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Church's Mistake?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I bought a pair of Church's, but I fear I may have made a grave mistake. They are the Westbury monk in walnut. I say this because I fear the name and quality (not to mention price) have suffered. Is this so? Should I stick with C&J? Are Church's that bad?
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by strictly-4-my-pimps View Post

I bought a pair of Church's, but I fear I may have made a grave mistake. They are the Westbury monk in walnut. I say this because I fear the name and quality (not to mention price) have suffered. Is this so? Should I stick with C&J? Are Church's that bad?





The brand new Burwood S model...apparently the metal studs are painstakingly glued on by hand.....now that's what I expect from Church's craftsmanship
post #3 of 19
If you are not happy with it, return it. There's no reason to keep a product that you don't like.
post #4 of 19

Had you heard that "the name and quality" have suffered at the time you bought the shoes? If so, then you bought the shoes knowing that and I don't get why you'd post this question as an afterthought.

 

So on the assumption you went out and bought these shoes and, only later (how much later was this, and have they been worn?) heard that "the name and quality" have suffered, I' d say that's quite a superficial reason to want to return shoes. Part of owning shoes (especially from a manaufacturer you've never tried before?) is to see how you get on personally with them. If they look good and are comfortable, then I'd say you're 80% there.

 

I would give them a go and see how you get on.

 

(Was this your first high end shoe purchase, or do you often splurge on these sorts of makes?)

post #5 of 19
I have grown up in Church's and all this slagging has me worried. I haven't bought a new pair of Church's since 2005 so I cannot address the issues some people have.

What do you fear is your mistake? Do the shoes not fit well? Do you not like the colour? What are you unhappy about besides reputational risk due to SF whingeing? C&J is a step down. Cleverly's, EG and JL would be nice.

I guess I'm just an extremely satisfied Church's customer. Wear your shoes. You will enjoy them for the next 10+ years.
post #6 of 19

I just went through some old threads to see what this Church doubting is about. Doesn't seem as though any of it will really matter to you, OP. Some people might worry (maybe even rightly) about the direction of the brand under its current owner, and about how their value is holding up relative to competitors, or whether dress shoes should ever have linen linings (!). But you bought a nice shoe that has been around for a long time, and I'm sure you will be very happy.

post #7 of 19
The last time I purchased a pair of Church's was about 18 months.

This is forum is anti-Church's and pro-C&J. I do not understand this stance, as I have shoes from both, although with some Church's should be avoided.

Unless the quality has dropped in the last 18 months, ignore threads/posts about Church's on the forum and enjoy the shoes.
post #8 of 19
I owned a few pairs of Church's before joining this forum. Got to know Crockett & Jones from here so bought a few pairs including 3 pairs of Handgrade. After a few years I sold them all. Now I own none of them but still keeping 4 pairs of Church's. Why? The leather quality, even Church's handgrade is better than C&J Handgrade.

I own both brands therefore I can make a comment.

But then I admit that Church's is a bit overpriced.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lexmann View Post

I owned a few pairs of Church's before joining this forum. Got to know Crockett & Jones from here so bought a few pairs including 3 pairs of Handgrade. After a few years I sold them all. Now I own none of them but still keeping 4 pairs of Church's. Why? The leather quality, even Church's handgrade is better than C&J Handgrade.
I own both brands therefore I can make a comment.
But then I admit that Church's is a bit overpriced.

Sorry, I mean Church's benchgrade.
post #10 of 19
strictly-4-my-pimps, you seem to be experiencing some buyers remorse but if I may, I would like to assure you that you have purchased a very nice pair of shoes. I have a pair of the Westburys in black and enjoy them immensely. I see nothing lacking in quality. Congratulations on your purchase and enjoy them in good health.

nutcracker, the Burwoods you posted the photo of are womens shoes.

Macallan, to clarify, this forum is not outrightly anti-Church's. There were a handful of members a year or more ago who disrespected the brand for their own reasons. It was pure pretention and should not have been taken seriously. Most likely it is the wealthier of members who simply tire of something and are on a quest for a new experience. There were also minions of the afore-mentioned who supported those sentiments in trust, without ever having owned a pair of Church's shoes themselves. I own 4 pair of Church's shoes (one pair are factory rejects) and have never had a single problem with any of them. When Prada bought Church's it was to be expected that Prada would infuse their own thinking into the brand but the quality is still there. The recurring concern on SF that I have seen toward Church's is their use of Binder leather on some of their models. Quite honestly this is a non-issue. I fully support Church's and thoroughly enjoy my shoes.
There are waves that occur where one brand is enjoying celebration, then giving way to another brand. As you will agree, it doesn't necessarily mean that the former is of any lesser quality than the latter.

