Did a forum search but couldn't find anything on stretching AE shoes.
Background: I got fitted at two different Allen Edmonds stores, and both stores suggested I get 11D in the 65 last. I purchased Strand and McGregor seconds online and have been wearing each of them twice a week, for the past four weeks. Initially the 11D size fit fine at the store (Tried on Strands/Park Avenues), but the shoes I bought turned out to be a bit tight in the toe box, and the area around my pinky toe gets slightly red after a day's wear. I even tried on 11E at the stores, but it was too wide, especially at the heel. Now the Strand/McGregor are on the 65 last, which is narrow - my feet probably aren't compatible for this last. I can't return the shoes now, and I don't want to sell them, since I really like their slick design.
I am hoping to get them stretched *just a little* so my toes have a bit more wiggle room. I know Allen Edmonds suggests not to stretch shoes to avoid irreversible damage. Should I just take the gamble and have a good cobbler stretch them? What about DIY methods like 1) putting a bag of water and freezing them, 2) using a shoe stretcher, or 3) spraying a rubbing alcohol/water mix?
Thanks for any suggestions.