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Shoe Damage Report & Shoe P0rn Central - Part II - Page 599

post #8971 of 19257
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandie View Post

It's CJ over EG for me. The hand grade in particular hits the sweet spot of quality, fit, price, and style - particularly in the sleek 358 last. I've tried on the EG's but they don't feel or look any more special, and don't feel as good on my foot.

A few of my favourites x-posted from the C&J thread...

Ugh. I own both and love C&J but there is a distinct difference in the weight --and to me--quality of the shoes. No knock at all on C&J very underrated here but EG are worth the money.
post #8972 of 19257
Quote:
Originally Posted by swiego View Post

Those look like vanilla ice cream to me: simple, plain shoes, everyday work shoes. Admittedly it's hard to see pizazz due to the lighting in the picture. The shoe trees are lovely.
My experience mirrored a couple of others; I own some C&J handgrade shoes, and have handled-with-intent-to-purchase EG on several occasions. Each time I found myself backing down, because I could not see a difference. Stitching was similar, leathers were similar, quality of internal finishing of the lining was similar. The sole was maybe a bit cleaner with EG. I did notice that EG seems to be a chunkier, heavier shoe than C&J HG; I don't have enough experience to say that this is true for any but the limited number of shoes I'm familiar with, but they did have this "we're like Alden but for England" feel to them.
I'd be interested to see some really used EGs. The one posted above ("year old EG still porn!") frankly looks like it's been worn in office environments four or five times. I have soles of new shoes that looked like that after one half an hour walk outdoors. I think "how it held up" gets answered after the first sole replacement.

I have 3 pairs of EGs and about 4 pairs of C&J in HG and BG. I'd have to say the EG is a very comfortable shoe - more so than C&J.

I would think C&Jare more rugged and would last longer though than EG IMO but with a big rotation I will probably never find out.

The C&J seems to have a stronger construction to me. As for leather I can't see the difference. But price wise - EG are totally over the top at full retail for the quality of manufacture.

Design wise - C&J are way ahead and compared to the Italians and French EG is not in the race. But I always understood that EG was supposed to be a sober and classy English shoe and that is the niche they continue to fill.

I like vintage shoes because if you get good ones they cover all the bases.
post #8973 of 19257
Quote:
Originally Posted by meister View Post

I have 3 pairs of EGs and about 4 pairs of C&J in HG and BG. I'd have to say the EG is a very comfortable shoe - more so than C&J.
I would think C&Jare more rugged and would last longer though than EG IMO but with a big rotation I will probably never find out.
The C&J seems to have a stronger construction to me. As for leather I can't see the difference. But price wise - EG are totally over the top at full retail for the quality of manufacture.
Design wise - C&J are way ahead and compared to the Italians and French EG is not in the race. But I always understood that EG was supposed to be a sober and classy English shoe and that is the niche they continue to fill.
I like vintage shoes because if you get good ones they cover all the bases.

I like the designs of the C&Js, as well. EGs just are not made to be fashioin forward. Maybe a bit backward, but that's deliberate.
post #8974 of 19257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jermyn View Post

Here are my EG purchases from 2011:
307

Purple austerity brogues, blue bucks, olive wholecuts - vanilla ice cream? Really?

Take a plain, traditional style & color it purple... it's still a plain, traditional style- just a purple one.

However, this is NOT a criticism. If you're into basic, traditional styles, your collection is certainly top notch. I can understand enjoying the "classics" and NOT knock those that do.
post #8975 of 19257
Quote:
Originally Posted by meister View Post

I have 3 pairs of EGs and about 4 pairs of C&J in HG and BG. I'd have to say the EG is a very comfortable shoe - more so than C&J.
I would think C&Jare more rugged and would last longer though than EG IMO but with a big rotation I will probably never find out.
The C&J seems to have a stronger construction to me. As for leather I can't see the difference. But price wise - EG are totally over the top at full retail for the quality of manufacture.
Design wise - C&J are way ahead and compared to the Italians and French EG is not in the race. But I always understood that EG was supposed to be a sober and classy English shoe and that is the niche they continue to fill.

agreed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by meister View Post

I like vintage shoes because if you get good ones they cover all the bases.

Funny thing is that many of the makers now "pushing the envelope" (Bestetti, G&G, etc) are often found to be reviving 30's, 40's & 50's vintage styles & detailing to attain the their unique looks.
post #8976 of 19257
Quote:
Originally Posted by meister View Post

But I always understood that EG was supposed to be a sober and classy English shoe and that is the niche they continue to fill.
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by isshinryu101 View Post

If you're into basic, traditional styles, your collection is certainly top notch. I can understand enjoying the "classics" and NOT knock those that do.

I agree with the two shoe-meisters (!) - EG has a particular market it targets. It's also apparent that the majority of the major mfg's copy each other and make many booooooring shoes.

It's also apparent that many men need fairly classic shoes or at least shoes that don't call too much attention to them. Those who have the luxury of not having to conform can experiment, if they dare.
post #8977 of 19257
Quote:
Originally Posted by isshinryu101 View Post

agreed.
Funny thing is that many of the makers now "pushing the envelope" (Bestetti, G&G, etc) are often found to be reviving 30's, 40's & 50's vintage styles & detailing to attain the their unique looks.

