Originally Posted by EL72
Nevermind the Crown Aristocrafts. There are still some J&M Handmades out there if you can find them (I saw a few pairs at Bennies in Atlanta last week) and they are, as Ken Pollock says, magnificent shoes. Some of the ones I saw were full brogues with the soles extending outward in a square-like shape until the waist where they tapered closer to the uppers. I don't know how to describe this well or what the technical term is (batwing shoes??) but they are very different yet very nice. All J&M Handmades are very high quality shoes and bear no resemblance whatsoever to the current crap they produce for the US mkt or even the Aristocrafts.
Spade soles. Faustian Bargain, IIRC, had a pair of these.
I've seen the Aristocraft around at the thrifts. They are on par with AE or maybe Alden. Pretty standard conservative business styling. I would expect a Brooks Bros. customer to wear them.
The regular line, from what I've seen, is passable style-wise, but obviously a poor value as they will not hold up like a pair of AEs or similar.
And most all that I've seen have had corrected grain leather.