Even though the pictures are too dark, they're wonderful beautiful shoes. Â I especially love the Corthay. Â See if you can post better pictures for us to drool over the custom patina. Â Do you mind telling us how much you paid for them? Â Did you get anything at Aubercy and Albaladejo?
Corthay ready to wear (RTW) begins at 780 Euros (shoes trees, extra laces, cream, and polish included). Â The RTW shoes are Goodyear welted, made in a factory just outside of Paris. Â I estimate they have about 15 RTW models. Â The people at the 1 rue Volnay workshop have in stock many pairs of these RTW shoes that have no finish yet applied to the skins. Â You may choose the finish you would like based on the display models there, or a design of your own. Grand measure begins somewhere in the neighborhood of 2800 Euros, escalating to 6500 for riding boots. Â The first pair costs a bit more because they need to create a last for your foot. Grand measure also requires repeat visits. I am sorry for the poor quality of the photos. Â If I have time I will attempt again and post an update. I did visit Aubercy and Albaladejo. Â Aubercy's designs did not appeal to me so much once I had seen Corthay's. Â Also, Aubercy's prices seemed far too high for a Blake-stitched RTW shoe with leather that has a reputation for creasing rather early and badly. Albaladejo had a less interesting selection than either Corthay or Aubercy, but the prices were better. Â I did see a few examples of cordovan shoes (using Horween cordovan), but I do not feel Albaladejo has done anything much more interesting with the material than Alden has. Â Might as well buy Alden. What impressed me most about Corthay was their patience and their kindness, their care in fitting me, and the experience of seeing the people make the shoes. Â I made three visits during my time in Paris and was able to observe different processes each time: applying the color, skiving, cutting the leather, etc. Â They use some fairly antique equipment in there. Â I did not want to interrupt their work with all of my questions. Â I was this close to giving up my job in the States and taking up an apprenticeship with them. Â However, I think they would prefer me to remain a customer. I left the shop with my new shoes in my daypack. Â It was raining. Â I rushed to a cafÃ© around the corner and had an espresso. Â I could not help but feel the difference in this experience of purchasing shoes and experiences I usually have. Â This experience felt like I learned something, not only about shoes, but about craftsmen. Â It was also very nice to NOT have to deal with a salesperson. Â Dealing directly with the craftsmen was a pure pleasure. Â I would recommend a visit.