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Black plain-toe balmoral options <$300

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I wanted to see if I could compile a list of black plain-toe bals and see if there are options I haven't considered.  I'm in the market for such a shoe but would not like to break the bank at this point.  Anyone have any good ones?  As I've mentioned several times in passing on other threads (sorry for sounding like a broken record), I'm putting together my wedding ensemble and have a tux but want a pair of shoes to go with it that will look great but also be more useful in the future than a pair of patent leather shoes, I suppose.  I am also considering possibly going the black wholecut route, but am still undecided about that 

 

I like KW's below, but the price point is a little steep, despite the awesome quality.  In truth, I'd like to keep the price closer to $200 or below somehow if possible (including sales and such).  

 

Kent Wang's:

http://www.kentwang.com/shoes/benchgrade-plaintoe-balmoral.html#

 

 

 

 

 

Allen Edmonds Vernon (Not plain toe, but not cap toe . . . just has some punching across the toe in place of a cap).  I can get these for ~$170 with Amazon's discount + an Amazon Gift Card I have:

http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Edmonds-Vernon-Oxford-Saddle/dp/B003OVBWGS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350485873&sr=8-1&keywords=allen+edmonds+vernon

 

 

 

Meermin wholecut (~$200):

 

 

 

 

***I realize that two of these three shoes are not technically a plain-toe balmoral, but I'm just trying to consider all my options here.  There don't seem to be many plain toe balmorals out there these days.

 

 

Other ideas?  Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 11
They are all lovely shoes. I'd have a tough time choosing. I don't own any plain toe lace ups atm, myself.
Edited by srmd22 - 10/19/12 at 6:20pm
post #3 of 11
Alden makes two plain-toe black balmorals: one on the aberdeen last and another on the plaza. If you buy "seconds", the are ~$300.
post #4 of 11
http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF2822_1_40000000001_-1

These are on clearance, so sizes are somewhat limited. But you might be in luck.

Chris
post #5 of 11
Sorry for above post - I misread and thought you were looking for bluchers.

Chris
post #6 of 11

The pair at the bottom is nice. I think that I'll check them out myself.

post #7 of 11
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyMac View Post

The pair at the bottom is nice. I think that I'll check them out myself.

 

My apologies, I just realized I linked the wrong Meermin shoes there.  The pic I posted was of their "higher end" black wholecut, which retails closer to $330 USD.  

 

Here are the ones that retail at ~$200:

 

post #9 of 11

Bumping because I have the same question.

 

I'm currently debating between the Meermin Classic Line plaintoe shown above and Kent Wang's black plaintoe. I recently got some Kent Wang store credit from the Urban Daddy offer, which would bring his benchgrade shoes down to $280. I'm not sure exactly what Meermin Classic lines cost now due to changes in prices and Euro strength, but I imagine they're around $215. I have no experience with either but the feedback I've read on both is predominantly positive, making the decision a bit harder. I feel like the design of the KW model is a bit more attractive, but they are quite similar. And although more expensive, KW has the advantage of no surprise import duties, easy exchanges, and shipping times that aren't measured in weeks or months. Meermin is mostly manufactured in Spain with some work done in East Asia, while KW's shoes are made completely in Asia (correct me if I'm wrong here).

 

Does anyone have any thoughts as to how the quality compares between the models or any other info that would aid in making a decision?

 

post #10 of 11

I don't know if you've heard of Fluevog, but I have a pair of these in a tan calf and they're quit sleek. According to the faq page, they are made in vietnam. 

 

http://www.fluevog.com/code/?w%5B0%5D=gender%3Amen&w%5B1%5D=attribute%3AFormal&pp=1&view=detail&p=8&colourID=2843

post #11 of 11
Quote:
I'm currently debating between the Meermin Classic Line plaintoe shown above and Kent Wang's black plaintoe. I recently got some Kent Wang store credit from the Urban Daddy offer, which would bring his benchgrade shoes down to $280. I'm not sure exactly what Meermin Classic lines cost now due to changes in prices and Euro strength, but I imagine they're around $215. I have no experience with either but the feedback I've read on both is predominantly positive, making the decision a bit harder. I feel like the design of the KW model is a bit more attractive, but they are quite similar.

 

I own a Meermin captoe blucher made on the Ama last (the black pair you and the OP mentioned are made on this) and KW's brown captoe (which from the looks of it is made on the same last as the black you mentioned). Both are great shoes. I wear both frequently. I had to size up in the KW a half size because I have wider feet, but fit into the Meermin in my correct size. The KW is a much sleeker, more attractive shoe, but perhaps that's also because it's dressier (and not just because it's a balmoral and the Meermin is a blucher). I get more use out of the Meermin simply because it's easier to dress down. If I were buying a black plaintoe, I guess I'd have in mind more formal applications, in which case KW is the way to go. So you should consider your use of them too probably.

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