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Advantages of a $1000 Pair of Shoes

post #1 of 416
Thread Starter 
After getting bitten by the bug I have decided to began upgrading my wardrobe and one of my biggest problems is dress shoes. After deciding I would rather pay a bit more to upgrade from AE to Aldens, Churchs, Crockett & Jones, etc (~$500-$600) I have been wondering if it would be worth it to go all the way and purchase EG, JL, or Vass for my first couple pairs. Right now I am looking for a pair of black captoes and probably brown captoes with quarter broguing. What are the additional benefits of paying over $1000 a pair for EG, JL, or Vass (hopefully I can get some sort of deal) over a $500-$600 pair like Aldens, Churchs, or C&J? Obviously the leather is better quality and stitching/construction is better but in the end will I notice that large of a difference or should I save that $1000 ($500/pair) and spend it on something else? Any advice is appreciated.
post #2 of 416
Stick with Meermin, Carmina, and C&J.
post #3 of 416
You will not know for yourself until you can handle the shoes in person. There is a difference. Although once you get past the Northampton benchgrade shoes C&J, Churches, etc. etc. you will find the differences become increasingly subtle and increasling more about design, leather quality and refinement than about the durability/substance of construction.

If you do decide to start at the top and work your way down look for one pair of super classic plain captoes in one of the upper end brands EG,G&G, JL. Then you will have a pair of something super swell for important events.

Then buy a second pair in something more upper/mid price range such as Vass, or AS exclusive. (Nobody beats Vass at this price point in terms of quality from what I understand.)

Then buy a third pair from C&J or Carmina.

This will take you through all the major categories/prices from about $500 up to $1200 or so.

Of course you could also start at the bottom and work up.

Buy the lasted trees whenever they are available.
Edited by Gdot - 8/20/12 at 4:14pm
post #4 of 416

Vass is ~$730 from forum proxy.

post #5 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

You will not know for yourself until you can handle the shoes in person. There is a difference. Although once you get past the Northampton benchgrade shoes C&J, Churches, etc. etc. you will find the differences become increasingly subtle and increasling more about design, leather quality and refinement than about the durability/substance of construction.

 

pretty big quality differences between benchgrade C&J and JL/EG, in terms of leather, finish, and details.

 

but from 6 feet away, they only look subtly different...

post #6 of 416
Thread Starter 
OK, so as someone brand new to quality shoes (I have been wearing $100-$150 J&M, Cole Hann, etc) I will not notice that big of a difference? My only thinking is if I have THE basic shoe (black captoe) I should go fairly high quality and then I can lower that one I get into more intricate designs like wingtips, derbies, etc. I am also not thrilled about spending $1000 or more on a pair of shoes.
post #7 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCanavan6 View Post

OK, so as someone brand new to quality shoes (I have been wearing $100-$150 J&M, Cole Hann, etc) I will not notice that big of a difference? My only thinking is if I have THE basic shoe (black captoe) I should go fairly high quality and then I can lower that one I get into more intricate designs like wingtips, derbies, etc. I am also not thrilled about spending $1000 or more on a pair of shoes.

no. completely wrong.

most important rule: fit, fit, fit and fit again. nothing else matters.
post #8 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzl View Post

no. completely wrong.
most important rule: fit, fit, fit and fit again. nothing else matters.

I'm not sure how your reply is related to his post. His thinking is to spend more on a black captoe (because it is a basic design) and less on other types of shoes.

I think you should find a level of quality that you're happy with (probably at the $300-400) range and get all your shoes at that level. There's no need to spend more on black captoes.

The idea that you're even thinking about going from $100 to $1000 shoes is ridiculous.
post #9 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCanavan6 View Post

OK, so as someone brand new to quality shoes (I have been wearing $100-$150 J&M, Cole Hann, etc) I will not notice that big of a difference? My only thinking is if I have THE basic shoe (black captoe) I should go fairly high quality and then I can lower that one I get into more intricate designs like wingtips, derbies, etc. I am also not thrilled about spending $1000 or more on a pair of shoes.

Gdot gave you an idea, if you're going to start with a very expensive pair of shoes. But I would advise (as I think most would, as I think he would) that you start with a high-quality shoe like Alden or Crockett & Jones that starts around 4-500 dollars. These are great shoes and they have many different lasts, so you can try on a bunch and see what you like. Wait a few pairs until you buy a pair from Vass, and I'd suggest getting a pair you are excited to wear rather than something you feel obligated to wear (like a staple black captoe - unless that really is what you're excited about). I think this process will feel better. Frankly, if you're not thrilled about paying $1000 on a pair of shoes, then you shouldn't.
post #10 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Makoto Chan View Post

Gdot gave you an idea,

where's the difference in buying CJ versus Vass? given that he cannot try on both in person before buying?
post #11 of 416
Unless accessibility is a priority here, we shouldn't even be talking about Alden (in my opinion.)
post #12 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquidus View Post


I'm not sure how your reply is related to his post. His thinking is to spend more on a black captoe (because it is a basic design) and less on other types of shoes.
I think you should find a level of quality that you're happy with (probably at the $300-400) range and get all your shoes at that level. There's no need to spend more on black captoes.
The idea that you're even thinking about going from $100 to $1000 shoes is ridiculous.

 

He is right tho, finding a last that fits well should be the top focus.

 

$100 is pretty much the cost to try a new last remotely, i.e., buy and return or resell at a loss.

post #13 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

He is right tho, finding a last that fits well should be the top focus.

$100 is pretty much the cost to try a new last remotely, i.e., buy and return or resell at a loss.

It would be nice if we could have a program where SF members ship their shoes to other members to try on (for the cost of shipping).
post #14 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzl View Post

where's the difference in buying CJ versus Vass? given that he cannot try on both in person before buying?

I'm assuming that he can and would try on any of the expensive brands he's considering. (Sorry, did I miss him say that he couldn't..?) And like Liquidus said, I think he should buy a mid-range (and still fantastic) shoe before buying one of the very expensive brands like Vass or John Lobb.
post #15 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Makoto Chan View Post

I'm assuming that he can and would try on any of the expensive brands he's considering. (Sorry, did I miss him say that he couldn't..?) And like Liquidus said, I think he should buy a mid-range (and still fantastic) shoe before buying one of the very expensive brands like Vass or John Lobb.

he didn't say it... Vass is EUR 480,- shipped to the U.S., way to go to 1k, imo. anyway.

he will sort things out and do the right thing like many others on the board before.
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