x-post with AFPOS AS MTO thread:
Thanks to Sarah for changing the shipping address to get them here today. Very pleased with the shoes and the service from AFPOS. The delay is obviously a production issue at AS. But, the quality is very nice.
Some quick shots.
upon first try-on of the 48 last it feels a little tight, but I'm sure they'll stretch a little; length is spot on, heel is pretty solid for a first wear-
a little buckling on the inside of the right shoe only behind the ball of the foot- obviously fit is not perfect. Same thing happens on the same shoe for me on the C&J 348, but not the 363 boot last.
a better view of the burnishing- upon close inspection you can see a little stretching of the leather on the toe cap. No cracking as others have found on different shoes (not necessarily AS)
Overall, I really like the shape of the 48 in person. Not 100% positive on the fit yet.
Some quick observations- the sole finishing is finer than on C&J's handgrade collection- much nicer waist. The leather is on par, at least on initial inspection. We'll see how it does after a few wears. The burnishing is very nicely done. Significantly nicer than C&J benchgrade burnishing.
A few more tidbits-
The box says espresso not oak. I was concerned that the oak would be too light- I got a belt from AFPOS in oak some time ago and it's somewhat light than the shoes. Could be the burnishing. Could be espresso is a handgrade color whereas oak is the exclusive color, much like C&J has two different chestnuts. I prefer the darker brown to the color of the oak belt. Definitely no complaints there.
The sockliner says AS handgrade, not exclusive for AFPOS. But, it's a half liner. The sole is exclusive. It's just odd that they would put the handgrade liner in, but cut it for a half liner (I assume the handgrade have a full sock liner, but I'm not sure). Could be that it's cut for the heel of the 48 last, so it's easier to work with, but it was a surprise.
The stitching is very uniform and well done. None of the finishing issues that others have had with AS MTO.
I wouldn't hesitate to do this again when AS restarts its MTO program. The only thing is, I would anticipate an 8 month delivery rather than 4 even if they promised 4.