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Driving shoe shopping report

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ok, so yesterday I went to Bal Harbour Shops (for those unfamiliar with South Florida the shops are located on Collins Ave and 125th in Bal Harbour, South Florida between Aventura and North Miami Beach) to continue my search for a pair of driving shoes that fit my true size 6 ½ feet. Sergio Rossi: I was the only person in the store when I walked in and two ladies working attended very well me. Right off the bat they told me that their shoes run extremely large and a 6 ½ is really a size 5 ½ or 5. Unfortunately, the smallest size they had was a 5 1/2 and it was just ever so big, so I would imagine that a 5 would fit. They did not have a 5 in stock and after checking the computer they said that the only store that had that size was Hawaii, but that they cannot transfer shoes from Hawaii (huh? but they can transfer shoes from other stores???). The shoes seemed to be well made, as far as driving shoes go. They ranged from $275-290 and there were two distinct models: one had large (nickel sized) rubber plates throughout with one large (quarter sized) rubber plate in the curvature of the heel, the second had the same patter but attached to a solid piece of visible rubber. Tod's: I know I was told that they do not last and are not worth the money I decided to check them out anyways. Well, the store was packed and I was unable to get an attendant to assist me, so I left the store and wondered to Zegna to check out sportswear. After my time in Zegna I went back to Tod's and the store was empty and I was quickly assisted. They did not have my size, but stated right off the bat that the shoes will not last, especially for heavy wear and they are designed to use whilst driving. They are $325, and you can tell they won't last, so I rather buy something with more longevity. Plus, I could swear that the gentleman who was attending to me said something about me as the salesgirl he mentioned it to laughed whilst she looked directly in my direction (no one else was in the store mind you). Hermes: No driving shoes at Hermes, but the rest of the shoes are made by Lobb, so still worth a look. Louis Vuitton: I stopped in to look at the Lombok Loafer, which at $475 might be way too much to spend on driving shoes, but alas, if I cannot find anything else, I will purchase a pair. LV was extremely busy, and no one asked me if I required assistance, and since I did not, it worked out perfectly, as I really did not want to be bothered anyhow. Gucci: Well, I was finally going to look at the horsebit driver ($295), after staring at it on the web for a week. In Gucci there were only two sales people on the floor with 5 people waiting for assistance. I was right about to walk out when the security guard (whom they have dressed in a black suit {it had working button holes}) asked me if I required assistance, I replied yes and he told me to wait by the shoes while he looked for someone to help me. Well after a good five minutes of waiting, started to head back towards the door when the guard asked me if I have been assisted, I mentioned that I had not and he told me he would get someone, I told he I would return and headed over to Ferragamo. After I finished with Ferragamo I came back to Gucci, and I notice that the guard quickly went to speak with one of the salesmen as I was quickly attended to. Gucci's (made by Sergio Rossi), seem to run one size larger than the Rossi shoes and it would seem that I am 6 or 6 ½ in Gucci shoes. Unfortunately they did not have anything smaller than a 7, and that did not transfer shoes even though the salesman told me that the Manhattan store stocked both sizes, and I could have them shipped directly to my house (how can they not transfer within their own stores a $300 pair of shoes?). (There is no way I am going to have the shoes delivered to me, try them on and if they do not fit, drive all the way back to Bal Harbour to return them {I HATE returning merchandise}) So I left Gucci rather disappointed, not at least because they did not have my size, but also because the shoes have a stylized heel with the leather curving towards the lower rear part of the heel and it does not look like it will last a long time. Gucci left me: Ferragamo: Finally, a decent shopping experience. I was quickly attended to, they did not have my size exactly, but the shoes fit. Ferragamo (in my experience) runs true to size and the smallest driving shoe they carry (two styles, with either a bit with the Omega symbols interlocking at either end or one similar to LV's Lombok Loafer, but with a movable monk strap) is in a "˜D' width, size 7. The model with the monk strap fit quite well with pad inserts, but did not have the color I wanted or o the other model with the bit that I rather purchase. The salesman will transfer copies of both shoes for me to try on and they should arrive in about a week. The shoes ran about $300 (or maybe $275? $320, I can't recall), so at least they cost less than the LV's. The nice thing about the Ferragamo shoes is that they use large chunks of rubber, and a solid piece of rubber curving from the bottom of the heel into a almost the top of the rear part of the shoe. Why is so hard to find a pair of driving shoes anyways? Jon.
post #2 of 16
Jon, Have you tried Raffaello Network on the web: Raffaello
post #3 of 16
Thanks for your report. I enjoyed reading it.
post #4 of 16
That's odd since most of the time the sales people always tell me that they can transfer merchandise to the stores. Actually just last week at YSL I had a belt transferred since another store had one in my size. If YSL can send belts I should think shoes would be no matter.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Thanks for your report. I enjoyed reading it.
