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Advice on shoes needed (with pics!)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have been looking for a rather versatile shoe to add to my wardrobe that I can wear with chinos and woolen trousers. Being a college student I don't plan to wear these everyday, maybe once or twice a week and until I save up enough for Greens or Lobbs (still a year or two away) I will also need to use these for when I dress up and wear a suit. I have a problem in that I'm a size 11 and most shoes look like clown shoes on me. I'v been looking around for months and have not found anything in the price range I have been looking for (under $400) until these shoes from Zegna: Zegna Shoes I know their is probably a markup for the Zegna name and they are probably not worth $400, but my question to the people who know about shoe construction is: how much is the markup? I'm willing to pay a bit for the markup but don't want the shoes to fall apart within a year or two or even five. Also what do you think about the styling? I like rather simple and sleek shoes and the color seems versatile enough, but I'd like to her opinions of others more experienced than me.
post #2 of 18
Don't concern yourself overly with the markup. The bluchers are stylish, not too trendy, and versatile enough to wear in many situations for years to come.

If you like them, make the investment. Clean and polish as necessary. Get professional repair or refurbishment on time (not too late!), and the shoes will reward you with faithfull service for more years than you might expect.

Since you are a student on a budget, should you concern yourself with more than reliable and faithful service from a shoe that is priced significantly below the EGs and JLs (et blithering cetera)? Many members use the more refined shoes only as a personal milestone and reward on life's path.

These shoes should advance you along your life's postgraduate path for many miles if you invest in proper care them.
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post #3 of 18
They are ok, but I'm not sold on the toe. It looks like the offspring of a C&J/EG/Lobb etc. and Kenneth Cole. Stuck somewhere in the middle, the toe is a little too wide to be elegant, the overall appearance a little too elegant to be ugly.

You could always wait a week or two for Bennie's Grenson shipment.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Canvas
If you like them, make the investment. Clean and polish as necessary. Get professional repair or refurbishment on time (not too late!), and the shoes will reward you with faithfull service for more years than you might expect.

Thanks for all the advice. When would be the time get them refurbished? Like what are the signs I should look for? I'v mainly worn sneakers and boots so I'm kinda new to wearing leather soles shoes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by denning
They are ok, but I'm not sold on the toe. It looks like the offspring of a C&J/EG/Lobb etc. and Kenneth Cole. Stuck somewhere in the middle, the toe is a little too wide to be elegant, the overall appearance a little too elegant to be ugly.

Well I do need them to be versatile, to work in casual settings (with Chinos) and more dressy setting (suit).

Do these really look too much like something an American Jackass would wear?

Quote:
You could always wait a week or two for Bennie's Grenson shipment

What's this?
post #5 of 18
I like them too. Great color!

I'd be a little disquieted by the toe shape as well...

There's actually a sleeker Ferragamo model out now in about the same price range. I saw it at Nordstrom's and Sak's.

About same quality as well. I think they're made in the same factory as Zegna.
post #6 of 18
How about C&J from Plal.com? Last 337 and 387 are really nice lasts.
post #7 of 18
i think the zegna's are okay. i do suggest though that you look around first. i also purchased a pair of bluchers from zegna last year that was marked "fam" for around $250.
post #8 of 18
They're not bad looking, but I'm not crazy about that particular shade of brown. Also, for $400 you have a lot of options.

I think "Bennies" is a shoe store in one of the Carolina's or somewhere in the south that deals in high-end shoes. "Grensons" are very high quality English shoes. You'll find that the English and Italians make the best dress shoes, with the Americans (Allen-Edmonds and Alden) coming in 2'nd or 3d place, depending on your taste.

Basically you get dress shoes refurbished when the heel or sole starts to go...usually after a long time. The heel usually has a small rubber insert that you can easily replace so that the stacked leather heel doesn't get damaged.
post #9 of 18
that pic has gotta be from the neiman marcus site; i think you're safe, as if you don't like the look or feel you can return them.

on a slightly more risky note (probably not returnable, unsure) could these possibly work for you?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Crockett-Jones-H...QQcmdZViewItem

www.plal.com (crockett and jones shoes like the audley and the weymouth, both fantastic looking shoes-- but they will run you about $430 with shipping)
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilanoStyle
How about C&J from Plal.com? Last 337 and 387 are really nice lasts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Foxx
on a slightly more risky note (probably not returnable, unsure) could these possibly work for you?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Crockett-Jones-H...c mdZViewItem

www.plal.com (crockett and jones shoes like the audley and the weymouth, both fantastic looking shoes-- but they will run you about $430 with shipping)

Some of those C&J shoes look really nice, but the problem is that a lot of shoes make my already gigantic feet look even bigger, add into the mix UK/US size conversions and rather difficulty in returning (if possible) to ebay/Plal, well I don't think it will work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Siggy
They're not bad looking, but I'm not crazy about that particular shade of brown. Also, for $400 you have a lot of options.

I'm totally open to suggestions for other shoes that can be had for under $400 retail (I'd like to try them on and see how they look).

Quote:
Originally Posted by acidicboy
i think the zegna's are okay. i do suggest though that you look around first. i also purchased a pair of bluchers from zegna last year that was marked "fam" for around $250.

Do you mind me asking where you were able to get them for $250?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B.
I'd be a little disquieted by the toe shape as well...

How bad is the toe? It doesn't seem Am. Jackass/Ken Cole to me, or am I not seeing something? >_>
post #11 of 18
if you're in the bay area, there have got to be outlet malls (Neiman Last Call/Saks Off 5th) with some good selections?

www.virtualclotheshorse.com also is an option with some Mantellasis. if you can see them in person in San Fran and order them, the website's $400-level shoes are better than NM's Zegna.
post #12 of 18
Drake, I think the problem that some of us have with the toe is that it is very wide. That's why it is reminiscent of Kenneth Cole's as they are completely squared off at the front. Most nicer shoes tend to be, I don't want to say pointier, but, let's say narrower in the toe box. If you look at the CJ shoes at Plal they won't be as boxy in the toe. I understand what you mean about wanting to be able to use the shoes in more casual situations, but that doesn't mean you have to start drifitng into last shapes that harkon to KCs. By buying a blucher in the first place you are getting a shoe that can move from suits to more casual clothes, and there are other shoe types like monkstraps, chukkas and others that can do the same.

I am not a shoe expert by any stretch of the imagination and so will defer to any of the resident shoeophiles, but I think you may be somewhat disappointed with that shoe down the road as you become more familiar with different brands, types and lasts. Do some more research, look at some more shoes and I think you will be a lot happier.

Best of luck
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Okay thanks for the advice guys.


What do you guys think about these shoes from Paul Smith? They are only $250 (with VAT return) and I think they have a smaller toe box than the Zegnas.

Only thing stopping me from buying them right now is that they are black. Would black work with Chinos or suits in non-business settings?


Paul Smith Shoes

post #14 of 18
the Mantellasis are most definitely a superior product...VCH offers store credit or 97.5% refund.

http://www.virtualclotheshorse.com/i...e&att_value=11
post #15 of 18
I've seen these Zegna's at Neiman's. For $100 more, I would recommend getting one of Santoni's $495 offerings like these:


http://store.nordstrom.com/product/p...All+Categories


I wouldn't get the lower price Zegna's as they are about equal to the Ferragamo Studio line. If you can afford one of their Coutoure shoes though, which go for $600-700, they're very much worth it.
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