Have you ever had a pair of shoes that fit like a glove? Not tennis shoes. Tennis shoes are comfortable from the start and tend to wear out before they wear in. But a nice pair of leather shoes that ended up forming perfectly to your foot?
My first pair of fit like a glove shoes was my first pair of drivers, a pebble leather Gancini Bit driver from Ferragamo in chocolate brown. They are incredibly comfortable, like a second skin, but they didn’t start out that way. Even though drivers, with a flexible sole, they took time to break in. Breaking in a pair of shoes means wearing them through that early uncomfortable stage, like hunting for Easter eggs in a brier patch.
It seems to be a real thing. If you are willing to suffer and endure you will be rewarded in the end. Not sure why it has to be that way, but ask any successful person how they got there. After my Gancini’s and I suffered together and became one, I knew I was on to something and wanted to have this experience in a dress shoe.
Now, if you are like most people, and someone comes along and promises you a quick, easy and painless way to becoming rich, you’re in. Those are called scams, and they don’t work. But when considering a custom bespoke shoe made just for me and my feet as the secret to bypassing the uncomfortable break in phase, I was that guy.
My bespoke shoe experience was actually just semi-bespoke because my cobbler lives outside of Naples, Italy and I mailed him my measurements as opposed to him taking them in person and seeing things that just a drawing on paper won’t show him. But it also involved him sending me a test pair of shoes and lots of feedback over several months before he finished the final pair. It is a good system, but never as thorough as in person.
The result was two beautiful pairs of shoes that pinched my left foot pinky toe. When you are trying to cheat the system and paying this kind of money, you want your pinky toe to be happy. It was not until I traveled to Naples this month to see my cobbler that I found out that this was an easy fix that I could do in the comfort of my own home. A $15 shoe stretcher from Amazon helped me ultimately cheat the break in process.
I also learned that, unless you have something unusual going on with your feet that requires a bespoke hand made shoe, you can stretch and/or simply break in most RTW (Ready To Wear) shoes for a third of the price. With this I was fortunate enough to pick up a beautiful pair of black cap toes that Antonio stretched out for me while I was there, making my now forth pair of Meccariello shoes counting the blue/grey chukka boots.
After a slight stretching right there in Antonio’s workshop, these black cap toes were immediately comfortable. And now all of my Meccariello shoes fit like a glove. I think Antonio is one of the best in the business right now and for his quality you won’t beat his prices. I have left a link below so you can check him out.
Reference: Antonio Meccariello shoes