For whatever it's worth, whenever I have been in the Barney's in Beverly Hills, they have always had brown C&J benchgrade Chelseas in stock for about $470. Thus an original price of $770 seems kind of preposterous. However, I have heard it claimed that the Ralph Lauren C&J-made shoes are made to a quality level that falls somewhere between Benchgrade and Handgrade. Does anybody know the truth about this?
Here are some pictures for you to judge yourself. This (the Halmore that's available via bluefly) appears to the C&J Benchmade standard. Â I think it is basically the same shoe as the C&J chelsea. Â Possibly, it is made on a different last.
This (an older Chelsea boot) Â appears to be to the in between standard everybody is talking about. Â Note the channelled sole. Â I don't think it is available anymore, except on Ebay.
I have both, sitting in boxes under my bed. Â The second one is also a lot more elongated.