You bet . LabelKing, I have no clue why they would not transfer items in, at least at Gucci, as the salesman was adamant on having the shoes delivered to my house and not to the store, I quote: "so, which model do you want me to ship to your house?" and when I mentioned that I rather try the shoes on to see if they fit before purchasing I was given the runaround that they cannot transfer items in. Whilst Ferragamo was more than willing to transfer what ever I wanted into the store. Jon.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
I have no clue why they would not transfer items in, at least at Gucci, as the salesman was adamant on having the shoes delivered to my house and not to the store,
Sounds to me like you had the misfortune to run into a lazy salesman. He probably just didn't want to go to the effort of doing an inventory transfer on just a chance of a sale. Unfortunately, quality salesmen are even rarer than quality merchandise.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS,21 June 2004, 08:44
I have no clue why they would not transfer items in, at least at Gucci, as the salesman was adamant on having the shoes delivered to my house and not to the store,
Sounds to me like you had the misfortune to run into a lazy salesman. He probably just didn't want to go to the effort of doing an inventory transfer on just a chance of a sale. Unfortunately, quality salesmen are even rarer than quality merchandise.
Truer words were never written. Plus, I think the best (and probably longest lasting) shoe will be the Ferragamo's. Jon.
post #8 of 16
For what it's worth, I own these Gucci drivers and they have so far lasted me about nine months and are still in great shape. The entire sole is rubber and they come only in dark colors, from which I conclude they are intended to be a fall/winter/maybe spring shoe--and why I own tan RL drivers for the summer. In any case, I'd recommend them if you're concerned about wear. http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store....&cmCat=
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hmm, I did not see those at the Gucci store. I was looking at these: The ones you are talking about though, seem to be designed as a longer lasting shoe. The rear part of the horsebit driver is a piece of curved leather that looks like it will get destroyed after just a few months of use. Jon.
post #10 of 16
I don't understand why it wouldn't be more convenient to have the shoe shipped to your house. Transfer = necessarily have to return to store; home delivery = only need to return if the shoes are unsatisfactory.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
I don't understand why it wouldn't be more convenient to have the shoe shipped to your house. Transfer = necessarily have to return to store; home delivery = only need to return if the shoes are unsatisfactory.
In order to ship them to your house, you have to pony up the money. If they don't fit, you have to ship them back and wait for a refund. Inventory transfer is done at the merchant's risk: you can see if they fit without putting any money down.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Its not the money that is a problem, if not I would be looking at much cheaper shoes. What is the problem is that Bal Harbour is a good hour from Boca Raton and going back to the store 2 different times (in case the size I order is incorrect and have to order another pair) is too much of a pain in the ass. If they order both sizes at once, I can make one trip and see which size fits and purchase the shoe. montecristo#4, Whist looking at the Gucci web site, I found these which are just like yours, but without the brass bit (I rather have the bit in a steel color): They do not seem to have them in black in either 6 or 6 ½ though... Jon.
post #13 of 16
I'm not too sure if you want to risk ordering from the web, but StyleDrops has a pretty good selection of loafers, some at a decent discount (not great though). If you return though, they do charge a restocking fee, so I would try on the shoes first (they offer mainly current season merchandise). Did you notice a lot of the shoes on sale when you went? Most boutiques are having 30-40% off now, but I know the classic styles usually don't go on sale. If anything, the site is good since it provides a comprehensive selection of some of the brands you were looking into.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I'm not too sure if you want to risk ordering from the web, but StyleDrops has a pretty good selection of loafers, some at a decent discount (not great though). If you return though, they do charge a restocking fee, so I would try on the shoes first (they offer mainly current season merchandise). Did you notice a lot of the shoes on sale when you went? Most boutiques are having 30-40% off now, but I know the classic styles usually don't go on sale. If anything, the site is good since it provides a comprehensive selection of some of the brands you were looking into.
I already saw this site, but they unfortunately A) do not have the style I am looking for in either Gucci or Ferragamo and B) they do not stock my size. The problem with the Gucci's is that I was unable to determine exactly which size shoe I fit into. Jon. Edit: I am an idiot for writing out loud before I think. I saw a pair o Gucci's that I like, but am unsure if they will fit, but they do stock size 6 and 6 ½.
post #15 of 16
That site seems rather highly priced. For example those tan loafers with the bit would cost $395 retail. Gucci's are usually a half size larger than what one normally wears. If one were a 9 then an 8.5 would suffice. Same with all Gucci group shoes. Prada's however are huge. Usually one size larger. Correction size 9, and half a size larger.
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