The third pair was the charm!
Reviewed in the United States on 13 June 2017
First, the reader should be advised that I'm an "old school" guy that has spent a lifetime grousing about the cost of shoes ... ALL kinds of shoes ... tennis shoes ... dress shoes ... hiking shoes ... flip-flops ... you name it. I'm the guy that regularly prowls the shoe section at re-sellers like Marshalls and Ross, always searching for that once-in-a-lifetime bargain/value that miraculously shows up in my size ... "you just gotta get there on the right day ..." Am I right, men?
While all that prowling has undoubtedly saved me a small fortune over the years, it also taught me something. Sometimes, you just can't get what you really want unless you're willing to spend what it costs. That's the way I feel about these shoes. I knew I wanted a captoe Oxford in this color, and I spent a LONG time looking at LOTS of different makers/designers on Amazon. I never found anything that looked as nice as these Cole Haans.
For the reasons explained above, I never previously bought this label, so I wasn't sure about the sizing. My last pair of high-end dress shoes were Bostonians (and yes ... I groused bitterly about the cost when I broke down and bought them), which "ran short." I got those shoes in 13D, which fit and served me well through some pretty heavy use over a number of years. So, I figured I'd try the same in the Cole Haans. My mistake ... in 13D they fit just OK at the widest part of my foot (a little tight, but not uncomfortable), but WAY too long in the toe, and just didn't fit my foot right. Didn't have a lot of time to mess around, so I put the first pair aside and re-ordered another pair in 12EE (W), figuring that adjustment would make the perfect fit, and then I'd return the first pair, after I was sure.
The second pair fit my foot like a glove, right out of the box. Very comfortable, and a perfect fit for my foot. Unfortunately, with the second pair, I also noticed a small irregularity in the upper sole stitching on one of the two, right at the ball of the foot, and a blemish in the tanning on the tongue of the other.
Knowing I would never be happy if I "settled" for that, I put that pair aside too, and ordered a THIRD pair, also in 12EE (W). The third time was indeed the charm ... this pair was perfect in every respect, and in my opinion, worth every penny they cost. The "British tan" finish is really nice, and exactly as shown in the photo. The stitching is flawless. The leather is supple and uniform throughout every surface of the shoe. The heels and soles are very thick and strong ... a bit stiff at first, but I'm a big guy, so that's fine with me. My Bostonians had leather soles, and I realized (after wearing completely through one of them) that rubber soles, like these, work better for me because I do as much walking on outdoor surfaces like concrete and asphalt as I do on tile and other indoor surfaces.
Amazon made my return of the first two pairs a breeze, and they started processing a full refund on my credit card the same day I dropped the return boxes off with UPS. Thanks, Amazon ... you made this particular online shopping experience a real pleasure for me -- not only in helping me find these terrific shoes, but also getting them to me quickly, in the perfect condition and size I needed. Once you figure out what size actually fits you, you'll love these Cole Haans ...
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