I'm considering a pair of White's Semi-Dress and I'd appreciate some feedback.
I know when people ask for sizing advice the answer is to send your foot tracing in to Baker's... But how does one do this? Link? As a general guideline how do the lasts compare to the Alden Barrie last? I fit okay in length in the 9.5D in the Barrie, but the width was too narrow, so I went up to a 10D which fits well. I think I could probably have done a 9.5E as well. I also fit in a 10E or 10D on the AE 5 last (10E on the Cambridge #8 shell, 10D on walnut Strand). Would the #38 swing last be better for me with the slightly wider forefoot? I suppose it depends on the leather because CXL would stretch.
What are the pros and cons of the different leathers? Right now I'm looking at the brown chromexcel or the horsehide, but I'm not set on that. I'm trying to make up a go-to boot for the winter. It's very snowy up here so I'm looking for something that won't get wrecked by some snow / ice / salty slush, but I also want to be able to wear these with more casual khakis for biz casual. Does Baker's / White's do any other colors of chromexcel other than the brown / black? There's some nice reddish medium browns that I'd like more, but the brown is nice too.
For the sole / heel, how do you ask for the 1/4" lower heel? Some of the forms for customizing the boots have that option (the horsehide), while some don't (the chromexcel). I've got somewhat flat feet / low arch and what I read here says that the full-height heel would be very uncomfortable for me. Do I have that right? Can you get any of the soles listed on any of them, because the horsehide offers a commando half-sole but the chromexcel doesn't. I'd like to not have the black full-sole between the midsole and the heel. I need to have some lug or other traction because it's pretty icy for the next 4-5 months.
I'm a bit confused by their pricing too, since the chromexcel makeup (http://www.bakershoe.com/shop-by-brand.cfm/brand/whites-boots/product/custom-semi-dress---chrome-excel-leather/) is listed at $389 but when I fill out a standard config without a toe cap it comes out to $424.
Anyway, I appreciate any input, thanks!