I have been experiencing the dreaded ankle bulge on 9... Yes, 9! different pairs of AE's. Different models and different lasts. I had to rebuild my shoe collection after putting on about 45 lbs since my last AE purchase (started lifting weights seriously again). One day I looked down to find the bulge on my Carlyles (feels weird typing that lol) so I bought another pair. Same bulge. Ordered some online. Same bulge! Then I started trying different models. On every one the ankle leather got all billowy and looked awful.
I read every post, every forum, every thread I could find. Found a lot of BS, even from the CEO. His post regarding why this happens to some wearers was wholly unsatisfactory. As some here have pointed out, most of us have never experienced this problem with any other shoe. It seemed there were no solutions. Even the AE store gave me some line about "flat feet." pssshhhyeah right! My feet are NOT flat.
So on a whim, I slipped socks under my heel in a pair of strands. Bam! Bulge gone. Seemed too good to be true. So I bought some proper heel gel inserts from rite aid and after 2 full days of wear... NO BULGE.
Mind you, I had a very very bad case of this. You could almost fit your hand in the space between my ankle and the shoe when I was walking!
I wanted to share this tip with you fellow travelers of style land as I had not seen this anywhere else.
Hope this helps someone!