Haha, appreciate the input!
Ha! That's almost exactly what my wife said when I asked her.
Looks like I'll probably forget about these loafers.
I have a very high instep.
I currently have the Strands in 7E and still can not get the lace gap to close without squeezing the top my foot to death.
Will going up to EE or even EEE make the shoe look less sleek?
It shouldn't since I don't think the actual width of the last changes, just the length of leather/vamps, right?
I've read that going up in widths can cause heel slippage?
I wouldn't worry about it. I also have a high instep and thought my accurate size was an 11E. I later switched to a 10.5EEE and it's perfect. My laces still don't close all the way but it really doesn't matter. As long as the gap isn't enormous no one will notice nor care.
I also polished my walnut Jeffersons and my tan Ashbury Chelsea boots + cleaned my CXL Rush Streets and natural tan McTavishes. First time using Sahpir Renomat (sp?) and Renovator. I polished the Ashbury and Jefferson's with Allen Edmonds cream polish and did the toe area with natural/clear Sahpir was polish. I simply could not get a nice shine despite following the instructions on The Hanger Project. Put on a a final layer of Kiwi and they look great. The Renomat absolutely brought new life to my McTavishes which have really been through the ringer! I highly recommend the Saphir cleaning and conditioning products but am thinking their "colored" wax may work better than natural/clear.
Don't do what I did and simply think you need to increase width. Here's my experience: I originally sized between a D and E width on an 11.5. I tried an 11.5E and the shoe was too wide and caused back pain. I went down to an 11E and the front part of the shoe (where the ball of your foot is) is now too narrow. I then switched to an 10.5EEE and the fit is perfect. So, from an 11.5E to an 10.5EEE in the end. I also have a high instep if that matters. I don't think these look bad at all (but look up how to properly tie your shoes :) and the gap will likely close over time. How is the length? How is the width by the ball of your foot?
Just chiming in as well. No stores within 200 miles of me. Visited one of the Chicago stores in Oct and didn't have a great fitting experience. I've learned far more from reading here. The wide fitting trading post thread here is an interesting read for us fat footed people. Surprising to me that AE (and others) don't have a process to look at the outline of a foot and know with some confidence what last/size combos will work best. Right now I'm doing a lot of trial and error.
I had a similar experience at my local store. They had very few options outside of a D width in 8.5-9.5. When they did have something on the last, I was still forced to guess at the fit because it was bal vs blu or some other variation from the shoe I was interested in purchasing.
Ha! I've had the opposite experience. Almost everything was "on the 5 last." I had to pull up the AE Lasts page on my phone. (Of course this page isn't updated frequently, which is another story.)
...and the only reason I tried the brand was because they have very narrow widths.