Aurora Shoe Co.

Common Questions


 A list of common questions we've received over the years.  Please contact us if you can't find the answer you're looking for.


Q: Why do you recommend that I send you tracings of my feet?

A:  Every foot is unique.  When we measure your tracings, we will take into account where the widest and longest points of your feet are located, as well as the over-all shape of your feet to determine which length and width will be best for you. This process significantly reduces the need for returns and exchanges.

The average return rate for buying shoes online is 40-50%, but thanks to our foot tracing program, our return rate is less than 5%.


Q: What information should I include with my tracing?

A:  Start with your name, order number, and the size shoe you typically wear.  It is also helpful when you give us additional information about your feet that may not be obvious from a tracing.  For example, the height of your instep is important information for selecting the correct size, but this information is not visible on a 2-dimensional tracing.  If you have an abnormally high instep, or very flat feet, please make note on your tracings. 


Q: Are your shoes resole-able?

A:  Yes!  The leather uppers should last forever with minimal care.  Usually the sole is the first thing to wear on our shoes.  We encourage you to support your local cobbler if you are fortunate enough to still have one in your town.  Otherwise, you can send them to us.  For $50 + $10 return shipping (US), we will replace the worn soles, repair any loose stitching, and buff the leather.  Download repair form


Q: Where are your shoes made?

A:  Every pair of Aurora Shoes is made in our 10,000 square foot workshop just outside of the historic village of Aurora, NY, overlooking Cayuga Lake.  A team of about a dozen local crafts-men and -women make every pair from scratch, one step at a time.


Q: Where do you source your materials?

A:  All components of Aurora Shoes are locally sourced.  The leather comes from a family tannery in Chicago , who for more than 100 years and five generations, have been to making the world's best leather.  Our soles and midsole materials come from a beautiful, small New England town called North Brookfield, Massachusetts.  The thread is made in North Carolina, and our adhesives are produced in Virginia.


Q: Tell me more about the leather

A:  The thickness of leather that we order is only available from mature steers.  As a byproduct of local farming and agriculture industries, the value of the hide makes up about 5% of the rancher's proceeds.  It is considered sustainable because the animals are not raised for the express purpose of using their leather for goods, they are primarily farm animals.  Extra reading: a thoughtful, unbiased piece on the sustainability of leather.  and another good read on the environmental impact of leather from the Sierra Club.


Q: Do you offer Gift Certificate?

A: Yes!  Our gift cards are digital, meaning that a purchase creates a unique code that the recipient can enter in our checkout cart.  Balances never expire and can be used to cover tax and shipping costs.  The card is ready to go immediately, so this is a great option for last minute gifters!  Order Gift Card


Q: What is your return policy?

A:  At the Aurora Shoe Co. we stand behind every pair of shoes we make.  If you are not happy with your Aurora Shoes for any reason, send them back in like-new condition and we will refund your purchase price or exchange at your discretion.  If you find your shoes to have any material or workmanship defects, please send them back within 3 months of your purchase.  We'll work with you to determine whether we should repair, replace, or refund your purchase.


Q:  Do you want me to Place my order or send my tracings first?

A:  If you plan on sending us tracings, we prefer you to place your order online before we receive the tracings.  This allows us to begin working on your shoes the moment your tracings arrive.  Be sure to select "Submit a Tracing" for the sizing option if you are mailing your tracings.


Q:  Can I scan and email my foot tracings, or do I have to mail them the old fashioned way?

A:  We don't recommend scanning, but we can accommodate if you determine it to be your best option.  Accuracy is everything, so please read our page about foot tracing for tips on how to get this important task right. 


Q:  Do you recommend using custom orthotics with your shoes?

A:  The short answer is "no", but the long answer is "it depends...".  This blog post about orthotics will explain why.


Q:  What is the best way to care for my shoes?

A: We invite you to check out our official Care and Repair Guide along with updated recommendations on our blog.  


 Q: I'm consistently a size 9 in most brands of shoes, do you recommend that I send tracings?

 A:  We always recommend sending us a tracing for your first pair of Aurora Shoes.  As a rule of thumb, we find that most women order the same size, or size up 1/2 size from the size they most commonly wear in other brands.  Our Men's shoes run true to size. 


Q: I see most photos of your shoes show customers wearing them without socks.  I want to be able to wear socks with my Middle English, does this affect sizing?