Lastly, and this is not directed toward anyone specifically, the argument of what is 'over-priced' is an invalid one toward any manufacturer name. The price, is the price of admission so to speak. Those who have to ask the price of anything probably cannot afford it. For anyone who wants cheap labour and low prices, there are plenty of manufacturers out there ready to serve. Purchasing high end (hopefully) offers one superlative quality, status, pride of ownership and a clear conscience that no labour, animal or mother earth was exploited in the making of that product.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Man Of Lint View Post

nutcracker, the Burwoods you posted the photo of are womens shoes.


The Men's version (identical with studs) was released this summer smile.gif

I'm certain that classic Church's (and also the newer 173 lasted ones) are rock solid shoes

but have you seen the SHANGHAI's in person? crazy.gif
apparently they're selling like crazy at their Jermyn St. boutique and elsewhere

but then, Mr. Allen, the manager from JLP Jermyn St. store nearby, says their WINNER sneakers sell 5x more than the dress shoes biggrin.gif
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by nutcracker View Post

The Men's version (identical with studs) was released this summer smile.gif
I'm certain that classic Church's (and also the newer 173 lasted ones) are rock solid shoes
but have you seen the SHANGHAI's in person? crazy.gif
apparently they're selling like crazy at their Jermyn St. boutique and elsewhere
but then, Mr. Allen, the manager from JLP Jermyn St. store nearby, says their WINNER sneakers sell 5x more than the dress shoes biggrin.gif

SHanghai's are part of the City line. I own the Beijing. The confusion with Church's on this forum is this:

Polished binder isn't corrected grain, it's just a finish that is added to the leather. This is still their calf leather that is not sanded down or rebuilt, it is just a finish. I spoke to one of the shoemakers at the company to get this information.

However, The city line shoes—Shanghai and Beijing included— are the only shoes church's makes that are Corrected Grain. These are at a lower price point because of this/with this in mind. However, there are still varying qualities of CG, and I can't imagine church's would use a lesser quality CG, but then again I can't imagine they would use CG at all so what I can or cannot imagine is starting to feel irrelevant.

Most people complain that these are lined with linen and not leather, or partially lined. Mine are entirely lined with leather, but this may have been because they were a boot. I love my Beijing boots; they are to date the most expensive shoes I have purchased for myself (maybe some purposeful ambiguity there), and they are uncomfortable only because I got them a size too small because that was all they had and I knew, after looking at them, that I needed to own them. They are very well made, the pull tab is the only one on any pair of boots that I own that still exists, the waist is beveled, the shape of the shoe is still great. If I could afford a one shoe wardobe, it would probably be this shoe.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotoriousMarquis View Post

SHanghai's are part of the City line. I own the Beijing. The confusion with Church's on this forum is this:
Polished binder isn't corrected grain, it's just a finish that is added to the leather. This is still their calf leather that is not sanded down or rebuilt, it is just a finish. I spoke to one of the shoemakers at the company to get this information.
However, The city line shoes—Shanghai and Beijing included— are the only shoes church's makes that are Corrected Grain. These are at a lower price point because of this/with this in mind. However, there are still varying qualities of CG, and I can't imagine church's would use a lesser quality CG, but then again I can't imagine they would use CG at all so what I can or cannot imagine is starting to feel irrelevant.
Most people complain that these are lined with linen and not leather, or partially lined. Mine are entirely lined with leather, but this may have been because they were a boot. I love my Beijing boots; they are to date the most expensive shoes I have purchased for myself (maybe some purposeful ambiguity there), and they are uncomfortable only because I got them a size too small because that was all they had and I knew, after looking at them, that I needed to own them. They are very well made, the pull tab is the only one on any pair of boots that I own that still exists, the waist is beveled, the shape of the shoe is still great. If I could afford a one shoe wardobe, it would probably be this shoe.

Not trying to fuel into the argument, but here is the famous Shanghai I'm talking about....



hand 'distressed' leather, rubber sole that mimics worn leather.....

sure, the attention to detail is amazing, every nicks, dirts, and scuffs recreated......

guess they go for 530 GBP http://www.church-footwear.com/en/UK/man/shanghai/shanghai/glace-calf-nabuk-ebony-white

in Japan, they go for over 100K (1270 USD)
post #14 of 19
Oh god then im totally wrong about the shanghai being part of the city line. those are terrible
post #15 of 19
I'm not sure why Church's became the sole of evil according to SF, but a few years ago I ordered a pair of Ryder III chukkas because they were just what I was looking for, and I was ecstatic with the fit and quality. I own EG, C&J, AS, Grenson for PS, and have owned JL, and Church's certainly belongs in that company. Their designs may be a bit stodgier, and when they branch out stylistically abortions like the Shanghai happen, but they are really great shoes.

Currently I own a pair of Ryder IIIs, a pair of McEwens, a pair of chelsea boots in Nevada calf, a pair of Chetwynds in Cape Butt and a pair of monks in Cape Buck, and couldn't be happier with them. To be honest, I have a lot of shoes, but my Church's are among my favorites, and certainly get a lot of wear. It really boils down to buying what you like and what you'll wear, and if that happens to be Church's, then don't worry about it and just enjoy them.
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