Free Shipping & Returns (USA) + 365 Day Guarantee

Resole and Restoration

Do not roll your dress shoes into a ball (or a taco).

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 plastic mold, called a "last". 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.

Resist the temptation to run or exercise.

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 Carets are, your bare feet are the only “shoes” that grow stronger with proper use.

Your shoes are pre-laced using the patented Double Helix Method.

Invented by Monte Fisher, it’s easier to tighten and loosen, reduces wear and tear, and looks stylishly unique.

With your elastic laces, find a good fit, double-knot them, and you’ll only have to re-tie them occasionally.

Our elastic laces, which we include stock, turn your lace-up Oxfords into slip-ons! These are the coolest. People have asked if I'd make a slip-on shoe and the answer was always no because of longevity concerns. I've had slip-on's before. The elasticized parts get stretched out and the shoe becomes too loose. But with these elastic laces, it's okay if they get stretched out, because you can just replace them. And they look just like classic dress laces. Hat tip to a customer, Jerome, for telling me about them! For your double-knot, we highly recommend using the Berluti Knot.

Use a shoe horn to easily slip into your shoes.

A shoe horn allows you to easily slip into your shoes without crushing the heel counter. Use this whenever available.

Condition your shoes, for water resistance, suppleness, and longevity

We recommend Saphir Médaille D'Or Shoe Cream . Shoe creams provide both conditioning and shine. This particular formulation, made of all natural ingredients, has been the highest-end shoe cream since 1925. It has a much higher concentration of pigments and wax than other shoe creams, so you don't need to use as much as other creams.

For our Oxblood shoes, Burgundy would be the closest to the original color. You can also go with Hermes Red and Mahogany if you want it to look more red or brown, respectively.

“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, Real Men Real Style

Polish your shoes, for an eye-catching shine, and additional protection.

We recommend Saphir Médaille D'Or Shoe Cream. Shoe creams provide both conditioning and shine. This particular formulation, made of all natural ingredients, has been the highest-end shoe cream since 1925. It has a much higher concentration of pigments and wax than other shoe creams, so you don't need to use as much as other creams. For our Oxblood shoes, Burgundy would be the closest to the original color. You can also go with Hermes Red and Mahogany if you want it to look more red or brown, respectively.

Avoid hazards such as mud, puddles, snow, and salt.

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.

If unavoidable, clean off hazards as soon as possible.

Similar to above, this is difficult to explain in brief FAQ. Check the link Leather Shoes and Bad Weather above.

When you've finished wearing your shoes for the evening, make sure to place shoe trees inside.

One of the three complimentary accessories that comes with every pair of the Carets. “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

Rotate your shoes to avoid wearing them two days in a row.

One of the complimentary accessories that comes with every pair of Carets. 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 with care.

Sizing

  • Let's start by asking: What shoe size (US Men's) normally fits you best? To convert from other sizing standards, see this chart.
  • Is that a Narrow width? Go one size down for our shoes.
  • Is that a Medium width? Depending on how roomy you like the toebox, go one size down OR order the same size.
  • Is that a Wide width? Order the same size for our shoes.


    Fit and Feel

    This image shows roughly how and where your feet should sit inside a pair of Carets (on the right).

    On the left is a typical dress shoe of the same size and same “Wide” width. You can see that it’s still one or two centimeters 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 wider toebox without looking like it. If we start looking at chisel-toe and pointy-toe styles, dress shoes get even longer. But even though conventional dress shoes are longer, you still feel cramped because of the heel lift and the fact that the shoes are widest at the ball of the foot. Carets are widest at the toes, as your foot naturally is.

    If the widest part of your feet (i.e. your toes) occupies the widest part of our shoes, then you are wearing the right size

    Regarding ground-feel, Carets’ outsole is four millimeters thick, with another four millimeters of leather between your feet and the ground. We selected polyurethane for the outsole because of its durability, which is more important than ground-feel in a shoe like this. Unlike most minimalist shoes, our two-part (polyurethane + leather) design allows our shoes to be resoled like a good dress sole.


    Expect Carets to feel less like FiveFingers and more like flat-bottomed skate shoes with the insoles removed. In the end, what matters most is that you're happy with your shoes. We will gladly take them back ( 365-day free returns and exchanges) and feel honored that you gave us a shot.

    How much does it cost?

    $85 for the comprehensive Restoration package, plus $10 for return shipping within the USA.

    What if I'm outside the USA?

    Please contact our provider at the email or phone number provided in the form to discuss return shipping options and price quotes.

    How long will it take?

    Your shoes will be in-house for 5 - 10 business days.

    Will I get status updates?

    If you sent your shoes with the recommended tracking, then you can check and confirm that they've arrived at our provider. Once work has been completed, you will receive a ship notification with tracking information when they are en route back to you. If you have any concerns about your order between then, please contact our provider at the email or phone number provided in the the form.

    What if I need a special repair/rush delivery?

    Please contact our provider at the email or phone number provided in the form.