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Shoe Recommendation - Wide Forefoot, narrow heel

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by vincent.c, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. apack

    apack Senior member

    Dec 27, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    Thank you for the advice, this is very helpful. It is very difficult to evaluate equivalent width sizing on English shoes since all the makers seem to use a different system. Is there a good summary anywhere on current width fittings for all of the major makers?

    And I am indeed between a 10B and 10C, depending on the last. 10B fits better in the heel, but often squeezes my small toes and sometimes across the instep as well. 10C normally fits better in the forepart but the heel is normally loose. Normally I go with 10C as it's easier to adjust the heel, and I like the arch support provided by half-insoles anyway. I also thought that perhaps something like a Alden 10.5 AA/B could work to give me more room in front, and maybe I will give that a try. I will try to look out for C&J D- or E-fitting shoes from ebay or the like and try to find if something will fit. Overall, I should probably have shoes custom made, but have not been willing to step up to that price level. Besides that, I was quite used to wearing ill-fitting shoes, as I didn't know any good options for this until I found SF last year. Since that time I've rapidly gone from AE's in 10B (OK to slightly tight depending on last), Alden in 10 A/C on their Hampton last (quite comfortable with insoles), to getting into Church, Cheaney, and C&J and trying to figure out the right last and size options. And just tonight a kopped a new pair that I couldn't resist from ebay: Ferragamo Tramezza black monkstraps in 10B, for just $90:

    I hope they'll fit, and they certainly look promising.

  2. Angeland

    Angeland Active Member

    Nov 28, 2011
    I recently experimented (at considerable cost, but I will pass the savings along to you) with "ways of fitting" into Allen Edmonds and Alden favorites.

    Here is what I determined.

    On the Allen-Edmonds last formerly known as "5" and now "65" I sized down ONE WHOLE SIZE from my normal device measurement and went all the way to EEE. It worked quite well. So if you come up a 10 D and you try on a 10 D in this odd last and find yourself fitting the shoe well enough but staring miserably at a shoe that looks an inch too long, try a 9 EEE. I now consider this a viable shoe option, and it opens the door to AE's most popular shoes.

    On the Alden Barrie last, I sized down, again, a whole size and went all the way to EEE. It . . . fit? Maybe not. Because the vamp is low on these shoes, I was able to tie them so they held firmly in place, but I was swimming in the them in some places. If you love shoes on the Barrie last, try it. It worked "okay," but I won't be doing it again.
  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

    Jan 8, 2008
    The Highlands of Central Oregon
    All things being equal and your foot being of a "normal" configuration and proportion, when you size down or up in length, you are playing with your foot health.

    What ends up happening is that your ball joints ....which should be located along the treadline set up by the last...end up in the wrong place. Your foot cannot flex where it was meant to flex and that means that your foot is neither supported the way it is supposed to be but that you are fighting the shoe with every step.

    In the case of sizing down from a 10 to a 9--the ball joints will be moved as much as one third inch ahead of the treadline and the arch of your foot will be trying to bridge the gap between the metatarsal heads and the waist of the insole.
  4. Coburn

    Coburn Senior member

    Apr 29, 2009
    Well, this is an old thread but I'll put my 2 cents in. I have a narrow heel, low volume foot and wide toe.

    LIke many above, English shoes just don't seem to work for me.

    My best fitting shoes are a pair of Aldens 902 marked as A/C width.

    My other best option is AE in the 5 last, C width. I use a shoe stretcher to widen the toe box.
  5. Chicago773

    Chicago773 New Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    I am new to Styleforum, so hopefully my response is helpful. I have made similar expensive purchases (AE and Alden) to Angeland in an attempt to find the right shoes for my foot. My foot has a low arch, is wide and has a narrow heel. I have purchased many boots and chukkas from AE, and since I can lace the shoe above my ankle, the heel slippage has never been an issue. However, I have a problem with dress shoes. I have a pair of Aldens on the Barrie last and I was measured at an Alden store. My Brannock measurement for my left foot 10.5E and right foot 10E. I purchased a shoe in the Barrie last in size 9.5E. The toe box is fine but there is slight heel slippage. I am currently experimenting with the AE 65 (otherwise known as the 5) last. I bought the Rush Street in 10E and I will use a heel pad. I have 3/4 Superfeet insole, but this makes the shoe too tight across the instep. The journey continues...
  6. All Tatters

    All Tatters Senior member

    Jul 14, 2012
    My feet are wide-ish at the front, low volume, low instep, narrow at the heel and with a narrow waist. I can't say my feet are really very wide though so as to the next few recommendations: ymmv.

    Generally Santoni shoes fit me well, they are accomodating to low volume feet while having enough width at the toe box for me.
    As to other Italian blake made shoes: Fratelli Rossetti came close but no cigar (only tried one pair though).
    A local shoe store recommends Dieter Kuckelkorn but I have not actually tried them.
    Like many people in this thread most British shoes don't fit (the cheap brands like Loake, John Edward are the worst). Crockett and Jones Benchgrade is not an exception, however it does have some Handgrade lasts which fit me quite well: notably 363 and 337.
    Carmina has two great low-volume lasts but they are not wide up front: Simpson is too sharp, so it has too little room at the toes. I'm still planning on trying the other, the Philadelphia last. Too bad in only comes as a double monk unless a MTO is ordered.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015

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