swedish hasbeens. just the mention of them in a crowd full of bloggers sends squeals around the room. instagram is chalked full of adorable snaps of hip chicks in the stylish wooden clogs. people rave about them! ... and, almost no one tells the truth.
breaking in a pair of swedish hasbeens is the worst.
broken-in swedish hasbeens are the best.
it's sum-sum-summer time in nyc, and i've hunted down two new pairs of hasbeens to add to my wooden shoe collection. i am simultaneously thrilled and terrified to start wearing them.
swedish hasbeens are handmade to last. their sandals are cut from a lovely, thick, natural-grain leather and solid wooden sole. AND, i'd like to believe that i have pleasantly average-sized, mid-to-narrow feet that thankfully, aren't ugly. so, in theory, following all of the sizing recommendations, i should be able to throw on a new pair and go. but, no. no way. nuh uh. not happening.
there are lots of styles of wooden clogs. swedish hasbeens aren't the only brand i own. unfortunately, if you're drawn to any of the styles with braided, lattice, or cutouts like i am, you're going to have to do the work to break in these shoes. that lovely, thick leather is sharp, sharp, sharp. and, can be brutal on your poor piggies. (anyone who says different is a liar.)
the swedish hasbeen site doesn't make any recommendations as to how to break in your new shoes, but does recommend *against* wearing your shoes in the rain, as it may stretch them too fast. and, i get that.
so, you could stock up on bandages, blister pads, and moleskin, to tough it out.
or, try the typical stretching route, and wear you new hasbeens with socks. that's not going to cut it. trust me.
or, you could take them to your local shoe guy, and have him stretch them.
my personal recommendation is to get.a.shoe.stretcher. i invested in a pair that stretch both the length and toe area. stretchers are available in various sizes, price points, etc. these are just the ones i chose. and, i find that i use them more than i thought i would. my shoe guy is great, but stretching at home gives me control of the outcome.
a word to the wise: stretch slowly! you cannot undo what you have done.
for my swedish hasbeens, i stretch the toe area (not the length) and use the toe stretch function with a little shoe stretch spray. i spray, place the shoe stretcher and crank the toes open *just a bit* and walk away. check them in 4-6 hours. and, repeat until i think my shoes are just right. if you over do it, your toes are going to be sliding around in the front of the shoe, which is bad, bad, bad.
i confess, i still have to use a little moleskin on the heel straps, but most people i know don't need it.
i also confess, that have i been known to squeal over then, take a photo of more than one pair swedish hasbeens. :)