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Camina Shell Cordovan Monk Strap Rain Last

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, this is my first thread, though I have been lurking and learning hear for several months as I have been trying to improve my general sartorial style and this site has been very educational. Thought I might offer a review of my purchase of a pair of Camina Monk Straps I just received as I feel like I have a few points of comparison now.

The shoes are Camina single Monk in Shell Cordovan, Color 8, Rain Last, Size 10D. I got these off of ebay as what were more or less floor models, or at least had never really been worn at all. There was no creasing at all and they look mint (or at least did when I first got them!). Even came with a nice, perfectly fitting set of woodlore split toe trees. Nice and classy touch by the seller.

Sizing:
I read many threads on the sizing of the carmina's when I was considering these and for what its worth, these size 10 on a Rain last fit me perfectly and I usually wear a 10.5 to 11 E depending on the last. As points of compares: 10.5 E on an AE 5 last, a 10.5D on AE 3 Last, 11D on most other AE lasts, 10.5D on the Alden Barrie (and its on the loose side), and usually a 10 or 10.5 on english shoes depending on the last and a 44 in most continental sizes. My foot is pretty normally proportioned, but towards the wide end of D range at the widest part of my foot but my heal is more or less an average D. (hence the E on the AE 5; I could wear an 11 on that last but the 10.5E just works better overall). This 10D Rain last is perfect in length and width. Could not be tighter or wider at the ball of the foot.

Style:
I have been thinking that I would love to have a pair of Shell cordovan shoes that were sleeker than the Alden PTB I have, and these fit that bill perfectly. I also really enjoy monk shoes or whole cuts most of all and these are extremely elegant in every proportion and seam, slightly chiseled and tapered toe shape. I know there is some debate about monks with suits and shell with suits, with the hardcore saying neither is technically correct. But I would say that given the elegance of this shoe, it is very "suitable", especially those with a more trim cut. They look pretty wonderful to my eyes with mid grey E Zegna for example. Not chunky at all but with a nice presence. They would also be great with odd jackets and trousers and some jeans (though I think the chunky aldens might be better with many jeans and such).

Finish and quality:
I have only owned these for a short time so cant speak to the durability. But the finish is the best I have ever had. I would put it an echelon above the Alden for example in the way all the details are executed, the materials used in the lining, etc. The Shell is perhaps more nicely finished than the Aldens I have seen or the one I own. I do not own any shoes in the range of EG, VASS, etc. so I cannot really directly compare them and am no expert. But from what I have seen in stores, I would be very hard pressed to see any difference in quality. The seaming and stitching on panels for example, is another, higher, level of precision entirely than what I have seen on and experienced with Aldens, Churches, CJ, etc. The sole is a single sole, but still quite thick and dense. really well edged etc. It was quite stiff at first but is flexing quite well now. There are 7 nails at the toe and 5 in the heel. Lots of little details like that throughout. Its strange, but even though this is not as heavy as the Alden it feels a tad more solid. They are less "eggplant" in color, more red, than the Aldens even though they are supposedly the same color. I know some think Alden add color to theirs. I have no idea, I like both shades but they are a bit different. This one is really deep and lustrous right out of the box. It is to my eyes miles superior to AE shell out of the box in finish and color, even though I know they all get the shell from Horween. It is really an beautifully finished shoe in every way I can think of. The buckle is attached to the shoe by an elastic strap; its look thick and good quality and that an elastic strap for this is normal but I also suspect that this will begin to weaken before the rest of the shoe and merely hope if it does that it can be fairly easy to replace when the time comes as these look like they would last me a lifetime overall.

As a side note, the box is study and nicely designed and the shoe bags a very distinctive shade of orange-red.
post #2 of 2
Pics would be great!
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