I'm size almost always 11 and I recently bought some Sanders & Sanders derbys in 11 https://www.sanders-uk.com/shop/product/archie-8813ls. The last was 4831 which is F+. I always thought I had reasonably wide feet, but these were far too big on me. I sold them on and bought 1/2 a size down. After a week of wear I think this pair might be a bit too big too. The length seems fine but to get them tight the lace tabs are nearly meeting in the middle; is this normal? I'm worried because they'll stretch over time.
Does anyone know anything about this last? Am I going crazy or is it enourmous?
I've already had an expensive lesson in shoe buying and I don't want to sell this new pair on too, so what's the best way of dealing with this? Insoles? Heel grips? Tongue pad?
Many thanks for any help!
I have two pairs of Sanders on the 4831, and one each the Stet and James. Yes, the 4831 is a broad and very commodious last. Added to that is the issue that inconsistencies between makes is the norm rather than the exception, and it appears to be true irrespective of where they're made. If you are accustomed to a particular size in a particular make, it's still probable that a different make in the same size can be either significantly larger or smaller.
I wear a UK10 standard fitment in all UK makes I've yet tried. The Stet I have is not overly large compared to other UK makes, and the James last is rather sleek and snug, but not too tight. But those with more experience with many UK makes suggest that Sanders tends to be more ample.
For reference, I have a higher instep.
The 4831 last is from Sanders casual range and would appear intended to have a rather rugged and bold appearance, something like a country shoe. There's plenty of room in the instep, so if you have a low one, that might be problematic. But as long as the derbys don't close completely, I don't view it as an issue.
Most shoes from Sanders casual range are cowhide rather than calf. And cowhide typically won't have quite as much stretch as calf as the shoes break in. And the overall construction is rather robust, which will also limit stretching. Both factors will make the break in take a bit longer.
When I wear a pair of my Sanders on the 4831 last, I almost always wear thicker crew socks as they tend to fit better with heavier socks, while the opposite is true for my other Sanders' shoes which don't permit them.
While I've not needed to add anything to a Sanders shoe to get a comfortable fit, I have other shoes which have proven to have too much volume/not the right shape. My first suggestion would be to try a Poron insole. It both reduces volume, and adds a nice bit of cushioning. It's inexpensive, and entirely reversible.
The next step would be a tongue pad. This has the effect of forcing the foot slightly further back in the shoe, and is particularly useful if the heels are loose, though those of the 4831 aren't particularly broad compared to other makes.
Finally, and this is important for any lace-up shoe, for the shoe to fit it's best, it's important that they be laced up snugly, and tied securely. It's very easy to overlook this, and it can make a significant difference.
Hope of this helps. I'm fond of my Sanders shoes, and have found them to be very good shoes, and a fine value.