In my experience the full toes fit a little tighter around the toe, so it feels more solid. Depends what you want- I use full toes in most of my shoes and split toes on my loafers to avoid any chance of stretching
For what it's worth, being a 8.5e on the 5 last usually, I recently tried on a pair of cordovan strands in the same size as my cambridges (8.5d) and they were a width too tight. Maybe the newer 5 last cordovan models are more true to their calf size? Might be worth a try for the price.Still wondering how AE would treat these when resoling... would they put on the wider sole like the original or a regular 8.5d sole which would be too tight?
The Cambridges are on the 5 last but seem to fit much differently than other calf and shell 5 lasted shoes I've owned. I am usually an e width, but these in d fit me perfectly (bottom of sole much wider and much higher instep). I bought these NOS off of ebay, so i have no idea when they are from (hopefully authentic). It has white lettering, a natural leather insole and white stitching on the sole.
My shell Cambridges today. I bought mine off of eBay a while back and they fit me perfectly. They might be an older model as evidenced by the white lettering on the inside and white stitching on the sole (no jr sole or horween stamp). The fit is also quite different from the current 5 last- much wider and a higher instep vs something of the same size today...I am scared that they won't fit anymore once it comes time for a resoling if they use the current 5 last and soles.