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J Crew Ludlow Shoes...Alden make? - Page 4

post #46 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by loafer4ever View Post


Do people understand what it takes to make fine footwear ? There is a reason why we have lost hundreds of shoe factories in the USA.
Today we have one USA she factory that is respected worldwide and is appreciated for its make and origin! Only one. Alden. Only USA factory that does all make in house. Finest shoe available.

You're forgetting Allen Edmonds - which produces many more shoes in the USA every year than Alden.
post #47 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by loafer4ever View Post

Look at the construction. Think hard about this one. Ludlow shoe is a special quality level. Just like the $475 shoes......Obviously talented artisan shoe makers ... forget origin. We all should be open minded educated consumers?
I've been wearing Alden shoes for 9 years - and I still wear virtually every pair I've purchased (probably 8 pairs). Some of them have been resoled 4 times.. When I've had issues, I've sent my shoes back to Alden - they have always made repairs and adjustments. In one case, they weren't happy by how I was treated by a retailer and gave me 'factory credit' to purchase another pair of shoes.

In addition, Alden and AE produce shoes in many widths and lasts - they produce a quality product and stand behind it. When their cost of goods sold increase, they increase their prices and consumers pay the new price. These companies and their shoes are built to last - they have a proven track record and they are not going away anytime soon.

What you are saying is that I should trust J Crew - a fashion brand that has things made for them all by factories all over the emerging world. I should throw all caution to the wind and trust that they have pulled together a fantastic well-constructed knock-off of an Alden shoe. And I should trust that these bad boys are so fantastic, that I should be happy to pay $318 for them - because it's cheaper than a pair of Aldens or AEs. And by the way - they only come in a D width, and the guy / gal selling them to you at J Crew has no idea how they fit. Are they TTS? Do they run wide / narrow? How do they break in, etc... And are they built to last - how will they look 5-10 years from now? I guess those guys at the nameless factory in China are talented artisan shoe makers... or maybe they're working in a sweat shop in China, pumping out shoes for J Crew that the marketing gods are pitching as high quality swag. Who knows...

If you can get them 40% off - maybe you're getting a reasonable deal. If not, you're paying $318 for a pair of shoes you probably won't be wearing in 5 yrs.
Edited by Mike147 - 2/2/14 at 11:53am
post #48 of 62
Alden is best usa make by long shot. Allen Edmond is $100 less for a reason. They are also new to the classic footwear styling. Follow Alden's lead for years.
post #49 of 62
Ludlows will last as long as any calf. True GYW using best components found in $500
Shoes. Built like tanks. Globe last very accommodating and leather insole is thick full grain veg tanned. I have 2 pair. Try them. Quite an eye opener.
post #50 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eis View Post

Btw, I visited a J.Crew store. The shoes are labelled "Benchmade in China."

It is annoying that online stores do not give information on the origin of the manufacturer.

They should be ok deal at 50% off the MSRP.

It's interesting that they talk about components made in Italy and components made in the US, but they forget to talk about the finished product made in China.

It's cause idiots follow J. crew marketing and believe nothing else. Same with those that say ludlow suits are half canvassed since J. crew tells them that the jacket has a canvas. Which say a lands end jacket also has.

Surprised no one has mentioned Meermin yet, ~$200 range for Goodyear welted shoe with respectable leather and much more attractive last design

But this is SF not a J. crew store completely different worlds
post #51 of 62

A curious thread in many respects.

 

The distinction between corrected and full grain leather is a distinction between two different kinds of thing and not two of the same thing. The question must be how good the leather is, whether it is corrected or full grain.

 

Then there is the question of construction, which--minus a circular saw and the ability to know what one is actually looking at--is revealed to most of us through time only. The Ludlow has only been out there for a few months, right? Can we be sure how well they are made in that time?

 

Rather than larding this post with obnoxious references to shoes most people don't own, consider a vintage pair of English made Doctor Marten's and an Asian import, which costs half as much. Let's even consider the Asian import in a distressed leather, which is not "corrected" in the same way that the vintage quilon leather is "corrected" in that it does not have that plasticky finish.

 

Go back in time and try them on again. You had hair then and were cooler. It will be fun!

 

After about six months you will remember that the quilon leather started doing some interesting things. Not allowing the blood stains from your beleaguered feet to soak through being one of them. Yes, the old Doc Marten (do you remember the old Doc Marten?) hurt for months. Then it didn't. About that time, the leather started deepening, corrected as it may have been. It developed this interesting texture like liquid wax or like Van Gogh's "An Old Pair" had he only primary colors to work with and no ability to create shadows. It flourished in this state of vintage Doc Martenness until the sole wore a hole in it, whereupon the leather started to crack where it creases. Ten years? Ten years scuffling about in crowded bars (or, if you were disposed, curb-stompings). More than once it did time behind a lawn mower because you didn't feel like changing shoes. And o the beer spilled on them. Ten years of that and it gave up the ghost. And you were sorry because they looked really cool.

