EG has just come onto my radar after a couple of previous forays into the high-end shoe market that have resulted in disappointment. I want to get to the point of commissioning a Top Drawer (TD) pair so I went into the Jermyn Street shop last week to try and determine my size but the result, although it felt right in the shop, was sufficiently surprising to me that I think that I'll go back and try again and maybe buy a pair of RTW so that I can have a month or so to convince myself that the sizing really is right before placing a TD order.
I'm normally a UK 7 and apparently my feet are actually 6.5 on the right and 7 on the left with my right foot slightly fatter than my left. (Apparently it's pretty normal for the foot on the dominant side to be slightly smaller and fatter than the other one.) I have quite narrow feet and a very low instep so the lacing on every single RTW that I've ever owned is always completely closed and even then the shoe is often still slightly loose.
One of my failed shoe experiments was a pair if G&G Grants on the TG73 last in a UK 7D (where E is the standard width). The G&Gs kill my little toes, especially on the left foot, and are pretty much unwearable after an hour or two. Many people say how snug EGs are, particularly the 888 last (which is my favourite), so I was really surprised to find that, after much trying on and a very patient shop assistant in the EG store, I came out with the recommendation that my size for the 888 last is UK 6.5D, i.e. even with staying with a narrow fitting I should size down half a size from my G&Gs (which I was wearing when I went into the shop). This is so counter to the impression that I'be been picking up from this thread that I'm hesitant to go straight to a TD order with this sizing.
I could play safe and go for a 7D. I would expect that to be more comfortable than my G&G grants because the TG73 last really is pointy, especially in the narrow D width. That's my biggest issue with the G&Gs, they're just too pointy and aggressive for my liking. I suspect that one reason is that the TG73 last doesn't play nicely with the narrower fitting and starts looking like a Deco last. I spent a lot of time in the shop with an EG 888 on one foot and my G&G TG73 on the other foot and the EG 888 is definitely much, much more pleasing to my eye for my foot shape.
What are the possible downsides if I go up to a 7D rather than a 6.5D? So long as the heels don't slip and it doesn't generally feel loose then I assume that the difference will be a bit more length in the toe box and around the forefoot. Will this mean more creasing? My dilemma is whether to play safe and go for the 7D or whether to stick with what did seem to be the perfect fit in the shop and go for a 6.5D.
One other question. Do EG do any RTW with Danite or similar soles? I didn't think to ask while I was in the store. If I get a RTW pair so that I can do an extended test on fit then I'd quite like to get a wet weather pair so that I continue to get good use out of them even after a few years when (if) I've built up a good TD collection so a non-leather sole would be useful, plus the fact that the sole and waist treatment is sufficiently different on EG TD that I wouldn't learn anything about that from owning a pair of EG RTW.
By the way, when I was in the shop last week they quoted me a 3 month waiting time for regular MTO and an 8 month waiting time (ouch!) for TD MTO. The price of TD in a standard leather was £1,250 (including UK VAT) which included the shoe trees.
And I agree with all three of you. The 8 months for TD didn't surprise me but the 3 months for regular MTO did sound suspiciously short. Then again the woman who was helping me was pretty new, she said so on a couple of occasions and had to go and ask other people the answers to a few questions so maybe she got it wrong. I need to go back in to look at getting a RTW pair to test my size so I'll ask about lead times again.
On another MTO point, how much leather choice is there for TD? The shop had a couple of bound books of swatches with lots of regular leathers, a few country leathers and quite a few suedes and then there were about 5 loose samples of different colours of some sort of exotic skin (alligator?). The shop assistant told me that that is the full selection but I've seen pictures further back in this thread of a more finely textured leather; I can't remember what the poster referred to it as (pin grain maybe). I was hoping to find options for some texture but not as textured as the country leathers, maybe a pigskin or a cross-hatched leather. Has anyone encountered anything like that from an EG MTO?
I do get the impression that the material options on the EG MTO program are fewer than those in the G&G program but then again if one wants a higher level of hand finishing in the G&G world then one has to choose the Deco last (or go bespoke) whereas EG will do it on any of their lasts so that is a big plus.