Accessories to Optimize Fit?
Why do we recommend accessories to optimize fit? Shouldn't they just fit perfectly out the box, with no modifications?
Dress shoes are technically dress clothes, and share similar characteristics. Unlike puffy skate shoes or baggy hoodies, the materials and patterns of dress shoes and dress clothes have precise margins for fit. That can be seen as inconvenience. That can also be seen as refinement.
It's very rare to find blazers, suit jackets, dress shirts, dress pants, etc. that fit perfectly when buying off-the-rack. It's almost a given that we'll have to take it to the tailor, pay for their craft, and come back in a few days to pick it up. You might even need to leave it again for more adjustments.
If we want something that fits better without modification, we can pay double the price for made-to-measure, or pay triple the price for bespoke. Even with these though, you'll likely have to make some adjustments. The difference here is that the adjustments are included in the price.
So why would we expect our dress shoes to fit perfectly, without modifications? Especially since the thicker materials of dress shoes and the demanding ergonomics of feet require even more precision in dress shoes than dress clothes?
Fortunately, modifying your shoes to optimize fit is way easier than going to the tailor for your clothes. You can apply them yourself, in seconds or minutes, without expert help. If you need them replaced, they are available at most drug stores, supermarkets, shoe stores, and shoe repair shops. We recommend calling before going to confirm product availability.
With dress shoes, just like with dress clothes, you have the option of paying double for made-to-measure, or paying triple for bespoke. However, we think it's a better idea to just give accessories a shot.
Often times, you'll only need the accessory for a short while, until the shoes are broken in (Carets have a significantly shorter break-in, if any, than conventional dress shoes). Our accessories either provide a barrier between your feet and a harder part of the shoe, or they close the gap between your feet and a looser part of the shoe. With time and wear, your shoes will soften up and fit closer to your feet, and you won't need accessories anymore.