Egads - stiff shoes!

Discussion in 'The Powder Room' started by bunnyb.gal, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. bunnyb.gal

    bunnyb.gal Practically Family

    Messages:
    788
    Location:
    sunny London
    I've got a lovely pair of deadstock suede 40's (I think) Oxfords, and they are a tad narrow and sooooo stiff I daren't wear them out of the house. Are there any secrets to softening up this material without ruining them?

    Cheers!
     
  2. crwritt

    crwritt One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,109
    Location:
    Falmouth ME
    I have heard of, and tried, coating the insides liberally with vaseline, then wearing them. Don't know what effect it would have on the suede, maybe if your'e extra careful?
     
  3. swinggal

    swinggal One Too Many

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    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    You can buy leather softner from a cobbler or shoe-repair store. Go talk to one of those guys. They are usually a great help :)
     
  4. bunnyb.gal

    bunnyb.gal Practically Family

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Thanks for your suggestions, ladies. I had a look at them, and they're actually made with two layers - a leather or leather-like material on the inside, and the suede outside. How long did it take for your shoes to limber up, crwritt?

    I've tried letting them sit with shoe stretchers in them for longer than I'd care to admit to, so perhaps I should leave them to the experts...?

    It's funny how these shoes are so hard, they're like mummified! But they're not dried out or crumbly. [huh]
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  5. Cara Wheeler

    Cara Wheeler New in Town

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    10
    Hi there. I'm new here, but I work at a shoe store. I recommend spritzing them with an water and a tiny bit of alcohol (prevents mildew) and then leave them on the stretchers overnight. The leather will dry in the new position.

    You can use saddle soap, shea butter, beeswax, leather oil or the like inside the shoes to further soften them.

    Hope this helps!!!
     
  6. W-D Forties

    W-D Forties Practically Family

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    Location:
    England
    I have also heard of using soap and also potato peelings to soften! Not at the same time obviously...
     
  7. Miss Golightly

    Miss Golightly Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,312
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Thanks for the tips ladies! I bought a pair of unworn leather and raffia shoes and to say the leather is hard is an understatement - my feet practically cry putting them on - it's like wearing breeze blocks on my feet! I won't be wearing them until next Spring/Summer but hopefully some of the tips here will make them wearable!
     
  8. bunnyb.gal

    bunnyb.gal Practically Family

    Messages:
    788
    Location:
    sunny London
    I've been waiting for the Christmas holiday period to go through my wardrobe, make do and mend, etc., and I've had these beautiful shoes unworn for more than a couple of years :redface: so all of your suggestions are so much appreciated!
     
  9. crwritt

    crwritt One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,109
    Location:
    Falmouth ME

    I used the vaseline method on a pair of Doc Martens, it took a couple days wearing them around until they softened and molded to my feet.
     
  10. fortworthgal

    fortworthgal Call Me a Cab

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    2,646
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    My advice is to just make sure they're sufficiently softened before you wear them out, otherwise the soles can crack.
     
  11. Lily Powers

    Lily Powers Practically Family

    I swear by my cobbler, and quite possibly over the last few years, have substantially contributed to his kids' college funds! :D I recently took a pair of new Remix leather shoes that were stiff across the toes and he said what he does is pound the leather, just like you would meat. It worked perfectly (no distress to the leather, no compromise of the original quality of the leather) and the stiffness has never been an issue since.
     

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