I just got a pair of Taormina loafers, and they're a bit too tight (I bought EEE, so I can't go wider on size). I want to know what you think about stretching them. I'm worried that the construction may not hold well; more, that the woven top may get damaged. What do you all say?
Bear with me, this might go a little lengthy -
Since I've never gotten a decent assessment on this I figured I would provide my best shot. As far as I have been able to ascertain, AE likes to use 3 "lasts" for the Italian collection - the "Urbino" last, the "Firenze" last and the "Verona" last. They seem to reuse these designs a lot.
The Urbino/Bergamo/Modena/Taormina seems to run the smallest of any of them (length and width). The leather they use is ultra soft but also extremely thin. When I got the Taormina the thing I initially worried about the most was the toebox getting scuffed since the leather sole was so incredibly thin. But so far the most delicate aspect has been the woven textured part.
I personally would advise against the stretching - if it wasn't for the woven portion, I'd say maybe, since the leather is still very thin. Have to ask - why did you get these - price you just couldn't resist? Reason I'm asking is because anything that is constructed like the Firenze (Fiesole, Brindisi, Positano, etc.) run very long and very generous in width, and the Verona/Arezzo, etc. also run quite large, so you basically went with the smallest possible option.