I feel like many dress shoe noobs have a lot of unrealistic expectations when it comes to stepping into their first decent pair of dress shoes and am hoping to help shed some light on the often misconceptions I see in the online world being discussed. So here goes:
1. Leather Creases. Get used to it. If it is not creasing its not real leather. There is no such thing as crease free leather. And if you do not like creasing then do not wear dress shoes. Stick to sneakers. Its going to happen. No matter what. So either embrace it or just deal with it. Complaining about it online only shows extreme noobness.
2. Trying the shoes on while sitting, pushing your feet forward and sticking your finger behind your heel is for 10 year olds. Thats not how men determine fit. Lace your shoes up as tight as can go without hurting and walk around. It will be normal to feel the heel a bit at play because in a brand new shoe the heel counter is stiff and has yet to form to your heels. As long as your feet are not swimming in your shoes and you feel like they have a good grip on your feet then most likely its the right size. And please, lace your shoes up properly. If you leave the top loose YOU WILL HAVE HEEL SLIP.
3. Goodyear welted shoes are hard. They are not Nike’s nor those cheap glued dress shoes you used to wear. They will break your noob feet in and give you blisters. Its a part of the process until your feet harden and get accustomed to GY welted shoes. So don’t complain about how unconfortable they are because they dont feel like Ecco’s. Handwelted shoes are even worse. Get ready for that and realize that is a sign of quality and what makes these shoes last +20 years.
4. The 1st day you wear your shoes you will have chewed off 1/4-1/3 of the tip of the sole from walking. This is just the law of nature due to how we walk. And leather is not stronger than concrete so each step takes off a little of that sole tip leather. Thats why shoe aficinionados wear toe taps.
5. Toe Caps crease. Even from the best makers. There is no rhyme or reason to this as there are so many factors that play into this. Here are some just so you can understand: Last Shape, Toe Length, Fit, Space above toes excess or not enough, Cap length from pattern, Toe Puff Stiffener Length, Toe Puff Stiffener thickness, etc. So you see, this can happen and you wont be able to explain why. Doesnt make the shoe bad. Whoever said that is noob themself and does not know what they are talking about.
6. Leather soles are slippery so be wary. Never wear your new dress shoes for the first time on a wet day. Always pick a dry day to initially break them out. This, at least, is better advised for closed channel sole shoes.
7. When you see a sole that doesn’t show its stirching that is a closed channel sole. It means that there is a small flap of thin leather asthetically covering the stitch. Key word: “asthetic”. This flap is simply glued down. You know what helps to undo glue? Water. So if you subject your closed channel soles to a lot of rain (especially when new) this flap can either open up or chip off. The sole is not breaking or anything drastic like that so don’t keep your panties in a bunch.
2 thoughts on “A Dress Shoe Guide for Noobs”
Haha! Brutally honest.
Regarding initial toe wear. I take a couple steps in new shoes to set the creases, then take them off and flex the soles by hand until they loosen up. I’ve found this greatly reduces toe wear associated with stiff new soles.
Thanks for sharing Wesley!