All Church's stores seem to be filled with those. I have a feeling, they are not moving too well.
You may be surprised to hear but, I have it from a very reliable source that here in the States they are doing exceptional. In fact, I attended the shoe show here in New York last week. Church's were not represented, however, I was very surprised at how many companies were featuring their new lines of Vintages, from Hush Puppies to Frye. May not be for the forumites here but none-the-less, very popular.
The Shanghai range , two models I think, are the same shoe as the Kaber but on a different sole and different treatment of the uppers.
Kaber is not exclusive to Leffot but hurrah for Leffot in bringing it to our attention. As a result I special ordered a pair from Church's and I love them. Much cheaper than the Shangais too!
I don't know if this is true, but I feel that the quality of the leather soles Church's are using is not as good as it once was. The newer soles don't wear like iron, whereas my ten year old Church's do. The quality of the uppers seems as good as ever.
I do second the customer service comment - I've always dealt directly with the Factory for my repairs and they score full marks IME for customer service.
Not sure about Church's. Limited range of colours, mostly dark brown, a distinctly Italian feel to their re-furbished Jermyn Street shop, the staff look like schoolboys in their v-neck jumpers, corrected grain, 'polished binder', leather on many of their shoes, quite pricey, some odd styles.
I prefer C&J and Tricker's - distinctively English, good customer service, nice quality shoes. EG, Foster, Lobb - beautiful shoes, but very expensive. As always, I guess you get what you pay for.
As to quality, I'd say Church's can be quite variable, but are probably close to C&J benchgrade (I have owned C&J, Church's, Tricker's, EG) if you get the right one. To avoid disappointment, I suggest that if you can afford it and can stomach the 337 last, bag a C&J Handgrade! Tricker's country collection, particularly the full brogue "Bourton" in box calf (acorn or marron antique) is a very beautiful shoe. Church's have an exact copy in their JS shop. I guess a heavy brogue is a heavy brogue.
Most makers do good and bad shoes, so it's a matter of trial and error. I think you are on the safest ground of all with EG - superb quality, beautiful shoes, but it will cost you. Three tiers really: top, middle, bottom. The cat fighting is in the middle. A C&J Handgrade is not that much more than a benchgrade and less than EG all things considered, and you are away from the claws!
isnt Trickers a one trick pony compared with the other brands referred to? It seems it is all about an heavily broggued light tan shoe/boot with clownish shaped lasts isn' it? As for churchs I would say the quality is not the issue, it is the range of models. I have 4 pairs and from what I see in their shops I do not aspire to any other as they are ugly or just too un inspiring- i guess prada is actually not having enough influence
I think some of the contributions have summed up the problem with Church's well. If you stick to their traditional models the quality is as good as ever, my comment re sole leather aside.
The real problem seems to be that Church's shoes have become a mine field for the quality conscious buyer. Prada have taken Church's into the fashion market where they've never been at home before. So now we see weird and wonderful leathers and colours, plus uber fashionable clunky designs.
Therefore what you see in the shops tends to reflect what Church's is about going forward. You need to be in the know to understand they still make what they've always made well.
The other criticism Church's are getting and in my opinion rightly so, is that they only offer black and brown/dark brown across their ranges. There are a couple of 130 last models in Chestnut and Dark Leaf but these shoes, whilst nice, are not the quality one expects of Church's.
This huge reduction in colour options may or may not be a Prada-isation. However it certainly is not what Church's were once about. They once stood head and shoulders above , say, Crockett and Jones for the range of colours they offered in every model. Not long ago : black, brown, tabacco, chestnut, burgundy, brown grain, superbuck suede were stock colours in most models.
In short, it remains possible to buy a decent Church's shoe but its getting harder and Church's shoes is not what it once was.
I agree with the comment above that the only truly safe place to go to for reliable quality is Edward Green. There have been allegations about John Lobb that ring true and they too have departed from englishness IMO for the fashion forward market.
I think that in post-prada, you have to pay a lot of attention to what you buy.
I have 2 pairs of them. The first one, is the one of all my collection (and it is real big) that I hate the most.
It is a polished Binder shoe and the leather is not very good. Also, it is not aging well, and they don't adapt well to my feet, although I have wear them a few times.
On the other hand, I bough a new pair of good leather Goodrich, and I find them a really good pair of shoes. Here you have a small review with pictures, sorry it is in spanish.
isnt Trickers a one trick pony compared with the other brands referred to? It seems it is all about an heavily broggued light tan shoe/boot with clownish shaped lasts isn' it?
trickers not good,
5 spi on double soles at most.
Using cheaper material now.
As for churchs I would say the quality is not the issue, it is the range of models. I have 4 pairs and from what I see in their shops I do not aspire to any other as they are ugly or just too un inspiring- i guess prada is actually not having enough influence
Yes Church have many range.
Old goodyear is good.
Me have new goodyear church with higher spi sole stitch than old pre prada church.
Old Church better finish.
Quality still very good for factory made.
Herring has a new double monk from Churchs for 475 GBP. Is it worth 170 GBP more than Lowndes or 90 GBP more than teh AS Ramsey
The Chatham shown above, is a great shoe. BUT, not worth it at 475 GBP IMO. Note that Church also have the Liverpool double monk which is very, very similar to the Chatham at 380 GBP. However, the Liverpool is only available in the "Binder" corrected grain while the Chatham is in calf leather. So you are paying nearly 100 pounds for a different leather in essence.