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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello--

Taking advantage of a 40% off sale, I just bought a pair of size 12 leather J.Crew/Kenton boots. More often than not, my shoe size is 12, though I wear a size 13 in some sneakers and made-in-China shoes. The Kentons ("Plain Toe Boots") arrived, and while they aren't unbearable, they are just a bit more snug in the width than I would like. In terms of length, my big toe isn't quite touching in front, but I wouldn't want them any shorter. The next size up, 13, is sold out online, but I did find one pair in a store that has placed a courtesy hold for me. My plan is to wear them in the office, and as I live on an island off the coast of Florida, I don't plan on wearing heavy wool socks anytime soon.

My dilemma: Do I exchange these for the size 13 right off the bat, or do I tough it out with the pair of 12 for awhile in hope that they will stretch out/conform to my foot? I figure that once I wear them out of the house, however, I will have crossed the proverbial Rubicon, and I will be stuck with less-than-optimum comfort if the relatively thick leather doesn't in fact conform to my feet.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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It’s a tough call. I’m not the owner of your feet so the term snug is meaningless to me.

Don’t wear the 12’s just yet. Take them with you and try the size 13 on. Wear them in store and decide.

Shoes do eventually give depending on the quality of leather.

You may also need to resign yourself that regardless of the savings or how good a deal, some shoes and boots just aren’t right for your feet.
 

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Remember, our feet tend to swell a bit, as we go through our days. If the boots are tight when you first put them on, how are they going to feel eight hours later or after you have been on your feet for awhile. SG 67 has offered you some very wise advice. Try the size 13 boots on at the store before attempting to wear the size 12's. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Greetings gents, and thanks for the responses.

Excellent idea; I have purchased the pair of 13 (out of state) and I will return whichever isn't right.

Further question: I have a pair of suede chukkas that were snug but conformed to my feet after just a few hours. For years I have bought LL Bean bluchers (or similar) that are tight at first, but once the leather breaks in they are fine, to the point where I can slide my feet in & out of them hands-free. A few years back I bought leather Quoddy chukkas in 12 that were very tight, and against their advice, I returned them for size 13. Not too long after, the 13's became so loose-fitting that my feet were spelunking in them; I got fed up wearing thick itchy socks to accommodate the hugeness, and I finally made them go away on the popular auction site at pennies on the dollar.

My point is that I have experience with much thinner leather shoes stretching/breaking in over time. With thicker shoes like these Kentons, would I be making a mistake to stay with the size 13 that may feel perfect right off the bat, or will I be going down the same road as with the aforementioned chromexcel Quoddy shoes?
 

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With thicker shoes like these Kentons, would I be making a mistake to stay with the size 13 that may feel perfect right off the bat, or will I be going down the same road as with the aforementioned chromexcel Quoddy shoes?
Nobody will be able to answer your question with any certainty. You might get some educated guesses, but no slam-dunks. You'll just have to use the trial-and-error method if you want to find out for sure.

My gut feeling is that if the size 13 shoes fit perfectly right out of the box, they will probably be keepers. But "probably" is all I can give you.

If they are the least bit too large, I'd return them and look for another brand; I wouldn't let the 40% discount cloud my thinking. Whatever you do, don't start rationalizing.
 

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Really difficult to tell. I have a pair of rancourt boots that was so tight at first that I almost returned it, but after a couple of wears, loosened into a perfect fit. I have a pair of red wings that did the same.

On the other hand, all my AE boots have stayed fitting as they did on day one. Same goes for Thursday boots.

So, yeah. It depends on the pliability of the leather used, and you can't always tell how it'll be. Those rancourts I have are buffalo leather and total tanks, seem at least a quarter inch thick, but they still turned out to be pliable. Yet, my Thursday boots, which seem much thinner and softer, have never stretched at all.

So, I have no idea for you beyond trying to find people who own that model and seeing what they say about break-in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
The pair of 13 J.Crew/Kentons arrived. They are a bit roomier/not as snug-fitting as the 12, but it occurs to me that I really have no experience with this type of shoe: thick, heavy leather; clunky sole; speed hooks that lace above the ankle; and so I really don't know how--if at all--these will break in. The leather is stiff and rigid, and not the most comfortable around the ankle on either size. Is that normal for this type of boot right out of the box? In terms of width & length, the 13 feels more comfortable. I guess I will thus stick with the 13 just as someone advised above because they feel better right off the bat.

The big question: does this type of shoe break in? If the 12 were to conform to my foot after a few times wearing them, then the 12 would be the wise choice. What to do?

Brown Footwear Shoe Outdoor shoe Font
 
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