Agreed, and I do indeed love the looks.

Herein is a small lesson in the truth of 'timeless classicism'. There really is no such thing to some degree. Really it's a large inventory of elements which are relentlessly tweaked, manipulated, and otherwise toyed with over and over again. Isn't it fun?
post #8978 of 19257
[/quote]

Ugh. I own both and love C&J but there is a distinct difference in the weight --and to me--quality of the shoes. No knock at all on C&J very underrated here but EG are worth the money.[/quote]

+1. To me there is a big difference between EG and CJ. Not only is EG lighter and better made, but ages more gracefully.
Edited by jerrybrowne - 1/7/12 at 5:14pm
post #8979 of 19257
Son of Saphir is one of the most underrated posters on this forum.
post #8980 of 19257
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

The issue isn't who makes a "real, handmade shoe in the $500.00 US price range", the issue is what is "quality." If you accept that gemmed shoes are quality...the new standard of quality, ta da!...then the question becomes who makes a quality shoe at $400.00? Or $300.00? Or $100.00? Or $49.95? Because surely such a fundamental and critical organizing principle, so widely shared across marketing tiers, makes differences, esp. those that are primarily aesthetic, virtually moot.
"Handmade" is just a word...and one that can all too easily be confused with quality. But it ain't necessarily so...at any price.
What it all boils down to is that if you know and understand what comprises quality, and seek it, then price is not an issue. The bespoke shoemaker works (and it is physical work) 40+ hours to make a quality shoe.
At bottom, you trade your time for his. If that's acceptable then everyone wins. If it's not, then you need to seek a different standard of quality that is.
If a gemmed shoe is an acceptable level of quality for you, then I can understand your reluctance to pay more...even for more. But frankly, I don't see anything substantive to distinguish the $500.00 shoe from the $400.00 shoe. Und so weiter. And from posts here on SF there are many who agree with that assessment.
Sure, one particular brand may appeal to your sense of design or your need for association with cachet brands, but don't confuse that with "quality."
I've said this before and gotten flack for it and will probably again...but I suspect there is far less difference between the $100.00 shoe and the $500.00 shoe as compared to the difference between the gemmed shoe and the handwelted shoe...at any price. In materials, in time, in potential longevity and/or structural integrity.
Hendrix had it right...and made the salient point...gemmed, at any price, is an imitation[/B].

I somehow don't believe this was Hendrix's point. As it seems obvious to me that we all realize that a machine welted shoe is not truly handmade. But perhaps I presume to much. Given that I presumed we all know machine welted shoes are not truly handmade shoes I took it to mean that if one is spending $500 one would do well to buy handmade shoes. When in fact you seem to be saying his meaning was that no machine made was worth over $500? In either interpretation I don't agree with the statement but do find the latter interpretation more plausible than the former. As I am not aware any truly handmade shoes in the $500 price range.

Even though I am very green to this topic I would say that my current thinking is that you are entirely accurate in stating that there is little 'practical' difference between machine welted and glued shoes, based only on the welting method. It seems to me that many here are way to focused on the welting methods as a shortcut to determining overall value/quality. Further I find it baffling, as you do, what truely differentiates a $400 shoe from a $500 or even $600 shoe in terms of craftsmenship/construction quality. I propose most of the differences are those which are visible (materials, finishing, and design related costs). I don't know. I'm asking your opinion, as I truly value it.

Further, I have no doubt whatsoever that a truly handmade shoe, created as the labor of a dedicated artistan is worth every penny of the prices charged. I'm sure they are actually worth more. I do take issue with the implication as I see it in your statement above that matters of design are not also of value when determining 'quality'. Is the creation of, and implementation of a highly artistic design, not also a labor which must be acknowledged and thus have value assigned to it? Thus making two shoes of identical construction but with dissimilar designs of potentially different 'qualites'. Perhaps, as a professional whose career, and success, is largely related to matters of design I am overly sensitive to the topic of design value. So please excuse me if I have rendered an interpretation of your statements that is not what you intended to convey.
Edited by Gdot - 1/7/12 at 5:55pm
post #8981 of 19257
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


"Handmade" is just a word...and one that can all too easily be confused with quality.

That is right

Here is a pair of hand-welted shoes of abominable standard (let the maker be nameless). The welt-stitches are either spaced too far apart and/or not pulled tight enough, leaving a gap which is not only unsightly but will also let water penetrate easily.

lose2.jpg

lose3.jpg

lose6.jpg

There is an old shoemaker's maxim:
"Small stitches make quality work, large stitches buy you bread!"

Don't let anyone be fooled that made by hand and with hand-tools is the guarantor for quality work. Shoemakers cut as much corners as anyone else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Hendrix had it right...and made the salient point...gemmed, at any price, is an imitation.

I rather prefer a gemmed welt produced on a well set-up machine than that sloppy (hand) workmanship.
post #8982 of 19257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

I somehow don't believe this was Hendrix's point.

I could be wrong but that's the way I read it. In any case, it has long been my point.
Quote:
It seems to me that many here are way to focused on the welting methods as a shortcut to determining overall quality.

