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Mr B's Blake boots vs Grenson Sharp/Fred - Page 12

post #166 of 238

I see, I didn't understand that you meant you just hated that design. I thought you meant as compared to other rubber soled boots. It's definitely a stray from the traditional, which is exactly why I prefer it, that and I just like that wedge sole and the taper you seem to disapprove of. lol

 

No worries on Aldo hate; I'd normally be hating on them too.

 

Anyways, folks, I went ahead and ordered the Aldo Smyser, so I'll try to post up some pics when they come in.

post #167 of 238
^ I agree w/ you, the formality of the broguing coupled w/ the white rubber sole is eccentric in a fun sense.
post #168 of 238

A few more things I have learned since my last post...

 

After ordering the Smysers, I ended up at the SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, NC returning a few things to the Louis Vuitton store and spotted the Aldo store on the mall directory. I stopped in and asked the cute little brunette behind the counter about the Blake and Smyser. They did not have them in stock, but she had just bought a pair of the Blakes for her brother and that she thought they were definitely two different uppers; the Blake being the better of the two, obviously.

 

I also finally received an email back from Aldo customer service. This is what they had to say about the Blake / Smyser.

 

Quote: Aldo Customer Service

Thank you for writing to aldoshoes.com.

 

All though the Smyser and the Blake boot might look the same they are two different styles.

 

The Mr. B's Blake style is made out top grade leather, handcrafted modern shoes that are comfortable and robust.

 

To learn more about the quality and style behind Mr. B's shoes and boots look at our website: http://www.gentlemensboutique.com/.

 

 

post #169 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

I think the difference between those and an ordinary design is pretty obvious. There's no distinction between the sole and the heel, just tapers right into it. Looks all thick and blobby, especially in white rubber. It's like something you're find on a Goretex snowboot, not a leather boot.
And I think the Grenson is ugly too, so it's not just Aldo hate.

I agree with you on both counts. I don't care if they are G&G or JL. This is a case of the current shoe-meets-sneaker trend taken too far.
post #170 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patek View Post

I agree with you on both counts. I don't care if they are G&G or JL. This is a case of the current shoe-meets-sneaker trend taken too far.


Everyone has their own tastes, and a right to an opinion, and I would never infringe on that right, but...

 

You do realize that wedge sole boots have been around and popular, at different times, since WW2? Hell, maybe even before that for all I know. Though, I suppose the last real surge of popularity was in the 70s, but the style remains largely the same since the beginning. Take these Domino fashion hikers for instance. Not a bad looking boot at all, imo.

 

ear.jpg

 

post #171 of 238

I recently bought a pair of the Smysers. For the price the boot really can't be beat. It's no Grenson as far as quality goes but it's no Grenson as far as price goes either.

 

As for the comments on the sole, the Smyser as well as the Fred V seem to me to be traditional British style, not American. Think back to the hard mods / skinheads of the late 60s and early 70s. Remember Monkey Boots?

 

Monkey Boots

post #172 of 238
Sorry, I don't mean to rain on the parade of joy but something is irritating me.
The retail of only $175.00
Sure it is a great price, in fact too good to be true, which leads to the old wise saying,
'If it seems to good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.'
Quad posted the best closeups for my purpose of analysis so I will use 2 of his photos for this purpose.
Now for those of you who own the boots, that will be even better because you can directly confirm my suspicions.
I have numbered some areas of interest or areas of scrutiny.

Boys, would you be good enough to get your boots in front of you please?
Let's begin (RIGHT-CLICK & 'Open In New Window' to see full size photos):

263
263

Area 1: Not leather but a flexible rubber or plastic. Lightly scrape with the point of a knife or fingernail.
Area 4: A thin layer of leather glued on to give a nice finish.
Area 2: A plastic heel which is coloured and textured as leather (knife scrape test)
Area 3: Heel plate is an acceptable standard plate of slightly different colour to accentuate the plastic heel
Area 5: Welt stitching is not actual thread but cleverly molded plastic imprint giving the illusion of thread
Area 6: Welt is not leather but plastic. A plastic welt with fake stitching



Other tests (for those who have them in your hands right now):

1) Feel inside. Are the interiors leather? (conduct a scrape test)
If so, is the leather paper thin? or if a decent thickness?

