The "Off the Peg" line of footwear is developed to balance history, comfort, durability, and long-term use over modern surfaces. I want to ensure you enjoy your new footwear, have it fit comfortably, and for you to be happy! Like all other quality leather products, your footwear needs occasional attention for comfort, reliability and longevity.
Your boots or shoes should fit snugly. Wear them with no socks or inserts the first several times. Your boots or shoes can fit snugly, but not very tightly. Once on, they may be tight across the top of the foot and toes. This is normal. As you wear the boots over a few weeks, they will stretch and mold to your foot.
Troubles with fitting:
If the footwear does not fit the first time, place a plastic grocery store bag over your foot to reduce friction and try again. Once the boot is on wear it around as long as you can. If the fit is still unbearably tight, contact me for an exchange. I will be happy to exchange your footwear for another size.
All the footwear is designed to be worn with insole inserts. I sell “Sof Sole” insoles, which retail for about $20. Inserts give you a heel cushion and arch support. Keep in mind there is no arch support otherwise. You can purchase inserts from me or use your preferred brand.
For footwear with Laces and Buckles:
If you ordered footwear with laces or buckles, wear your laces or buckles tight during the break in process. Maintaining tightness will help keep your foot in the proper position to break in the leather. Not doing this will cause the heel pocket to not form and the footwear will feel too short. You should never remove or put your boots or shoes on with the laces tied or buckled. Doing so will cause your boots or shoes to get over stretched and give you a sloppy fit over time. New holes can be added to the straps, you can punch them yourself using a round punch.
For footwear with Bone or Horn Toggles:
If you ordered footwear with toggles, always keep the toggle tight. If at first the strap does not meet up with the toggle, tie a leather string through the buttonhole and around the toggle. Keep this string tight and the strap will stretch to meet the toggle. If the strap is too loose, feel free to move the toggle to a position to keep it tight .It is as easy as moving a button. Use nylon waxed thread, available at Tandy Leather Factory stores. You should never remove or put your boots or shoes on with the toggles done. Doing so will cause your boots or shoes to get over stretched, give you a sloppy fit and wear out faster. You will need to be vigilant about adjusting the knots and toggles to keep them tight.
After your footwear has been broken in:
• Every two months apply a coat of Sno-Seal Beeswax Waterproofer. I sell Sno-Seal and you can also purchase it at various sporting goods stores. This product will maintain and waterproof your footwear as well as clean up any non-staining dirt. By following this instruction you will prevent staining dirt from sticking to the leather, keep your feet dry, and keep the leather from getting damaged increasing the longevity and reliability of your footwear. When using Sno-Seal, be cautious. The instructions will tell you to preheat your footwear using a variety of methods. NEVER PLACE YOUR FOOTWEAR IN AN OVEN. Take care when using heat lamps as well. Overheating your shoes will cause the glue that attaches the soles to separate. Fiebing’s Aussie Leather Conditioner is also an acceptable product.
• If your boots or shoes get staining dirt on them or show signs of damage from the elements, clean them with Saddle Soap. Read and follow the instructions on the Saddle Soap. After the Saddle Soap dries, apply Sno-Seal.
• If you have neglected your footwear and notice the leather is damaged or dry, use Kiwi Mink Oil Paste.
Things to avoid:
• Never use Neatsfoot oil.
• Never leave your footwear anywhere with heat over 120 Fahrenheit. An example of this being in your car during the summer. This will cause the glue affixing the sole to separate.
• Never pack away or fold your footwear wet. Once dry, it will want to stay in this shape.
• Never store items like wallets, beer cans or bottles, in your boots or shoes as you wear them. This will cause your boots to “fall” and sag.
• Don’t get them soaking wet before waterproofing. Shoes with crepe or anti-slip soles have leather midsoles, soaking the shoes, like in really foul weather, will cause the leather midsole to expand and release the artificial sole. Please be aware this is not a failure of workmanship, design, or materials.
Signs of Wear / Time to Repair
For vibram or crepe soles:
The soles of the boots will wear out over time, normally about 2 years. If you walk on the inside or outside of your foot, this could happen very quickly, about 3 to 6 months. Look closely at the sole of your boots from the side. There are two layers; the top layer is the original leather sole that the footwear is sewn to; the bottom layer is the sole that is either smooth crepe or vibram tread.
Once you wear the smooth crepe or the vibram tread sole down to 1/8th of an inch for crepe or to the leather layer for vibram, it is time to replace the soles. If your foot is starting to walk off the heel of the boot either to the inside or outside because the sole material is worn down unevenly, then it is time to get the sole replaced before the footwear is ruined.
For leather soles:
The soles of the boots will wear out over time, normally about 2 years. If you walk on the inside or outside of your foot, this could happen very quickly, about 3 to 6 months. Avoid concrete and asphalt as much as possible. These surfaces will wear the soles of your shoes very quickly.
Once you wear the leather down to about 1/8th of an inch, it is time to replace the soles or add a new layer. If you wear the soles down to the stitching, service the shoes immediately. If your foot is starting to walk off the heel of the boot either to the inside or outside because the sole material is worn down unevenly, then it is time to get the sole replaced before the footwear is ruined.
Your footwear is constructed in such a way that it can be taken to any local shoe repair shop.