Help with shoe fit: wide front, straight big toe

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Drovosek, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. Drovosek

    Drovosek Member

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    Hello gentlemen,

    Please help me to find brand/shoe with very unusual last: wide front and big toe is not curved.

    Most of normal fitting shoes I've tried on are too narrow at front. Most of wide fitting shoes are too wide at heel and/or arch.
    Almost all shoes are designed for curved big toe so my toe doesn't fit.

    Broadway 2 loafer of Herring on "Stepney" last is close to what I need, but it's not ideal. And they don't make another styles on the last.

    Do you know where should I look for the fit?

    Thank you!


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016


  2. Testudo_Aubreii

    Testudo_Aubreii Senior member

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    I'd try lasts like Alden's Barrie or Trubalance, though they might have the same problem of width in the heel for you. Alden are pretty good about offering different widths--much better than almost any European maker--and they include different heel widths. [​IMG] You might also try sizeadvisors.
     


  3. ekul

    ekul New Member

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    How did you get on?

    This was pointed out to me while my feet were being assessed for a mountain boot fitting. Apparently it's quite unusual for the big toe to have not been distorted over time by footwear. My feet aren't wide but they do have that same straight line from the outside back of the heel, through the toe joint and to the big toe. This explains why my big toe rubs in otherwise well fitting Cheaney and Crockett & Jones shoes.

    From what I can tell we're looking for something called a banana last shoe -- an asymmetric last design where the inside line of the shoe goes straight ahead before sweeping out smoothly on the outside. The Vass P2 might fit the bill. In terms of English shoes the 109 last from Alfred Sargent might also be worthwhile looking at. I haven't tried either yet.

    If you did find something that fits the bill I'd love to hear about it!

    Kind Regards

    Luke
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016


  4. Drovosek

    Drovosek Member

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    I wasted money on a few pairs before I realized that my fit is irregular. I haven't found anything good so far. My best fitting shoes are mass market ecco and cohnpol.

    I haven't found anything in Alden store in San Francisco. The most promising last is "modified" and they don't have it. I haven't found good fit in Allen Edmonds. I wear their Leeds 2.0 wide, but the fit is less than very comfortable at heel and big toe. Broadway 2 of Herring ended up being very uncomfortable at heel and sides.

    The 109 last looks promising, I tried a couple of sizes and they are all too small so far, I'm planning to order the next size. I'm starting to think about bespoke.

    Thank you!
     


  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Actually, it is not unusual for the heel to be narrower relative to overall width than the forepart. But more importantly, the straight first toe and the straight line along the medial side of the foot from heel to ball is actually a sign of a very healthy foot. We are all born like that (barring congenital anomalies) . Wearing shoes that do not fit force changes to foot that are often irreversible.

    That said, while a bespoke fit...esp. in today's market...might be the only option, severe lasts, such as a "banana" shape are not the answer. The "banana" last is for people with foot deformities that force the first toe medially beyond that straight line.

    The real problem is that manufactures make shoes for a statistical and market average. Once upon a time, fittings were nearly infinite---many combinations of heel and forepart widths were available. The basic set is A, B, C, D, and E. Yet most manufacturers only produce a D and and E. I don't know of a single RTW maker who offers a full basic range of widths much less the extremes such as AA or EE, etc., or combination fittings either, for that matter. If the stats show that they only sell one pair of A width shoes in a given season, the A width last will be eliminated from what the company offers.

    The same holds true for accommodating the straight first toe--manufacturers are responding to the market and so many people have never really and truly been fit. And as a consequence, their feet tend to become permanently set in unhealthy configurations.

    But the straight toe configuration is the better and healthier one...so much so that the US military had a a last designed (can't remember what it was called this morning) that was so shaped. And it is still praised and much sought after to this day.

    [On edit: I remember the name of the last...it was / is called the "Munson" last. Quite highly regarded even famous.]


    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016


  6. Drovosek

    Drovosek Member

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    Just an update.

    I found that Birkenstock fits me perfectly. Unfortunately I don't like look of their shoes and I would wear them only if I absolutely have to.
    Their boots look ok as work boots for very casual wear. I've bought a pair. It's waxed leather, clumsy design and nose lined with fabric, but I somewhat like it:
    [​IMG]

    I think that Alden Modified would fit me (http://www.styleforum.net/t/234635/alden-modified-last-if-you-wear-or-are-interested-please-read). I haven't had a chance to try them on so far. If I'm in New York sometime, I'll definitely try it on and probably buy a pair or two.

    Also, I placed an order to make a pair of bespoke shoes. I hope it will be great.
     


  7. Drovosek

    Drovosek Member

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    Just googled a store in Paris where Alden Modified is sold probably. Nice pictures: http://anatomica.fr/souliers.html.
    Paris is a little closer than New York which is good.
     


  8. Drovosek

    Drovosek Member

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    Just an update on my search. Got some bespoke pairs a while ago and I'm finally happy with quality leather shoes. So I can wear only $150 and $2000 shoes, I haven't found anything in between.

    This is how my last looks like:
    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg

    I'd like to mention the name of shoemaker Mike Kosel who is working in Berlin. He makes very practical shoes and he's very passionate about shoe making.

    I don't speak German unfortunately, however Mike is very friendly and we managed to arrange the deal despite of language barrier.

    If I understand correctly, there's formal medical training for shoemakers in Germany. So the insoles are almost orthopedic and very comfortable and healthy for feet.
     


  9. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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  10. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    No alternative but to trek around bricks and mortar shops to see what actually fits and is comfortable rather than should be comfortable determined from a sketch.
     


  11. Mr Tewkesbury

    Mr Tewkesbury Senior member

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    As exercise in sheer curiosity, I measured my own monsterous foot.
    IMG_2541.JPG
    While my heel is, generally, not troubling when it comes to finding a reasonable fit, I would recommend John Lobb EE fittings, they fit me well, I live for them. The Edward Green F fitting may be something you should explore, too. EG lasts are varied but if you get the right one for you, brilliant. I tend to be all over the place with EG, but I persisted. However, Lobb is just great. Enzo Bonafe and Vass also offer some comfortable shoes for odd feet.

    I, too, have faltered with Alden, I noticed in the loafers that there is heel slip.

    I see you have chosen the bespoke route, $2000 seems very reasonable for such a service, if it works then stick with it. (Or at the very least MTM)
     


  12. Drovosek

    Drovosek Member

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    Thank you!

    That's true and I've been doing that for a while. Based on my experience it makes sense to filter out unfitting shoes by photos taken atop. These are all shoes with big toe curvature or wide heel and these are the 99.9% of all the shoes.

    Thank you for the recommendations!
    I see that your size is not close to average and foot front is wide which doesn't make shoe shopping easy. Your big toe curvature is a little more standard which is good for fit.
     


  13. Mr Tewkesbury

    Mr Tewkesbury Senior member

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    I suggest a day in my feet.
     


  14. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Vass, Church, Crockett and Jones can't fit me.
    J.M. Weston claimed that they could but didn't have the
    size in stock in London last October. I wear 4E running
    shoes (trainers)
     


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