dec 2014, 18:49
Why would anyone want to buy wool-lined shoes (especially in warm climes)? Heck, even sheep don't have wool on their feet (I mean hooves).

Gordy, maybe "60 to 80% of people are wearing poorly fitting shoes" because shoemakers don't make shoes that 1) fit properly; 2) are made of materials which are too stiff when new; and 3) perhaps most blisters are caused by imperfect 'finishing' on the insides of their shoes - 99% of their efforts being devoted to the external appearance etc.?

13th Dec 2014, 18:58

Some shoes and shoe brands are just not designed for everyone's feet. Start by getting your feet sized and then go to a "professional" shoe store and ask for recommendations.

13th Dec 2014, 19:17
With me it is more like my feet being broken in by the foorwear. :\

13th Dec 2014, 20:32
Go to a "professional" shoe store you suggest? How do you tell the difference between one or another?

Anyway, I get enough flak here in JB for 'putting my foot in' where it isn't welcome. I'm not going to risk my "real World" reputation at a real shoe store, however professional. And I'd have to find a pair of socks without any holes first too. Now don't start me off on socks...

13th Dec 2014, 21:22
My 5 yr. old Crocs beach shoes gave me a blister last week.

Crocs .. about 4 years ago I found a pair of Crocs that enclosed the feet fully and extended up the ankle, finished off by a knitted top, effectively Crocs bootees I suppose one could call them, worn with socks.

Following my recently discovered mantra - If You Find Something You Like, Buy Two Of Them 'cos When You Want To Replace Them They Will Have Been Discontinued - I wore them for a couple of days then went back to the Croc Store and bought another pair. These have been the most comfortable shoes that I have ever worn, and I have worn them every day - everywhere. Of course, now I wish to replace the second pair ( the soles wear through fairly quickly ) they are no longer available, the latest "New Fashions" having taken over.

Bah ! Humbug !

13th Dec 2014, 21:49
Why would anyone want to buy wool-lined shoes (especially in warm climes)?

You may well dismiss it Airship, but you'd soon be eating your hat. Sounds nuts, but it works and it works well.

14th Dec 2014, 08:50
Following my recently discovered mantra - If You Find Something You Like, Buy Two Of Them 'cos When You Want To Replace Them They Will Have Been Discontinued

You are lucky if it works - last time I tried I bought the shoes, tried them for a day, went back next day and the shop had none and there were no more being made.

Only shoes I ever had that fitted from day 1 were "Gluv" brand, and for boots it was Meindl walking boots.

I'd love to have hand made shoes but I don't buy any expensive shoes any more as I fall over so often they soon get damaged.

Pinky the pilot
14th Dec 2014, 09:35
Struth!:eek: Dunno what you blokes are on about!:ooh: I guess I've bought about four or five new pairs of shoes (or work boots; Blundstones,:ok: Made in Tassie) over the last few years and never had any problems with getting blisters, sore feet or whatever.

Because before wearing them I always (generally whilst reclining in my bean bag in front of the idiot box:}) work them in my hands bending and twisting them any and every way I can for about half an hour.

After that sort of treatment, no problem! :ok:

Worrals in the wilds
14th Dec 2014, 09:51
There is a place you can hire someone to break your shoes in for you.EEEwww! :ouch:
I also find that buying new shoes is pot luck. I have bought 'sensible' flat shoes that are horrendously uncomfortable and stiletto heels that I can wear all day. I replaced my cheapo hiking boots when they wore out with an expensive pair from a prestigious brand and they are vastly inferior to the cheapos, particularly for rock hopping. They've got soles like planks. :sad: Unfortunately they're not something you can properly try out in the shop.

14th Dec 2014, 10:18
totally agree. That's why I generally prefer flip-flops or stilettos.

Well, in winter one needs toe socks, then, of course. :E

Worrals in the wilds
14th Dec 2014, 11:05
Probes, a friend of mine works in the entertainment industry and spent a very cold winter doing an outdoor gig in Tasmania :ouch:. Being a Queenslander he considers anything below 15 degrees Celsius as hibernation weather :\, so Tassie in June was a nasty shock to the system. He now has plans to design a steel capped Ugg Boot that complies with workplace safety standards, while still being warm and comfy.
I suggested that Hi Vis dressing gowns with reflective stripes and woolly-lined hard hats would also be successful. :}

14th Dec 2014, 12:03
Not just wool lined,but lined with Smartwool.
I thought it was just sales talk,but Smartwool works.Smartwool keeps your feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter.My last pair worked well at plus twenty to minus twenty centigrade.And the big bonus they are great for hiking and NO blisters:)

14th Dec 2014, 12:24
Found out rather late in life that my left foot is slightly bigger than my right foot. Now I must always try on both shoes in a store.

Shoes these days a really cheap, sadly thanks to slave labour. My aunty tells me stories of her generation when shoes were a luxury, which is hard for today's generation to fathom.

As a consequence of cheap shoes, I have lots of pairs at any one time. I find it therapeutic to alter between wearing them. I enjoy walking long distances and the wretched things just don't last, but that doesn't worry me too much as they are cheap.

Breaking them in is now a luxury long gone.

14th Dec 2014, 12:25
Yes Mr Liker, Smartwool works fine and you can wear Smartwool socks for a week.