Dress Shoe Fit ...

Discussion in 'The Haberdashery' started by Blue-EyedSon, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. I've been considering purchasing a pair of Allen Edmonds dress shoes (suede Neumok or walnut Strands) and I got some advice from a sale's person that I'd never heard before. He said that some heel slippage on a brand new shoe like what I was considering is fine because the stiffness of the leather sole is trying to keep the shoe flat, which pulls the heel back and causes the slippage, but when the shoe is broken in, this wouldn't be an issue (the explanation might be a bit off as I didn't quite understand it). I was a little bit skeptical of what sounded like an "it'll be fine when it breaks in" pitch, but the explanation sounded very plausible, it seemed to be a reputable shoe place and sales person, and I don't have any experience with shoes like this (i.e. leather soled). Any advice? Is a little bit of heel slippage (i.e. a bit of movement up/down, but by no means coming out of the shoe or anywhere close to that) to be expected or acceptable with new shoes that have leather soles? And is it likely to subside after some wearing?

    Also, I was experiencing a bit of what I'd call "scrunching" over the back end of my toes, where the shoe bends when flexed/walking. Is that something that I could expect to go away once broken in?
  2. I don't buy a pair of shoes unless they are comfortable when I try them on. I'd be careful about buying shoes that had significant heel slipage or caused scrunching over the toes, but that's just me. I'd see about trying differnet sizes. Allen Edmonds makes good shoes and has a good choice of sizes. If you take them home don't wear them outside, wear them on carpet, that way you can return them if they don't fit right. A cost of a good pair of shoes is a substantial investment. You want to buy a pair that you will be happy with for many years.

  3. I got where I try them one before I buy. The exceptions for me are Stacy Adams and Florshine since their size 8 1/2 fits perfect!
  4. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Re the slippage ... if the shoe feels loose around the heel when you are not stepping and having the slippage, then it's not the right fit. If the shoe fits well stationary, and there is a little bit of slippage, then you are probably okay ... just dealing with a very stiff sole that will soften a bit over time & use.

    On the scrunching over the toes ... if you mean that the leather looks creased, that's going to be with you all the time & is fine ... to be expected. If you mean that the creases in the leather are causing you discomfort, then that's not good and while it may diminish or even go away with time, it's not an ideal starting point.
  5. Thanks for the input. My thinking has always been in line with Cannata's advice above: don't buy unless they are comfortable when trying them on. I just haven't purchased a pair of leather soled shoes before and don't know what to expect with respect to changes after breaking them in, which hasn't ever been an issue with rubber soled shoes.

    They felt a little looser in the heel than what I'm accustomed to when stationary, but I don't recall my heels moving around much when I was sitting. The slippage was when I was walking in them.

    Re/ the scrunching over the toes ... I wasn't referring to the look of the creased leather, which doesn't bother me, but rather feeling that crease make contact with the top of my foot when walking in a noticeable way.
  6. The sole material doesn't affect the fit, whereas the last and style of leather might. If you're coming from always wearing shoes designed primarily for comfort and go to a dress brogue or oxford it might feel a bit constricting or overly tight. The way I determine if a shoe is good for me is to concentrate on the foodbed itself first. Is there a small, uniform boundary around the part of your foot which contacts the ground/. If not, it's the wrong size or shape for you. If it is and there is no part of your foot being reshaped by the fit, your toes are able to wiggle about a tiny bit and can lie flat, then think about whether the upper is the right shape for the rest of your foot- are the laces already pulled tight so the front is nearly shut? This might cause a problem with getting them tight enough after a few weeks' breaking them in. Is the front gaping? They are probable too small in the upper.

    Every good shoeshop should have a device for measuring your foot size and width. If they don't, I'd shop elsewhere. This is highly embarassing but I wore shoes that were too tight for me for years as I got my foot measured once and thenn though "Oh, that's my shoes size". Unfortunately this was when I was only 17 and one shop assistant about a decade later thought she'd check. I was a size larger! So when I was 21 I used to buy shoes at 7.5, then at 30 size 9, now it's size 9-9,5.
  7. AJC


    When I was fitted for Allen Edmonds the first time at their store I tried different lasts and different sizes and ended up with the 5 last (same as the Strand) a half size smaller and 2 sizes wider and they fit snug, no real slippage - the point is, like scottish steve said the footbed is what matters, that is how I was able to tell the 5 last would work if I was put in the right size

    I highly recommend these shoes as they are good quality; the last and style make a difference but while the leather sole will break in a bit I think it sounds like what you tried on were the wrong size or possibly that lasts doesn't work for you

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