Continuing from my previous post
regarding comparative CP sizing, next up is the Achilles Retro Low vs. the Original Achilles Low.
Firstly, regarding size, I am generally somewhere along a 12.5 US, in order to accommodate for one foot being longer than the other. My feet run on the narrow side so when it comes to dress shoes and boots this can translate to anything from an 11.5-12.5 US, but with sneakers I have generally fallen in the uncomfortable space between a 12 (too small) and a 13 US (too large). The pairs compared here are both sized 45 EU. I should also note that I used a 3/4 insole with mild arch support stacked on the factory insole in determining fit.
Secondly, the pairs I am comparing here were both purchased recently and so I believe they are fairly-recent iterations of their respective models. I point this out because Common Projects appears to have changed their sizing somewhere between, say, 2009 and now, making their lasts more accommodating in width (based on experience and what I've read). I scooped the pair of Achilles from Yoox and so it is possible that they may be from a few seasons past, but based on the fit I can tell their production falls after this sizing transition.
Both shoes are derby (open-lace) construction, thereby allowing greater control of snugness, as compared with the BBall Low and in my opinion.
This is isn't as apparent here as with the BBall Low vs. the OG Achilles Low, and without getting all Scott Lang with the perspective, but the biggest distinction between the Retro and the OG Achilles is the toe box. The Retro has a rounder, more bulbous toe box, intended to capture that vintage Stan Smith aesthetic, vs. the OG's narrower, flatter toe box and profile. This simple distinction is what accounts for the majority of the fit differential between the two models. However, the Retro is NOT overall wider than the Achilles.
The Retro has a higher heel tab, while the OG Achilles has a thicker outsole. Despite the thicker outsole there is not a notable difference in height positioning between the two models. There is little difference in rear volume between the two models.
Despite the higher heel tab on the Retro, the two models have the same ankle height around the throat. As noted above, the Retro is not wider than the OG Achilles and, in fact, is very slightly narrower in the midfoot, although not noticeably.
While the silhouette of the Retro is noticeably different, this is due to the above-noted distinctions. The curvature and overall body is very similar between the models, if not the same.
Length is the same.
Overall, the OG Achilles Low fits me close to perfect (with a 3/4 insert on top of the factory insole), whereas the Retro Low fits me a little bit looser (again, with a 3/4 insert). This is due to the rounded/bulbous toe box, which gives the sensation of the shoes being just slightly too long. Contributing to this is the fact that the Retro Low, arguably, has slightly less padding to the tongue, specifically around the midfoot. The result is that it also feels slightly wider/more voluminous compared to the OG Achilles. I would have to cinch the lacing tighter than I prefer aesthetically if I wanted a snug fit in the Retro Low. Instead, and again for aesthetic reasons, I keep them laced slightly loose. I experience no significant shifting of my foot other than some occasional, light, lift in the heel cup.
I would not size down in the Retro Low, the discrepancy in fit being a matter of cm. A 44 would be entirely too small in length and, potentially, width. As it is, the Retro Lows are in my weekly rotation and, because I do not wear them every day, they maintain the fit described above. If I were to wear them every day, then undesirable stretch would undoubtedly occur making them looser than acceptable.
My final takeaway is that both models are a good fit for somewhat-narrow feet or those with medium-width feet but less girth. If you ride the line on medium-to-thicker feet, the Retro Low may fit you better, due to the volume allowance, but this allowance is not so great to make them markedly less narrow than the OG Achilles. This is, of course, up for debate.Edited by whorishconsumer - 4/2/16 at 7:55am