Sunday, June 16, 2013

How to Keep Your Shoe Tongue in Place

 Recently I bought some new shoes - Keen's. Usually when you buy something new, you don't expect to alter them (unless you're short, like me, and buy pants that are too long). These shoes have a bungee toggle and I thought they would be easy to slip and go, but no, it wasn't the case. Although these shoes fit like a glove, there is one problem, a huge problem . . .

See the tongue and  how it's sagging? It was very loosey goosey, no way to slip my foot in without using 2 hands - 1 to hold the tongue and the other to put the shoe on. This shoe doesn't have that loop on the tongue that you can lace through to keep the tongue in place. Also, when I wore the shoe, the tongue shifted to the side. Ideally, I should've returned the shoe, but it's been a long process (months) to find something good that fit me. See I have flat feet and need to wear sturdy shoes ALL THE TIME, even in the house. I ordered and returned six shoes from Zappos (it wasn't their problem, it was mine) - I got this one at a local shoe store. I went in to get my foot measured (Zappos said that I was ordering the wrong size), saw these and liked them. After bringing them home and wearing them around the house, I noticed the tongue problem.

So I Googled how to prevent shoe tongue from moving - surely someone has a cool tip, but I couldn't find any. I tho, did find this handy little thing, and thought, "How cool". Even tho the cost is under $5, it looked simple enough to make, so decide to make some - four actually. Here's how I did it . . .

Take a flexible tape measure and measure around your shoe tongue and add about 1 inch. Cut a piece of grosgrain ribbon that matches your shoe.

You'll want to measure about a 1/2 inch from the end and lightly draw a line using a contrasting pen. You will be overlapping the ends, so on the other side, draw another line a 1/2 inch from the end. Make sure that one line is on the top side of the ribbon and the other line is on the bottom side.

I cut a tiny piece of this tape and stuck it on one end and repeated for the other side.

Remember, it's the top of 1 side and the bottom of the other. Here is a visual to show you. 

Next you're going to wrap the two ends cinching close with the taped ends, leaving a good size gap (see next pic).

You'll want your ribbon to end up looking like this with a small loop on top.

Now take it to your sewing machine and sew a zig zag stitch over the seam, go over it a couple of times for insurance. I used contrasting thread because the shoe has pink in, you can use same color thread.

Go ahead and slip on your tongue catchers. Because of how wonky this tongue was, I decide to place 2 catchers on each side - the bottom one was made a little smaller, if you decide to make 2, adjust yours accordingly.

Now it's time to lace up! Follow this video when lacing through the catcher (use this tip when lacing thru shoes that have those premade loops on the tongue) . . . 

Instead of cris crossing over the tongue catcher, you will lace to the same side you came from - that's the trick to keeping the tongue in place.

This is how it should look when done.

Because I knew there was going to be a lot of wear and tear on the tongue, I decide to sew the center of the catcher to the tongue - I used a leather sewing needle, that top one had to go thru the rubber Keen icon and a leather needle made it so easy.

This is what the top of the shoe looks like after the catcher is sewn in place.

It's been about 3 weeks since I did this and I am impressed. The tongue on my shoes have stayed in place - this really works, I've been able to slip my feet in my shoe very easily. I am a happy girl!

Thanks for reading!!

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Thanks!

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