I'm a long time lurker and first time poster here. I've learned a lot through SF and wanted to bring up a problem I'm having with my new Strand shells. I'm hoping someone can recommend a fix because I really like these shoes and would hate to have to return them. The problem I'm having is this: The collar (top line?) of the shoe bends outward excessively. It's so serious that I can fit multiple fingers in the gap and that it's already causing some creasing along the quarter. I've tried massaging the leather, shifting my weight, and all types of lacing (You can tell in the above that the left foot is tied pretty tight). I just can't get it to conform correctly! I think part of the problem is that I have very flat feet and the weight distribution could be causing this. The most annoying part is that I have AE Ashtons and Fifth Aves, and neither exhibit this problem. Further, I tried on another pair of Strand Cordovans at the local AE store (Same Size/Width) and it didn't exhibit this problem. Although, I'm almost certain that the shell at the AE Store was different than the one I own because the color and the finish were completely different. They looked like chocolate brown, much lighter than the ones I have. Does anyone have any suggestions about getting this fixed? Did I get a bad batch? Should I ask for a replacement or just a refund? I really like the way these shoes look and would hate to see them go. Have a look: Ideas?