To be sure, these things happen on even higher-end shoes than C&J BG too.
Originally Posted by j ingevaldsson
I’ve had to return shoes from Loake 1880 as well as C&J BG because of faulty production. It happens. You just don’t want it to happen too often.
Originally Posted by strangedream
Hey Derek, I was just wondering if you're referring both referring Classic Collection and Linea Maestro, or just the latter when you say the quality of Meermin to be much better than Allen Edmonds, etc. for certain. (I guess it's just Linea Maestro since you wrote "LM Meermins"?)
I'm also curious what are the features of Meermin that distinguish itself from those like Allen Edmond's. Is it the quality of leather or their channeled stitching construction?
I am trying to start a decent shoe collection for the first time of my life and thought of starting with AE given that it was best option for my price range with its reputable quality, but after reading your review of Meermin on PTO, I am having a second thoughts on that choice...
Both the Classic and Linea Maestro are partly made in Shanghai, but I don't know which parts of the production are done where.
Allen Edmonds is a decent entry-level brand. Their construction is solid, their leathers are good, and ignoring the fact that most of their range is pretty ugly, they do carry a few decent (if not unremarkable) conservative designs. And they sell things at reasonable prices, which is admirable. I'd say they're fairly comparable to Loake 1880.
It's just that with Allen Edmonds, you're getting the bare basics with no bells or whistles. I found that my Meermin MTO Linea Maestros were constructed just as well as my Loakes and Allen Edmonds, but the last was more handsome, the leathers more nicely finished, and the soles channeled. To be sure, these features don't add to the shoes' durability, and the true quality of Meermin will reveal itself in about three to seven years. But the brands we value above Allen Edmonds aren't bought because they're more durable, either. We buy them because the we like the designs, lasts, and various finishing touches.
MTOs and Linea Maestro RTWs are also hand welted, and it's been said that this is a superior form of construction. I have no idea if this is true. I have a pair of handwelted Saint Crispin's, and I appreciate them for their artisanal quality. Beyond that, I've found them to be just as durable as my gemmed Edward Greens and John Lobbs. But to be fair, the argument is mostly that handwelted shoes can withstand multiple resolings more easily, and I’ve only had one of these shoes recrafted since buying them brand new (the Saint Crispin’s). Perhaps Meermin will show these claims to be true, or perhaps they won’t. Really, nobody is going to know for certain until the year 2020 or so.
One minor criticism I have, and others here have noted as well, is that Meermin's shoes are bit stiff at first. Mine broke in after about a dozen wears and are comfortable now, however.
In the end, I think the quality to price ratio here is quite high. You can customize your order for just forty euros, or get RTW shell cordovan shoes for 232 euros (after VAT deductions). Any criticisms given so far about their Classic range should be read in context that they’re being compared to brands that are retailing for about 50-60% more (note, I have no personal experience with the Classic range, just MTO Linea Maestro). People here are examining their shoes with microscopes, looking for small nicks and slightly less well-finished soles (tests, frankly, that I don’t think any of my shoes, from any brand, would have passed). Meanwhile, they’re missing the bigger picture. There’s a company now that makes decent quality shoes with nice finishing touches, and lets you customize orders all for a price that’s less than most entry-level brands. That’s kind of amazing.Edited by dieworkwear - 7/31/12 at 8:37am