Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
I can't believe so many people put Church's as low as they do. They are incredibly solid shoes, also Grenson Rose, Barker Hand-Crafted and Trickers over C&J Benchgrade I think is ridiculous. In my opinion C&J is way above both. I think Barker Black would probably be about comparable to C&J Benchgrade.
Interesting. I agree Church make very solid decent shoes, and their soles are particularly good, but I find the leather used on the uppers on the pair I own (and others I've handled) to be a bit stiff and rather 'flat'. I own a couple of pairs of C&J Benchgrade and like them, but attention to detail on finishing isn't as good as that on my Grenson Rose, Barker Hand-Crafted or Trickers.
It's difficult - is a softer more supple leather upper like Barker use on their Hand-Crafted, better than the tougher more damage resistant leather Grenson use on their Rose collection? I'm not sure. Some people put more value on closed channeling - providing the stitches are recessed enough for me it's not that important.
It's also difficult not to take value into consideration.
I can only assess quality on how the leather looks and feels, what the finishing is like and where I own them (and I own at least one pair from most of the major English manufacturers up to the Edward Green price point) how well they wear, how well they take polish etc. I've not the money or knowledge to cut them up and examine the internal construction.