 A:  Your shoes should fit snug with bare feet when you first try them on.  After wearing them for 3-4 days, you should be able to wear a thin to medium weight sock.  The strap and buckle can adjust to keep a proper fit between socks / no socks.


Q: What is the most common width for your shoes?

A: Our most common width for our Middle English style shoe is "D", and our most common width for the T-strap, Mary Jane, and New Mexican sandal is "C".


Q: What is the difference between Men's and Women's sizing?

A: Our men's sizes are 2 full sizes off from women's.  For example, our men's size 8.5 = women's size 10.5.  The same widths are offered for men and women.


Q: My feet measure larger than Men's size 12, can you make something for me?

A: Our materials, patterns, and tooling limit us to sizes from women's size 5 to men's size 12.  We do find that our men's 12 is generous, so we often fit men who measure up to 12.5 or 13.


Q: How thick are the the soles?

A: The Vibram soles that we use on our women's shoes are just under 1" thick in the heel, and about 1/2" in the front.  Men's sizes are slightly thicker.  


Q: Do you ship to my Country?

A:  We have shipped shoes to 6 continents (still waiting for that order to come in from Antarctica.)  If you don't see your country listed on the shipping drop-down menu, just contact us to ask if we can setup the shipping rates for you.     


Q: Will there be import taxes?

A:  Import taxes are governed by trade agreements between nations. They are dependent on specific product attributes and subject to frequent changes. Many countries at this point have free trade agreements with the United States that apply to footwear, however there are some exceptions.  We cannot guarantee you will or will not be charged any customs taxes or duties. Any customs or import duties are charged once the parcel reaches its destination country. These charges must be paid by the recipient of the parcel. (this applies to all international orders)


Q: I received my shoes and you included one of my foot tracings in the box, do I need to keep it for future orders?

A:  We send one of your foot tracings back with your new shoes to let you know that we took the time to measure them and determine the best possible size for your feet.  We keep that formula for your foot in a database “length x width”, so you do not need to keep it for future orders.  Your other foot tracing is hung on our walls to remind us of all of the feet we have shod over the years.  This helps us keep our work in perspective and personalizes our craft.


Q: Will you accept a return if the shoes show signs of wear?

A: We simply ask that you let us know if you have concerns about the fit from the start.  We will work with you to determine if another size might be better to exchange, or we might suggest you keep trying to break them in.  As long as you return them in like new condition, or return them with moderate wear after we have communicated, then we can offer you a full refund of the purchase price (less shipping).  

Keep in mind that each half size is approximately 5mm longer than the next.   The width and volume will also increase proportionately to the length with each step in size.


Q: I live near Aurora, NY, can I come to the shop to purchase my shoes, or do I have to order online?

A: We open our shop to local customers most Friday afternoons.  It's best to call ahead if you are traveling from a distance to make sure someone will be available to help you find the best fit.
(315) 364-7892


Q: The shoes that I received don't appear to be the color that I expected.  Did you send me the correct color?

A: When it comes to products made from natural materials like leather, there can be variations in the color and texture of the material. We want to make sure that our customers are aware of these natural occurrences and understand that the product they receive may not look exactly the same as the one depicted in our photography.

Please note that we make every effort to provide accurate and detailed product photography that represents the color and texture of the product as accurately as possible. However, leather is a natural material, and it can have variations in pigment and texture that are beyond our control. These variations can result in the product that you receive looking slightly different from the product depicted in our photography.

We want our customers to be completely satisfied with their purchase, so we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the color or texture of the product before making your purchase. We are here to help you make an informed decision and to ensure that you receive a product that you will love.

In the unlikely event that you receive a product that you are not completely satisfied with, please contact us and we will work with you to find a solution. We want our customers to be happy with their purchase and will do everything we can to make sure that you are completely satisfied with your experience. Thank you for your understanding and for choosing our products.

Dave recommends Otter Wax saddle soap for cleaning our shoes.

After cleaning them with saddle soap, then a leather conditioner or salve
will keep them soft. A beeswax based salve, like the one Ottwerwax sells,
will be naturally anti-bacterial to help fight odor.
- See more at:
Dave recommends Otter Wax saddle soap for cleaning our shoes.

After cleaning them with saddle soap, then a leather conditioner or salve
will keep them soft. A beeswax based salve, like the one Ottwerwax sells,
will be naturally anti-bacterial to help fight odor.
- See more at: