The Large Feet Thread – dedicated to info on where to get plus size shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Leaves, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    Thank you for he complement. Don't forget that I'm in foot/ankle surgery and podiatry as a profession so this is extremely important to me as well as my own very unique feet. I'm willing to try to help anyone but especially the big boys like us. I love the idea of something like a Dover or beaulieu (austerity brogue) to be clean and simple yet more than a plain black cap toe. EB , EG and GG can accommodate us all. They can do extra narrow to extra wide if need be. That could be a great order for us big footed people to stand together.
     


  2. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    Yes Gabriel offered that to me but I have just been so busy recently and have only had time for one trip a year for the past few years. I do go to family in Switzerland every few years so maybe I could take a side trip for a few days to see Enzo. Enzo offered it to me as well.

    I guess we will see how that special chisel last that Gabriel and Enzo found May work for me since he made it like an extra narrow 946.
     


  3. Bearcat1

    Bearcat1 Active Member

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    Leaves, in particular how does EB's 804 last compare to EG' 82 last both in terms of appearance and fit?
     


  4. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    Hey guys! I know that this isn't perfect, but here is a post of mine that I have been putting together for a while now that lists a large number of shoe brands in the under $500 range, all of which carry some large sizes. There is a good portion of these who can accommodate huge feet like mine, so I think it will be helpful for many. I'm sure we can make an official list with just basic info on each brand later on but here is a more in-depth one on some brands now.


    There really are quite a few brands of good to very good quality shoes that are available for under $500, but as a few of the regulars on here have stated, the fit is going to be a big factor. It doesn't matter how good a shoe is if the last doesn't fit your foot shape.

    The next part is between the entry level of good shoes or the close to $500 shoes. The difference is mainly the last shapes and attention to details like finer stitching and nicer polish jobs on the leathers before getting the pair.

    You also have to think about where the shoe is shipping from and where you are living. Allen Edmonds ($250-400) is a great option for people in the US just going into quality shoes because they have all the needed qualities for a good shoe with reasonable prices, especially if on sale or from the Shoebank ($130-300) for factory seconds (slight cosmetic imperfections). They have a ton of different last shapes an a huge variety of sizes to accommodate just about everyone. They can make to at least a 16 and from extreme narrow to extreme wide.

    Alden is a very sturdy shoe that many people love for causal shoes and boots, but they are generally above $500 now. I love them and they make a huge variety of sizes and widths, but are difficult to find besides online since there are very few retailers who carry them. They are bulky to many people but very comfortable and can last decades if taken care of. They can make to at least a 16 and extreme wide or narrow.

    Another factor is how sturdy and hardy of a shoe you want. AE and Alden are big shoes that can last a long time and really take a beating. There are some great Blake stitched shoes out there to look more elegant if you don't mind the compromise on durability. I'm not a big fan of the styles but Mezlan and Magnanni are made in Spain in mainly Blake stitch constructions but are still an entry to higher quality shoes and can be bought for big sales (usually $250-350). I have seen them for $100 for certain styles in Nordstrom.




    Here are some extra notes on a few brands of shoes that I was able to get my hands on to try out in my size range. There are limited brands, but I hope that they help:

    If you want a nice pair of shoes that are designed by an American who also writes a major mens fashion blog (The Fine Young Gentleman), here is a great way to get good shoes at a great price by Jay Butler. They are made in Mexico, where nicer shoes have been made for an extremely long period of time. He only has loafers being made at the moment ($145 range), but they are a very light and sturdy Blake construction. The insole has a very nice cushion under the leather and it is thicker in the arch to give a nice arch support instead of the normal flat insole for loafers: (sorry for any poor quality pictures throughout the post, but I took them quickly with my iPhone.)

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    If you are into more european shoes made in Goodyear welt construction, Shoepassion.com is another source. They are designed in Germany and made in Spain. They have a huge variety of styles and sizes. They are very durable but have a feel much more like Crockett and Jones of England (usually more than $500 from the US) but these shoes are more in the $200-300 range. They are nice people who run the company and the shoes are quite good for the price. I consult and review shoes for various shoe companies around the world and here are some pictures of a pair that they sent me to evaluate for them. I made some recommendations of things to work on (as I do to all companies I help out), but I think that they are worth considering as an entry pair if you find a style that you like or as a reasonably priced extra pair depending on your financial situation:

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    You just need to speak to them about sizing because they have a variety of lasts and sizes are not the same as US either. I'm a US 14 or so and I got a 12.5 in this model on this last since this one runs so long and is in UK sizing. They also come with a pair of rubber sole covers that can be applied, extra laces, and shoe bags. The leather insole has a bit of a cushion under it as well.




    Another great option is Scarosso. They are another German company but they produce shoes in Italy. They offer a large variety of sizing as well as styles in ready to wear (RTW). They also offer a full Made To Order (MTO) service that is online. They have a variety of styles here and let you choose details to change as well as leather type, color, sole type/color, lining, etc. They have an even larger variety of sizing with MTO than RTW. Here is a pair that I designed as something different for them to send to me. I wanted to try their online MTO process as well as evaluate their shoes. The RTW shoes are in the mid $200 range and the MTO are in the low to mid $300 range depending on details that you choose. Their shoes are Blake stitch but you can also request Blake Rapid in the MTO, which is what I did, since I like a more substantial construction. I ordered a deerskin chelsea boot with a leather sole in Blake rapid construction:

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    They also have their own sizing system that is not US or UK sizing. It is a modified european. This is a 48 but according to them is a US 15 which is normally a 49.5 or 50 depending on the brand for me. These also came with a nice shoe bag and a shoe horn. The insole is very smooth leather and there is a small heel cushion under the half sock liner.




