Originally Posted by JBMarce21
Gents, For those of you who have bought the RTW linea maestro line, what is the consensus in terms of quality compared to carmina and to crockett & jones, two of the favorites here on SF? Through reading these posts, I have been seeing a mixed bag; some say just below, others on par, but everyone is raving about the value for the cost of the shoes.
As far as I can tell, the construction is exactly as good. Some have been saying the leather not quite at the same level, but those RTW linea maestros right next to the C&J Lowndes look pretty damn close. I honestly feel like if they were more expensive, there would be no question!
Now there is no question about the value here, that they are an amazing deal. The only follow up question is how good of a deal are we talking, how much value?
Are we getting $500, $600 shoes for $260? I have no doubt that they are of better quality (not to mention look) than Allen Edmonds, and they are less expensive, and those are also SF approved.
So if you would put your two cents in for comparison... and again, this is only an opinion... but with 1 being nowhere near as good as carmina/c&j benchgrade, and 10 being as good as either of those, please give me your thoughts!
I really encourage members to stop asking for these kind of comparisons, or create bizarre "hierarchy" lists for shoes and suits.
The difference between a pair of dress shoes that retail for $75 and ones that retail for $300 is significant. The difference between a pair of $300 and $1,000 shoes is also significant. But the difference between a pair of $300 and $500 shoes may or may not be significant, just as it's hard to tell - objectively speaking - the difference between a pair of $75 shoes and $125, or $1,000 shoes and $1,500. Perhaps there are differences, but if there are, they're small, and often poorly judged by the non-experts who visit this forum (including myself). Members here deal with very, very small sample sizes from any company, and they tend to acquire them over time or in odd ways. Someone buys a pair of new shoes here, another new pair two or three years later. Perhaps some acquire things second-hand in between. These are not meaningful sample sizes to judge from, at least when you're looking to understand such small differences.
Again, I think my MTO Meermins are as good as or better than any pair of shoes I've come across that retails for under $350 or so. They're not better than my Edward Greens or Saint Crispin's. I suspect (though I don't know since I've never handled them) that their RTW Classic line is much better than any pair of shoes that retails for $150. These are a wonderful value, and that's all there really is to say. Whether some odd ball member here takes his $1,500 camera to zoom in on the stitching of his new Meermins, and then pontificates on whether it's as perfect as it could be or how it compares to some other zoomed-in shot he took of his third-hand Crockett and Jones, which he probably bought off eBay, is really not something anyone should pay attention to. Such people most likely have no idea what they're talking about and should be ignored.
I don't know how Meermins compare to Crockett and Jones. The question between those is whether you want something from Crockett and Jones or Meermin. They make different shoes, so it shouldn't matter. If you want the C&J Belgrave on the 337 last, there is only one company that supplies that. If you want Meermin's cap toe on the Hiro last, there's only one company that supplies that. Just figure out which you'd like, and if it's the Crockett and Jones, ignore the price difference. Save up until you can afford it and then purchase it. Both companies make nice shoes.
The extremes for comparisons are easy to make. The fine-grained comparisons between each and every brand, especially once you get towards the middle ground, is near impossible and should not be pursued.
This is just my opinion.Edited by dieworkwear - 8/16/12 at 5:01pm