How to remedy a curled back-of-the-heel?
August 29, 2010 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Another day, another shoe problem.

I recently bought a pair of Fluevog Hi Vannys. Because the 8.5 was HUGE on me, I opted for the 8s. After a stretching, the shoes fit perfectly...with one small hitch.

The back of the left heel curved in at one point early in my owning them, before I was able to get them stretched. This has not only caused abrasions in the heel/ankle area of my foot when I try to wear them, but has also thrown off the fit of the shoe by a very painful centimeter or two.

This seems as though it should be fixable, but I have yet to figure out a way to get the top of the heel to stand straight so that I can put my foot in. Heel reinforcers tend to slide off, shoe spoons have no effect, and I haven't been able to otherwise break the shoes in because of this blemish. (FWIW, the right shoe doesn't have this problem.)

I love these shoes and would hate to think I threw away a large sum on them. Is there a way I can get the leather to stand straight and stay that way? Please help!
posted by pxe2000 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total)
Could you sell them on eBay, then buy yourself a new, and maybe better pair of shoes?
posted by foxy at 6:57 PM on August 29, 2010

I wonder if you could use a shoe tree (high heeled variety) to hold something to shape it (I presume that's what a shoe spoon is?)

You could probably call the manufacturer and see what they suggest. They might have a recommendation for a leather conditioner or oil to work into the heel before trying to re-shape it. They might have some kind of guarantee so you could get yours exchanged.
posted by galadriel at 7:08 PM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Galadriel: The Boston Fluevog store does have an in-house shoe repair specialist. I should probably just drop them off with him and see if he can do anything. Since the shoes have been worn, I doubt I can exchange them, though, and they're sold out of my size. Before I took that measure, I just figured I'd see if there was anything I can do on my own. The high-heeled shoe tree and leather conditioner are helpful tips.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:13 PM on August 29, 2010

Sine this is a defect, they may still be willing to return/exchange them even though they have been worn.
posted by galadriel at 7:31 PM on August 29, 2010

Fluevog is generally pretty great about fixing their shoes if there's a defect. They fixed my husband's shoes that he wore for 6 months and then got a torn stitch. I'd take them in there and talk to them about it.
posted by bedhead at 8:29 PM on August 29, 2010

I had the same problem with a new pair of shoes. The right heel was giving me horrible blisters so I couldn't wear them long enough to break them in properly.

I waited until my blisters healed then put a heavy duty adhesive bandage on the back of my ankle the next few times I wore the shoes. It took about a week of wearing them every day but it solved the problem.

Would it be possible for you to protect your ankle/heel area and break the shoes in?
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:45 PM on August 29, 2010

Don't risk it. Having been debilitated by plantar facitis, I'd say that it is not worth the risk. Podiatrists would cringe at what you are doing. Ebay them; buy some more.
posted by chinabound at 7:57 AM on August 30, 2010

I had a similar problem (I think; I don't know what heel reinforcers are). I brought my shoes to a shoe repair store and the man put a small lift on the insole the heel. It made it so the top of the counter (the cuff?) matched my heel and ankle, and solved the problem.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:52 AM on August 30, 2010

Definitely take them to Fluevog and ask to have them repaired/refitted. They've done that for me (in Chicago) for shoes over a year old. If you can't get them fitted to your liking, you will have no trouble selling them on Craigslist for almost full price.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:15 AM on August 30, 2010

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