Agonizing over 1/2 size when buying shoes - - Pointless?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jdbob, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. aeglus

    aeglus Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    5,045
    Likes Received:
    932
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Location:
    Shanghai
    Half a size was what stopped me from getting an awesome deal on some really nice burgundy shoes for half off. If only it was half a size smaller. I walked around in it with a pad and thought at first it's not bad. I kept walking around in them for 30 minutes in the store (they like me a lot so it's not a problem) and after that realized that I just wouldn't be able to do it. Too much heel slippage.

    They were really nice shoes too, and I needed a pair with rubber soles like they had [​IMG]
     


  2. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

    Messages:
    5,601
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Burlington, ON
    I must have weird feet, because I find I can comfortably wear lace-ups in sizes 10.5E (I think this is my correct size, and it is the one I will usually purchase) 11D or 11E. I don't know the proper names of foot parts, but my feet seem to be large in the vertical dimension as they approach my ankles, so a 10.5E feels good for length and width, but a balmoral in that size will "gap" in the laces, especially at the top. An 11E balmoral eliminates the gap, but is longish in the toebox. An 11D feels a little snug, but is OK.
     


  3. josepidal

    josepidal Senior member

    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    This discussion needs to recognize that size covers length and width. Both need to match, and getting a larger size when one really needs a wider shoe does not solve the problem.
     


  4. LaoHu

    LaoHu Senior member

    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    New England
    If you truly agonize over these differences, you may be a candidate for bespoke shoes. Sure, they're expensive, but if it means that much to you, perhaps the investment would be worth it.
     


  5. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

    Messages:
    12,140
    Likes Received:
    608
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    i have ordered one full size down before from my normal size - in carminas. Wider last, but my toes still crunch up a slight bit - hope to have them fully broken in someday...
     


  6. Limniscate

    Limniscate Senior member

    Messages:
    702
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    TX
    I will usually go a half size larger as well.
     


  7. svelten

    svelten Senior member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    I have shoes I enjoy in both size 9.5 and 10, so no, 1/2 size does not make a difference to me and I would imagine most people are overthinking things if they feel it is that essential.
     


  8. Ed Sullivan

    Ed Sullivan Senior member

    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    The Hub
    I think bluchers are better for people with moderate to high arches

    Simple but important.!!!!
     


  9. Chips

    Chips Senior member

    Messages:
    1,530
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    I am stuck in the worst group when it comes to shoes, as I am a 12.5 which is very hard to find. Many 13's are a bit too loose, and I always have to put in shoe inserts, and wear thick socks to compensate.

    Good shoes are hard to find in 12.5.

    I don't think I will buy any more until I step up and go bespoke. Something like a Corthay wholecut with a nice chisel toe shape in burgundy. Ohhh, or shell.
     


  10. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    16,118
    Likes Received:
    1,091
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    I've become militant about this. If the shoe doesn't fit in terms of length or width, I won't buy it/keep it. No pads, thick socks, etc.
     


  11. Dewey

    Dewey Senior member

    Messages:
    3,485
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    I've become militant about this. If the shoe doesn't fit in terms of length or width, I won't buy it/keep it. No pads, thick socks, etc.

    Thick socks are good in the winter. They are warmer than thin socks.
     


  12. philosophe

    philosophe Senior member

    Messages:
    4,900
    Likes Received:
    164
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    I will dissent -- I think it is more important to "agonize" over lasts and shoe styles rather than 1/2 sizes.

    My feet are different sizes, in slightly different ways, and they measure much longer in the arch than they do at the end of the toes. I have slim ankles for someone with my foot length. This sort of thing is typical: few people have perfect & symmetrical feet. My feet also get bigger toward the end of the day. Odds are your feet are somewhat deformed and different from one another and slowly changing shape over the hours or the years too.

    To tweak the fit of a shoe, I can adjust sock thickness or wear a 3/4 length arch support, or not, or use tongue cushions or scaphoid pads. I can wear a shoe laced tight or loose. Fit is subjective. One half-size might fit slightly better than another, but the main factor is for sure the shape of the last and the degree to which the shoe's shape matches up with the shape of my foot. A last that fits me well will fit me, more or less, in two or three half-sizes. One half-size might be best, but usually another half-size near it fits acceptably well.

    Style also matters. I think bluchers are better for people with moderate to high arches, and balmorals are better for people with low to moderate arches. Some people will get better fits from loafers; others need tie shoes.

    And the material matters. Some leathers will predictably stretch more, with normal use, than others.

    Good luck. In the end, there is no substitute for careful trial and error. Eventually you will find what works for you, and be happy about that.


    Follow Dewey's advice. Also, pay a lot of attention to how the shoe fits from the heel to the ball of your foot. Some shoes will just never fit your foot.
     


  13. nahneun

    nahneun Uncle Nephew

    Messages:
    8,398
    Likes Received:
    8,551
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    I am stuck in the worst group when it comes to shoes, as I am a 12.5 which is very hard to find. Many 13's are a bit too loose, and I always have to put in shoe inserts, and wear thick socks to compensate.

    Good shoes are hard to find in 12.5.

    I don't think I will buy any more until I step up and go bespoke. Something like a Corthay wholecut with a nice chisel toe shape in burgundy. Ohhh, or shell.


    I bet they're easier to find than 6s [​IMG]
     


  14. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    19,283
    Likes Received:
    3,519
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    I think it is very important.

    After years of experimenting I found that I don't want it loose in the heel but do want lots of room around the toes. If the instep is a tiny bit big, I can fix that with a tongue pad. Feet swell in warm weather and when you walk a lot. The extra room in the toe area makes all the difference in the world on a hot day or when you are running around town.
     


  15. meister

    meister Senior member

    Messages:
    7,622
    Likes Received:
    759
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    I must have weird feet, because I find I can comfortably wear lace-ups in sizes 10.5E (I think this is my correct size, and it is the one I will usually purchase) 11D or 11E. I don't know the proper names of foot parts, but my feet seem to be large in the vertical dimension as they approach my ankles, so a 10.5E feels good for length and width, but a balmoral in that size will "gap" in the laces, especially at the top. An 11E balmoral eliminates the gap, but is longish in the toebox. An 11D feels a little snug, but is OK.


    Me to a tee...

    I go half size larger. I hate snug shoes. Makes my feet sweat even more. And a half size larger (depending on the shoes ofcourse) gives a touch of breathing room. If your feet are sliding in the shoes that seems like some shoe last that doesn't work for your foot shape.

    There's a lot in that especially after you walk up town and dwardle for an hour and wonder why the shoes are so tight by 3PM that you have to loosen the laces.
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by