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J FitzPatrick Appreciation Thread - Page 68

post #1006 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrevans View Post

Forgive my ignorance, but could anyone help me understand why these shoes are not priced higher? Or what the differences are with higher priced shoes? The colours, styles, detailing of JF's shoes are just gorgeous and have that x-factor. I feel like there are a dozen of his creations I'd like to purchase but cant help but feel like im supposed to buy C&J or Vass or something...what do i need to know?
 
Below is a lengthy review I wrote about 2 months ago. Should answer your questions. 

 

 

J. FitzPatrick Review (Click to show)

Quote:

Originally Posted by rbhan12 View Post
 

Now that I'm 6 pairs in, I think it's only fair that I write J. FitzPatrick Footwear a review. If 6 pairs isn't a clear "endorsement" then I'm not sure what is! Apologies in advance for the many photos to come.

 

Anyway, I first met Justin a little under a year ago at Leffot for his trunk show. I can safely say this was my plunge into the world of high-end shoes. For those of you that don't know, Justin packed up his life to move to Florence, where he trained under the late Stefano Bemer making bespoke shoes and learning the craft. From there he went to Gieves and Hawkes as an artisanal shoe shiner, while launching his brand of shoe care products and designing his shoes. His shoes are made in Spain by what appears to be a pretty good factory. 

 

What attracted me to his shoes were the mixed materials and patterns used. There were some models that I don't think I would personally wear, but others I instantly fell in love with. The first shoe I bought from him is the Wallingford. This was all before I had a reasonable understanding of what makes a good shoe in terms of leather, construction, components, etc.

 

Nonetheless, the leathers are sourced from some really good tanneries, like suede from C.F. Stead, museum calf from Ilcea, and others from Annonay. In all of my 6 pairs, I have never seen a single pair with a flaw in the leather, and not a single one has had excessive creasing. He uses good cuts of the leather and it's clearly visible. 

 

But above all that, and what I think Justin needs to emphasize more with his photos, is the shape of his lasts. His round toe lasts in particular are fantastic with a nice form-fitting shape. As I said earlier, Justin trained with Bemer, and there's some clear similarities with Justin's JKF last and some of Bemer's lasts. The photos below show a strong resemblance. This is very hard to find from a brand that prices shoes at less than $400 with the present currency exchange.

 

Bemer RTW:

 

 

 

Justin's Wallingford: 

 

 

 

This patina is present after 40+ wears, but probably accelerated by my then unknowing overuse of cream polish and Renovateur. Sorry for getting the creams and wax onto the suede! Still need to figure how to get that out...But continuing on about his lasts, they're shaped really nicely, which is pretty hard to get from shoes priced so competitively. A few more photos below showing the lasts getting the love they deserve. 

 

These two Magnolia Oxfords are F-width on the classic round-toed TMG last. They maintain the elegant shape and curves that are even more accentuated with his E width lasts. 

 

 

 

The curves are again visible on my MTO boots in F width, this time on the soft-chiseled LPB last. 

 

 

One thing I've noticed with the lasts from high-end makers like GG, Bemer, Bestetti, etc., is the lacing actually leans off and to the forefoot side on each respective foot. While Justin's last do not present this as dramatically as the previously named makers, they certainly have it to a reasonable degree, which provide a much more elegant look of the shoe. 

 

More photos showing the last shape, the Wallingford (JKF) and the Wedgewood (TMG) are both E width (This was before I realized I had wide feet and am actually a UK7F, not 7.5E) 

 

 

 

Some other makers use lats that have a flat progression from the vamp to toe, and others even bulge back up a little towards the toe. I personally love how Justin's lasts continue to slope downward from the vamp all the way to the toe. This is just my personal preference, as I think it adds to a sense of refinement, "sleekness," and elegance to a shoe. This is shown particularly well in the photos of the Wallingford oxford and the Wedgewood boots, but also shown on my MTO boots on the soft-chiseled LPB last. 

 

 

 

Another detail about his lasts that need to be emphasized are the heel cup. The photo here shows the nice shape it holds, after already having molded to my foot reasonably well and losing some of its curvaceousness. This sort of shape is tough to find on shoes in this price range. 

 

 

 

We can talk about leather quality until the cows come home, considering pretty much every Joe Schmoe brand says they use really good leather, sourcing from the same tanneries as the big guys. While this may be true and I'm confident Justin uses really good leather, his shoes are a step above the rest in the lasts and patterns. They patterns are well suited to the lasts, with lines and brogues of the oxford meeting certain "turning points" of curvature on a given last. Overall, just very well balanced and complement the designs of the shoes well.

 

For less than $400 right now, these are some of the best valued shoes I can think of. Other details like the closed channel stitching and slightly beveled waist on the sole are indicative of handwork and craftsmanship that is uncommon on shoes in this price range. Further, his soles are bark tanned and the ones I've left un-topy'd have held up extremely well. Might need toe-taps because I'm a weird walker with weird feet. 

 

Now for a bit of criticism...I'd like to see some fudge wheel work on the welt. This extra decoration (when done well) adds a little bit more class and elegance to a shoe. Further, a slight Cuban heel (where it becomes narrower the further down you go) would be a fantastic addition. I know Justin has made improvements to his shoes in terms of components over the past few years, and I hope his sales volume reach a point where he can add these two details to really separate himself from the boys. While the shoes already beat those priced in the $500-$700 range (I'm looking at you, C&J and Alden), they're priced significantly lower. 

 

If you have "normal" feet (whatever the heck that means), there's no reason why you shouldn't try a pair of JFF shoes. Justin is a great guy, and more importantly he's accessible to his customers, which is really valuable. Lastly, for those of us in the US, the minimum customs price to be taxed on is now $800, and Justin offers free shipping to the US on his shoes.  

