The old shoe factories in Boston, St. Louis, and in states like Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi are history now. Low price imports (continued below)
Low price imports put most of these old shoe manufacturers out of business in the 1980s and 1990s. The art of making shoes that fit, according to exact specifications, is history, too. China makes more than 60 percent of the shoes in the market today. China-made shoes conform to a different size standard, but Zelli shoes, an American company, is still producing standard size shoes today.
Shoes Today: Why It’s Hard to Find a Perfect Fit
The old American factories had exact size measurements for American feet, but the Chinese manufacturers have a size scale that fits feet in countries all over the world. That may be a good thing for big Chinese shoe manufacturers, but it is hard for men who like to buy a certain size shoe.
Shoes don’t fit the way they did 40 or 50 years ago. In fact, finding a shoe that fits is almost impossible, unless you buy a shoe from a brand that still makes shoes the old fashion way, like with Zelli shoes. The old fashion way is not a massive machine-driven production system. It is a handmade and machine-made process that only produces a certain number of shoes a day.
American Styling: Classic Companies Like Zelli Shoes
A company like Zelli Shoes is a good example of a company that still makes shoes the old fashion way. Zelli shoes and leather boots still offer impeccable Italian craftsmanship, American styling, and the company only uses quality materials.
Getting shoes and boots to fit the right way depends on several things. The material, the last, the lining, the outsole, and the heel, all play a part in a proper fit. If one or more of those things is out of whack, your shoes may fit like socks on a rooster. Shoes can also stretch out, and when they do, men must shrink those shoes so they fit.
How to Shrink Your Shoes
Shrinking shoes may sound like an impossible task, but it’s not. All you need is:
- Hot water
- A blow dryer
Just follow these steps:
- Spray: Get the shoes or boots wet using hot water. A spray bottle is the best thing to use to complete this first step.
- Dry: Put the shoes or boots in the sun and let them dry, or use a blow dryer. Drying shoes with heat forces leather and fabrics to shrink. Holding a hair dryer six inches above your wet shoes should do the trick.
- A Big No No: Don’t use your clothes dryer. Shoes will shrink in a clothes dryer, but they will also lose their shape, and the original shape may not come back.
- Condition: Leather and suede shoes need a conditioner, so they won’t crack. Conditioning kits are available in most shoe and big name stores.
Shrinking shoes that don’t fit happens a lot. Even top brand names like Zelli Shoes need some tender loving care from time-to-time. Shoe making is not an exact science, and as we all know, feet aren’t either.