I am in a dilemma about ordering shoes internationally. Currently, I am in Cairo, Egypt, and let's just say, men's dress shoes is a nightmare here. Back in America, I have a pair of Allen Edmonds Black in size 7.5D. I didn't bring them because they are to funeral-ish for me, and just very boring. Before leaving Boston, I tried to find a good pair of Brown or Burgundy dress shoes, but being short on time, I ended up trying on some Peals at BB on Newbury Street. They didn't have much choices, and I wasn't really wanting another pair of Allen Edmonds. I ended up getting a pair of Peal Cap Toes, but they were 7.5E and too wide and long, so I took them back before I left. The wide width was just too much. The thing is that the Allen Edmond Park Avenue's that I have back in America fit very well, and I was measured at a Nordstrom's store.
The only problem was that they were pretty snug on the top of the foot (forefoot). Otherwise length and width were great. The thing I'm not to keen on is the bulkiness of AE. Alden has something about them that I just like better in terms of looks. There's something about Alden that just looks sleeker. The issue is that I have to order these, and ship them all the way to Egypt. It's expensive, and there won't be any return shipping. I did some research and I hear that the Hampton last fits similar to the #5 Park Avenue last. The only question, is, how similar? If they are more flat on the top/tighter on the forefoot, than I will just avoid them. If the length and width is about spot on with the Park Avenues, but the height is the same or higher, then I may consider the Aldens.
Lastly, the last question I have is the metal shank, which is also holding me back. In Cairo, there are many metal detectors, and I may be required to go through one everyday. I don't think the metal detectors are ultra sensitive, but will the Aldens set most metal detectors off. To my knowledge and experience, Allen Edmonds have no metal shank, and cause no issues with metal detectors.