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I used to buy cheap "throw away" shoes, and as long as they were comfortable, I bought them without much thought. I wore size 12's for many years, though more recently it seems that most of the size 12's I tried were too short, so I bought size 13's.

Now that I'm buying more expensive shoes, I am considering the fact that if one buys a properly fitting shoe and cares for them they will last much longer, and so I am paying more attention to how a shoe is "supposed to" fit. I understand that the ball of the foot is supposed to be centered in the widest part of the shoe (or very close to it), because the shoe is designed to flex there, and if the ball is elsewhere, the shoe will wear out sooner. In the toe box, there is supposed to be 1/3" to 1/2" between the big toe and the top of the shoe; if there is more, it is possible that a crease will develop in the toe area.

Do other members of AAAC worry about these factors, or if the shoe is comfortable, are you not as concerned if the ball is 1/4" away from the widest part of the shoe, or if the toebox has 2/3"?

For example, I recently acquired an Alden in 13D in the Barrie last, and the ball of my foot is correctly in the widest part of the shoe, and the shoe feels comfortable (though so far I've only tried it on and stood on carpet). But I think I have between 1/2" and 2/3" of space in the toebox. (I understand that the Barrie last is spacious in the toe box.) If I went to a 12.5D to eliminate the extra space in the toebox and the supposed risk of inappropriate creasing in the toe, that would probably move the ball of my foot a little ahead of the widest part of the shoe, which might then be uncomfortable or supposedly risk inappropriate wear. So I don't know if the answer is to be satisfied with the 13D, to instead go with a 12.5D, or to say that the Barrie last isn't for me and I should instead wear a Plaza last in 13D.
 

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You will find that some of your more expensive shoes, the Allen Edmonds Park Avenue comes to mind, have a long, slim last that causes extra room in the shoe box. My PAs have a little more than an inch in the toe box but overall the shoe fits like a glove. The shoe only breaks over the ball of the foot as it should. The most important fit is how it fits from the heel through the ball of the foot. You can have as much as an inch to an inch and a quarter in the toe box and still be okay.
 

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I agree with Felix that the length of the toe box is not really an issue and I can't see how a crease is going to develop there. Creases develop where the foot flexes when walking. I personally don't like an over elongated toe as I find myself banging against things.
 
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