I don't think a C&J Drummond is a good substitute for the Inverness. First, because it's a C&J and not an EG, which is IMO a steep downgrade (not a C&J hater, I have multiple pairs and they're great value). Second, because the uniqueness of Inverness is its construction and lightness - it is not a typical wingtip and wears more like a whole cut than a brogue - austerity or not. And then third, because the Drummond is on a very elongated last and it only works for some. The sleek EG lasts are quite a bit less conspicuous IMO.
What do you mean they wear more like a whole cut than a brogue?
A wholecut has a lighter feel inasmuch as there aren't as many layers of leather about the toe especially in the area where the shoe creases. I have found that shoes with a layered toe cap break/crease differently than shoes without one. So the Inverness is constructed with one outer piece of leather to the toe, whereas a shoe like the Malvern has a leather cap. I can post pics of both if you'd like. However*: *It should be noted the Malvern is size 12.5E on the 202 and the Inverness is 13D on the 888
I haven't tried Barker before but the Anni range is very nice - good to see the lower-end makers are able to turn out something decent when they put their mind to it. I'd like to see them do well this range but at the same price as C&J benchgrade I think they have their work cut out (they are every bit as good IMO but they just don't have the brand strength). I'd like to compare them to Barker Black, but I don't have any....