Help me not ruin my shoes so fast!
October 16, 2012 5:22 PM   Subscribe

My favorite pair of shoes in the entire world, this pair that there only seems to be one of in existence, are just a smidge too narrow. They're 11D, and feet would fit best in an 11E. That smidge is giving me one mean callous, but more importantly the widest part of my foot, tipped with that callous, has already worn through the leather lining and might have burst through the calfskin outer if I hadn't caught it in time. What can I do to not ruin these beautiful, expensive shoes any further?

These are my perfect shoe. I've had an ebay alert for them out for a year now, looking for a pair in my size. They're ridiculously expensive new, so as much as I'd like to someday own a pair that's only ever been mine, right now I have these and they're great and incredible and and beautiful but they're giving me this callous and I'm using that callous to ruining them.

I have a cobbler. I asked them about the issue in a vague way the last time I had the shoes cleaned up and they said they could work it out, likely by resoling them. It would be expensive (still waaay less expensive than a brand new pair though), and the original rubber soles have plenty of life left in them. If I must go this route, then I must. But I'd rather not for now.

I've been reading up a bit and finding several techniques for stretching leather shoes. I'm worried that if I slather on the Meltonian, put a bag of water in my shoe, and put it in the freezer overnight it'll do the work my foot has already been doing only so much quicker. Can you tell me I won't ruin my shoes if I try to stretch them out a little?

I'm loathe to let these go, but if I'm destined to ruin these shoes then I'd rather they be worn by someone who won't and I'll sell them on ebay. This is really the final option.

To be clear, I'm comfortable in these shoes even if the fit is a bit narrow. I'm just ruining them with my callous! What should I do?
posted by carsonb to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Make a mix of half water half rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and liberally apply to the inside of the shoe, where they are tight. Then wear them for a day. Repeat as needed. The leather should stretch ever so slightly to fit the shape of your foot without lathering on something likely to ruin them or discolor the leather.
posted by Apropos of Something at 5:35 PM on October 16, 2012

The cobbler near me has specific shoe stretching devices that he will use on your shoes for a defined time period for a fee. In my case $10. Worth asking around about, IMHO. I'm very curious about the origin and type of these super-terrific shoes!
posted by graytona at 10:26 PM on October 16, 2012

I would only entrust these fine hoof trappings to the hands of a capable cobbler. If you're at all worried about damaging the leather, this is the way to go. I've had great success having shoes stretched in the past. If may take multiple visits if the first time doesn't stretch the leather enough.
posted by Lieber Frau at 6:02 AM on October 17, 2012

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