    For a little bit more ($350) Awl and Sundry is a company based out of New York City that makes hand welted shoes that you can design to an even higher level of detail right from your computer. These are not goodyear welted, but really by constructing the main parts of the shoe by hand. I discussed this at length with the owner to make sure that this term was not being used incorrectly.
    The brand has multiple last shapes that you can choose from as well as many basic styles of shoes to modify. You can even add in multi tone of different leathers, suede, grain leather, etc. You even can choose the stitching color for the leather upper. This price also comes with a nice pair of wooden shoe trees, shoe horn, and a pair of shoe bags.
    The soles are only available in a reddish burgundy at this time instead of more traditional browns or black, but they are very nice and do stand out a bit. They are a very solid constructed shoe, even more than Shoepassion or Scarosso, but have a different type of aesthetic from them as well. They are getting close to the solid feel of Alden but are not as bulky as Alden by any means. They have a wide variety of sizes available as well and are working on even carrying widths right now.
    I wanted to try a pair of double monks but in the spectator style with both leather and suede:

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    As you can see, I really controlled a lot of the details of the leather vs suede combinations and wanted it to be asymmetrical. This is also another brand that you should ask about sizing advice just to make sure. They are in US sizing but your size in these may not be the same as normal. I went down here too. The insole on these is a leather covered foam cushion, so they are very comfortable after a much shorter time than most welted shoes.




    I know that there are quite a few other newer brands who are giving great shoes for the price and here are just a few:
    J Fitzpatrick (by Justin "The Shoe Snob) Fitzpatrick) $400-450

    Meerman (good entry level that offer multiple quality levels) $175-250 for regular line and $290 - 350 for hand welted.

    Carmina (top notch service and great quality goodyear welted shoes that rival great British shoe brands like Crockett and Jones) $350-600 depending on where you get them. I recommend Skoaktiebolaget in Sweden who has phenomenal staff and service plus the lowest prices that I have seen for Carmina.

    Jack Erwin (designed in the USA and made in Portugal of either Blake or Goodyear construction depending on the line) $200

    Paul Evans (designed in NYC and made in Italy by Blake construction) $350-400

    Cobbler Union (designed in the USA and made in Spain by Goodyear construction but with higher finishing details like beveled waist, quilted leather insole, etc.) ($400-500)





    I know that this isn't everything (didn't include any of the many new French shoe brands due to lack of availability in many areas), but I hope that this is a great start to help you new guys out as well as for many guys who want to try something different without completely breaking the bank. For some of you guys on the high end of shoes, it could be worth trying one or two of these out for casual shoes or to take a shot at designing something new. You EG, GG, Lobb, etc. guys could even get a pair to just beat up for poor weather, heavy walking, etc.

    Feel free to add things to this and to ask questions or even cross-post this to some other threads to help it be more seen. You have my permission!
     


  5. Leaves

    Leaves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    I'd go for the 946 last for this style, but that's just my personal preference. Otherwise it sounds like a solid make up!
     


  6. Penfold

    Penfold Senior member

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    804 last would be my preference if this turns into a Bigfoot MTO, though of course @Leaves knows **just** a little more about shoes than I do. Never been so excited by squarer toes.

    Bless me Father for I have sinned - I'm trying Zees MTM here in HK because they're only $200 USD.
     


  7. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    I agree with the 946 for that makeup. It looks great !
     


  8. Bearcat1

    Bearcat1 Active Member

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    Thanks for that very interesting expose mw313! Some of these brands I had never even heard about.

    Regarding the EB shoe I decided to go with the 804 last. My view is that the long lines of the austerity brogue lend themselves more to an almond shaped last vs a semi square. For example I much prefer the EG Beaulieu in the 82 last as opposed to the 888 last. I find that the lines flow more naturally and coherently.

    I have placed the order and will post pictures upon receipt. Thank you all for your input!
     


  9. Leaves

    Leaves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    ^^ I think you will be very happy with the outcome!
     


  10. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    I think that the 804 is a nice choice as well. I see what you mean on what made you decide. The Almond shape goes more with the style, vs the chisel which will add complexity. I like both combinations for different reasons.
     


  11. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    Oh and no problem with the "expose"! haha

    They are worth looking into for different reasons. Since many of us are tough to find sizes, they give reasonably priced options for a variety of styles and construction methods in large sizes, not to mention some great MTO options like Awl and Sundry. Some people can get them for beater or bad weather shoes, some can get them as the entry to quality shoes, and some can get them as a reasonably priced option to get a cool MTO in an uncommon color or an "out-there" style.
     


  12. Penfold

    Penfold Senior member

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  13. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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  14. mw313

    mw313 Senior member

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    There is a big price difference for this brand, but Skoaktiebolaget is now carrying St. Crispin's. This brand includes MTO in the normal price so you can customize it. They also are a bespoke shoe making company so they are capable of making any size without a problem.

    They sell normal sizes in different lasts, but they also offer modifications to the last depending on your foot shape. The next step is even to make you a custom last. You have the option of a trial shoe if desired too!

    Each pair is made by hand and basically from scratch so you can pick just about any detail that you can imagine.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015


  15. Bearcat1

    Bearcat1 Active Member

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    Thanks mw313! I have a dark brown St Crispin shoe in uk 13 G in the classic last. The fit is really quite good. I will be looking to improve upon it at the next trunk show. They are very good shoes with a quite distinct character.

    Foe reference, I usually wear uk 13e (crockett & jones 348/ edward green 82 last). St Crispin appears to size widths somewhat differently from other shoe makers.
     


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