The fit of a shoe is the most important aspect of any item of footwear. You could be wearing the most aesthetically pleasing shoes you’ve ever owned in your life (win!), but if they fit you poorly, you’ll both feel and look uncomfortable (not such a win). For something that is going to carry you about all day, it’s very worthwhile to put some time into finding a fit that is correct.
There are a myriad of different factors involved with how a shoe will fit: the last, the width fitting, lacing (if any) and sole unit all play a part in how the shoe will feel, as will the time of day that you’re trying them – the longer you’re on your feet, the larger and more sensitive your feet will be. However, this can also work to your advantage, as if a shoe is comfortable at the end of the day, they will be comfortable all the time.
Now, enough with the intro, let’s get in to the advice;
- Everybody’s feet are different. It’s important to remember that the fit of a shoe is much more about the last (the form on which the shoe is made that denotes shape and fit) than the size: every last has a different manner of fitting, so it’s important to try them to see which works best for you. You may vary by half a size in some styles of shoe based on the different lasts they were constructed on.
- Generally speaking, the most important fit of a shoe is the width. You should feel supported, but certainly not crammed-in; ideally you want some space over the top of your toes so the leather has somewhere to go when it breaks in. If it feels constrictive or it’s pinching your toes, it’s best to try a half size up, or a wider fit – some Cheaney styles come in a wider G width fitting, which is worth keeping in mind. There’s a lot to be said for giving your feet a bit of breathing space.
- When it comes to the construction of the shoe, you may get a little bit of movement at the heel when trying new shoes on, which is totally normal and something which will ease over time. Also, the cork filler in the insole of the shoe, when new, is quite stiff and takes a couple of wears to start moving with your foot. It’s worth remembering that although a shoe should feel comfortable when you first try it on, it takes a few wears in order for it to become fully comfortable as the leather needs to soften to the shape of your foot.
- Do not buy a shoe that feels too tight from the get go. Although leather does give over time, it isn’t going to miraculously grow in size to fit your foot, that would be weird. Impressive, but weird. Instead, keep in mind that the shoe should gently ‘hug’ your foot, not restrict it.
- More of a tip here but if you have a high arch, it’s best to try a shoe with open lacing, otherwise known as a derby. This will give you more space across the top of your foot and save you grimacing at your colleagues.There will be a slight compromise with loafers, as you don’t have the support of laces. Heel movement may be more prominent to begin with and they may take a couple of extra wears to break in properly, but once they are they’re just as comfortable as lace ups. Remember, every style of shoe is not going to suit every foot type, so figuring out what works best for you is key.
Ultimately, you can only know how a shoe fits by trying it on. All Cheaney stores will be happy to take you through the fit of the shoes and find a shape which works for you. Just remember to be open to suggestion!
Post written by Lime Street Store Manager, Alex Pardey [Instagram @shoes_maketh_man]
Header Photograph Courtesy of @model.london67 [Instagram}