Breaking in your shoes is not always that easy. Yet, when you think about buying shoes, most people probably think about getting the most comfortable thing that they can find. The old saying goes ‘when we are not sleeping, we are most likely on our feet.’ Now assuming that our feet were made for walking on earth (dirt, soil, etc.), one would think that wearing stiff leather in comparison might not be the soundest idea, which is why rubber-soled shoes can be so popular. But as leather has been found to be the best resource for a pair of well-made, built-to-last dress shoes, it is something that we are stuck with using.
The idea of stiff leather leaves many people around the world quite fearful of certain shoes, particularly goodyear welted ones, as they tend to be among the stiffest in ready-to-wear shoes (at least in the beginning). Because of this, many people don’t know what to expect and therefore may deter from actually buying these shoes. Due to this, and the fact that I love to break stereotypes (in the footwear industry especially), I have decided to give you my thoughts on what to expect for the first 30 days of wearing your new shoes.
- Magnanni Shoes, Blake-stitched
Goodyear Welted Soles
- Paolo Scafora’s welted shoes use a special technique that allows you to bend the shoe in half. I have felt this and it is amazing!
This post is a general guide to stiff goodyear welted shoes as well as blake stitched shoes with thick leather uppers and soles (i.e. blake-rapid shoes). Not all shoes will break in the same way. Some will be significantly less troublesome to break in (such as my Gaziano & Girling balmoral boots were) and others might never really fully break in (think cheap cordovan or shiny bookbinder leather (also cheap)). It will vary from shoe to shoe, maker upon maker, and the leather used for each model. But just because a shoe is stiff doesn’t mean that it should be ruled as uncomfortable. Some of my most comfortable shoes started off really stiff, but once broken in, feel more supportive and comfortable than my softest shoes. Everything will vary, but allow this to give you a general idea of what to expect!