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Once again I am in need of help from the forum.

I want to buy shoes. The problem is my feet. They are shaped like baby feet. That is the pinky toes are quite a bit farther forward than is the case with most feet. And they have high insteps. For many years I cycled through LL Bean's USA made loafers: 10 1/2 D, no problem. I haven't bought shoes from them since they went off shore a few years ago. And my last two pairs finally went into the trash today. Almost all my dress shoes are past the end of their useful life.

So far I have not had much luck finding replacements. I recently bought a pair of Alden Cordovan loafers that had to take a trip to the factory for stretching of the instep to be made passibly comfortable.
I will be returning a pair of Allen Edmonds penny loafers (10 1/2 E) tomorrow because they cramp my pinky toes. A pair of Crockett and Jones cap toe oxfords (10 1/2 D) went back to Ben Silver. I am waiting for the special-order-from-England 10 1/2 E's to arrive. But I am not optimistic.

I have plenty of non-dress footwear: cowboy boots, mountain boots, moccasins, etc. (I used to sell climbing gear so I know how to find and fit boots.)

I'd really be delighted to get a couple (Well, more than that. But I'll start with a couple.) of pairs of new shoes that fit. The various web sites (eg. Alden, Crockett and Jones, Lobb) mention variability amongst lasts but they don't describe them. I hope once I find a last that works I can just order shoes from that maker. If I could afford bespoke, I'd be off to London for a pair of the, to me, exquisite Lobb captoes that look like the C&J's only better. One problem seems to be that the British makers don't get out to LA.

I have somewhat narrow style preferances. I enjoy wearing standard (and beef-roll) penny loafers, plain captoe oxfords, jodhpur boots. If I could ever find a pair of plain front oxfords with close lacing and single thickness leather soles, I would buy at least two pair in differing shades of brown. I don't care for brogues, wingtips, split toe "Norwegian" shoes, stylish Gucci-looking slip-ons, or shoes with aprons. I have a pair of black Alden oxfords to wear to funerals, but otherwise I don't enjoy wearing black shoes. (I do, however, have a pair of White's cowboy packers in black. My sons approve.)

What do you suggest? I'd be happy to call London, Kuala Lampour, New York, Budapest. Should I write an e-mail to Lobb? It is frustrating to read all the threads about great shoe deals in DC, New York, Boston, to say nothing of London and Paris. I travel frequently to Berkeley, occasionally to New York, and once a year to Europe. I'd just as soon not shop when travelling, but if there is a store that someone recommends, I'll pay them a visit. (I remember with great fondness Vaughn's at Sather Gate in Berkeley, now long out of business. I got my first suit for work from them in the dim past.)

Can anyone sort out the various lasts listed by the various makers?

I wait hopefully for your replies.

Regards,

Gurdon
 
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