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Edward green "purple label" sizing

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey Guys, I'm considering buying a pair of Purple Label oxfords made by EG. They are a US size 11.5. My concern is that I sometimes were a US size 12. When converted from UK sizes, do these shoes tend to run large or small? What would the UK equivalent be? I am hoping that they would be a UK 11.5 which would be somewhere between a US 11.5 and 12. Thanks
post #2 of 5
The general rule of thumb is to add 1/2 size and subtract one width from the British EG size to arrive at the American equivalent.  (In general, the Greens run a bit narrow, so this may be a bit off, but it is reasonably accurate.)  So, a UK 8E in Green would equate, more or less, to an 8.5D American.  In my experience, and also based on the original sizing process in the UK and America, in fact the UK lengths (e.g. 8 in example above) are more like 1/3 of a size longer in American sizes (i.e. the equivalent American size would be, if it existed, 8 1/3).  I am a 8.5/9 American, but I've found the 8 in Green to be perhaps a bit short; I think 8.5 in Green is better for me, though this is still subject to revision. Note that many Greens are marked with both the British and the American sizing.  The Greens/Purple Labels available on Bluefly ($400 after 20% discount) are listed by American sizes, not British. So, to answer your question, I would think a 11.5 UK size Green would be great if you are between an 11.5 and 12 American, subject to width issues.  However, an 11.5 "American" (i.e. 11 UK) might be a bit on the short side, if you are truly between an 11.5 and 12 American. Further, I believe the older Purple Labels were a "D" width and were pretty narrow; more recent versions are a UK E width, which as described below is likely somewhere between a US D and E width. The following is an excerpt of an old post regarding UK/US sizing:
I don't believe that there are, per se, differences in width between the UK and US markings.  However, the Greens are probably narrower than the given US width would indicate because, I presume, the width (really a girth/all around measurement) of the Green shoes is based on the UK length, and, in shoemaking, width goes up as length goes up -- i.e. a 8.5D is actually  1/8 inch bigger around than an 8D.  So, the result is that a Green 8D is actually 1/2 way between a US  8 1/2 C and D "widths" (girth).  Likewise, a UK 8E is between a US 8 1/2 D and E in width/girth.  (Note that, also, as width goes up length goes up -- but (at least in theory) only in the part of the shoe in front of the ball -- so a UK 8E is actually a bit longer than a UK 8D.)  Therefore, a Green 8E (UK size) is a bit wider/bigger girth than a US 8.5D and about the same length as the 8.5D, but with slightly different proportions; the heel to ball measurement is shorter than that of a US 8.5D. For what it's worth, it is also an anomaly of shoe-fitting that most customers think the "widths" are a measure of the width of the insole across the ball of the foot; this is incorrect.  As noted above, he "width" is actually a measure of the girth (circumference) of the last; therefore, even two shoes with the same "width" measurement can have different insole widths, as the shape of the lasts may differ and one may have more of the total girth/circumference in the top part of the foot -- manufacturers often like to keep the ball width narrow because a.) they can use the same insoles for multiples sizes, and b.) they think it makes the shoe and foot look slimmer and more elegant.   Furthermore, typically the "length" measure is from the heel to the ball of the foot; different lasts can have very different measures from the ball of the foot forward, based both on the manufacturer's preferences and the shape of the last/shoe.  Finally, shoemakers don't necessarily stick to the purported standards, and there is of course deviation around the mean, so their shoes can vary even more.  All of this says that it's important to actually try shoes on before buying them, particularly if you're not familiar with the manufacturer's sizing and last shapes.
Sufficiently confused?.
post #3 of 5
FWIW, if the shoes that you're looking at are the ones on Bluefly... They're made on the 89 last, and they're marked with D width. They seem roomier to me than shoes in the same size on the 202, 606, or 808 lasts. They also seem as wide as my 808 E width shoes, although that may be because they're bluchers. Those are just my impressions -- I haven't taken any measurements. Even if you're not talking about the Bluefly shoes, many RLPL EG models are made on the 89 last, so that still may be of use...
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. I'm actually looking at a pair of Oxfords, not the bluchers on bluefly. Although I like the pair on bluefly, I'm afraid that the 12 they have (had) available may be too large. Shoefan, thanks for the lengthy response. Do you think I would be better off ordering the 11.5 UKs from overseas? Possibly from AHarris's source? I'm also keeping in mind that my left foot is a bit wide (an American E), whereas my right foot is a standard D width.
post #5 of 5
Dan: It's tough to say. My guess is that a UK 11.5 is the way to go, since you may have some issues both with length and width in an 11 UK -- an 11.5 will not only be longer than an 11, it will be a bit bigger in width as well. Of course, it's always a bit risky to buy shoes, perhaps particularly so for Greens, without first trying them on. Of course, you could order the Black RLPL's from Bluefly in black in US 11.5 to try out the sizing. Round trip postage would only be around $15. (If so, use a discount coupon posted elsewhere here -- should be able to get 20% off.) Note that the RLPL's have a unique last (the 89), whereas the regular Greens are made on the 202, 606, 808, and new 888 lasts. My impression is the 89 last is most similar to the 808, but I'm not positive. Also, of course, the RLPL's are priced at a hefty premium to the regular Greens, so unless you're getting a special price, IMO the Green line is the way to go. FWIW, I also like the colors available in the regular Green line better than the purple labels I ordered from Bluefly, and I think that in general you will get a much wider range of browns from Green.
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