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Advantages of a $1000 Pair of Shoes - Page 6

post #76 of 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
What Tex said, except that even when they fit, good shoes do need breaking in. I'm currently breaking in two pairs of very similar but not identical EGs on the same last in the same size. One pair are fine. The others are still a bitch, requiring preventative band-aids on two toes. But I shall defeat them and they shall be fine. (I walk a lot - if I drove to the office, this issue would be much less noticeable.)
And fit really is vital (probably for health reasons).
I like most Lobbs, Cleverleys, many C&Js. But the bloody things do not fit my bloody strange feet. It is imperative to find shoes that fit (in my case EGs on the "8" lasts and some Churches) and then buy lots of them.
I was chatting to a bespoke shoemaker a while ago who was admiring my 20+ year old EGs and let slip "we can't get the leather anymore". So I will not claim the same 20+ year longevity for today's high-end shoes. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
But the quality is still mostly there, and still worth paying for.
Re: the earlier post about black EGs not taking a shine: that has been my experience of all good black shoes for two decades. Good quality shoes only start taking a proper shine with normal light polishing after you have beaten the heck out of them and re-soled at least once, unless you go for the military "bulling" approach. Brown shoes are actually the same, but look better earlier because they are a colour (whereas black is an absence of colour).

this is a big factor, imo, which not many are aware of. this is also why the good bespoke workshops stocked up and still try to get their hands on older stocks from the tanneries. there are also auctions for the really good stuff.
post #77 of 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzl View Post

this is a big factor, imo, which not many are aware of. this is also why the good bespoke workshops stocked up and still try to get their hands on older stocks from the tanneries. there are also auctions for the really good stuff.

Fritzl: That doesn't surprise me, though the high-end bespoke that I see is still of great quality.

I base that judgment on the following:

- my one pair of largely unworn C&Js ("benchgrade" I think) are from circa 1998. Despite their age, the leather is markedly inferior to current EGs, and recent Churches. So if leather quality is not what it was, it is not yet a disaster (my oldest shoes are c. 1988 Churches with - shock horror - linen half-lining, but the leather is outstanding despite years of hard use).

- I have and am curently wearing a pair of mid-1990s Fosters' bespoke shoes bought comparatively cheap 17-18 years ago as uncollected (they were made for a Mr Smilovic, and I suspect the Balkan wars may have had an influence on his inability to collect). The leather is clearly better than current high-end RTW.

To the OP: if you want one pair, go for a classic stitchcap oxford like the EG Chelsea. But watch out. It gets addictive.
post #78 of 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post


What Tex said, except that even when they fit, good shoes do need breaking in. I'm currently breaking in two pairs of very similar but not identical EGs on the same last in the same size. One pair are fine. The others are still a bitch, requiring preventative band-aids on two toes. But I shall defeat them and they shall be fine. (I walk a lot - if I drove to the office, this issue would be much less noticeable.)
And fit really is vital (probably for health reasons).
I like most Lobbs, Cleverleys, many C&Js. But the bloody things do not fit my bloody strange feet. It is imperative to find shoes that fit (in my case EGs on the "8" lasts and some Churches) and then buy lots of them.
I was chatting to a bespoke shoemaker a while ago who was admiring my 20+ year old EGs and let slip "we can't get the leather anymore". So I will not claim the same 20+ year longevity for today's high-end shoes. But the quality is still mostly there, and still worth paying for.
Re: the earlier post about black EGs not taking a shine: that has been my experience of all good black shoes for two decades. Good quality shoes only start taking a proper shine with normal light polishing after you have beaten the heck out of them and re-soled at least once, unless you go for the military "bulling" approach. Brown shoes are actually the same, but look better earlier because they are a colour (whereas black is an absence of colour).

 

 

I would put black Vass down as an exception to the rule-   Vass leather, esp if u ask for the 'Italian Polish', takes an incredible shine.  

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post


Fritzl: That doesn't surprise me, though the high-end bespoke that I see is still of great quality.
I base that judgment on the following:
- my one pair of largely unworn C&Js ("benchgrade" I think) are from circa 1998. Despite their age, the leather is markedly inferior to current EGs, and recent Churches. So if leather quality is not what it was, it is not yet a disaster (my oldest shoes are c. 1988 Churches with - shock horror - linen half-lining, but the leather is outstanding despite years of hard use).
- I have and am curently wearing a pair of mid-1990s Fosters' bespoke shoes bought comparatively cheap 17-18 years ago as uncollected (they were made for a Mr Smilovic, and I suspect the Balkan wars may have had an influence on his inability to collect). The leather is clearly better than current high-end RTW.
To the OP: if you want one pair, go for a classic stitchcap oxford like the EG Chelsea. But watch out. It gets addictive.

 

 

 

The leather on hand-grade C&J can be very good -

 

but the best leather I've see, by a country mile, is AS handgrade.   That stuff is flawless, heavy, supple.   In certain lights it even shimmers. (in my sample of one, lol).

post #79 of 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by winston1156 View Post

This is probably dead on.    Keep in mind that the continuum is really more like $100-$5000 for 'real world' shoes.  However, as some have stated, the 'basic back' shoe is probably not where I would go all in on stretching my wallet.

To each their own. But as I only own one pair of black cap toes and only wear them on the most important occasions I am taking the exact opposite approach. Planning on retiring my plain 'ol plain 'ol blacks with a pair of G&G decos. As with an all black cap toe about the only thing that is going to make it 'special' to those who see it 'on the hoof' is it's shape. And G&G lasts are nothing if not incredibly shaped. Since I'm not a young man anymore these will be the last pair of black cap toes I ever need in my life. No need to scrimp.

Again - to each their own.

