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Aenonymous

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So...
  • How the heck should lace-up shoes actually fit when new?
  • How the heck should lace-up shoes actually fit when broken-in?
  • Should I assume that I will need heel or tongue pads in some shoes to make them fit better?
  • Do I need to get rid of all my shoes again (thankfully only 7 pair) and get new ones that fit better or can they be saved because some are very close?
Thanks for taking the time to read this and offer feedback/opinions.
The answer to the first two question is "The same". At least for this category of footwear. Well made fully lined Goodyear welted shoes are very structured shoes and are not going to stretch over time. Will the leathers soften and form to your foot? Sure, but you should not purchase a shoe thinking it is going to change to any real degree with regard to fit.

If you're buying a moccasin constructed handsewn shoe, yes, you'd want that shoe to fit comfortably snug because it will absolutely slowly stretch and keep stretching. Goodyear welted shoes don't do that. Purchase GYW shoes so they fit great at the fitting stool, because that's how they're going to fit for the life of the shoe, only they'll get better as the leathers soften. But the fit shouldn't change to any great degree over time.

You should only need tongue pads, etc. if you simply can't get the perfect fit with a particular last, size, etc. Sometimes it's just not meant to be fit-wise, so if you still want that particular shoe then you may have to add an innersole or tongue pad perhaps. But that's not ideal.

As another commenter mentioned, be sure you're paying attention to heel to ball measurement, and less to heel/toe measurement. This is the best way to ensure a positive experience with the shoes.

Fit Properly.jpg
 

Shoenut

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I would never use this pair for dress. It is a great casual shoe.
7737FFEF-16E0-4766-9AE3-56A35E5D614A.jpeg
 

NYCTechNerd

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The answer to the first two question is "The same". At least for this category of footwear. Well made fully lined Goodyear welted shoes are very structured shoes and are not going to stretch over time. Will the leathers soften and form to your foot? Sure, but you should not purchase a shoe thinking it is going to change to any real degree with regard to fit.

If you're buying a moccasin constructed handsewn shoe, yes, you'd want that shoe to fit comfortably snug because it will absolutely slowly stretch and keep stretching. Goodyear welted shoes don't do that. Purchase GYW shoes so they fit great at the fitting stool, because that's how they're going to fit for the life of the shoe, only they'll get better as the leathers soften. But the fit shouldn't change to any great degree over time.

You should only need tongue pads, etc. if you simply can't get the perfect fit with a particular last, size, etc. Sometimes it's just not meant to be fit-wise, so if you still want that particular shoe then you may have to add an innersole or tongue pad perhaps. But that's not ideal.

As another commenter mentioned, be sure you're paying attention to heel to ball measurement, and less to heel/toe measurement. This is the best way to ensure a positive experience with the shoes.

I really appreciate the thoughtful and detailed response.

I think the issue is that I am looking for the "perfect" fit and no such thing exists with "stock" shoes. As you suggested, some makes/models/lasts may not work for me such as the 65 because it is long and narrow, whereas the 511 is much better but unfortunately so few shoes are made with it.

I am use to getting all of my clothes tailored but having not purchased shoes in several years (until very recently), I forgot some of the issues with fit. And, I am not interested in spending several thousand dollars on 2-3 pair of bespoke shoes (from the same maker) which I have heard is how many it takes to get a "great" fit.
 
Last edited:

phzanella

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Have these two for sale, open to reasonable offers, shipped CONUSA.
A/E Juneau Size 10D
A/E University Size 9.5D
 

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DawgPound

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Not my first pair of AE’s, but this pair of Strands was the pair that got me revved up…and nearly 40 AE pairs later, wondering what the hell was I thinking. That said, I really enjoy them and don’t regret it :cool: Looking forward to the upcoming trunk show!

CE373303-1982-4B09-AE19-ED5A771392F2.jpeg
 

Hisheirness23

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Maiden voyage for my Burgundy Shell Strands. Is it just me or is AE's burgundy shell pretty dark? Feels like these are deeper than Horween Color 8 (please excuse the dim indoor lighting)
PXL_20210915_001122751.jpg
 

Hisheirness23

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Those are beautiful, but I can't even see them as burgundy as they're so dark.
The tone is so subtle. I was beginning to worry I was accidentally sent Black Shell instead, but it's definitely Burgundy. Just some super dark shade of Burgundy. May hit it with some cordovan cream and see if that lightens it up a little.
 

JFWR

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The tone is so subtle. I was beginning to worry I was accidentally sent Black Shell instead, but it's definitely Burgundy. Just some super dark shade of Burgundy. May hit it with some cordovan cream and see if that lightens it up a little.
I got a pair of Daltons and Bradleys in burgundy shell cordovan, and neither of them is that dark at all. Like even remotely. They are, in fact, quite red to the eye.

Like, I think these might not be burgundy, bro. Like, I sincerely can't see any red in them. Can you perhaps take a pic of them in really bright light?
 

mreams99

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Maiden voyage for my Burgundy Shell Strands. Is it just me or is AE's burgundy shell pretty dark? Feels like these are deeper than Horween Color 8 (please excuse the dim indoor lighting)
View attachment 1668881
My burgundy shell Daltons were very dark at first. Over time (and exposure to sunlight), they have lightened quite a bit.
 

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