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Church's v C&J and misc. style questions

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

I need a new pair of workhorse black oxfords.  I like Church's and C&J shoes for my line of work (law in NYC), but have been reading this board and noticed that Church's may have gone downhill a bit?  Please advise whether this is true.

 

Regarding a style of oxford--plain toe v cap toe?  Thoughts?  I owned some excellent Ferragamo split toes in the past, but I'm looking in a different direction today.

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 35
1. Yes, Church's has gone down hill (bought by Prada).
2. Cap toe.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your prompt reply.  Re:  the cap toe, with or without perforations and perforated designs?

 

What are you wearing in London these days?

post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loathing View Post

1. Yes, Church's has gone down hill (bought by Prada).
2. Cap toe.

I disagree with (1). Ownership by Prada has meant that Church's has produced some awful 'fashion' shoes with sequins and the like. But JLP has done similar things since being bought by Hermes. In neither case has the quality of the classic models noticeable decreased, IMO. The Grafton, the Chetwynd, and so on, are still absolute classics and in my opinion both are better-made than C&J benchgrade.

However, you are right that captoes are the way to go and for this style, C&J is a better choice. I personally love the Connaught. If the OP wants something a bit more elongated the Hallam is also nice.
post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 

Any other brands outside the usual suspects?

post #6 of 35
.
post #7 of 35
If you want Church's, stick to the conserative styles, e.g. cap-toes. My work shoes are black Church's, all are oxfords except one pair (which is a triple sole)
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Water4thePool View Post

Any other brands outside the usual suspects?

 

The following with large RTW collection.

Vass

John Lobb

Edward Green

Saint Crispin

Carmina

 

 

The 3 names with best value for money in following order:

1) Vass

2) Carmina

3) Crockett & Jones

 

Pembers right - some of the new crazy Prada inspired Church shoes are using the lower grade polished pinder leather that most fashion house uses (Gucci; Prada; D&G) - falls apart after 6 months and design to make you buy every "season"

 

But the older Church classic on the 100; 73; 173 and 102 last like the Consul; Chetwyn; Grafton are classic solid stuff using

proper calf leather.

post #9 of 35

You may also consider Alfred Sargent on this list.  I don't personally own any but many on this board seem to place them between C&J Benchgrade and Handgrade in terms of quality (and that's where their price point is as well).  Added benefit is that since you're in NYC you can try on AS (at Leffot) and the Crocketts (at their store on 56th St) in person.  Not sure if you can do that with Carmina and pretty certain you can't with Vass.

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pembers View Post

I disagree with (1). Ownership by Prada has meant that Church's has produced some awful 'fashion' shoes with sequins and the like. But JLP has done similar things since being bought by Hermes. In neither case has the quality of the classic models noticeable decreased, IMO. The Grafton, the Chetwynd, and so on, are still absolute classics and in my opinion both are better-made than C&J benchgrade.

For a start, I don't know why you think it's reasonable to compare Hermès with Prada. Anyway, Hermès bought the JL brand in 1976, and started making shoes that have nothing to do with the original St James's styles & techniques, so I have no idea how you can make the claim "in neither case has the the quality of classic models noticeably decreased".

As for Church's today, you can still find high-quality, classic, bench-grade shoes in their stores for about £400. However, even on these the leathers have decreased in quality, especially in their soles and resoles. C&J resoles last perhaps three times as long as Church's. I believe C&J resoles are a little more expensive (perhaps £20 extra), but their actual shoes are typically much cheaper at £300-350 for bench-grade.

You own shoes from both makers already, so I suppose you can decide for yourself if there is any difference. I've stopped buying form Church's, personally.
Edited by Loathing - 5/8/13 at 4:26pm
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Water4thePool View Post

Thank you for your prompt reply.  Re:  the cap toe, with or without perforations and perforated designs?

What are you wearing in London these days?

My pleasure.

I wear both punch-caps and stitch-caps, just for variety. Most people wear black oxfords of one sort or another to work.
I have one pair of Lobbs for interviews and so forth, and the rest are C&J.

For shoes generally, I'd highly recommend Lobb and Edward Green, but their shoes are closer to £1k than to C&J prices.

Vass is absolutely worth looking into, too. I've been buying weekend shoes from them recently -- their price:quality ratio is unbeatable, but they're still about £500-800.
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pembers View Post


I disagree with (1). Ownership by Prada has meant that Church's has produced some awful 'fashion' shoes with sequins and the like. But JLP has done similar things since being bought by Hermes. In neither case has the quality of the classic models noticeable decreased, IMO. The Grafton, the Chetwynd, and so on, are still absolute classics and in my opinion both are better-made than C&J benchgrade.

However, you are right that captoes are the way to go and for this style, C&J is a better choice. I personally love the Connaught. If the OP wants something a bit more elongated the Hallam is also nice.

+1 Connaught is good choice which has that smart look; i own a pair and love the comfort.

post #13 of 35
C&J Connaught. One of the top 3 shoes they sell world wide. Better leather then AE Park avenue.

Hallam if you have a narrower feet. Or Albany/ Belgrade if you feel to spend more.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

C&J Connaught. One of the top 3 shoes they sell world wide. Better leather then AE Park avenue.

Hallam if you have a narrower feet. Or Albany/ Belgrade if you feel to spend more.

The C&J's Wholecut Alex model on the 348 Last is my favourite. Like most W/C's, creases alot if 

your feet doesn't fully fill the vamp section....

 

So hard to get hold of Alex since it was featured in the latest Bond moive...One magazine even mentioned the

Alex was specially deisgned for the moive....lol....the model came out about 6 years...and film barely 2 years old.

post #15 of 35

I have the Armfield oxfords from Alfred Sargent, and they're fantastic. C&J Connaught may be a tad more conservative in terms of last design, so that might be a plus, depending on what you're after.

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