Monday, April 19, 2010

Painful Shoes

As I mentioned briefly in my previous post the Rock n Roll Revdezvous was the Sunday just gone. I did make it there (after much confusion thanks to my Where Is directions that took us down 2 no through roads?!) and will upload the pics I managed to snap sometime tomorrow when I post about it. For now I thought I'd tell you how I spent the rest of my weekend… now, please don’t judge BUT I spent my weekend strutting around in my pjs, thick green soaks soaked in metho, and my leather work shoes…(No this is not some quirk I have where I like the smell of metho in the morning hehe) I can explain, I swear… :)

I bought a cute pair of shoes a while back that I had planned to wear to work. They were black shiny patent leather, with a big black heart on the toe which had an outline of white for contrast. Now normally I would not spend over $100 dollars on flat shoes as they generally are for work as I wear heels 95% of the time when I am going out. However after finding these I decided, that if bought one good pair of leather work flats I wouldn’t have to buy new pairs as often and these ones were so cute that I might wear them elsewhere. So I spent I think around $140 on a pair of flat leather shoes.

I went into Wittner, tried them on, bought them and took them home with a smile on face. Of course, being new I wore them to work the next day. To my despair, by the time I actually made it to work which is a 15 walk from the train station my beautiful new shoes were full of blood and the back of my heels were torn up beyond band-aid control. I had to hobble to the shops in my lunch break and buy a cheap pair of thongs (which I do no wear as a rule) so I was able to walk back to the train station that night to get home. I couldn’t get my feet into anything else as the slightest pressure on my now raw heels was too painful to walk. The shoes fit my feet fine in the store but since they were such stiff leather they really did a number on me when I wore them.

My feet often cop a bit of damage from some of the shoes I wear, but usually I can whack a band-aid where its rubbing and ta-da no pain until I get home and take the shoes off. Usually these problems only occur with new heels while I am wear them in or if I am standing/walking in them too long… but this time I was shattered to find that flats could do much worse damage.

These painful (but cute) shoes were banished from my room because it was to sad to look at them, they were so cute and I couldn’t even wear them. My mum kindly offered to wear them when she was around the house with thick socks to stretch them a bit so that I would be able to wear them. She had worn them every time she was home over the next couple of months and I decided to brave them again. I had tried them on (again) and they seemed a little stretched so I wore them to work. This time I had worn preventative band-aids and bought with me a spare pair of shoes just in case.

Well, lucky I did because the shoes cruely removed my band-aids and began to work at my finally healed heels. I was quick to change shoes to stop most of the damage but was shattered in the realization that perhaps these shoes just weren’t for me… and I would never be able to wear them.

After another couple of months of wearing some cheap work flats, the sole began to detach and I braved the Wittner store again. I decided on a plain pair of black points would be fine, and went through the whole process again.

I went in, picked them out, tried them on, asked the shop assistant if the size was correct, walked around the store in them, bought them and went home with a smile on my face. I had spent another $160 on flat shoes for work but was completely certain that these would not cause me such pain as the assistant had again assured me of the size. I wore them to work the next day…

Yep, you guessed it. Blood. Pain. Again, even in the presence of my powerful preventative band-aids. I put on my spare shoes and swore off ever spending that kind of money on flat work shoes ever again. Cursing my self for wasting money of those shoes when there was a pair of heels right next to them in the store that I loved…

This second pair I purchased was only around a month ago. They had since sat on in the spare room and my mum had kindly worn them a few times with thick socks in hopes that these ones might stretch better. They had stretched a little and upon telling this story to a friend who couldn’t believe I had done this twice now, I was told “you have to wear leather shoes in”. Well, thanks. I am aware that leather shoes have to be worn in, but apparently my feet do not agree with that statement. It seems that everyone else is able to wear leather shoes in by simply, well, wearing them while I must suffer and banish my shoes to never-never land.

Annoyed about this I set upon google with three words “stretching leather shoes”. I was met with 2 main solutions to stretching leather shoes, besides simple wearing them in.

1. The Ice Method – Fill two bags with water, sit them in the shoe and freeze. The water will expand when frozen and thus stretch the shoe.
2. The Alcohol Method – Spray a rubbing alcohol on the shoes, paying special attention to the seams. Wear the now wet shoes until dry.

Being a week day, I decided these shoes which were not being worn could do with a trip to the freezer so I tried the ice method first. This was unsuccessful but very entertaining to try and smash the ice out of the shoes. Disheartened but determined I then tried the alcohol method… Although mentholated spirits is far to strong to use a rubbing alcohol I again googled away and found that if you mix 1 part metho 3 parts water it’s close enough.

So, there I was in my parrot pjs, a pair of thick green socks and spray bottle in hand. I put a movie on, layed out a towel and sprayed away. The shoes were soaked. I repeated this process several times walking around a bit after my movie and hanging out washing etc. I did all Saturday, and all Sunday night. After some success with my plain black points my mum offered to wear the patent ones and try the miracle spray on them. Picture this, two grown women in pajamas, with thick socks and leather shoes sitting on the couch with a towel under their feet… needles to say we hoped no one turned up at our house. Lol.

After the many hours of stomping and walking funny trying to roll the heel on the shoes I tried both pairs on last night sans the thick socks and found that they BOTH now slide on and off my foot with ease! Finally, I was victorious over my leather shoe nemesis and I can now wear them with pride. They have been conquered and shall remain that way for many wears to come :)

Whats the point of all this I hear you ask? Well the moral of this story is 1 never give up and 2 google knows all.
The picture above was taken today, of the shoes which are currently on my feet. The same shoes that broke my heart months ago now grace the space under my desk blood free. I have no worn the other pair yet, but considering these were the most painful I can assume they will be fine. I will keep you updated.

Now, even if you are not a fan of these shoes everyone has worn painful shoes at one time or another and the majority of people have worn-in a pair of leather shoes…

Have you worn painful shoes? Did you stubbornly wear them again like I did? Got any tips or tricks for leather shoes?


  1. Boy, that seems like too much work for me ;] But I'm glad you get to wear them after all. I don't wear leather, unless it's secondhand/vintage, but I've had shoes that just rub in the wrong spot. Fortunately, band-aids fix it!
    -Andi x

  2. I went through a phase a couple years ago where out of nowhere, every single pair of shoes I owned started giving me blisters. They weren't new or old, just well-worn in, so I was quite confused. I feel your pain! It's frustrating!

  3. Wow those shoes are so cute. I can't do it though. I have to wear comfy shoes because I have a wide foot. I am stuck with Docs and sneakers usually. Even with my Docs, I need to stretch them out with thick socks around the apartment to break in the leather.

  4. Hi ladies,
    Thanks for you comments :) So glad that I'm not the only one who has shoes dramas hehe.

    Andi B - I think you have the right idea, at least vintage shoes have been worn :)

    Francy - that sucks! I would be shattered if that happened. Did you have to wear your slippers? lol.

    Ally - Thanks :) that's why I spent a whole weekend fixing them lol. I had a pair of docs a few years back and they took quite some streching... luckily I gave them to someone who got good use out of them so it was up to them.