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Posts by LeatherFoot

We would be glad to volunteer our venue to host the get together; it is always nice to meet passionate people and help foster the sense of community. 
The Simpson is like Gaziano and Girling for me in that I have to size up half from what I normally wear except G&G is more comfortable out of the box. For the record my Tetbury is in suede and the Simpson is in calf. The 348 is definitely more elongated compared to the Simpson but not egregiously so. In terms of heel slippage that has more to do with how closely the heel is lasted to your foot shape rather than the length of the last. 
Personally I wear the Tetbury on the 348 in 6UK and the Simpson in 6.5UK. For my foot the Simpson vamp is too low so it is not as comfortable as the 348 over a full day of wear; otherwise I find the ball and the heel of the two lasts to fit similarly. Ideally you should try the Simpson in person if possible but based on what you wear in the 348 I would say the Simpson in 8 should be fine if you prefer a snug fit. With 8.5 in the Simpson you will likely experience heel...
 The crease closer to the tip of the toe is likely more a result of how your feet bends as you walk whereas the one closer to the laces is likely due to excess room around that area. The former is really unavoidable and tends to be more noticeable in split toes because it intersects the apron stitching. You could try tongue pads to minimize the amount of excess room to decrease further creasing. 
 We completely agree. In fact we believe the best approach is to find the makers and lasts that fit your feet the best then worry about the style of the shoes. Personally I own the Inca, Simpson, and Soller. All things considered Inca fits me the best though there is a point to be made that not every style is made on one last. 
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. 
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