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Johnson and Murphy shoes: Quality and appropriate price point? - Page 2

post #16 of 39
I recently discovered two pairs J&M oxfords from, oh, about 10 years ago in my attic, pretty much unworn.

They are Optima's. They unfortunately have that shiny leather (corrected-grain?). But they are Goodyear-welted I think, and are extremely comfortable. They also appear to be very sturdy (the stitching is really tightly done) and the build-quality seems to far exceed the Loake 1880/CT shoes I recently bought. They appear to be far better made the current crop of J&M I see, for sure.

Knowing what I know now, I wish I had bought them in better quality leather. The styling of the two pairs I own are classic, and would be more than serviceable. But, heck, I didn't know jack about shoes 1 year ago, let alone 10 years ago (now, I dare not wear corrected grain shoes lest someone from Styleforum see me walking around in them and go "Eeeoooh, corrected grain shoes!).

BTW, I do have one quick question about shoe leather material. How does one tell apart from Cordovan Shell and corrected grain, especially though a picture on the web, when there is no description?
post #17 of 39
Shell cordovan has distinctive "rumpling" instead of the wrinkles/creases that calf or cow leather has. Corrected grain leather typically has severe creases or cracks in it. Brand new, it would be pretty hard to tell.

Here's a pic of worn shell:

post #18 of 39
I can't tell very well... Bigger pics?
post #19 of 39
This post:

http://www.styleforum.net/showpost.p...&postcount=205

shows a few views of some cordovan shoes. Look especially at the side view:



And see how the creases aren't sharp, but make ripples instead? That is characteristic of shell cordovan - it has nearly no grain. Look at any leather shoe and the creases will show the grain, or on lower grade shoes with plastic surface filler, will show very regular wrinkles where the plastic has crinkled up.

This is the only pic I could find quickly:


Note many more creases, closer together, and within the creases are sharp crinkly sections (a bit hard to see). This is where the plasticky surface is creasing sharply.
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by j
I've seen the Aristocraft around at the thrifts.

Same here. In fact, I saw an Aristocraft shoe (not a pair) at the local Goodwill last weekend.
post #21 of 39
I have one pair of J&M and they seem pretty nice. I have a style like these and I got them at the J&M outlet. They were about $150. They have leather soles, and the leather of the shoe seems pretty good (very sturdy) but since I only wear my suit and these shoes when I have a job interview and when someone dies, I can't vouch for these shoes in the long term.

Judging them by the small amount I wear them, I think the quality is pretty good if you can get them at one of their outlets. I shopped for AEs at their outlet store and they were still much more expensive than J&Ms. Obviously AEs are hand stitched but for the amount that I wear the shoes, I just went for the lower price. They've been ok for me.

I also think their clothing is pretty nice. Not expensive but decent price for decent clothing. They have good sales (if you get the catalog or sign up for the website). They kinda remind me of Paul Frederick. Nothing spectacular but decent clothing nonetheless.
post #22 of 39
My pair fell apart. What a waste of money.
post #23 of 39
Quote:
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.

Lovely shoes. I have a pair of brown wingtip Handmades (no spade soles), and they're fabulous. Unfortunately they're also extremely rare, as they haven't been made since 2000 (when the SINGLE guy who made them died) and they were made in tiny numbers to begin with.
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by EL72
Ah, spade soles - thanks.

Here is a modern example although not as extreme as J&M
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher
Lovely shoes. I have a pair of brown wingtip Handmades (no spade soles), and they're fabulous. Unfortunately they're also extremely rare, as they haven't been made since 2000 (when the SINGLE guy who made them died) and they were made in tiny numbers to begin with.

Yes, I remember how happy you were when you snagged them on eBay and posted the pics on AAAC.
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel
Here is a modern example although not as extreme as J&M

Nice; yours? Maker?

You are correct that the J&M spade soles are far more extreme, extending at least 1/2" or more, maybe even 3/4" in some parts, from the uppers.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by EL72
Nice; yours? Maker?

You are correct that the J&M spade soles are far more extreme, extending at least 1/2" or more, maybe even 3/4" in some parts, from the uppers.

Mine, Cole Haan cordovan leather, goodyear welted.
post #28 of 39
yes, i do agree with the poster above that although the majority of j&m shoes may be subpar, their other accessories merchandise seems to decent.
i have a j&m brown leather belt that is made in Italy both the leather and the buckle. it is very good quality and is one of my favorite belts. i did pay full retail for it, $45 and that was back then before the forum. but still, i dont regret paying that much for it.
post #29 of 39
It's that slightly upscale brand that those not in the know, er, know.

Therefore, it's the shoe to wear to your high school reunion to impress everyone.

[I have three pair, US/Italy/China. Won't be buying any more, and probably should not have bought these.]
post #30 of 39
Wow. Shell cordovan looks like a great investment.
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