A bit late, but I thought it would still be useful to share the denouement from my adventure ordering LHSs in the van last from Alden DC, as I know folks have been thinking about fit questions. Some may recall that I posted last week about making an original order of whiskey shell LHSs from Kathy. (I'm an 8.5D in the Barrie & Trubalance and wear a 9D in the Grant-lasted cap toe shell 8 boot). I posted the following pics of the mismatched whiskey pair in which the left foot was considerably longer than the right.
So, I called Kathy up feeling validated by thread members' helpful and supportive comments (many thanks, btw!). She very graciously sent out a 9D cigar shell LHS, as well as a 9C that no one ended up picking up. I tried both on over the course of several days and even taped a tongue pad to the inside of each loafer. I ended up going with the 9C, which I thought was interesting in light of some earlier feedback that one should go with the Barrie size or the Barrie size minus a width. The 9C felt like it was snug, but not too snug in the toe box (maybe I have freakishly long toes, idk), and only the slightest heel slippage, which Kathy said would likely go away as the shank settled (this seems realistic and does not lend itself to the feeling that I could kick off the shoe by accident while walking).
The fit-related points of interest are as follows: I found it striking that the 9D in whiskey (the normal sized shoe, not the mistakenly enlarged left shoe, mind you) appeared to be of a different length than the 9D cigar. As you can see, the heel appears to extend outward just a smidge more on the cigar as compared with the whiskey.
Here's a couple of pics of the final reveal. Sorry again for the crummy iphone 5 pics.
The last couple of thoughts are what I'm hoping folks can offer some feedback on, with the general topic being the color of cigar shell vs. color 8. Here is a pic of the cigar LHSs near a pair of color 8 lwb's I recently picked up from CitiShoes (nice guys, btw). At first, I thought Kathy sent me color 8 LHSs, but she confirmed that that was not at all the case.
Do folks who own both shells find that it happens that cigar can sometimes look like color 8? Do you think this will always be the case? Do the cigar or color 8 shells tend to darken or lighten over time?
This feeds into my last question: I have an opportunity to pick up a pair of Cigar shell LWBs. This will be a 4th LWB on top of the color 8s I mentioned, the JCrew "brown waxed" CXLs and the JCrew snuff suedes. Is Cigar LWB going to be worth the $710 or should I save the $ and wait out a whiskey or ravello LWB in the off chance it comes available in the next year? (Rounding out the wardrobe for now are the Ultimate Indy from LS in CXL brown and Kathy's grant color 8 cap toe boot). Please tell me if I'm being redundant with the cigar thing. (The financially cautious side of me is rationalizing holding off, saying there is a pair of chocolate calf AE longwings that can fake the dark brown look; the other side of me is saying, there might not be another chance at the Cigar LWB for a while). Please help me build a versatile wardrobe and not buy on impulse...