the chukkas are awesome. please post pics after wearing maybe 10-20 times.
Antonio Meccariello Shoes - Page 131
Better customization and probably fit, I'd go with Antonio. Slightly different house styles though.
Incoming not my first pair from Antonio, but certainly, certain, not last!!!
I love how my shoes turned out!! Also he is such a pleasure to work with!!! He even apologized for taking longer, which was funny as we agreed to have them ready only now, so spot on timing for me.
Sh*t I am happy
My pair of Antonio's elephant chukkas on my feet. Loving them so far. The color and skin together have the look of red earth that I wanted. The double sole and slightly toned down shaping of the waist and heel matches the rustic quality of the leather, but the shoe still looks sleek. And I really like the antiqued brass buckle Antonio found for the shoe.
After two hours of wear I'm optimistic these are going to fit really well once broken in - planning on taking my time with that process, given the thickness of the leather.
Edited by Stone - 4/17/16 at 12:10pm
Has anyone in this thread done bespoke with Antonio in person in Naples? If so, how is the fit? His MTO offering is pretty close to what most makers would consider bespoke. He seems pretty flexible to customize existing designs as well which gets you even closer to bespoke.
He's not in Naples...Airola is where his workshop is located...about 1 hour inland from Naples.
I have been to visit him...but not for a bespoke last. I believe @C&A and @t4phage have bespoke lasts.
Haven't bought bontoni for a while now haha. They were a bit too narrow and too short causing knee issues so I've opted for more English lasts and styled shoes which are a bit more forgiving. I loved all my Bontonis though. Absolutely gorgeous
So I just received my shoes (test chukkas and Aurum final shoes).
I must say that I'm a terrible photographer and my phone camera hardly does the shoes any justice. Especially not the Aurum ones.
This being my second pair of test shoes, they fit really well and are comfortable pretty much from the get go. I might not be adding any further modifications, in fact.
We all already know how good his Aurum shoes are, but I think the test shoes are also incredibly good value. As such, I'll spend a bit of time talking about them, and about Antonio's test shoes in general.
Uppers: For test shoes, Antonio has to use what is available to him. First priority for the clicking goes to his bespoke shoes, then Aurum, then Argentum. He exercises QC to ensure the test shoe uppers are still of good quality leather, just not as "prime" as the abovementioned lines. FWIW, Antonio seems to have access to an abundance of leather, and who knows what cool stuff he has apart from Annonay and Ilcea that he uses quite a bit of. The uppers for my test chukkas were made of Venezia calf, this is not something he uses for test shoes normally, but it so happened that he had some available just as he was about to make my test shoes. These are tanned from French leather, in an Italian tannery, and is a crust leather. Antonio has stated that he sometimes uses Venezia calf when a customer requests for color that is difficult to attain from the other types of non crust calf leather that he frequently uses.
Construction: His test shoes are Goodyear welted. Interestingly, I noticed that for both my test shoes, the waist was really beveled, to the extent it looked like a blind welt. I couldn't discern any welt at all over the waist area, and surmised that perhaps the waist was blake stitched. After asking Antonio about this, his reply was that the waist used "a special strong system of work for the waist, but is not blake stich." Whatever, it looks really good. He has also stated that his test shoes are made to the same standard as his Aeris line, which is a RTW line that is currently only available in Japan.
Design: You are given pretty much free reign for the design of your test shoes. However, if you final shoe is an oxford, your test shoe must be an oxford, derby to derby, chukka to chukka, and so on. The only caveat is that for the design of your choice, he must have an existing pattern for it, or you might be liable for a further upcharge. So, for example, your test shoe can be a U wing oxford in burgundy, and your final shoe is a brown austerity brogue.
Fit / last: The fit of your test shoes are going to be pretty good given that they are more or less made to measure. Provided the measurements are taken properly (preferably by a second person). He sends you instructions on how to measure what. You can also choose the last. Though if your final shoe is an Argentum, you cannot choose an Aurum last. But you can do it the other way round.
Details: These are just some nice features that I've noticed. The waist is fiddlebacked, and pretty strongly so, which is a nice aesthetic feature. My test chukkas also features a cuban heel, another plus point. I've asked Antonio if this is a standard feature for his test shoes. His reply was that it is not, and is in fact only a standard for his Aurum line shoes. But he is planning to include this as standard for his Argentum MTM shoes, and was thus experimenting with styles, on test shoes. He hs stated that he "likes exprimenting" with test shoes, so who know, you might be in for some pleasant surprises!
Color / finishing: In general, you can choose whichever color / finish you want. However, there may be colour restrictions based on the calf available to him for your test shoes. And logically, vice versa as well. The color of the sole edge, and the base of the sole itself, may also be chosen by you.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, the shoes come shiny as fuck.