Every now and then, a fine pair of shoes will practically fall into your lap and and you can think is, "Somebody up there likes me." In this case, the shoes in question are a pair of Thomas brogues made in 1996 in the rare "classic polo tan" calfskin leather (you can see the Thomas brogue at the Foster & Son site here).
The seller identified these shoes as having a wide width, which is inaccurate. In hindsight, the sole edge is a bit pronounced - so when you measure the sole, you get a wider than normal measurement. But I don't believe the actual inner width of the shoe is that wide - it's seems fairly standard. Unfortunately, this seller had two additional pairs for sale that were identified as narrow widths - which, in hindsight, were probably just shoes with normal or standard sole edges, and which probably appeared to be narrower compared to the Thomas brogues. I didn't take a chance on those other pairs because of that width description, but more than likely those shoes were ordered by the same customer, and probably fit the same. In any event, I'll just have to be happy with the pair that I did snap up.
Surprisingly, the shoes were never worn by the gentleman who placed the original order. Even more shockingly, these shoes fit my feet very well :-)
I'm looking forward to wearing these shoes in the spring and summer. I've been applying a healthy dose of Saphyr's Renovateur - the leather doesn't look dry, but it is almost twenty years old, so it certainly can't hurt. In the meantime, I've just been enjoying some of the details - the bevelled waist and suppression create an elegant silhouette that I've tried to capture in the images. The heel has angle to it that is reminiscent of a cuban heel, and creates an interesting angle effect where the heel meets the sole. Finally, I've never seen a shoe with such a striking brogue pattern - there is something elegantly whimsical about the design.
All in all, an exquisite example of English bespoke shoe-making at its finest.