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Allen Edmonds bowing or flaring on the sides

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

I having an issue with my AE's that I just basically noticed. I always thought I had odd shaped ankles but now I think my shoes are bowing. You can see a couple pictures below. What should I do? Return them? If it develops with my Webgem McAllister in Chili, can they custom make a pair to replace them?


post #2 of 38
Yikes that is pretty bad. My Strands bow a bit too, McAllister's fit like a glove.

I think I saw in the giant AE thread that you might be able to return those.
post #3 of 38
They don't fit you well. That's not Allen Edmonds's fault.
post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 

 They are comfortable and not loose anywhere else. Should the lace gap fit closer or something? I haven't worn my McAllisters or Strands outside of the house. I would hate to think that I have $1000 worth of shoes that don't fit. I haven't broken the other two in yet but they don't bow nearly as much, but I don't want to break them in to find that I need a different size. 

What do you think is wrong? The last? Sizing?

post #5 of 38
The lace gap is probably fine (some shoes are made to close more than that, but the gap on yours is pretty normal).

But if you are standing normally and there is that much space between your ankle and the shoe, the shoe doesn't fit.
Edited by nmprisons - 7/31/13 at 8:36pm
post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 


post #7 of 38
Thread Starter 

You mean doesn't right? I just printed out the size chart and I'm pretty much right on the money, I "might" stand to go to an E size but I can't imagine it would make that much of a difference. What do I do? Is it just the last? Also, the right shoe fits much more normal. I just don't get it. 

post #8 of 38
I am not an expert here, perhaps one of our resident shoemakers will chime in.

But there are three things to keep in mind:

(1) Your feet are different sizes. This is true for practically everyone.

(2) There is much more to fit than length and width. Unless there is something screwy with your feet, you'll just have to find a last that works better for you.

(3) If this is just a cosmetic thing (i.e, they feel comfortable and your feet are not hurting at the end of the day), they you might decide not to care.
post #9 of 38

This exact thing happens to my Fifth Avenues, on my right foot only. It is because my right midfoot is larger than my left -- specifically, the base of my 5th metatarsal bone protrudes over the edge of the insole, pushing out the leather of the upper. This occurs for me on the Allen Edmonds 5-65 last, which is (in their words) "best for a long, narrow foot." This last does not fit me properly, as I do not have a long, narrow foot. It will not fit me in any size. I have had some degree of problems with my stupid protruding metatarsal bone with every one of AE's lasts, except for their 3-333 last which fits me perfectly. Here are some photos:

Right foot, showing significant bowing.


Left foot, showing negligible bowing.


Both shoes, for comparison.


Wearing Superfeet 3/4 inserts (or some other insert) raises my foot up off of the insole and helps with both bowing and comfort, but I doubt that you would have room for them judging by the lace gap that you currently have. Good luck trying to fit into the 5-65 last. It's not for everybody.

Edited by coldsalmon - 8/1/13 at 6:44pm
post #10 of 38
Thread Starter 

What would you suggest that I do? I really like the styles on that last, its depressing. Any experts out there?

post #11 of 38

Other than a 3/4 insole, I haven't thought of anything. It is indeed depressing, because I would really like a pair of Strands, but I know that they will simply not fit on my feet. I am reminded of a post from the thread "Shoe Recommendation - Wide Forefoot, Narrow Heel":



C&J must remain the shoe equivalent of that pretty girl on whom you had a massive crush in 8th grade--the one dating the guy on the high school varsity team (remember her?). You can only look and wish things were different. They weren't then and aren't now. There is no version of the 341 your toes will not distort. The 325 is a cruel mirage. 325 models available in G fittings are made on the 317 last, but you will find that this last is substantially wider in the heel and instep and almost identical to the 325 in the toe. Don't bother. She's not available to us. :-)


Perhaps a cobbler could help by stretching the upper to better conform to your foot, but I haven't tried this yet. If you decide to consult a cobbler, please let us know how it goes.

post #12 of 38
Thread Starter 

I guess I just have to return them and get professionally fitted. But will they know exactly what last I'll need? How do Alden lasts run?

post #13 of 38
Thread Starter 

I've been messing around with them and I think I know what the issue. On the narrow lasts, when you press down on the heel, your foot expands outwards and presses the bottom of the heel leather out, which in turn presses the top out and causes the bowing issue. I wonder if a cobbler could fix this by slightly expanding the bottom, or just returning for a wider pair. 

post #14 of 38
I'm having the same problem with my park avenues that I received today, not sure what to do. My other AE 's , the players shoe on the 2 last fits a but better for me as far as the bowing goes.
post #15 of 38
Were these Factory Seconds?
Please include this vital information in the posts.
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