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Shoe Recommendation - Wide Forefoot, narrow heel

Angeland

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I also have this problem, and while I have not been able to get my hands on anything by Reiter, I must respectfully disagree with most of the suggestions herewith.

Alden lasts typically have a more generous heel relative to the toe box. That is how they are designed, and on Tru-Balance and Barrie, for example, folks in our situation will find your toe will distorting the box while the heel slips. Not a good option.

C&J must remain the shoe equivalent of that pretty girl on whom you had a massive crush in 8th grade--the one dating the guy on the high school varsity team (remember her?). You can only look and wish things were different. They weren't then and aren't now. There is no version of the 341 your toes will not distort. The 325 is a cruel mirage. 325 models available in G fittings are made on the 317 last, but you will find that this last is substantially wider in the heel and instep and almost identical to the 325 in the toe. Don't bother. She's not available to us. :)

I have had good luck with the Church's 103 last in G fitting, which comes standard in exactly ONE model, which is the Shannon. I own several pairs, and not because I particularly love plain-toed bluchers. The Burwood in the 81 last, G fitting, can also work but the toe is slightly narrower, and you RTW options are limited to binder leather, which is not everyone's cup of tea. Church's and Leffot, NY, will make them in any leather option, however.

The Tricker's 4444 last in standard 5 fitting is okay, and Tricker's can be made to your specifications without much fuss from The Shoehealer, but they aren't cheap.

What you CAN do with the AE 1 and 7 lasts (I wouldn't even bother with the 5 last) is take a piece of cork board or a yoga mat and cut a large triangular piece, to be inserted somewhat like a tongue pad across your instep. Cut it so that it bends around the top of your foot.

If anyone has purchased a shoe that works for feet like ours, I am all ears!
 

comrade

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I also have this problem, and while I have not been able to get my hands on anything by Reiter, I must respectfully disagree with most of the suggestions herewith.

Alden lasts typically have a more generous heel relative to the toe box. That is how they are designed, and on Tru-Balance and Barrie, for example, folks in our situation will find your toe will distorting the box while the heel slips. Not a good option.

C&J must remain the shoe equivalent of that pretty girl on whom you had a massive crush in 8th grade--the one dating the guy on the high school varsity team (remember her?). You can only look and wish things were different. They weren't then and aren't now. There is no version of the 341 your toes will not distort. The 325 is a cruel mirage. 325 models available in G fittings are made on the 317 last, but you will find that this last is substantially wider in the heel and instep and almost identical to the 325 in the toe. Don't bother. She's not available to us. :)

I have had good luck with the Church's 103 last in G fitting, which comes standard in exactly ONE model, which is the Shannon. I own several pairs, and not because I particularly love plain-toed bluchers. The Burwood in the 81 last, G fitting, can also work but the toe is slightly narrower, and you RTW options are limited to binder leather, which is not everyone's cup of tea. Church's and Leffot, NY, will make them in any leather option, however.

The Tricker's 4444 last in standard 5 fitting is okay, and Tricker's can be made to your specifications without much fuss from The Shoehealer, but they aren't cheap.

What you CAN do with the AE 1 and 7 lasts (I wouldn't even bother with the 5 last) is take a piece of cork board or a yoga mat and cut a large triangular piece, to be inserted somewhat like a tongue pad across your instep. Cut it so that it bends around the top of your foot.

If anyone has purchased a shoe that works for feet like ours, I am all ears!


Thanks for the suggestions re: Church's, Trickers, etc. I will check them out.
 

House

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Can anyone make recommendations as to shoes??

I have a wide forefoot and narrow heel and have the most difficult time finding decent leather dress shoes that fit properly. I also have a low instep or fairly flat foot.

I basically need a wide shoe, but then I'm swimming in the heels and they always fit loose. Bespoke shoes would be the best option but $1500 + shoes at this point isn't an option.

Anyone have similar foot??
This is what happens to a lot when people think they can go down in size and get a wider width. There's a reason that many widths were made.
These Churches shoes are made in one or 2 widths so if you have a narrower foot they won't suit you. You'll have to check at the Churches store if the export models for the US come in more widths for the US market. The store on 50th and Madison always carried more widths because that's what the US market demanded (or used to) I haven't been at their new place uptown.
 

apack

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Thanks for resurrecting this thread. I have this problem exactly, and my feet are narrow overall as well (US size ~10C). Normally I have a choice between my toes pinching or my heels slipping.

Alden's Hampton last, which is one of their narrowest, work for me in 10 A/C but with a partial insole as described below.

It is very difficult to find English shoes that fit. Church's last 6184/C (width fitting C) fit me well in 9 1/2. Beyond that, I have had better luck with English shoes made for US sellers. In particular Crockett and Jones for Brooks English / Peal on the 240 last in 10C. The 240 last was made expressly for the American market, I believe, and is generally considered to have a narrower heel than C&J's regular shoes. Cheaney for Cole Hahn's English line also come in narrow widths as well, but they seem to be relatively narrower in the toebox than the others listed above. 10.5 B works OK for me.

I have also found that tongue pads and partial insoles can help tremendously to get a better fit. I have found the following to work best with dress shoes:

http://www.feetrelief.com/feetrelief/tacco_elastic.htm

These are thin for an insole and only extend to the arch, so they don't affect the fit of the toebox but do help fill space at the heel.

