You know that guy at high school with the mysterious hazel eyes who only ever attended art class, never talked to anyone and always walked around with his hair draped over one eye? He shifted from school to school, hung out with university kids and even rode a motorbike.
And when you think back to that day when he walked past and looked deep into your eyes, you were jumping cartwheels on the inside and proceeded to walk right into a lamp post…and he witnessed it all!
He was the bad boy: the guy that all the boys wanted to be, and the girls wanted to, well, you know? He was untouchable—out of reach. You cut his picture out of your high school yearbook and glued it next to yours.
So he asks you out, or at least that’s what you think when you turn up at his house and he mumbles, reluctantly letting you through the front door. His parents are having dinner and he’s playing on his computer. Bad boy indeed!
Bad boys do not a good relationship make, because no matter how great the infatuation, you’re bound to be let down somewhere along the way.
Which brings me to the relationship that we have with our feet and the way that a pair of shoes might fill our hearts with the same kind of aching desire that only a swipe of plastic (and sacrificing a month’s worth of your salary) might requite.
But when you fall, you fall hard—usually, flat on your face—and often.
So you’re attracted to those bad boys—the elusive pair of shoes that look every bit as good on the designer shelf, as they do on your feet. But trying to walk in them causes more pain, than joy. Now the vestiges of that romance remain with the other loves of your life, taking their place in the dark recesses of your wardrobe.
The summer romance i.e the sandal was fun while it lasted. Seasonal offerings will come and go, rather than become a permanent fixture in your life.
The girl’s best friend i.e. the almighty trainer is the shoe you trust most. You’ve been through some pretty hairy moments together. Any pain and suffering only occurs when the soles start to tear away from the shoe itself. Alas, you will wear them until they’re almost threadbare—a testament to the strength of your relationship.
But now it’s winter. All you want to do is find that perfect pair to snuggle into. We’re talking style, personality and a great fit to match. These are the go-anywhere shoe and when you meet for the first time there are no ‘ugly step sister’ scenarios, no screaming matches. The fit is sublime! These are the shoes that complement an array of outfit choices, with the comfort and stability that only the perfect partner could offer. Yes. These are the medium to long–term commitment shoes that may one day be…the forever pair.
But what do you do when you get home and discover that your connection isn’t quite as fluid as you initially thought? Your feet feel like they’ve been strapped to a couple of bricks and run over with a steamroller, not once, but ten times—and that doesn’t include reversing! But before you throw them over a bridge and cry a river of tears, just know that your relationship might just take a little bit of negotiation and time, to loosen up.
I consulted with my friends Fraquoh and Franchomme at Attire Club to get some expert tips to break those babies in.
ATTIRE CLUB RULES
What NOT to do.
- The Internet is full of bizarre tips when it comes to breaking in shoes: putting them in a bucket of water, pouring water in them, washing them with alcohol and even hammering them are all common tips that one can find by making a simple Google search. However, these tips are not practical. Putting your shoes through such things will only make them go bad, as the leather (as well as the other fabrics from which your shoes are made), will be affected and not molded.
- If you do wish to try out one of those tricks, make sure that your shoes can handle it. Our recommendation, however, would be not to try such harsh things.
- First of all, shoe-stretching solutions or leather moisturizers that have been tested can be used to break in leather shoes. Make sure before you use such a product that you consult the packaging and instructions to make sure that you do it correctly.
- The best way to break in a new pair of leather shoes and to make them feel as if you have worn them for a decade is to walk in them.
- Wear your new shoes for 10-minutes at a time, constantly increasing the number of minutes you walk in your shoes. Make sure you take frequent breaks as this will make the shoes break more rapidly and feel more comfortable, and familiar, quicker.
- If your shoes hurt in one particular area, such as one of the toes or your heels, place adhesive bandages to those parts until the shoe molds.
- High-quality leather will become stronger and more flexible in time and will adapt to your feet making you feel extremely comfortable.
- One thing to remember about breaking in your shoes is that this process takes time, which is why you should always take enough time to wear your shoes around the house before you go out with them.
—Fraquoh and Franchomme
If you would like to find out more or if you’re interested in menswear and men’s style tips, head to: http://attireclub.org