I have been looking at these shoes with a untrained eye, and I stand corrected. Seems my comparison are mostly my Mezlan's (got to start somewhere) and from what I have learned in this forum they are concidered "crappy". I therefore have no objections to your comments, but would like to add the following:
"Second, the stitching on the lateral side of the saddle on the right foot...at the bottom of the saddle... is sloppy. It doesn't even meet the stitching on the medial side of the saddle. Part of this is down to the fact that the saddle is pieced. But the gimping doesn't match or align either."
I have attached a close up photo that better shows what DWFII found.
"Third, the quarters and tongue look to be cut from the tail--which is, in most quality shops, considered marginal or even offal."
The quarters I believe are made from where the belly meet the flank. The tongue could be tail, but does it not look like belly too? (see photo).
"Fourth, thickness is not the be-all and end all. Esp. in bombe' alligator where the leather tends to be semi-rigid when compared to something like calf. That said, and noting that I don't have a leather gauge handy, I suspect most contemporary alligator is running around 1.4mm or 3.5 ounce--comparable to, or maybe a tidge heavy, relative to a man's calfskin shoe. But I don't know how you would measure that thickness especially on a cut and bound shoe. If measured at the tongue I would expect the leather on the tail to be thicker."
My gauge shows that the quarters (flank area) are 1.8mm as a minimum and the tongue (belly area) is 1.5mm. For comparison my contemporary Mezlan's are 0.8mm. I also have some Artioli's being 1.0mm and vintage F. Pinet and Banister/Stetson being 1.2mm and 1.3mm respectively.
Mezlan and FootJoy
Edited by jonoft - 3/12/13 at 4:19am