 

Corrected grain. Polymer welt. But a corrected grain deliberately created by expert shoemakers and designers, made really well in England.

 

Fast forward to your midlife crisis when you decided to buy a new pair of Docs in the mall. Let's say they were distressed, which is less corrected--usually a "genuine" leather sanded and waxed rather than lacquered or sealed. Remember when you wore them the first day, having first planned for disabling foot pain and a month of recovery? Miraculously, they didn't hurt at all. As if the shoe wasn't fighting back against the motion of your foot as you walked? (But shouldn't it have?) By the second week you were putting in arch supports because the uppers were just mush and giving you no stability. Yes, you are older, and you and your feet suck more, but the shoe sucks worse. Too much give in the leather. Construction is too flimsy. Ten years? Hah. After a year you tossed them.

 

And, indeed, it was only designed to last a year or so--and to look about right in that year and to be comfortable right away. It was all those things, but it was not a good shoe.

 

It was made to look like a good shoe at a much lower price.

 

Which is what the Ludlow is, and all it can really be.

post #52 of 62

This pair has been my everyday go-to pair for the last 4 months. Guilty of wearing them more as a boot since I do a lot of walking everyday in this wet winter weather. Although in need of a serious mac method, I think they still look great and hold a nice shine. As a owner of many shoes like the brands listed above in this thread, I haven't found the make or leather to be inferior in any way. Looking forward to see other users reviews. 

 

 

 

post #53 of 62
How's the size? Is it same with Alden that 1/2 size larger than normal?
post #54 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Ko View Post

How's the size? Is it same with Alden that 1/2 size larger than normal?

 

To me it seems really close to the Barrie, a little fuller than the average last. I wear both 9E and 10D in the Barrie and the Ludlow 10D fits me comfortably.

post #55 of 62
Thanks, I'm seriously considering to buy Ludlow PTB:)
post #56 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subutai View Post

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to the Americans on the thread!

So, someone initially posted a tidbit on the Alden thread about J Crew's new Ludlow shoes that got me curious. I decided to do a little research and re-post the thoughts here to reach a larger audience (those outside just the Alden thread) and gain some insight. 

It appears as though just yesterday J Crew released a new line of Ludlow shoes to go along with their suits. They currently have only two models, a LWB and a PTB. The GQ description is, "Both combine American and Italian components, and most importantly, they're Goodyear-welted in Massachusetts, so you can get them resoled over and over. For a shoe with that kind of craftsmanship, you'd normally be looking at a price tag around $400-$500."

 
The models offered are Alden's two most popular, and the last looks very much like the Barrie last. Further, they're goodyear-welted in MA. Finally, even the colors are similar as the brown is described as "cigar." (This may be very common, but I most closely associate it with Alden's Cigar Shell Cordovan.)

Anyway, just wanted to get some thoughts. Interesting to note that the Ludlow shoes go for around $300 which puts it at AE prices for a GY welt.

Some light reading below for those interested:

http://www.gq.com/style/blogs/the-gq-eye/2013/11/j-crew-ludlow-shoes.html

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/mens-fashion/j-crew-ludlow-shoes-1113

I realize I'm late to the party, but since I own both the cigar ludlow LWBs, many Aldens in the Barrie last, and many Ludlow suits, I will throw my 2 cents in.

First of all, I am very satisfied with the Ludlow LWBs. They are comfortable and the best shoe I own for the $300 price tag. Are they a good value? Yes. Are they as good as/better than Aldens? HECK NO!!! I can tell when I walk in them they are inferior to Alden in many ways. Regardless, if your price range is $300, Ludlow is where it's at.

The next question, is the last on the Ludlow shoe similar to the Alden Barrie last? NO. The Ludlow shoe is true to size, whereas the Barrie last is huge. My Ludlow shoes are a size 9, and they fit smaller than my Alden Barrie last LWBs in size 8.5.

Lastly... Whoever inferred that the Ludlow suit is in any way an inferior suit clearly doesn't own any/ has no clue what they're talking about. It is astounding what J Crew has managed to accomplish in terms of fit and fabric for the $500 - $700 range, and whoever can't appreciate this simply is basing their argument off of pure conjecture and ignorance.
post #57 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by aerosurferlv View Post


I realize I'm late to the party, but since I own both the cigar ludlow LWBs, many Aldens in the Barrie last, and many Ludlow suits, I will throw my 2 cents in.

