Sorry for the long-windedness of this post but I have a bit of an interesting sizing situation here.
On a recent trip to NYC I bought my first pair of Aldens, some Whiskey Cordovan Indy's in size 9EEE. I typically wear size 11 in boots, but when I was looking at the shoe on display it looked about the right size. Turns out it was, and in fact was the best fitting boot I'd ever worn. When I remarked how odd it was that a size 9EEE fit right, the sales associate said that for each width rating, Aldens tend to go up half a size in lenght (*scratching head*).
Fast forward a few months and I pick up a pair of second hand CXL plain toe boots on the True Balance last, this time in size 11. The outsoles are the exact same length. Turns out the guy was essentially right. The difference however is in the fit of the uppers. The 11 is shaped for a foot with roughly the same shape but much more girth than the 9EEE (particularly in the heel cup). The 11 works for me with a tight lacing and thick socks, but I prefer the fit of the 9.
To add to all this, I saw an ebay post for some 10E's that had the same outsole measurements as my 9EE and 11D. So at this stage I'm starting to believe that I could probably fit multiple Aldens by playing with the length/width combo: 9EEE, 9.5EE, and 10E. Weirdest thing ever but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. My goal is to find which one is the optimal fit, but it's difficult to find Aldens to try on in SoCal.
So my question to you guys is whether anyone here has had a similar situation? What ended up being the best fit in the end? And finally, who would be best to talk to about this before I order my next pair? Someone at Alden (is that possible)? Or maybe someone from a particular retailer?
Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks guys!
Photo proof below, 11D's on top, 9EEE's on bottom: