Jack-- Thank you for your readable, informative response. Re your question: I lurk, salivating freely, at all the English shoe sites, not to mention the well-thumbed forcing-beds of Japanese shoe fetishism. I'd give just about anything for Edward Green, Cleverley, or Paris Lobb--and, yes, my first choice would be something supremely simple in antiqued tan or cognac. One "small" problem. My 13AA gunboats. Bespoke would be ideal, but I just can't (yet) see my way past the punishing expense. So I preserve the 20-or-more-year-old Church's, J&Ms, AEs, and even a very, very old pair of light brown (antiqued!
Nunn Bush wingtips. (These are my favorite shoes, I think.) Most recently, I've added four pairs of Aldens: a black shell cordovan slip-on, a tobacco reversed calf brogued bal, a tan half-brogued slip-on, and a tan wingtip bal. But wait. There's more. Believe it or not, one of the famous J&M Handmades was found in my size. I almost wept for joy. It's the trowel toed wingtip in black. As you'll remember, Ken Pollock was instrumental in calling these to everyone's attention, and by doing so he (and Louie at Bennie's in Atlanta) earned the undying gratitude of the yearning masses. Oh, did I mention twenty cents on the dollar? How about your faves? Regards, Mike
Wonderful collection, Mike. And considering your impressive shoe size, I really think you've done splendidly, and I'm particularly delighted to learn that you secured one of those superb pairs of JM handmades. It is somehow more fitting (the right word) that a fellow with an unusual size should score a truly special model like that one--I mean, persons whose feet are accomodated by 9.5 D have a great range of choices available.... I own Green, C&J, old Poulsen Skone, Grenson, Paraboot, Weston, and Lobb Paris. Seven of my twenty-one pairs of shoes may be found on page two of the Ask Andy thread "The best ready-to-wear shoes..."; my five custom pairs are from Poulsen Skone, EG and Lobb. I am besotted by the highly styled and meticulously detailed Vass shoes that may be found on their site, and I have entertained the notion of visiting Budapest, when next I see Vienna, in May (death by mallet-wielding-wife is a genuine threat in this case). In fact, I have spoken with the folks at Louis Boston, and they assure me that Vass shoes are rather easy to fit in their experience, so I might first try a ready-made pair. As you know, Cleverley used to guide the old Poulsen Skone, and I would love to acquire one of the new shop's RTW models, but that will have to wait until the above mentioned Euro-trip, when a London stop-over is planned. Question, Mike: how do your beautiful JM handmades compare to the other fine shoes in your kit? Is the stitching really first-rate? I saw photos of the things posted on-site, and the shoes were really unique, very tasteful and well-balanced in an unusual, distinctive manner. Regards, Jack