I have Midfords as pictured in dark oak and also in black, both last 82, and a pair of older shoes in brown on a 202 that are either the Berkeley or a forerunner and close cousin (if you mainly shop in the store the model names matter less than online). The Berkley are more classic, but I am very fond of the Midfords.
My suggestion: check the available lasts before deciding. I don't dislike the 202, and have four or five pairs on it, but I have for a couple of years been very into the 82 (as well as the 88, the virtues of which I shall always promote here). In very similar shoes, I'd prioritise last over stylistic detail.
Both are available to me on the 82 last, that is why I was on the fence about the stylistic details. Thanks for your thoughts Geezer.
Any thoughts from the members here on the EG Midford vs Berkeley? I am looking to add one of these pairs in dark oak to complement a pair of black Chelseas, but I'm on the fence on which way to go. I'm leaning toward the Midford, which is the stitched brogue cap toe, but I think the Berkeley may be the safer choice.
I vote for the latter which is more traditional to me; however, I do prefer the Inverness over the Malvern
They are not from 1946. At a guess they are about ten years old. EG numbering is a bit of a mystery, but the pair dangling off my toes now bought around 1995 are numbered 10623 (and do not therefore date from before the Norman Conquest of Britain in 1066AD). And my newer pairs have higher numbers, in a little inset oval, while some older pre-oval pairs are numbered higher. Go figure. If they have the oval inset, they are post early/mid-90s. And the 202 last, while classic, is not ancient. Those are great shoes, but early last decade, not mid last century.
I think Geezer is pretty spot on here. The waist is in pretty nice condition on the sole. And EG probably hasn't used the exact same Nail pattern on the heel for that long.
I have heard it said that all of EGs lasts derive from the 202. But perhaps what is meant that the newer lasts derive from the 202. I've seen shoes from the 1980s on the 202. But it seems the 201 was very popular before the 202. I have seen EGs for Wildmith and Nordstrom on the 201. So I'm still not sure when the 202 rose to prominence.
Also, you can always send that 5 digit number to EG - they can give you the original order info.
Actually, I would say saphyr's neutral is best to maintain any color/patina/burnishing. With chestnut antique, the medium brown seems to darken it just a bit. Dark brown would probably also do it faster.