It’s no secret that the business of PW Comfort Shoes is to take comfortable shoes to retirement facilities for the convenience of residents. It stands to reason, therefore, that healthy feet are a priority for us!
Around this topic of healthy feet and footwear, there are a variety of complementary services that have goals similar to ours. An often overlooked service is that of the local shoemaker. At one time shoemakers actually made shoes for individuals.
While that skill might not be practiced as often as it used to be many years ago – unless, that is, you have a really special need – the local shoe maker still provides some beneficial services that we might forget.
They clean and repair shoes. Particularly useful is their ability to stretch shoes that are just a tad tight. Stretching tight shoes can be an economical way of keeping and wearing shoes that you have and like – whether brand new, or shoes that have been left unworn in your closet for some time.
I personally had this service provided by Dan Gourlie of Ajax Dry Cleaners & Shoe Repair. Dan has been repairing shoes for many years.
Because of a bunion on the side of my right foot, certain styles are crippling. One soft and stylish pair of Naturalizer sat right on the edge of the bunion; and so stretching it was my last attempt to see if I could continue wearing it.
How stretching works
The entire shoe can be stretched, or, as in my case, just the area that’s a problem – which was the inner side of the right shoe. And it can be the pair of shoes, or just one foot.
As Dan explained to me, first he uses a special footwear liquid to spray the inside area that needs stretching, then for about one hour he places the stretcher device to pull the area. The higher the tension, the more the shoe stretches. He does caution, however, that leather can split if there’s too much tension.
The aerosol spray that he uses can also be used at home. Dan says if you do this at home, it’s important to put the shoe on immediately and walk in it. That means your foot becomes the stretching device. This may or may not be as effective as having the shoemaker do it.
Although shoemakers are a dying breed, you might still be able to find one in your area. If you can’t, then at least look for the right aerosol spray and try the do-it-yourself route. The key, though, is to wear the shoes while it’s damp from the spray.
Whether you can do this yourself at home, or you take it to a professional, you could end up wearing a much-loved shoe for a longer period, and save yourself a few dollars by not having to replace it.
Walk safely – until next time,