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Mantellassi price points and quality? - Page 3

post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by odoreater
I used the term "quality" to encompass objective factors. Aesthetics are completely subjective.
It would have helped if you'd said this, and it would also have helped if you told us what these factors were. Further, do esthetic factors not figure at all in one's evaluation of quality? If you believe this, then your understanding of this concept and that of most of the rest of the world differ. And while you're at it, do tell us how you arrived at your quantitative comparison involving J&M, C&J Handgrades, and EG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by odoreater
Anyway, this is an internet message board, not a scientific journal dedicated to shoe quality.
So that means that you can be imprecise and confusing?
post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger

So that means that you can be imprecise and confusing?

What's so imprecise and confusing about it? If you want a shorter version of what I was saying read the post that pejsek just made (bottom of the first page). If you don't want to do that again, I'll try summarizing again:

Quality (materials and construction) are roughly the same with top English brands (e.g., Lobb and EG). Aesthetics are highly personal. So, make the decision on whichever shoe you personally like better.
post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by odoreater
I don't know who "Mr. Franklin" is.....

Mr. Franklin aka josepidal. Read the RLPL Corben epic.
post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by von Rothbart
Mr. Franklin aka josepidal. Read the RLPL Corben epic.

Ah ok, I avoid those threads because I've mostly sworn off English shoes except for the pair of CTs my inlaws are buying for me and a pair of Barker Blacks with the skull and crossbones that I plan on getting next month and because RLPL only gets D width shoes.
post #35 of 67
I am with Odoreater on this one (or should I just call you Odor for short?). I would tend to think of "quality" as referring to objective measures such as construction and materials. hence, I have certainly heard other products having been described as not all that pretty to look at, but of real high quality.

That said, I read Jose's original post to request a ranking of the Sutor line. I think I have seen something similar done with Santoni on this board (tan sock, orange sock, fatte a mano, limited, etc.) and wonder if a similar ranking could be done with Sutors.
post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by marc237
I would tend to think of "quality" as referring to objective measures such as construction and materials. hence, I have certainly heard other products having been described as not all that pretty to look at, but of real high quality.
Do you not think that one of the reasons we consider a C&J Handgrade shoe as of higher quality than a Rockport is because of its shape--the result of the beautifully-designed and carefully-worked out 337 last on which it's made, as opposed to a formless blob that likely underlies the shape of the Rockport? And what about the unique and appealing colors that are available on an EG as opposed to the bland and drab ones found on Nunn Bush? Doesn't this contribute to our evaluation of quality? Any definition of quality I've seen is far less limiting than implied by your suggestion. The Merriam-Webster Online dictionary gives the following: "degree of excellence," "distinguishing attribute," and "an inherent feature."
post #37 of 67
For the purposes of odor's posting, I understood "quality" to refer to materials and construction. I think the factors you raise are valid considerations in preferring one shoe or line of shoes over another. However, the subjectivity of shoe shape, for example, gives me pause. While I would consider Aldens to be a higher quality shoe than A&E, I find the shape and last of many models to be somewhat less appealing than on A&E.

However, there is often enough a correlation between aesthetic factors and the factors I tend to think of as the "quality" factors odor was referring to that I have been spared parsing through the question.
post #38 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger
Do you not think that one of the reasons we consider a C&J Handgrade shoe as of higher quality than a Rockport is because of its shape--the result of the beautifully-designed and carefully-worked out 337 last on which it's made, as opposed to a formless blob that likely underlies the shape of the Rockport? And what about the unique and appealing colors that are available on an EG as opposed to the bland and drab ones found on Nunn Bush? Doesn't this contribute to our evaluation of quality? Any definition of quality I've seen is far less limiting than implied by your suggestion. The Merriam-Webster Online dictionary gives the following: "degree of excellence," "distinguishing attribute," and "an inherent feature."

Roger,

Even assuming that the factors you just listed are part of what we term "quality" how does that change my original analysis?
post #39 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by odoreater
I used the term "quality" to encompass objective factors. Aesthetics are completely subjective.
To give a less tongue-in-cheek answer, I understand that we all have very different personal metrics for quality here, and that past Kenneth Cole Reaction v. Allen Admonds, it becomes a lot of apples and oranges. I don't subscribe to that price-value thread that concludes that EGs are only marginally better than AEs because there is a lot of value in bringing out those last few increments of quality at the higher tier, which you can readily appreciate by putting two pairs side by side (acknowledging, of course, AE's indubitable value).

What I'm trying to do is to put together a conclusion based on my personal metric, by asking you guys who actually own Mantellassi about specific factors like construction and leather quality, isolating these from the more subjective, personal factors such as aesthetic and regional bias. Answers to these (not found in the search function without a lot of inference and presumption, and not even in Jcusey's authoritative mini-treatise) help me better understand what goes into the conclusion that a shoe is "very good" or "excellent."

