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Shoe eyelet questions

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Paid a visit to the C&J factory last Saturday with a friend, who ended up buying a pair of Handgrade seconds: unnamed black punched captoe on a round-toe last which looked a bit slimmer and pointier than the 330 but didn't have an elongated toe like the 337.  The shoes were in great condition as well, as they hadn't been tried on before and there were no signs of damage to the uppers or the sole. Anyway, friend was really happy (and I was a little envious) with his purchase - it was his first pair of nice shoes.  When he got home and examined the shoes more carefully though, he noticed that the eyelets didn't have any metal reinforcements on the back of the lining, which he thought was a bit strange.  So: (i) is this a feature of C&J Handgrades? (ii) if not, will it result in any lasting damage (stretching?) to the shoes? (iii) can metal reinforcements be added by a cobbler if necessary?
post #2 of 10
I have checked my C&J Weymouths, and they do not have these inside eyelets either. Must be a feature of C&J. If I said I was worried enough about damage to the upper to consider getting them retrofitted I would be lying. Can I ask what your friend paid fo his shoes, and how much reduced/seconds stock was available?
post #3 of 10
I just ran to my closet and checked out my shoes. Neither of my pairs of Handgrades have metal reinforcements. My one pair of Grenson Masterpieces do however, have the reinforcements. I have no idea whether these reinforcements are structurally important or not.
post #4 of 10
Trickers and Green appear to have them. Berluti does not. It's a nice detail; I think laces are more likely to break than to distort the shape of an eyelet.
post #5 of 10
They are usually subject to relentless criticism on the forum, but I have to point out that my Churchs custom grades (which I very much like and enjoy wearing) all seem to have this feature.
post #6 of 10
My Alfred Sargent premier grade don't have eyelets. For what it is worth, Union Works will add metal eyelets to a pair of shoes for around $35.
post #7 of 10
Some dress shoes have the reinforcements between the upper and lining leathers of the eyelet holes. I have no idea, however, if this is the case with the brands mentioned. Perhaps a little more (very careful.) intrusive prying could clear this up...but place an accent on the word "careful."
post #8 of 10
Some of my shoes have no metal eyelet reinforcements. Does this mean the eyelets are more prone to tearing? lt seems stupid that shoes doen't have metal reinforcements.
post #9 of 10
Latest score.... Church 1 C&J O
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the responses - friend is now reassured that he didn't buy a dud pair of shoes. Strangely enough though, all of my C&J regular line shoes do have the metal eyelet reinforcements - does that make it Church's 1 : C&J 1?
Can I ask what your friend paid fo his shoes, and how much reduced/seconds stock was available?
Handgrade seconds at the factory shop are £200.  They had quite a lot of stock - probably covered all of the models in the catalogue but also included some of the C&J Paris models, some designed for the Japanese market and some nameless ones (possibly sample shoes?) like what my friend bought.  Down to luck whether they have your size or not though - they didn't have Aintrees in my size, for example. If you're thinking of visiting, you can call ahead (01604 631515) to see if they have what you're looking for and get them to set it aside for you.
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