OK, here are my shoes. Burgundy PTBs, RTW. I'm not sure what to think about them.
Well, let me back up - when I saw these pics Jake posted of his shell norwegians in progress, it set off some warning bells - or at least question bells - in my head. Anyone who's seen Horween shells before they're made up knows they never have a rough, matte finish like this - they pretty much have the gloss and smoothness of the final product when they send them to the factories. Apparently this Argentinian shell is different, and the finish is applied by Meermin after the shoes are made up.
Originally Posted by Jakezero
I like Gyasih's monks, but they're not exactly vanilla. Here are some in progress shots of my cordovan norwegians.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
When mine arrived, they looked okay - the toe of one shoe had a decent shine to it, but the rest of them looked kinda dry. On closer inspection, I started to see some spots around the stitching where the finish didn't cover and that raw, rough stuff was visible.
I tried them on and walked around the office, and immediately they looked like this, very dry and rough-looking in the creases. (Note, this is NOT the white bloom you get sometimes in the creases with Horween shell.) I rubbed the light spots with my thumb and some of the burgundy finish rubbed off.
I took them home and worked on them for a while with a brush, some Venetian Cream, and a little Alden cordovan paste wax, and got them back to looking like this:
But when I put them on again, the light creases reappeared, albeit not quite as bad as the first time.
Moral of the story, I guess, is you get what you pay for and there's a reason Horween is so expensive. I may try some Renovateur and see if that makes a difference, but I'm not super impressed with the finish on these and may end up sending them back. It's a disappointment for sure, especially after waiting more than two months for what were supposed to be stock shoes.