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Posts by Itsuo

You mentioned they are tight in the toe box, you don't think they will prove to be more comfortable after break in?
Did they cut across the joint of your big toe?Some of your comments about show ware made me think of something, is there a chance you have particularly long strides? I think this might put considerably more stressing the shoe (particularly across the vamp?) because the "extreme" angle at which the shoe bends with every step. This also puts extra internal pressure on the toe box—across the vamp—because the internal volume decreases at "maximum flex".This could lead to...
Something like this Quoddy Loboy?   I've had the Lodge Moc for a few years now for indoor use and the Blucher for the outdoors.  I'm a big fan of their stuff but these days most of it is too casual for me.  With these, the chunkier the socks, the better. 
Repeat post. 
 Sage advice and beautiful shoes! I have a pair of SWB in #8 that I'm about to let go of because I just don't wear them as much and I refuse to hold on to pair that don't have a least one season a year for me.  But every time I see a pair of aged #8s (including my own) I marvel at the development of the patina compared to other calf shoes.  
This might be a stretch (no pun intended), but damage around that area also comes from inserting the shoe tree itself.  Occasionally you get the forefoot/head of the tree in shoe but the trailing part might catch around the heel area and the edges can scrape and leave a mark.  This is much more likely for the extremely tight fits some makers create between shoe/tree. 
 I second this, if you need it for a specific event and you don't particularly anticipate needing to rely on this as your black-tie rig for a number of years--do what you like.  Otherwise, I'm with @archetypal_yuppie, get it in black and know its excellence comes from how great it fits you and allows you to blend in with the prescribed uniform of the occasion.  I understand this is a fairly conservative take but black tie is usually considered conservative styling.   I...
@Limniscate these look excellent! I'm excited about getting them in suede "eventually".  Enjoy and keep us updated on how they break in!
Speaking of wearing them, I'm currently working out salt stains from my second pair of St.Cs this season.... Not fun.  Those surprise rain showers on the salted pavement--get me every time. 
I had this with an old pair of tight shoes, however I would only get it after lots of walking in one day.To prevent this from ever happening again,, when I have a new pair I traditinally use two chopsticks/pens/whatever to help make the first two creases across the vamp,so that they come across my joints and make one deep crease on my toe.Seems to have worked. Just a thought.
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