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Church's worth the $ ????

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
So I'm looking for a decent pair of shoes to go with denim, khaki's, and the occasional suit. I found this pair at Neiman Marcus, and I really like them: The questions I have is whether they are worth the $500? I'm asking in terms of quality. Aslo, if anyone has a better recommendation I would appreciate it.
post #2 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Sola
So I'm looking for a decent pair of shoes to go with denim, khaki's, and the occasional suit. I found this pair at Neiman Marcus, and I really like them:



The questions I have is whether they are worth the $500? I'm asking in terms of quality. Aslo, if anyone has a better recommendation I would appreciate it.
No.

Look for Crockett & Jones, particularly the Handgrade, at places like plal.com, pediwear.com, etc. Also Trickers, which is cheaper and still much better quality than Church's, yet has the same rather blunt last as the Church's in the picture.

Also, I don't know if an oxford would go very well with denim.. That one's nicely brogued, though, so maybe you could pull it off.
post #3 of 34
In my experience, they are not worth the retail price only because of the upper leather. The construction and other materials are excellent, and the styling elegant if often conservative (fine), but most of the leather they use in the uppers is corrected grain and will never acquire the patina of, for example, a C&J shoe, to use a close competitor. I think you'd be better off with a C&J Benchgrade or Handgrade on discount, and C&J's lasts are a bit nicer too IMO.

W/R/T styling of your choice, I think that's a very versatile pick for the purposes you've set out. I could see that working with jeans, khakis or a somewhat casual suit. I have a very similar pair of Church's in oxblood, and I like them, but I only paid $3.50.
post #4 of 34
I agree on the issue of the corrected grain leather. There's a Church's outlet near me selling seconds at reasonably good prices, but I can never get past the corrected grain. It just scuffs too easily and then looks bad. I have seen one or two models with proper leather uppers but they're rare.
post #5 of 34
For $500 you can do a lot better than Church's in terms of leather methinks. C&J, already mentioned, can be readily had in that price range. The Allen-Edmonds Birminghams are currently on closeout and can be seen around the web in the $200 range.
post #6 of 34
Were Church's ever regarded as truly high end? I have two pair, one that belonged to my father, another I picked up as vintage, which must each be twenty to thirty years old, and with which I can find few if any faults. The latter have a closed-channeled sole, very close stitching and fine leather uppers. The first are suede tassels, fully leather lined, very comfortable. When did the brand markedly decline?
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by well-kept
When did the brand markedly decline?

I think roughly when Prada bought them.
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by well-kept
Were Church's ever regarded as truly high end? I have two pair, one that belonged to my father, another I picked up as vintage, which must each be twenty to thirty years old, and with which I can find few if any faults. The latter have a closed-channeled sole, very close stitching and fine leather uppers. The first are suede tassels, fully leather lined, very comfortable. When did the brand markedly decline?

I have an pretty old pair of cordovan monkstraps by Churchs and they are turning out to be my favourite shoe. A bit snug for me but you can see how the whole shoe would be fitting anyway, a nice waist on the sole and a sleek last. I also have a couple of old Church Oxfords, the leather and the cut is much nicer than the current Church's which may be well made but look wholly uninspiring, pretty much like Bally now.
post #9 of 34
I have two pairs of Post-Prada Church's shoes, and they are much better than their reputation on this forum. And though I know from experience that Crockett & Jones are better quality shoes, their designs tend to be a bit more dressy than Church's.

I would recommend that you check out the Grenson Albert brogues. They look similar to the shoes in the photo, but their quality is better, and quite good value compared to Church's. I can recommend www.pediwear.co.uk.
post #10 of 34
I own two pair of Church's one pair of dark brown Chetwyn and a pair of black Grafton with binder polish. The Chetwyn is a great shoe that fits me perfectly and IMO a real beauty. I don't think Church's deserves the bad reputation on this forum and on AAAC.

However i agree with Jeph that Grenson Albert is a great shoe. I own a pair in black and I am wearing them rigth now.
post #11 of 34
just not as good as they used to be. I remember as a student nearly 20 years ago (gosh, is it really so long ago) - I could just about afford Bally when deeply discounted in the sales, but Church's were always the 'dream' shoe. Wonderfully made, but never affordable. Recent trips to the retail shops really do not inspire any desire to buy anymore. Perhaps my memories are coloured or inaccurate, but I don't think I'm alone in noting the decline of Church's. However, they are still 'good' shoes, vastly better than the high street stuff as well as the 'designer' stuff.
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
Ok, so now I need you opinion on whether to get the C&J Cardiffs or the Grenson Alberts. The price diff is only about $50. They'll mostly be for jeans, khakis, and the occasional suit.



post #13 of 34
To be technical about it, the closed-laced Grenson would be more appropriate with a suit. But you'll have a little more leeway with sizing (girth-wise) with the open laced shoe. In terms of styling, they are pretty much interchangeable to me. I think I like the color of the Grenson slightly better.

So, whatever you like!
post #14 of 34
the church's brown on brown spectators i bought a few months ago seems well-made and up-to-par with c&j. i have no complaints about it whatsoever. well, except for the fact that i think i'm the only guy around here who wears spectators.
post #15 of 34
There are some many better options for shoes in the $500 range, that Church's pales in comparison.
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