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Shoe brands/lasts that run wide

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi all, Here's my situation: I'm looking for a shoe brand or last that runs a -little bit wide- in their normal size. This is the typical problem I face: (based on Allen Edmonds and others) 9D = perfect length, but too tight in the toe box 9E = perfect length, toe box great, but heel area is way too wide and slips out 9.5D = length too long for sure So far brands I've tried: AE - At least 5-6 different lasts. All were tight in the toe box for me C&J - Tried on 2 pair, these felt even tighter in the toebox than AE to me Alden - Toebox felt good, but the fit felt odd - like I was standing on a golf ball - i'm guessing there was something weird about the heel or heel to ball length Loake 1880 - Their size 8 seemed to fit me really well in the one shoe I tried on (Stamford), but I hated the huge stormwelted sole. Other options? Johnston & Murphy - Fit great, but don't love the leather quality for the price So, 3 questions: 1. Any other brands you'd suggest that run just a little wide? (not an E, but a wide D) 2. How well do shoe stretchers work? Maybe try a cheap pair of AE's with a stretcher? 3. Do any brands run as comfortable as Johnston & Murphy? (I love their springy feel)
post #2 of 15
The brands you tried on are relatively unimportant. Which lasts did you try on in those brands? For example, C&J 337 is a bit tight through the toes in my proper length, while the 363 is just right.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archivist View Post
The brands you tried on are relatively unimportant. Which lasts did you try on in those brands? For example, C&J 337 is a bit tight through the toes in my proper length, while the 363 is just right.

The C&J I tried on was this one:

C&J WestField ( Last 341 ).

Any idea how that runs?
post #4 of 15
Zero, I have the same issues.

I found a long time ago the "best" shoe overall for me is Alden's Aberdeen last. I need more room than a typical D width, and its just about perfect. But then again, I am a loafer/slip-on guy, and their tassel loafer and full strap loafer were basically my staples. They have enough colors to make it all work. About 10yrs ago I tried the Alden Shell LHS. That is a little fuller than even the Aberdeen, AND, I am able to wear a D width in that. I have the Alden model which is fully leather lined, and as a casual shoe, I wear it with thin socks, or no socks. BB sells the shoe unlined. So you can even grab a little more "volume" with the unlined model if you need it. I say that from theory, not experience. I don't currently own any of the BB unlined model. But try them. They come in calf, too.

English shoes for the US market tend to be too tight/narrow for me, and I don't live in a major city anymore, so its difficult to keep trying on different models to narrow it down/find a size that works. When I find myself in NY, I am busy, and don't have a day to make the circuit to simply find a pair of shoes that work. So the English shoes aren't on my radar right now.

I've tried recently to branch out into AE. I had a pair of Park Aves and they are on such a narrow last, it killed me. Retailer failed to point that out to me, and even an E width was uncomfortable. Thought the laces would allow adjustment/flexibility. No go. Park Aves are gone. I've since been educating myself on lasts, etc, so I don't have to pay that "tuition" again.

Onto the AE Westchester---another loafer. D width is tight in the toe box and across the ball of my foot. E width feels great up front, but I get heel slippage in the back. Very frustrating. I like the shoes a lot, however, and I am thinking of sticking with the Es, and talking to a good cobbler about placing another layer of lining just in the heel area. I think that could be an excellent solution. I'll see. Going down a half size while staying in the E width was better than my correct size in the D width, but still uncomfortable.

Lastly, if you can deal with something like a MacNeil wingtip, take a look. Not necessarily for suits, but great casual shoe. The laces do offer the ability to adjust. D width are brutal up front, E width is ok. Same last as the Westchester, but the heel issue isn't an issue at all because of the ability to lace. Alden wingtips are on the Brrie last, which I understand to be a nice full last, but I've never tried them, as they only come in Shell, and they are quite costly. I have several Shell pairs in the Alden loafers, and to me, calf is nicer---softer, takes a higher shine, etc. These are next on my list however. The issue with Shell is that some think you need to size down. I have not found that to be the case. THat being said, if others think that, it simply tells me that there is "wiggle room," and THAT sounds like what you need. The little bits of volume here and there with a shoe. You are going to have to try a lot of shoes on. Trial and error.

