I'd get a few rtw shoes that fit my foot well and try a bespoke maker. For rtw, I think Alfred Sargent offers the best price to quality ratio. Their premier shoes (full grain uppers, goodyear welted) are 250-350 depending on where you get them (Pediwear, direct from AS, etc). Their handgrades offer quality on the level of EG for 10-20% less money. And they give you the ability to choose leathers, styles, lasts, soles, etc. Their premier range shoes can be mto for 10-20% more than their regular prices. Plus their manager, Chay Cooper is a pleasure to work with. My interactions w/ him have made me want to work for him. I used to recommend Alden, and have a couple pairs, but I haven't been impressed by their quality control recently. I visited the SF store and the welting on pretty much every shoe was unacceptably sloppy, especially for a $400-600 shoe. I was amazed. For an rtw or mto Italian style shoe/boot, I'd go with Martegani through Ron Rider. I'm very happy w/ a chukka and a venetian loafter I have from him. For bespoke, I'd try DW Frommer (which I have and will report back on w/in a month or so) first. You might try Perry Ercolino, since you're on the East Coast. But he charges significantly more than DWF.
post #61 of 65
2/12/11 at 6:07pm