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Shoe fit

leftync

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For the past few decades, I basically looked at shoes as dressy looking sneakers, wearing mostly Rockports, with some Dexters and Bostonians, all rubber soles, cemented. I've done some reading about better shoes and better fit, and I wonder if the loose, heavily cushioned shoes I've always worn are the best way to go. I'm planning to come out of semi-retirement (was pursuing a late-career PhD) and resume working full time, probably next year. Since I've dropped some weight and a few suit sizes, I started reading a bit more about style.
My shoe sizes of course, haven't changed. I didn't want to invest hundreds in a single pair of shoes that might last for decades, given my already advanced age. So I bought a couple of pairs of Allen Edmonds at Poshmark and Ebay, in surprisingly good condition. I thought I'd be paying for resoling, but probably not for a year or two with either. I've sprayed a few layers of Tinactin, wiped them down inside and out, applied leather conditioner, wax and polish. Surprised at how nice they look and feel, and I've enjoyed bringing them back. The better leather does seem to make a difference in longevity.
I've always had a wide foot, 11 3E. One of the pairs I bought, a Park Ave., was supposed to be a 12E, but was actually an 11E. I've followed all the instructions on stretching--rubbing alcohol, heavy socks, hair dryer--and they've stretched enough to put in 6 mm of cork and a leather/charcoal insert, and fit snugly.
And there's my question: is snug the way they're supposed to fit? Every video and article seems to suggest that. The bespoke videos say they should stay on without lacing, and you should feel the air go in and out as they come on and off. The Park Aves seem to have that bespoke fit (for $25 plus shipping, $10 of cork and an $18 insole). Only issue is that there's a noticable V at the laces, which should be covered by a slight pants break when I wear a suit anyway (although I might get them stretched a bit more by a cobbler).
The other AE shoes are Coltons ($20! in great condition), a brogue derby in 11 3e. Normal fit for me, but I've added an AE orthotic and a thin flat memory foam insole to make them fit bit snugger. Neither shoe is too comfortable without some padding (and with the cork imprint of a previous owner).
Is hugging, but not squeezing, the way to go? Or is a looser, softer cushioned better? I'd prefer not to find out through pain and discomfort. Any thoughts on fit?
 

Sfroide3

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Short answer: snug but not painful (identify pressure points). Some lasts are more comfortable than others. If your shoes are too big: it's not good for creases and in the end your shoes life expentancy, it's dangerous because you got no support from the shoes (you can injure yourself, ankle, etc), you will rub against the interior of the shoes and thus destroy your socks and risk blisters. The shoes game is to find find brands and lasts that fit you well.

source: business insider
 

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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This illustration that @Sfroide3 has put up is an excellent indicator of how the facings should look. You definitely want them snug, without ruining your circulation, for support.

My father loves looser fitting shoes because it was what he was accustomed to. Having said that, he was a mechanical engineer who routinely wore Rockports, Clark's, dark sneakers etc. I'd liken his work to a laborer or a person consistently on their feet.

A person who works primarily in a sedentary job (like myself) does not require the same latitude. Consequently, a tighter fitting shoe would be extremely comfortable as we would not experience the constant friction and movement that being on your feet for 8 to 12 hours at a time experience. Personally, I also enjoy that "locked in" feel. Essentially a suit of armor for your feet.

Saying all that, I would choose the fit that will either suit your style (personal taste) and/or lifestyle. Basically, only you can answer that question.
 

leftync

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Short answer: snug but not painful (identify pressure points). Some lasts are more comfortable than others. If your shoes are too big: it's not good for creases and in the end your shoes life expentancy, it's dangerous because you got no support from the shoes (you can injure yourself, ankle, etc), you will rub against the interior of the shoes and thus destroy your socks and risk blisters. The shoes game is to find find brands and lasts that fit you well.

source: business insider
Short answer: snug but not painful (identify pressure points). Some lasts are more comfortable than others. If your shoes are too big: it's not good for creases and in the end your shoes life expentancy, it's dangerous because you got no support from the shoes (you can injure yourself, ankle, etc), you will rub against the interior of the shoes and thus destroy your socks and risk blisters. The shoes game is to find find brands and lasts that fit you well.

source: business insider
 

leftync

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Interesting photos. Almost look like my two pairs, particularly the left, with the snug fit and wide V laces (which look fine, IMO). but I did cut the stitching on the sides of the tongue; no problems, and a more comfortable fit. The shoe is contoured in a way that's new to me.
I have more flexibility with the 3ees, so I might add an insole or a layer of cork. In the future, I think I'll buy E or double-E, rather than triple-E.
 

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