Tongue pads are very cheap and can also be found here:

http://www.feetrelief.com/feetrelief/arch_support_accessories.htm
 

House

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Thanks for resurrecting this thread. I have this problem exactly, and my feet are narrow overall as well (US size ~10C). Normally I have a choice between my toes pinching or my heels slipping.

Alden's Hampton last, which is one of their narrowest, work for me in 10 A/C but with a partial insole as described below.

It is very difficult to find English shoes that fit. Church's last 6184/C (width fitting C) fit me well in 9 1/2. Beyond that, I have had better luck with English shoes made for US sellers. In particular Crockett and Jones for Brooks English / Peal on the 240 last in 10C. The 240 last was made expressly for the American market, I believe, and is generally considered to have a narrower heel than C&J's regular shoes. Cheaney for Cole Hahn's English line also come in narrow widths as well, but they seem to be relatively narrower in the toebox than the others listed above. 10.5 B works OK for me.

I have also found that tongue pads and partial insoles can help tremendously to get a better fit. I have found the following to work best with dress shoes:

http://www.feetrelief.com/feetrelief/tacco_elastic.htm

These are thin for an insole and only extend to the arch, so they don't affect the fit of the toebox but do help fill space at the heel.

Tongue pads are very cheap and can also be found here:

http://www.feetrelief.com/feetrelief/arch_support_accessories.htm
You may actually be more of a B or even an A. C&J makes most of their shoes in a UK E (US C) and sometimes in a E(C) and G(E). They do make other widths but only in a few models (check the site) Their D width is a US B and their B width is a US AA. And don't believe the stuff you read on here about their E being the same as a US D because they also make an F width(D) in some models. And besides, there would be no reason for them to use E when everyone else uses F (US D) and cause confusion.
I'm a B and the C&J (E) fit me perfectly in my size. But I think that Peal is even better for most people. BB sells more shoes than all of the top English makers do under their own trademark and buys in quantity so they have most models made in multiple widths. They're also $100 cheaper.
The C&J Malvern is this BB shoe and as you can see comes in a number of widths
http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Peal-Co.-Monk-Straps/276H,default,pd.html?dwvar_276H_Color=BLCK&contentpos=4

Not all come in multiple widths even on BB. If you don't see your size or if they're out ask a salesmen. And btw, if you see a Peal made by C&J and it comes in a D and E width that D is more like a C ( UK E) I guess that BB doesn't want to advertise it as a C because people who don't know shoes may think it's too narrow like this
one
http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Peal-Co.-Algonquin-Split-Toes/273H,default,pd.html?dwvar_273H_Color=BLCK&contentpos=36

That's really a C&J made in a UK E (C) and G (E)
 

apack

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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.


You may actually be more of a B or even an A. C&J makes most of their shoes in a UK E (US C) and sometimes in a E(C) and G(E). They do make other widths but only in a few models (check the site) Their D width is a US B and their B width is a US AA. And don't believe the stuff you read on here about their E being the same as a US D because they also make an F width(D) in some models. And besides, there would be no reason for them to use E when everyone else uses F (US D) and cause confusion.
I'm a B and the C&J (E) fit me perfectly in my size. But I think that Peal is even better for most people. BB sells more shoes than all of the top English makers do under their own trademark and buys in quantity so they have most models made in multiple widths. They're also $100 cheaper.
The C&J Malvern is this BB shoe and as you can see comes in a number of widths
http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Peal-Co.-Monk-Straps/276H,default,pd.html?dwvar_276H_Color=BLCK&contentpos=4

Not all come in multiple widths even on BB. If you don't see your size or if they're out ask a salesmen. And btw, if you see a Peal made by C&J and it comes in a D and E width that D is more like a C ( UK E) I guess that BB doesn't want to advertise it as a C because people who don't know shoes may think it's too narrow like this
one
http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Peal-Co.-Algonquin-Split-Toes/273H,default,pd.html?dwvar_273H_Color=BLCK&contentpos=36

That's really a C&J made in a UK E (C) and G (E)
 

Angeland

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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.
 

DWFII

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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.
 

Coburn

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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.
 

Chicago773

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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...
 

All Tatters

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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:

CRP

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Old thread I know, but relevant to me - narrow heal, wide forefoot, high instep. Recently purchased the Dean oxford from Beckett Simonon, since my son wanted a pair of dress boots and there was a deal for two pairs. The fit was surprisingly good - snug in the heal, room across the forefoot, and only a small widening at the top of the laces due to my high arch. My only regret is Beckett Simonon are all blake stitch instead of goodyear, but not a bad trade off given these are dress shoes. The break is also spot on, so I would highly recommend for anyone with narrow heals to try them out.
Still looking for a good fitting semi-dress boot and leaning towards Alden in a modified last from Moulded Shoe in NY. Hesitant to pull the trigger given the investment and lack of ability to try them on (I haven't been to NY in over a decade). Also, the inventory in the modified last is limited. Anyone have experience with the Alden modified last? Or recommend another brand/last to try for narrow healed goodyear welt dress boots? Open to suggestions.
 

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