Originally Posted by Journeyman
I've found this to be true, too.
I've found that, as a general rule, English- and US-made shoes are "flatter", with lower insteps, whereas Italian-made shoes are often higher. My Santonis fit me very well and are very comfortable, even in a narrower fitting.
Of course, not all lasts (shoe shapes) are the same and some lend themselves to fitting a high instep better than others. I've often had trouble fitting into Crockett and Jones (C&J) shoes, but I recently bought a pair of C&J made for Brooks Brothers/Peal & Co and whilst they are not perfect, they are a pretty damned good fit. Now all I need to do is find out which last they are on so that I can see if I can buy some more!
So, in my experience, there is no quick fix. It's really a matter of experimenting with different shoes to see which fit your foot the best. As noted above, I've found that Italian brands typically have higher insteps than other brands but there are still some English shoes out there that fit my foot very well.
I have the BB Peal & Co., punchcaps by C&J and the fit is not bad for an oxford. I've read somewhere that the 341 last is good also. I have the Polo Darltons and two C&J chukkas and both are good, but they share the same open lacing as derbies.