One of the coolest things about getting a new pair of minimalist shoes is showing off their flexibility by rolling it up into a ball or a taco, but you must not do so with our shoes. First, let me assure you there is more flexibility in the shoe than the foot is actually capable of. Now, the look of a dress shoe is one of structure, much like a well-fitted suit. This structure is made by pulling leather tightly over a last, and allowing it to rest on there for at least three days. Through your years of ownership, a great pair of dress shoes--through repeated flexing and relaxing, and layers of wax and oil from shine--will develop an aged patina unique to you. However, if you try to roll the dress shoes into a ball or a taco, ridges will appear where they’re not supposed to. You don’t want to look like a man who carelessly smushed his shoes in the bottom of his suitcase. You want to look like a man who has gone to many great places and done many great things with his shoes.
Our company was founded from what we learned in barefoot running and powerlifting. The principles of proper alignment, proprioception, and inherent strength are alive and well in our shoes. They are, however, still dress shoes. Dress shoes that you invested a good deal in, and with good reason. Why place the unnecessary stresses of a workout on these, when you have other shoes specially made for exercise? Or better yet, go barefoot. As awesome as PriPro’s are, your bare feet are the only “shoes” that grow stronger with proper use.
A shoe horn allows you to easily slip into your shoes without crushing the heel counter. Use this whenever available, in lieu of #3.
“To ensure your shoes last you need to take care of them by ensuring the leather stays supple and resists water penetration...Leather is skin. And like your skin – it’s tough but still fragile relative to rough surfaces and needs protection and care. Unlike your skin – which is alive and receives nourishment from the body – the leather on your shoes only receives the nourishment you give it. It can easily dry out, over-absorb water, or be damaged in numerous other ways. A good leather conditioner is designed to be readily absorbed and will nourish/restore flexibility in the fibers...If leather loses its natural oils and moisture, it loses it’s flexibility and its fibrous interweave will start to crack and eventually break down. Once this happens it is lost and needs to be replaced...Spending 15 dollars every few months for a quality conditioner is a small price to ensure your dress shoes still look great 15 years from now.” - Antonio Centeno,
Shoe shine is primarily wax. Not only does it make your shoes really pop out and attract compliments, it also provides a water-resistant barrier between the leather and the elements.
The why and the how are too extensive to write here. Check out Antonio’s article, Leather Shoes and Bad Weather for detailed explanation and guidance.
One of the three complimentary accessories that comes with every pair of the Chronology. “Shoe trees maintain the shape of the shoe, but more importantly, they balance out the drying of the shoe after wear. Because you sweat through your feet, the moisture is absorbed into the shoe, and without your foot in it, the shoe dries. Without a shoe tree, the shoe will dry too quickly and, because of the fast loss of moisture, will de-shape and rot the shoe from the inside out. Shoe trees absorb some of the evaporating moisture as it leaves, and prevent these unpleasantries by making the shoe dry slower. Give the shoes a whole day to rest before wearing them again. If you must wear the same shoes every day due to budget constraints (nice shoes are expensive, after all), you cannot refrain from purchasing and using shoe trees.” - Antonio Centeno, Real Men Real Style
For reasons stated in #8.
One of the three complimentary accessories that comes with every pair of Chronology. Shoe trees will help to maintain the shape of your shoes as they go through the rigors of travel. Even with the shoe trees though, the upper extremities of the shoes can still be misshaped so take care not to place anything heavy on the shoes. Shoe bags will help keep the shoes’ leather from getting scuffed as well as keep clean clothes out of contact from potentially dirty shoe soles. As with the shoe trees, the shoe bag provides some protection but there is still the possibility that a hard, sharp, and/or heavy item could still scuff the leather through the shoe bag. Arrange your luggage intently.
At left is a typical dress shoe, same size and same Wide width. You can see that it is still 1 or 2 cm longer than ours. Most sleeker dress shoes have a fair amount of unoccupied space in the front. We took advantage of that and used it to give you a wide toebox without looking like it. Dress shoes get even longer if we start looking at chisel-toe and pointy-toe styles. But even though these conventional dress shoes are longer, you still feel cramped because of the heel lift and the fact that their shoes are widest at the ball of the foot. Ours are widest at the toes, as a foot naturally is.
Regarding groundfeel, Chronology's outsole is 4mm thick, with another 4mm of leather and cork between that and your feet. The polyurethane we use for the outsole was selected for durability, which is more important than groundfeel in a shoe like this. The 2-part (polyurethane + leather/cork) design allows for the shoes to be resoled like good dress shoes and unlike most minimalist shoes.