First of all, I am very satisfied with the Ludlow LWBs. They are comfortable and the best shoe I own for the $300 price tag. Are they a good value? Yes. Are they as good as/better than Aldens? HECK NO!!! I can tell when I walk in them they are inferior to Alden in many ways. Regardless, if your price range is $300, Ludlow is where it's at.

The next question, is the last on the Ludlow shoe similar to the Alden Barrie last? NO. The Ludlow shoe is true to size, whereas the Barrie last is huge. My Ludlow shoes are a size 9, and they fit smaller than my Alden Barrie last LWBs in size 8.5.

Lastly... Whoever inferred that the Ludlow suit is in any way an inferior suit clearly doesn't own any/ has no clue what they're talking about. It is astounding what J Crew has managed to accomplish in terms of fit and fabric for the $500 - $700 range, and whoever can't appreciate this simply is basing their argument off of pure conjecture and ignorance.

 

Just wondering, in what way do you find the Alden to be better than your Ludlow? 

post #58 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Organika View Post

Just wondering, in what way do you find the Alden to be better than your Ludlow? 

I am glad you asked! Well the first thing you notice when comparing the two is the quality of the leather. The calfskin leather Alden uses is a bit thicker and much more supple than the leather in the Ludlow shoe. The Ludlow's leather just feels a bit dryer, almost like cardboard, and it doesn't break in as quickly as the Aldens. Alden shoes are comfortable literally the first time you wear them, whereas the Ludlows need some mileage on them before they feel like your own. That's not to say that the Ludlow leather is bad by any stretch, it is far far superior to something like what Johnston & Murphy uses! The Ludlow leather also has a good smell to it. You can tell it wasn't conditioned with cheap chemicals. I also like the fact that the Ludlow shoes are Goodyear welted. I believe this was mentioned before, but inside the Ludlow shoe reads "hand made in China." This is obviously where J Crew cut corners and made this shoe more affordable.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Ludlow shoes, they're beautiful and I would buy them again. Like I said, I love J Crew and they really do great things with their products, especially their shoes and suits. It's just that in every area where the Ludlow shoe is good, the Alden is great. The $200 price difference between the two is definitely justified. What you get with Alden is 100% no frills American-made excellence.
post #59 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by aerosurferlv View Post


I am glad you asked! Well the first thing you notice when comparing the two is the quality of the leather. The calfskin leather Alden uses is a bit thicker and much more supple than the leather in the Ludlow shoe. The Ludlow's leather just feels a bit dryer, almost like cardboard, and it doesn't break in as quickly as the Aldens. Alden shoes are comfortable literally the first time you wear them, whereas the Ludlows need some mileage on them before they feel like your own. That's not to say that the Ludlow leather is bad by any stretch, it is far far superior to something like what Johnston & Murphy uses! The Ludlow leather also has a good smell to it. You can tell it wasn't conditioned with cheap chemicals. I also like the fact that the Ludlow shoes are Goodyear welted. I believe this was mentioned before, but inside the Ludlow shoe reads "hand made in China." This is obviously where J Crew cut corners and made this shoe more affordable.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Ludlow shoes, they're beautiful and I would buy them again. Like I said, I love J Crew and they really do great things with their products, especially their shoes and suits. It's just that in every area where the Ludlow shoe is good, the Alden is great. The $200 price difference between the two is definitely justified. What you get with Alden is 100% no frills American-made excellence.

 

I personally am a avid Alden wearer and understand what you mean. Interestingly enough, the insole and lining used on the Ludlow are the same leather that Alden uses so they should have a similar feel apart from the last. The upper is out of Italy and is a little thinner then Alden's common Tan or Black French calf which gives a little dressier feel to some. Unlike most calf articles, this upper is vegetable tanned. It holds a really nice shine. I can promise you, this is not a "competitive priced" article. A good quality shoe cream is applied after antiquing on all of the Ludlow Black and Brown upper which gives that nice smell you mentioned. Although made in China gives some a sour taste, the shoe-making in this particular case is quite hands-on, small operation. I'm at the factory :) 

post #60 of 62


I love my new shoes. I've looked for weeks for a robust shoe to wear with jeans, khakis, or a suit. These fit the bill. They are my first pair of shoes that I've spent this much money on so I really can't compare them to more expensive shoes on how they'll last or break in. But, fwiw, I shopped in Bloomingdales and Nordstrom and tried on shoes that cost $400-500, I believe the Ludlow is a great value.
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