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Posts by LeatherFoot

Value is absolute, relative, and time dependent. I think we can all agree that hand grade is objectively better than bench grade because of all the differences you have listed, plus more effort is expended on burnishing the leather for hand grade, so it might be better to approach it this way: let's say hand grade is x% better in your opinion the question is really how much you have to pay in premium for that increase in quality. If you are paying for example a 15% premium...
 Agreed that the Forest last is very well balanced; same can be said for the Inca. The Simpson looks visually striking on its own but not as balanced in the toe box when compared to the Forest or Inca. 
In that case I would be more inclined to believe C&J's sizing advice. After all one would expect them to know their shoes and sizing the best. However, that is assuming that the person providing the advice is very knowledgeable, which is something I cannot comment on having never interacted with him/her. 
As @stevent mentioned, returns should be easy for Barney's so it wouldn't hurt to order multiple sizes and only keeping the one that fits. 
Generally it's a full size down so I'd say 7.5 UK. That said there are exceptions depending on how a particular last matches your feet. Given that the 365 is a fuller last I'd go a full size down as a half size down might still be too large. 
Never purchased one personally but there is something similar in the shop. Personally I find them to be very versatile, especially for someone that dresses more casually in terms of suiting, so think tweed and flannel or anything with more texture instead of worsted. They look great with jeans as well.  
Generally the fit is good. They are certainly not lasted trees but I went a half size down as Carmina doesn't offer half size in trees. 
Interestingly I find the Forest to be sleeker than the Simpson by virtue of its more rounded toe. It reminds me of a more shapely JL 7000 haha. 
Personally I find Inca and Soller to have more room in the toe box compared to the Simpson both in height and width; the Simpson required some extensive breaking in for me and still isn't as comfortable as the Inca or Soller out of the box. 
I don't have a particularly high instep and did size up 1/2 for the Simpson relative to the Inca and Soller. Nonetheless I would say that the Simpson last is not the most suitable for those with high instep given the overall narrowness of the last; it is Carmina's most narrow last. 
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