Originally Posted by bengal-stripe
Sorry, this simply is not true. EG widths are the equivalent (if not narrower) of American widths. I have here, right in front of me, two pairs of shoes: Alden, Aberdeen last, size 9Â½ C; EG, last 202, size 9 / 9Â½ C.
Measuring underneath the sole at it"˜s widest point (I know this is not a reliable measurement), the Alden clocks in at 4Â¼" (108 mm) while the EG has a measurement of just under 4" (100 mm). The welts in the Alden are cut somewhat wider than in the EG (although neither has an extended welt), that of course cuts the real difference (as measured with the two lasts) a bit down. The Alden is probably shallower (top to bottom) than the EG. Width is measured in circumference (not left to right) and there won't be a great deal of difference in the two shoes (if any at all).
Ask the people of EG (at a trunkshow) and they will tell you, that their width would correspond with American widths.
Well, Bengal-stripe, there's been some debate about this in the past, and the consensus that I recall about EG (as opposed to C&J, for example, for which my statement would have been absolutely true) was that the strict one-letter difference may not be precisely correct, with the difference falling closer, perhaps, to a 1/2-letter difference--meaning that an EG D-width might fall between a US C and D.
I also wonder about your comparison methodology. It's well known that different lasts differ slightly in width, letter for letter. Furthermore, it is close to futile to attempt to extrapolate inside width from outside width measurements because of sole extension differences, thickness of the leather in the uppers, configuration of the uppers/insole assembly, etc. Finally, a sample-size of one (in your case one Alden, one EG) is an insufficient basis for making a general inference in a case like this with much within-brand variation.
I can tell you this from my own experience: My generally-best fit comes from a shoe sized 9.5B in the US system. I have at least a 6-8 pairs of shoes marked with this size by Allen-Edmonds, Alden, and Bally. Now, I purchased a new pair of EG Berkeleys from a forum member a couple of years ago marked 9/9 1/2 B. They were definitely narrower than any of my US- or Bally-branded 9.5Bs and simply too tight to wear without real pain at first. I had them stretched, and got them to fit properly--to the point at which they felt like my US 9.5B-marked shoes. Further, when Susie Jones fit me for more EGs, they came back 9/9 1/2C and fit well right from the start--like my US 9.5Bs. This indicated to me that the EG C-width corresponded more closely to the US B-width than the EG B-width did.
I don't doubt your own findings here, and it's possible that EG has moved to sizing their shoes in a way that matches US sizing vis-a-vis width (this perhaps explaining what you are being told at the trunk shows), but can tell you that this has definitely not been quite true in the very recent past. Finally, as for my notation re the shoes for sale that you've picked up on, I felt it would be useful to point out that they would be narrower than the UK E-width seen far more commonly in EG RTW shoes, and in the first case at least noted "9.5C US or close to that
." The "close to that" part was an acknowledgement that they may not be a full letter narrower. I believe that this width difference should be recognized with respect to the shoes I flagged.