2) Stick your hand deep into the boot.
Feel the upper inside. Is it leather lined? or cloth? or synthetic? (I suspect synth cloth)


My conclusion, based only on these 2 photos and the low retail price is:
Leather Uppers (outer)
Leather/Cloth inside
Insole - Please confirm
Plastic welt with faux stitching
Plastic or rubber soles glued to the welt
Thin leather finishing layer (marked 'vero cuio')glued onto the plastic sole
lovely finishing
Slave labour
Shipping to your local friendly Aldo store
Total - $175.00

It is a very nice looking boot at an irresistable price.
It will gain you numerous compliments from those on the street or at work.

But, it is below SF standards of quality and excellence.
Aldo distributed shoes and boots constructed in exactly this manner in the 1980's & 1990's
Browns currently sells shoes with this identical construction today (for more $$$ too)

If I am mistaken on any of my observations please set the record straight.
I am not saying that you have all been duped. What I am saying is there are reasons why this seemingly amazing boot has such a low retail price.
On the up-side, you may get one shot at a resole provided your plastic welts don't crack along lifes journey. If the welts crack, consider these disposable boots. They seem like very nice boots though for the money and only if your feet don't sweat in them.
post #173 of 238


...

post #174 of 238
I can confirm most of what man of lint said.

1. I can't tell...tried scraping with a fingernail but didn't reveal anything.
2. Definitely seems like a seam there...there is no stitching into the sole, so its probably glued
3. Same story as number 1 on the heel...not sure what this material is.
4. heel toplift is rubber all the way through
5. the stitching on the welt is not plastic...it is actual thread
6. the welt is not a natural material

So it looks like the plastic welt is stitched to the rubber/plastic/whatever "mid-sole" to which a thin piece of leather is glued.

The insole appears to be leather, but its probably leather glued to fiberboard.

The inside is partially leather lined...the front is cloth/synthetic.


Overall, you're right...these are actually pretty shitty. I did not look too closely since other members seemed to approve these, but you've pretty much blown this one wide open.
post #175 of 238
I always enjoy MOL's posts. He has the ability to speak factually without trashing anyone or making it personal. Nice post, MOL.
post #176 of 238
Thank you both (Quad & Mad).
I'm sure what matters the most is comfort and durability. I'm sure you'll get at least a year or 3 out of them with moderate wear. I have a pair of Aldo and Browns shoes from years ago that are constructed the same. They are among my beater shoes so only worn in bad weather and they have proven themselves durable and comfortable. I am confident you'll all have a good ride with these boots. They do look exceptionally attractive and I may even buy a pair myself. Whatever processes they are using with more modern materials, etc. they are turning out better looking footwear for their price point. Signifigantly, and even at full retail, one will still get their moneys worth out of them and they look more than respectable. I wouldn't feel bad at all about owning a pair of these boots.
It would be interesting to see how everyones boots endure rain or just regular wear over the next months so I hope there will be updates from all of you.
What will really interest me is how the soles are wearing, the overall comfort. and do they make your feet sweat or not. One last question: Are the insoles removable or fixed?
post #177 of 238
To me, the soles are wearing like iron. Very little wear after probably 10-15 outings, even on the toe, which I'm hard on.

No excessive foot sweating issues and I find them quite comfortable for the most part.

The insoles are non-removable.
post #178 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadcammer View Post

To me, the soles are wearing like iron. Very little wear after probably 10-15 outings, even on the toe, which I'm hard on.
No excessive foot sweating issues and I find them quite comfortable for the most part.
The insoles are non-removable.

This is true, sole seems remarkably resilient. Haven't worn mine in a while, someone buy em! Size 42, worn 3 times, cognac. Will let them go for a good price!
post #179 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by sp4zz View Post

 

Thanks for the info. I suppose I'll go ahead and pull the trigger on the rubber sole version from Amazon. What the "hey" - $200 Amazon gift card and sub $200 price point; I might as well. I can always return them, too, if I feel so inclined.
 


Really? How so, and as compared to what, exactly? IMO, they look pretty much exactly the same as the Vibram sole Grenson Freds.

 

 

14c8kg1.png

 

Most guys probably don't like the white sole, but I'm really liking this one.

post #180 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by Man Of Lint View Post

Sorry, I don't mean to rain on the parade of joy but something is irritating me.
................

That was brilliant. Posts like yours are what make SF a great learning experience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shilleck View Post


Most guys probably don't like the white sole, but I'm really liking this one.

To each his own, but IMO, the white soles suck.
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