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Help me choose! (also, how tightly should shoes fit?)

dopamine

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So... I purchased a pair of Crockett & Jones Strand from Robert Old in 6.5E UK and a pair of Ralph Lauren Polo Benton black captoes in 7D US for approximately the same price of $273 shipped. I'm trying to figure out two things right now: Which of the two should I keep (or should I return both) and how tightly a dress shoe should fit. After trying both on, it seems to me that the length of the shoes is definitely correct, but since I've never tried on dress shoes from C&J or any other relatively nicer shoes for longer than in a store for a few moments, I'm trying to determine if the width of the shoes are too small. In both shoes, my toes are right up against the sides of the shoe and the little toe is a bit scrunched against my foot. Again, I have no trouble putting them on, but I've never worn a shoe this tight before - they're clearly tighter than my athletic shoes are, and the leather has no give. Also, has anyone had experience returning shoes to the UK before? Robert Old hasn't been answering my questions, and I was just wondering how much of a hassle it was. If anyone here is a 6.5UK or 7US in C&J, I'd be more than willing to sell a pair at the same price it cost me instead of return shipping the shoes. Thanks for your help, and pictures should be forthcoming! General Comparison Pic:
The Strand is on the 238 last, has a channeled sole and is fully leather lined, like the Bentons, in case anyone's wondering. The Benton is on the 337 last. Both are the same quality, as far as I can tell, so Robert Old's claim that the Strand is handgrade quality is correct.
 

dopamine

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Please take the time to reply with your thoughts if you can, as this matter is time-sensitive. Robert Old has a 14 day return policy
.
 

embowafa

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i personally prefer the Polo shoe....the cap toe elongates the toe and I like a little broguing here and there.

Not sure about the fit, but in my experience, dress shoes eventually have some give to them once you start wearing them.
 

well-kept

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The toe box will not give or stretch. If your toes are cramped they will stay cramped. Personally, I call that too narrow. Wearing such shoes will not only be chronically uncomfortable but can be damaging to your feet.
 

Bhowie

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IMO the Polo's have a cleaner and tighter sticthing that makes them look slightly better. I'm also a fan of the brouging, how many pairs of plain black cap toes do you already own?
 

spertia

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Another vote for the Polo, as far as appearance goes.
 

goodlife

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The decision on fit is really up to you. I have a pair of snug Bentons that I am trying to break in, but if they don't loosen up I can give/sell them to my brother who has a slightly smaller foot, and only one pair of dress shoes.

Once again though, if they are too small you will not want a cronically uncomfortable shoe.

That said, I like both pair. If you decide the fit is ok, or you just are not used to a structured shoe, and you are comfortable with the price you paid I don't think you would be disappointed keeping both.
 

dopamine

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These will be my only pair of dress shoes for the near future, because I'm a broke college student. The reason I chose black is because the suit I own is also black (yes, I know, I know). I prefer the Bentons, but I they are definitely too narrow - I don't think I can keep them. In terms of sizing, do most people find that their dress shoes fit as comfortably as an athletic shoe? If that's the standard, then I think that perhaps my shoes are a bit too narrow.
 

Tarmac

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If they don't fit, you should return them.
 

sf_esq

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1 plus on the Polos. You may want to order a 7.5 in the Polos. I believe they still have this size. You may end up with a little more room at the toe, but some lasts are built to have a little more than normal space at the end of the shoe. I have a feeling that if you go up 1/2 a size, the wide part of your foot will fit in the wide part of the shoe rather than running up against the side. I may be wrong, but may be worth a shot.
 

bbaquiran

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Originally Posted by dopamine
In both shoes, my toes are right up against the sides of the shoe and the little toe is a bit scrunched against my foot.

Too tight. This is going to cause you pain.

You probably need an EE width.
 

dopamine

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Originally Posted by sf_esq
1 plus on the Polos. You may want to order a 7.5 in the Polos. I believe they still have this size. You may end up with a little more room at the toe, but some lasts are built to have a little more than normal space at the end of the shoe. I have a feeling that if you go up 1/2 a size, the wide part of your foot will fit in the wide part of the shoe rather than running up against the side. I may be wrong, but may be worth a shot.

I'm planning to call Grapevinehill about their exchange policy/shipping tomorrow. I'm kind of inclined almost to keep the Strand because I don't want to go through the trouble and expense of shipping them back to the UK.
 

StylingUK

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Originally Posted by dopamine
In terms of sizing, do most people find that their dress shoes fit as comfortably as an athletic shoe?

Dress shoes are usually a smaller size than your athletic shoes. Atheltic shoes are meant for sports so they should have more room than dress shoes.

imo the width does not fit you. You little toe should not be scrunched. If you feel the length is right for you, then you just get the next width. When I tried on a pair of shoe that is one width smaller than my size for 15min...my little toe was scrunched and it started hurting. No way would I be able to wear that for a whole day.
 

StylingUK

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Originally Posted by dopamine
I'm kind of inclined almost to keep the Strand because I don't want to go through the trouble and expense of shipping them back to the UK.

Where did you purchase the Strand btw?
 

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