I must apologize, but I have to back out of the Navy EC offer. I need to review the specs for the brown grain and merlot versions and decide between the two of them. I will do that within 24 hours, assuming I have that much time.
I'm in for at least one of the navy or merlot EC. Going to get my size figured out tomorrow (there's an AE in my office building). What's the best recommendation for a shoe to try on? Are there any boots on the same last or only shoes?
[[SPOILER]] Honestly, I couldn't care less what combination we went with, so long as others are content. brass, black, blind, no speed hooks, whatever! I will say I really do like the versions with the brown welt as opposed to black. I agree that that takes it to a different level.
I had the same issue with a pair of bourbon kenilworths. I emailed Allison about it, and she provided me with a shipping label free of charge. I sent them to her, and she had them refinished, again, free of charge.