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Loafer help -- Oak Street vs. Alden LHS, maybe C&J?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I am in the market for a pair of loafers. I don't have a lot of criteria -- pretty much just looking for a classic loafer that can be worn in a wide variety of situations. I've looked around a bit and have come up with a couple of contenders, mainly the Oak Street beefroll and the Alden LHS.

I could probably be convinced to splurge a bit on a C&J Marston or Bury, but I can't find those online anywhere (I live in the US). With the C&Js, I just really dig those lasts. I realize they're more formal loafers than the Oak St./Aldens, but that's not necessarily a negative for me; I wouldn't mind something that's a bit more formal (i.e. passable with a suit).

I'd also be open to something cool/more outside the box, so to speak, e.g. a wholecut, but I think those tend to be more expensive (but definitely correct me if I'm wrong).

So, here are my questions:

1) Does anyone have an opinion on Oak St. vs Alden in terms of overall quality?

2) Among Alden loafers, is the LHS my best bet?

3) Are those C&Js for sale anywhere?

4) Am I missing anything good in the approx. <$500 price range? (I could probably go higher if they're really TDF)

If it matters (especially if anyone has something FS) I am a 13D in US sizing.

Thanks for your help!
post #2 of 12
Stay away from AE and Alden, every cobbler I have spoken to said they were of lousy build quality.
Same goes for bespoke shoemaker Hendrikje Ehlers aka POSH shoes Berlin, who said she would be very angry if she paid Alden prices for the following mess:
http://www.newsaboutshoes.de/showthread.php?t=543
post #3 of 12

Pics?

post #4 of 12

If you are looking for something sleek and modern, then you shouldn't even be looking at the Alden LHS. I like this shoe a lot, but it is not modern. Some consider this a good thing; sleek loafers can be considered an oxymoron.

 

What color are you looking for? If you are considering burgundy, I recommend going with shell cordovan instead of calf. This will cost a fair bit extra though. Alden does the burgundy cordovan color better than most.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah that's my biggest reservation about the LHS. All else equal I think I would prefer something a little more fashion forward.

As far as colors go, my #1 would be a midrange brown. Are there any other Alden loafers you like?
post #6 of 12
Have a look at Rancourt. All their shoes are MTO, so you can get whatever color/material you want.

I have a pair of AEs (Kenwoods) and I don't notice any shabby construction. I also own a pair of the Alfred Sargent Callaghan, which I highly recommend. Best pair of loafers I own.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by msulinski View Post

sleek loafers can be considered an oxymoron.

hows that exactly?
post #8 of 12
OP: Getting C&J online can be a bit more difficult than Alden or AE. If you're willing to wait awhile, you can order through Pediwear or a couple of other online retailers. You can also call their store in NYC and have them send you the shoes or do something similar with one of their stores in London. I'd go the London route since it seems you can save quite a bit by purchasing in British Pounds vs. US Dollars (just be aware that shipping will cost more and that it will take longer to make exchanges if the shoes don't fit). The shoes are also sold at Barney's and a few other places.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis XIV View Post

Stay away from AE and Alden, every cobbler I have spoken to said they were of lousy build quality.
Same goes for bespoke shoemaker Hendrikje Ehlers aka POSH shoes Berlin, who said she would be very angry if she paid Alden prices for the following mess:
http://www.newsaboutshoes.de/showthread.php?t=543

I would disagree with the idea that Allen Edmonds and Alden are not well built. I've beaten the crap out of more than a few pairs of each and they seem to take it pretty well.
post #9 of 12
Excuse me, but I do give more credit to people I have spoken to and who dismount shoes on a daily basis for their living rather than somebody on the internet who states that he has beaten the crap out of some pairs of shoes of maker X.
Also, the pictures of POSH, who is a German master craftswoman with great knowledge in orthopedics, who besides achieving the German master craftsman diploma was trained at Lobb St James and who actually builds bespoke shoes, are obvious.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis XIV View Post

Excuse me, but I do give more credit to people I have spoken to and who dismount shoes on a daily basis for their living rather than somebody on the internet who states that he has beaten the crap out of some pairs of shoes of maker X.
Also, the pictures of POSH, who is a German master craftswoman with great knowledge in orthopedics, who besides achieving the German master craftsman diploma was trained at Lobb St James and who actually builds bespoke shoes, are obvious.

Calm down there. I'm not asking you to change your mind or suggesting that my experience is more valuable than the opinions you cite here; I am simply sharing my opinion and providing my experience. For the record, I know cobblers who speak very well of Allen Edmonds and Alden. I am sure that I am far from the only person on SF who would disagree with the statement that AE and Alden are "of lousy build quality." The point of discussion on an online forum is for people to be able to share their experiences and opinions.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadcammer View Post


hows that exactly?

There is a train of thought that a loafer, especially something like a penny loafer, is not supposed to be sleek, as it is, by definition, a casual and relaxed shoe. Therefore, the slight blobbiness suits the style of shoe well.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by msulinski View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadcammer View Post

hows that exactly?
There is a train of thought that a loafer, especially something like a penny loafer, is not supposed to be sleek, as it is, by definition, a casual and relaxed shoe. Therefore, the slight blobbiness suits the style of shoe well.

I too ride this train.
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