Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
That is probably true.
But every shoe factory can run a tape measure over their existing lasts and can tell me whether or not they have any stock lasts that come close to a length of 294 mm (11 9/16") and a girth of 238 mm (9 3/8
"). I know Edward Green 202 in 9 C or 32 in 9 1/2 C will be very close (although, of course, not absolutely identical).
Who shall I go for, the manufacturer of gemmed footwear that can accommodate my foot or the manufacturer of hand-welted footwear that cannot?
It's not a question of having one's last, it's a question of knowing one's measurements.
Come on...you of all people--you're simplifying things past credulity.
In the first place what manufacturer is going to go through what must be thousands of lasts looking for one that will meet your
measurements? Yes, they can narrow it down--to one side of the haystack---but it's still an effort that runs counter to every principle of RTW. If they wanted to put forth that much energy, they'd be doing bespoke.
" girth? There are, at least...even for the most casual maker...three
girths that are critical to fit--joint, waist, and something called "instep"--although in most cases it corresponds to no actual anatomical feature on the foot.
And the approach to shoe / bootmaking that I learned recognizes six
--joint, waist, low instep, high instep (both corresponding to anatomical features of the foot), as well as short heel and long heel and two
lengths--length of foot and heel to ball...the latter actually being far more critical to a good fit than the former.
And even knowing those limited measurements from your own foot, it still doesn't address the really critical aspects of heel seat width and tread width. You don't mention your measurements there (and yes, you can run off and take the measurements off your personal last, although that's not correct either--the lasts should model the foot, not vice-versa).
And 99.9% of the people reading this forum, nevermind this discussion, don't know their own measurements. And don't want to know...any more than they want to know how their shoes are constructed where they can't see them.
For a quick and dirty analogy, think of the foot as a water balloon. It sits on the shelf and has a certain "footprint." If you squeeze it from the sides, that footprint will be reduced; if you press down from above, it will increase. But the only footprint that is real
is the one that you make when you step onto a pedograph with your full, natural weight. The result accurately records where your foot is touching the ground --the shape and width and length of the area that your foot requires to support your weight. Nothing more, nothing less--all fit depends on it.
Too wide in the heel seat and the shoe will never fit correctly because heel seat width is directly correlated with short and long heel girths. And because the heel stiffener forms a rigid frame, it cannot be pulled up tight so that all slack is removed. The foot will have "bounce-around" room--like a handball in a handball court, so to speak.
Same is true of the tread width...it does no one any good and violates all principles of fit to have a margin of insole sticking out from under your foot collecting lint from your socks. It makes the shoe crease improperly and again allows the foot to slide around in the shoe...increasing the chances of walking over to one side or the other.
Having too narrow a heel seat width is the least of these problems but having too narrow a tread width means that the foot is hanging over the edge of the insole and that creates its own set of problems and affects longevity of the shoe.
IMO, it does a disservice to everyone reading this discussion to ignore or diminish these considerations. It's disrespectful of the intelligence of most of the people who look in... and it promotes ignorance.
--Edited by DWFII - 1/24/14 at 8:00am