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Some thoughts on Grenson at Bennie's...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I stopped by Bennie's today and they actually had some Grenson loafers in 10.5. I was less than impressed with the quality I saw, however...

1. One of the loafers had an upper that was unfinished in terms of polish under a strip that bridges the loafer (sorry I don't know the proper shoe term for this). For a $500 pair of shoes, this seems unexcusable.

2. The lining between the inner and outer lining was cut very roughly in contrast to the smooth cutting on say an EG (admittedly more money).

3. Heel construction was fair but unspectacular. The soles looked solid overall and felt solid overall, however.

Still the price was right and despite my quibbles $250 for a solid $500 English shoe is certainly welcome in Atlanta. Just wish we had more in my preferred styles. Those of you with 10.5 feet looking for loafers (one tassle in black, one simple strap in dark brown) may be pleased.

I spoke to Ralph and he mentioned that they would try to buy this line opportunistically. I tried to make the business case for picking up EG but I think my words fell on deaf ears. Ralph did mention that they love Grenson since they fly off the shelves. The level of service was great there but there is some sales pressure.

Also stopped by Sebastian's Closet. Ugh! Same B-level Italian makers at full price. I don't understand why so many like this store and Esquire magazine thinks highly of it. Gran Sasso, Axis, Canali Proposta, Moreschi shoes, nothing exciting to me. Cheesy fabric selection. Not recommended.
post #2 of 21
I have no experience with their loafers, but their oxfords are pretty solidly constructed. A notch or two below EG in terms of leather quality and finish, but certainly worth every penny of $250. I have three or four pair from the first Bennie's sale that see frequent wear in my rotation.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks dah. That's good feedback. I honestly have no first hand wearing experience so I might be a happier camper once I buy that first pair. And I agree at $250 seems like a good value in a dress shoe.
post #4 of 21
Grenson at $250 just seems pricely given that shoes of higher quality and style can be found at that price.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan
I stopped by Bennie's today and they actually had some Grenson loafers in 10.5. I was less than impressed with the quality I saw, however...

1. One of the loafers had an upper that was unfinished in terms of polish under a strip that bridges the loafer (sorry I don't know the proper shoe term for this). For a $500 pair of shoes, this seems unexcusable.
Was this the butterfly loafer? I mentioned this exact same phenomenon with a pair of the butterfly loafers I bought at the Bennie's blowout in April or May. On mine the unpolished (and lighter-colored) part was on one side of one "butterfly" strap where it passes under the other end of the other butterfly strap. Thus, it couldn't really be seen, but this still hacked me off for the reasons you mention. I solved the problem by rubbing some darker brown shoe cream into that part of the strap until it came up to the same color as the rest of the strap, then polished the entire shoes, so that the discrepancy disappeared. Regarding the heel, on mine the gap between the dovetailed leather rubber piece and the leather part of the heel is perhaps a tiny smidgeon wider than you'd like to see, but not a really big deal.

When I mentioned this at the time, one or two other forumers mentioned that we might have been buying some seconds that Paul Stuart had made available to Bennie's. This struck me as reasonable, and, at $250, the price was extremely good for this quality of shoe ($625 at Paul Stuart). With 20 minutes' work, the hidden flaw in the finishing was fixed, and the shoes could pass for firsts.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitonbrioni
Grenson at $250 just seems pricely given that shoes of higher quality and style can be found at that price.
Not really. Keep in mind that these were Grenson Masterpiece models, considered by most knowledgeable shoe guys to be the equivalent of C&J Handgrades, and sell for $625 at Paul Stuart, as "Stuart's Choice" shoes. I haven't see anything of comparable value for this price. What would you consider higher-quality shoes available at $250?
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitonbrioni
Grenson at $250 just seems pricely given that shoes of higher quality and style can be found at that price.


please point me in the direction of where I can get high quality shoes for $250 other than opportunistic ebay buys. The best I have ever done was $275 for Tramezza boots at the Saks second cut sale. Loakes, AE's and Aldens can regularly be had under $250, but they are not at the Grenson level.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
On mine the unpolished (and lighter-colored) part was on one side of one "butterfly" strap where it passes under the other end of the other butterfly strap. Thus, it couldn't really be seen, but this still hacked me off for the reasons you mention.

That describes perfectly what I saw. Not good quality imho.

Quote:
When I mentioned this at the time, one or two other forumers mentioned that we might have been buying some seconds that Paul Stuart had made available to Bennie's.

Quite possible but still decent construction overall. Roger, do you know if these are welted by Goodyear?
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitonbrioni
Grenson at $250 just seems pricely given that shoes of higher quality and style can be found at that price.

here we go again.......
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoVaguy
here we go again.......

Where is the broken record image posted by A Harris? I think kitonbrioni should simply use that as his avatar
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan
Quite possible but still decent construction overall. Roger, do you know if these are welted by Goodyear?
The Grenson Masterpiece/Stuart's Choice shoes are all goodyear welted with channeled soles. Rather nice channeled soles to my eye. The mid-range Grensons are goodyear welted but stitched aloft. I don't have much experience with those.

dan
post #12 of 21
For the money, David Eden, Gran Sasso, Taryn Rose, and Bostonian offer better value....















/sarcasm
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by whnay.
For the money, David Eden, Gran Sasso, Taryn Rose, and Bostonian offer better value....

Great list! Don't overlook Florsheim!
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitonbrioni
Grenson at $250 just seems pricely given that shoes of higher quality and style can be found at that price.

Respectfully disagree. My one pair of Grensons from the last Bennies sale, a calf/reverse calf Stowe model, is as well-made as my C&J Handgrades. I could find no detectable flaws and it never fails to generate compliments. And at $250 the Grenson Stowe was a much better bargain than my C&J Handgrade.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by whnay.
For the money, David Eden, Gran Sasso, Taryn Rose, and Bostonian offer better value....
I would add Stacy Adams, Giorgio Brutini, and Gordon Rush.

Chris had us all fooled.
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