Originally Posted by iroh
the barrie last is a pretty bulbus last IMO, however i do have a barrie last pair of shoes, in the C width (however i do have narrow feet), it does look OK for a pair casual shoes (still too bulbus if you are going for a sleek pair of dress shoes), much better than the ugly D width. so if you really must get a barrie last shoe, special order it in the C width (and instead of sizing down stay TTS if you have D width feet). frankly i recommend the skipping the barrie and going for the plaza last, it is sleeker and more chiseled and defined, can't go wrong with it all. alden should really discontinue the barrie last.
Yeah, discontinuing the most popular last would be a great decision.
Look, I understand the Barrie last is not the most sleek last, but I still love it. I appreciate sleeker lasts, especially in dress shoes - but sleeker lasted shoes are widely available from brands ranging Crockett and Jones to Edward Green to Ferragamo to Allen Edmonds to whatever. Part of the Alden look IMO are some of the more full fitting lasts. And for people with wide feet (like many on this thread), the Barrie is one of the best fitting lasts, especially in D width (Aberdeen E fits me the best, but it is not readily available).
Part of the appeal of the barrie last, IMO, is its versatility. Sleeker lasted shoes can look a bit off with jeans, for example (unless they are loafers). However, a barrie cordovan longwing looks equally at place with a nice pair of denim and a nice pair of wool trousers (either connected with a suit or a blazer or on its own). Plaza lasted longwings wouldn't have that same versatility, IMO.
*Eagerly awaiting delivery of barrie cigar longwings later today, which I will wear with suits and jeans*