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This pair of shoes
Posted: 28 April 2012 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]
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You might remember my thread when I asked if I should buy a second pair of shoes. Of course I wound up buying so many pairs of the things I’m set for some years now.

I finally managed to put some velcro into one pair so my podiatry inserts don’t move. And being made of harder leather as well as being like new it’s almost like I’ve got vices on my feet. I’m glad to say the velcro is working. I just hope I don’t wind up getting a blister from wearing in this pair of shoes. I’m sure they’ll soften up a bit after a couple of days of wearing them. It just makes me think of the crazy things we have to put up with.

I do remember this trick I heard about during my brief time in the Army Reserve. Apparently it was the idea to soak your new boots in water to soften the leather. I can’t see myself doing that. I couldn’t put up with waiting for them to dry.

I also remember it seemed to be a standard joke in sitcoms to put a rain soaked pair of shoes in the oven, only to have them left in their for too long. For the life of me I couldn’t imagine putting an nice expensive pair of shoes in an oven. But I guess these old time sitcom writers didn’t have much imagination because this old joke seemed to appear time and again.

Anyway I’m now in a situation where the shoes I’m wearing look much newer than the rest of the clothes I’m wearing. I can’t win.

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Posted: 28 April 2012 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Please tell me you’re NOT thinking of buying a new suit and then ‘velcro’ it to your body?

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Posted: 28 April 2012 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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hulitoons - 28 April 2012 10:00 AM

Please tell me you’re NOT thinking of buying a new suit and then ‘velcro’ it to your body?

hmmm

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Posted: 28 April 2012 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Water and leather are not a good mix. As the leather dries, it tends to shrink and get extremely hard. It also brings an abrasive layer of salt to the surface of the leather and tends to dissolve the glue in the shoe.

I had to break in a new baseball glove back in high school. I soaked it in baby oil. It darkened the leather, but the glove was supple.

Another trick is to cover your feet in a heavy layer of Vaseline, put on socks, then the shoes. The Vaseline soaks through the socks, lubricates the leather, and prevents you from developing blisters.

So, basically, add oils, not water to soften leather.

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Posted: 28 April 2012 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I tend only to ever have one pair of boots at a time myself. Well, not entirely true, I have a pair of steel toecaps I almost never wear but they’ve been useful on duty in the past for those occasions when you think your toes might get squashed a bit otherwise. But besides them my only footwear tends to be one pair of decent boots, which are supportive on my bad ankle, keep the mud and water out, but can be polished to look at least reasonably formal when I need to scrub up.

Re: things to do to soften them up, an old trick my Grandad taught me was to heat up a spoon over a flame (don’t worry, I’m not about to suggest taking heroin or anything, even in Western Scotland there’s more than one use for a hot spoon!), and then using the outside of the spoon (the convex bit as opposed to the bit your soup goes in!) slowly rub the outside of the leather of the boots in all the places where the hard creases annoy your feet/ankles. You might need to reheat the spoon a few times, and also if you’ve already polished the shoes/boots a lot (I’m a bit neurotic about that sort of thing, I don’t wear them till I get a good shine off them, and eventually they end up with a mirror sheen that I get even more neurotic about keeping, which is annoying as I’m clumsy and end up with scuffed toecaps that bother me for the rest of the day!) you’ll likely melt some polish off so don’t do it on the living room carpet or anything! I haven’t had to do that in ages mind you so I can’t remember how much you’ll have to do it to get a good result.

The plan is that the hot spoon treatment should soften the leather up a little bit for you in the areas you rub. As I say it’s been so long since I’ve had to do it I’m not sure how well it works in a given timeframe, but it might work out for you.

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