Without doing this, even saying that Mantellassi and EG are about the same and at the same price point really does not help me. On the other hand, specific answers here help me make a judgment on whether Ferragamo Tramezzas can be placed on the same footing (pardon the pun) with C&J handgrades.

Actually, I'm not confident in my own ability to judge construction yet, not even for shoes I own. Someone mentioned Mantellassi's handmade line might be even better in terms of construction than EG or Lobb. What, specifically, can you see on the shoe that supports this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by odoreater
Anyway, this is an internet message board, not a scientific journal dedicated to shoe quality.

Hell, this is the most scientific porn site I've ever seen, though not quite a journal.
post #40 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marc237
That said, I read Jose's original post to request a ranking of the Sutor line. I think I have seen something similar done with Santoni on this board (tan sock, orange sock, fatte a mano, limited, etc.) and wonder if a similar ranking could be done with Sutors.
Yes, incidentally, the original post asks for "quality" of different Sutor lines, and presumably there's not a lot of aesthetic difference between lines of the same brand, or any of these other imponderables raised.

I even called the Borrelli store which used to carry Mantellassis under that brand, but all I got was a woman with a thick Italian accent who couldn't tell me much. They said their present shoes are over $1,000 though.
post #41 of 67
I'll offer one data point. I have Sutor Mantellassi boots, from the lower line (MSRP around $450). The leather is fine, roughly AE quality or a little better. Nicely antiqued though a the leather is little thick for my tastes. I believe they are blake stitched. The last shape is rounder than I prefer, but, imho, this is a personal aesthetic issue and not a quality issue. I paid something like $125 (STP), had a topy attached, and wear them on occasion in the fall/winter, mostly on bad days. I am happy with what I paid, and think they were a good deal.

But to be honest, with regards to the original post, there's no subsitute for seeing shoes in person and trying them on. Style and fit should trump minor variation in construction quality. What's better, the AE shoe at $300 which fits you perfectly and which you love, or a $300 supersale EG which you don't love and the fit of which is just okay? Sure the EG is "better" but it's not better for you.

If you like the shoes, order them and see for yourself. You're not going to be buying a piece of crap--Lance is an honest guy. You can always return them. Also, go to Louis Boston and Saks and look at their expensive shoes. Also check out Allen Edmonds and Alden. There's nothing like personal experience.
post #42 of 67
chorse - great post. Agree 100%. I have a pair of AE chestnut sanfords that I prefer over many of my more expensive "better" shoes. The fit is perfect, the color is very pleasing to me, the aesthetics work, and I know construction is very good.
post #43 of 67
The one pair of Mantellassis I have (thrift shop, not top line) are Blake stitched. The leather appears to be "very good" (ha ha) calf. The workmanship overall is on par with EG (i.e., no mistakes). The construction of these shoes is overall lighter than English shoes, and the lasts generally more delicate.

In the case of your boots posted above, they do not look as delicate in construction as the loafers I have (mainly the welting). However, the styling should be a consideration - perhaps a person of your stout build should consider more solid-looking shoes in general, to provide a proper visual foundation. (I.e. mostly English.) I can't get a feel for your personal style in general other than that you seem to feel comfortable in suits and blazers, so it's hard to say whether a more Italian style shoe will suit you. But on the whole, I'd say that for shorter, stockier people (no offense intended, mind) English style generally looks more fitting.

HTH.
post #44 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by chorse123

But to be honest, with regards to the original post, there's no subsitute for seeing shoes in person and trying them on. Style and fit should trump minor variation in construction quality. What's better, the AE shoe at $300 which fits you perfectly and which you love, or a $300 supersale EG which you don't love and the fit of which is just okay? Sure the EG is "better" but it's not better for you.

If you like the shoes, order them and see for yourself. You're not going to be buying a piece of crap--Lance is an honest guy. You can always return them. Also, go to Louis Boston and Saks and look at their expensive shoes. Also check out Allen Edmonds and Alden. There's nothing like personal experience.

I could not agree more with this statement. I have a pair of EGs that I bought off the last sale and that are a beautiful shoe to look at. However, it's one of the least worn shoes in my collection (actually, I've never worn it outside of my house) and if I could return it I would because it fits tight in my right foot (the left foot is fine). It's not so tight that I would never wear it, but tight enough where it is not truly comfortable - and therefore, it gets little wear. On the other hand, my Tramezzas were half the price of the EGs and get worn all the time and they are my favorite shoe even if they are not 100% on par "quality" wise with the EGs because of two reasons: (1) excellent fit and (2) an aesthetic that I prefer over the EG aesthetic.

So, if I were to ask people on the forum: "what's better an EG or a SF Tramezza?" I might get more responses favoring the EG; however, to me personally the Tramezzas are better based on my own personal preference. The slight advantage in "quality" (defined as construction and material) does not make the EG a better shoe in my own opinion.
post #45 of 67
If you are going to pay for the top line Mantellassi; go with Bontoni.

I would opt for Bontoni over Mantellassi.
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