As for leathers holding a polish. I will concur that the tannage used by the Northampton makers at the top end (G&G and AS are the only two that I own) requires a good many layers of polish before they take and hold a shine. I polish mine after every wearing until that deep hard shine develops.

But oh - what a shine they hold once you get them there. inlove.gif
post #80 of 415
Polishing shoes after each wear seems extreme to me but maybe I am too lazy. That is why I only wear suede and cordovan nowadays.
post #81 of 415
For me shoe polishing is a relaxing moment in my day.

No need to polish after every wear once a deep rich finish has been developed.

Although Vass recommends cream polish after every wear. Even I don't always accomplish this without fail.
post #82 of 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post

Fritzl: That doesn't surprise me, though the high-end bespoke that I see is still of great quality. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I base that judgment on the following:
- my one pair of largely unworn C&Js ("benchgrade" I think) are from circa 1998. Despite their age, the leather is markedly inferior to current EGs, and recent Churches. So if leather quality is not what it was, it is not yet a disaster (my oldest shoes are c. 1988 Churches with - shock horror - linen half-lining, but the leather is outstanding despite years of hard use).
- I have and am curently wearing a pair of mid-1990s Fosters' bespoke shoes bought comparatively cheap 17-18 years ago as uncollected (they were made for a Mr Smilovic, and I suspect the Balkan wars may have had an influence on his inability to collect). The leather is clearly better than current high-end RTW.
To the OP: if you want one pair, go for a classic stitchcap oxford like the EG Chelsea. But watch out. It gets addictive.

ad hoc(not timely): yes, of course. A friend of mine is a Lobb St. James client. He has an eye disease from an infection. He's not blind but almost. When he was at lobb they went to the leather room and he "saw" a walnut coloured hide, keep in mind his deficit. Mr. Lobb said, well this is from your country and we scored it at an auction. We have scouts out there to get our hands on gems like this. Story is around ten years old.
post #83 of 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzl View Post


ad hoc(not timely): yes, of course. A friend of mine is a Lobb St. James client. He has an eye disease from an infection. He's not blind but almost. When he was at lobb they went to the leather room and he "saw" a walnut coloured hide, keep in mind his deficit. Mr. Lobb said, well this is from your country and we scored it at an auction. We have scouts out there to get our hands on gems like this. Story is around ten years old.



maybe these tanneries need to buy more grass fed organic cow hides?

post #84 of 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post



maybe these tanneries need to buy more grass fed organic cow hides?

it's the thickness. in the good old times you had 5 mm while you can get barely get 2 mm nowadays.
post #85 of 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzl View Post

it's the thickness. in the good old times you had 5 mm while you can get barely get 2 mm nowadays.

What are we talking about - upper or bottoming leather?

A standard leather sole is about 6 mm (12 irons, 15 oz.) thick. You can get bottoming leather up to 8 mm (16 irons, 20 oz.)

The thickest leather you would consider for an upper of a work- or mountain-type boot is about 2.4 mm (6 oz.). The average thickness for a (city-type) shoe would be between 1.2 and 1.6 mm ( 3 or 4 oz.).

The main difference between modern and vintage leathers appears to be the yield of quality pieces that can be cut from a hide. The old books are full of drawings how virtually every bit of the hide can be utilized. Modern hides have far more defects like 'growth'. In the old days, a calf might have taken double the time to reach its slaughter size, now due to the use of growth hormones the beast grows much faster. Which, of course, has an impact on the quality of the leather. After all, leather (apart from some exotics) is a by-product of the meat industry. Nobody grows a bovine just for it's leather.
post #86 of 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Makoto Chan View Post

Frankly, if you're not thrilled about paying $1000 on a pair of shoes, then you shouldn't.

This is a good general rule for all expensive purchases. If you're half-reluctant buying, you'll feel completely reluctant a few days later, especially if any problems arise.

I went from $80 shoes to $1500 bespoke through a local shoemaker; on my second pair through him now. I know absolutely nothing about the brands people are mentioning on this thread, but I do know my shoemaker gets the fit down perfectly and is always available if something goes wrong in them. I know precisely the number of hours he works on my shoes and thus the cost is more than justified; in fact he should be charging more like $3000; the same can't be said for some OTR brand name shoe I'm left to my own devices with after purchase. I spend similar amounts on bespoke suits through another local guy... again, paying for labor will make you feel a lot better than some amorphous brand name.
post #87 of 415
You also have to remember that $1000-ish is the starting price for most JL/EG. For example if the OP wanted to go all out and get JL prestige it would be closer to $1600-$1700k. Or if he really wanted to go all the way for a black captoe then buy it from Kiton for $3700! lol.
post #88 of 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfoverdx View Post

Personally, i don't know anything about shoe making but when i take in  hand a pair of VASS (especially U and F lasts) i just feel the quality. When i take a CJ (bench or hand) i just feel a pair of shoes.It is not the quality of leather or the material, quality itself,  hard to explain but easy to feel. Go and try VASS there's nothing risky in it.

Agree. I have several pairs of shoes, and the quality ones...you can just TELL the difference - in craftsmanship, the little details, there is just so much difference!

That being said, I agree with the advice given on maybe going from 100$ shoes to maybe 500$ shoes.

Good luck!
post #89 of 415
Who does bespoke shoes in the US and at what prices?
post #90 of 415
It was mentioned earlier that high quality shoes can last 20 years. I normally only wear dress shoes 2-3 times a week, so I'm not going to wear shoes down as quickly as someone who wears them twice as much as me. But will they last 40 years for me, or does the leather have a shelf life and eventually will start to breakdown after a certain amount of time no matter how infrequently I wear them?

If they're going to last me almost the rest of my life, I can better justify paying more money.



Also, another question about fit: is the crease in your shoe leather from where it bends when walking- is it supposed to be in a certain location? Does that have anything to do with good fit?
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