 

If you're looking for your next pair of dress shoes, or want something with some mixed material and a little more pizazz, definitely give JFF a look and reach out to Justin. 

 

 

 
post #1007 of 1241
G&G is new and their shoes are more than double the price of J Fitzpatrick. So there must be another element that we are missing.
post #1008 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by pine tree View Post

G&G is new and their shoes are more than double the price of J Fitzpatrick. So there must be another element that we are missing.

 

Better quality leather, better finishing, cleaner welt working, tighter welt stitching, fudging at the welt, heavily bevelled waist, almost entirely hand lasted, and of course the price tag that comes with made in the UK. 

 

I'm sure there's others, but nobody is saying that JF is at the same level of quality as GG.

post #1009 of 1241
I didn't either. I was just saying that being new is not a detriment to the price of a shoe.
post #1010 of 1241
I'll give J Fitz some credit, he's come a long way, making some nice shoes these days.

Still not donating to his blog.
post #1011 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrevans View Post

Forgive my ignorance, but could anyone help me understand why these shoes are not priced higher? Or what the differences are with higher priced shoes? The colours, styles, detailing of JF's shoes are just gorgeous and have that x-factor. I feel like there are a dozen of his creations I'd like to purchase but cant help but feel like im supposed to buy C&J or Vass or something...what do i need to know?

What you need to know is that you aren't "supposed" to buy anything. Your style is your own. If you love the style of Justin's shoes, and want to add it to your own, then buy yourself a pair (or several) and be happy with them.

 

There might be a certain sort of person who is more impressed by a C&J or a Vass than a J. Fitzpatrick, and if you decide that your life needs to be arranged in order to impress those people, then go buy those shoes.

post #1012 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by bc78 View Post

Without comparing them to C & J and Vass, who I also love, the quality is good. They used to be higher priced, but, as I'm sure you know, the pound is taking a beating and the dollar is stong

Quote:
Originally Posted by pine tree View Post

Vass doesn't make button boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShooIn View Post


I think they are really well priced. I enjoyed a visit to the shop in London and have tried on many different models. I own a pair of shade U cap semi brogues in the soft chiselled last. Compared to my other shoes by more established and traditional makers such as Loake and Cheaney the fit feels closer to that of the G&Gs that I have tried on (but yet to own). I think that the brand is still young and developing, and the price reflects that. The variations available in the MTO look very tempting.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbhan12 View Post

J. FitzPatrick Review (Click to show)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pine tree View Post

G&G is new and their shoes are more than double the price of J Fitzpatrick. So there must be another element that we are missing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbhan12 View Post

Better quality leather, better finishing, cleaner welt working, tighter welt stitching, fudging at the welt, heavily bevelled waist, almost entirely hand lasted, and of course the price tag that comes with made in the UK. 

I'm sure there's others, but nobody is saying that JF is at the same level of quality as GG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sartorium View Post

What you need to know is that you aren't "supposed" to buy anything. Your style is your own. If you love the style of Justin's shoes, and want to add it to your own, then buy yourself a pair (or several) and be happy with them.

There might be a certain sort of person who is more impressed by a C&J or a Vass than a J. Fitzpatrick, and if you decide that your life needs to be arranged in order to impress those people, then go buy those shoes.

Cheers for all of the responses!! Some of it was particularly insightful.

Im not American, so the currency comments are humorous. When i commented on the relatively more affordable price it was in relative terms. I'm aware of short term currency fluctuations, though as a resident of Korea i would price the shoes in pounds sterling, and pricing them in dollars would still preserve the relative gaps with competitors like C&J and G&G.

In terms of what i felt i "should" buy, it was meant in terms of quality and craftsmanship, durability and comfort. Typically you 'should' spend more to get that quality and durability. . It has nothing to do with impressing others. Though i am really impressed with and appreciative of some of the comments that detailed specific elements of craftsmanship and branding that are more pertinent to my question. Thank you to all who replied.

Are there any other brands that offer value for a shoe on par with or similar to that of Justin?
post #1013 of 1241
Unique models, quality materials, pleasing lasts and a very affordable MTO program. Many brands don't do MTO, at least as reasonable as this.

VASS are handmade, handwelted. Very different. EB are handwelted usually. Both cost almost twice as much.

This brand hits and underserved and important price point IMO.

GG is on a different scale and among the best of the best. C&J, eh... to each their own.
post #1014 of 1241

I just ordered 3 pairs of the driving loafers for myself, my brother and my father and let me say, Justin's service was above and beyond. Noticing the sizing discrepancy with my previous orders he reached out to me and then helped me through the proper sizing of each shoe for each person based on their US sizes. You will not get that from any other shop! Thank you Justin!

post #1015 of 1241
As always, Justin gives excellent service. Blue Museum Calf Loafer icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

Phillip


post #1016 of 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by notdos View Post

As always, Justin gives excellent service. Blue Museum Calf Loafer icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

Phillip


Those are somehow even prettier in the wild

post #1017 of 1241
In the wild...

Phillip smile.gif
post #1018 of 1241
Excellent. Love that model and leather!
post #1019 of 1241
some new MTOs that just hit:

1. New model Delridge that was derived from the Holman, by removing all brogueing and adding a cap. I didn't realize until I got it that I think it was made to look like the infamous Galway by EG.





2. Genesee in Walnut Museum calf (Cordan) on LPB last





3. Northgate Austerity Version



4. Northgate sans all stitching/brogueing/caps/counters etc.



5. A new design hopefully dropping S/S2017






I hope that you all enjoy the new things at J.FitzPatrick!
post #1020 of 1241
Delridge? So my "galways" have a new model name lol.
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