Originally Posted by dah328
That's precisely my position. I have enough pairs now that my regular rotation consists of C&J Handgrades, Grenson Masterpieces and EGs (at a lower total cost than Jan's, too). At this point, I won't consider lesser shoes even at fire sale prices because I wouldn't wear them when I have other nicer shoes in my closet. Mine is certainly not the definitive position, but it is the one I prefer.
Theoretically designing your own shoe wardrobe with Jan's appromixately 4.5k budget, and actually amassing a functional rotation with a variety of styles and colors appropriate for all occasions, is a much more difficult than simply dividing funds between Edward Green, Lobb, C&J, etc at sale.
Here are a few considerations:
1) The New York contingent obviously has greater access to a wider variety of premium shoes. Sales in the NYC area, particularly sample sales, provide the opportunity to buy better English brands at discount. This is probably not possible if you in Dayton, OH or Spokane, WA.
2) Few members can designate $4,500 at any given moment to their shoe budget. I've definitely spent around this amount or more, but the time frame spans around a decade.
3) Forum education is invaluable. My impression of Edward Green prior to reading this forum was: "Who buys these things? I mean a black oxford is a black oxford, right?" John Lobb, who? Like many, I believed the likes of Ferragamo, Bally, and Bruno Magli to be great shoes. We all have a learning curve. Styleforum accelerates the curve.
4) Tastes change with time. True to number #3, I amassed 8-10 Ferrgamos, Ballys, Moreschis, Rockports, and Eccos that I still wear today. The Ferragamo loafer was a timeless purchase, and so was a 2-eyelet black blucher by Moreschi. The others are kept for rain or snow duty, and are gradually being discarded as they wear out.
4b) Variety is the spice of life. I'll continue to buy a few mid-tier pieces, particularly Moreschi and AE, when I find them on sale for travel, going out, and bad weather. Although the Brits produce a wonderfully well-made product, the design isn't always appropriate for more festive situations. Secondly, the lighter weight and flexible Italians like Moreschi and Gravati are undoubtedly better suited for warmer weather.
5) Lasting: The JL 7000 fits like crap on me. The Edward Green 606 is equally uncomfortable. C&j Handgrades are too wide through the toe box. I find Ferragamo Tramezzas too stiff to my liking. Given these comfort preferences, I've found that C&J benchgrade
lasts and Edward Green lasts to be the most comfortable for my
particular feet. For this same reason, I avoid most Aldens and Allen Edmonds because I find their stock Ds too wide, and, in the case of Alden, generally less forgiving than my C&J.