It's not a bad measure. The way a shoe is put together determines how long it will retain its shape, its fit, its integrity.

It's also a pretty fair indication of how much time and energy and consideration has gone into the conceptualization as well as the implementation of the idea of a shoe--what its function is, what the expectations are for it, how is it intended/expected to fit, support nurture and protect.

As you suggest gemming is, at bottom, cement construction. In that sense, it is always an expediency and something masquerading as something else in order to engage the customer or observer. Yet entirely without the intrinsic capacity to live up to what it is pretending to be.

As an expediency, it is a pretty fair one--it's quick, it's easy, it's cheap and it is not dependent on skill or quality materials to implement.
Quote:
Further I find it baffling, as you do, what truely differents a $400 shoe from a $500 or even $600 shoe in terms of craftsmenship/construction quality. Might those differences in cost relate just as much to variations in material, finishing, and design related costs? I don't know. I'm asking your opinion as I truly value it
.

Well, this is the question isn't it? If you think about it...even in the most "efficient" operation there is a minimal cost of production to make leather. The price of the hide. The cost of the tanning extracts/chemicals. The finishing chemicals--dyes, etc.. The labour. And to be fair, some leathers are very definitely of better quality than others. But $400.00 worth? Will a domestic US calf skin cost triple to produce what it costs to produce an Italian calfskin? Quadruple?

And when you get right down to it, it's a lot like gemmed shoes--if you start out with a raw hide from a yearling calf and subject it to three weeks (?) in a chrome bath and other processes, is it going to be really and truly triple or quadruple the quality of another cheaper calf leather that has gone through a nearly identical process? The raw materials are the same, the tanning processes the same...the finishing may differ but marginally so and for the most part only superficially.

???

I am not sure any of us knows what the value of a RTW shoe is. Are the $100.00 shoes fair value or a bargain at twice the price? Are the $500.00 shoes overpriced or simply filling the demand for "luxury" (?--cachet) goods to the masses?
Edited by DWFII - 1/7/12 at 6:21pm
post #8983 of 19257
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpooPoker View Post

Son of Saphir is one of the most underrated posters on this forum.

+1
post #8984 of 19257

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by isshinryu101 View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


To hold the C&J Handgrade vs the EG in one's hands there IS a difference. The details are simply done better in the EG. Finer stitching. More consistent finishing. The finer points have been emphasized, and the result is (in my opinion, anyway) a finer overall product. EG is also said to be a more comfortable shoe. I can't say either way because I sold my EG's & my C&J HG's before the 3rd wearing. If you take the majority view (on this site, anyway), the fit & comfort nod probably also goes to the EG.
That said, I am of the belief that almost all the EG offerings are simply "Vanilla Ice Cream". No chocolate sauce, no whipped cream, no sprinkles, no cherry on top. EXCELLENT Vanilla IC, but simply PLAIN!. From a coupla feet away, the C&J HG looks pretty much exactly like the EG. BOTH brands suffer from this malady, I think. I KNOW my taste is way Over The Top for most here, but the emergence of G&G as the "Most Approved SF Brand" says something about the emergence of "something a little different & special" as the new preference among Fine Shoe Lovers. Even the Saint Crispins I've been seeing lately have been trying to "do their own thing" rather than simply make "Their Version" of a traditional style. Bestetti has his own Porn Thread, and he's working with all kinds of exotic skins & New Takes on classic styles like the Penny Loafer... making them exciting & unique.


If you want an extra fine version of a plain traditional style, EG is a TOP choice... but if you want something a little different (and at their price point, more & more former customers are moving in different directions), it's best to look elsewhere.
Side note: EG still has some very interesting takes on boots, and I would still entertain owning a pair of them, as they still are unique in today's marketplace.

 

You do have an amazing collection of vintage exotic shoes!! 

 

That being said, every shoe maker had to make something out of ordinary to stand out of amongst pack.  Such as G&G with its modern English chisel toe, Corthay and its PTB, Vass and its Budapester, or C&J and its French influenced 337 last.  EG is still the place to go for quintessential British shoe.  JL is slightly too French, IMO.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


That is right
Here is a pair of hand-welted shoes of abominable standard (let the maker be nameless). The welt-stitches are either spaced too far apart and/or not pulled tight enough, leaving a gap which is not only unsightly but will also let water penetrate easily.
lose2.jpg
lose3.jpg
lose6.jpg
There is an old shoemaker's maxim:

 


"Small stitches make quality work, large stitches buy you bread!"
Don't let anyone be fooled that made by hand and with hand-tools is the guarantor for quality work. Shoemakers cut as much corners as anyone else.
I rather prefer a gemmed welt produced on a well set-up machine than that sloppy (hand) workmanship.


This is a very good point!

post #8985 of 19257
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post


That being said, every shoe maker had to make something out of ordinary to stand out of amongst pack.  Such as G&G with its modern English chisel toe, Corthay and its PTB, Vass and its Budapester, or C&J and its French influenced 337 last.  EG is still the place to go for quintessential British shoe.  JL is slightly too French, IMO.

Very good way to look at it.
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