I am having to get little creative here, and think outside the box a bit, but it is not the end of the world. Check out the Aldens. They really do work best for me, and I still have my first pair from 1986. They don't look new, but they look fine, and I would not hesitate to wear them in any situation. Care for them properly, and they will last. Buy quality, and when you find a model that works for you, stick with it.

I will be watching this thread with interest to hear what others are doing. Hope this helps.
post #5 of 15
Stretchers can actually do wonders but it seems more like you haven't found the right last rather than finding brands that don't particularly fit. I own all of those you mentioned with the only exception being C&J. I own more Aldens than anything, on 4 lasts (Barrie/Aberdeen/Hampton/Trubalance). Hampton feels as though it was made for my feet. Their others lasts, though not great, fit me as well. I would suggest a different last. Plaza or Hampton in Alden. I'll admit that I used a stretcher for a little width in my AE's. If you're stateside Alden would be easier to come by than differents lasts for C&J and Loake.
post #6 of 15
My most comfortable US shoes are a pair of Alden Plaza in 11D. I can be 10.5D/E but I usually go for US11D/E to get the right width/heel combo. In UK I (wear an orthotic) and find a UK10F/E fits everytime comfortably in just about any shoes.
post #7 of 15
Some suggestions:
  • Alden lasts
    • Trubalance
    • Modified
    • Barrie
    • Van
  • Loake lasts
    • 026
    • 3625, IIRC
  • Tricker's, in general

There was also a nice thread about C&J lasts on style forum about the widths of their lasts, but I cannot find it, anymore.

Note also that shoe length can vary widely, depending on the last. It can be misleading to optimize for a particular shoe length, unless you're a last maker.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerostyle View Post
The C&J I tried on was this one:

C&J WestField ( Last 341 ).

Any idea how that runs?

The Westfield is available in a wider width and is the one I will go with when I place my next order.
post #9 of 15
not sure if you guys realize it, but, many models of both alden and AE come in E, EE, and EEE, also, you should consider custom made shoes, may not be as expensive as you think, and even if it is, its a great investment
post #10 of 15
Have you tried Santoni? The toe box runs a little larger than the D width specified at Nordstroms. Not the same construction as UK, but they are nice shoes for what they are. Expensive though.
post #11 of 15
im having toebox problems myself, i tried alden barrie last and it didnt fit me comfortably. I had a chance to get a pair of trickers boots and they fit perfect, so now im going to look into C&J, but i seem to have same problem i am a D width and shoes feel tight in the toe box... try trickers, quality is great
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerostyle View Post
The C&J I tried on was this one:

C&J WestField ( Last 341 ).

Any idea how that runs?

I have not tried the Westfield or anything else on the 341.
I have a just slightly wide foot. I sometimes end up going up a half size in the US D width, or taking a US E in my size. UK E width seem generally to fit me OK. I'd thought it was the equivalent to the US D, but I think not exactly.

I like the Alden Plaza, that's one I go up a half size with. I like the C&J 363, it's a bit rounder and broader, but has a really nice shape. The EG 888 is fits really nicely.

If you ever have the opportunity, it's good to go to the shop, get properly measured, and then try one different models, and different widths in the same model. The guys at the C&J store in NYC are very nice and very helpful.
post #13 of 15
Archivist, thanks for that signature quote, which led me to her immensely entertaining obituary in The Telegraph!
post #14 of 15
I'm also a wide D, I find that the Carmina Simpson last works well, and the inca last is reputed to be even wider.
post #15 of 15
I've had good luck with the Alfred Sargent 99 last--looks very elegant, but seems to fit my wide fore foot and narrower heel well. The problem I always end up with is that if I buy an e E width the toe box is comfortable but the heel is too wide and it slips. Also a +1 on the Loake 026-- The Kemptons fit me well and don't look like potatoes.
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