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Good Natured Advice Thread (improving a business wardrobe) - Page 2224

post #33346 of 37438
Does anyone here have experience with both Meermin and Loake shoes? I have a few pairs of Meermins now and I think they're fine, but I've seen some beautiful pictures of Loakes on here. My budget is around $200, but I could be talked into $300 if it was a significant leap in quality and returnable from the US.

I've begun to resign myself to Meermin being my best option until my budget increases and I can play with the big boys. However, it can't hurt to receive some good natured advice on the matter.
post #33347 of 37438
Does this combo work? Too matchy?

post #33348 of 37438
Looks great to me McFox. smile.gif
post #33349 of 37438
Thanks!
post #33350 of 37438
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainTohm View Post

Does anyone here have experience with both Meermin and Loake shoes? My budget is around $200, but I could be talked into $300

 

You're looking in the right place.  In that price range, you have the domestic option of Allen Edmonds Shoe Bank (www.shoebank.com) for AE seconds: the advantage there is that you can try on the myriad size options at your local AE store and find out what you like, what lasts fit well, and in which size, then go see what's available on clearance.

 

But, if you want to look beyond that, then Meermin and Loake are in the same ball park: $200 gets you Chinese made Meermins or Indian made Loakes.  It also gets you sale items from Loake's English-made ranges: check out www.herringshoes.co.uk and www.pediwear.co.uk for large Loake ranges.  Both have helpful service and ship to the US, and always have sales on.  

 

Meermin have some very stylish shoes for the money.  The only down sides are that you can only really buy from them direct, and their service can be a bit erratic.  Loake have a lot of more traditional last shapes, though the range of options is wide.  Their fit tends to be quite generous.  You will also find extra wide fittings, not available as standard from Meermin.

 

Another in the same ball park, possibly a touch more expensive, is Barker.  Again they have cheaper models made in India, but most made in the UK.  Try Herring and Pediwear again for good ranges, and also www.robinsonsshoes.com in Northern Ireland, who always have some on sale.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian mcfox View Post

Does this combo work? Too matchy?

 

I like it a lot. Classy, and rather cheerful.

post #33351 of 37438
@mimo Thanks for the detailed response! I may try to score a pair of 1880 Loakes just to compare to my Meermins, and I'll also look into Barker.
post #33352 of 37438
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainTohm View Post

@mimo Thanks for the detailed response! I may try to score a pair of 1880 Loakes just to compare to my Meermins, and I'll also look into Barker.

 

There have been a few good things written on here about jack irwin as well.

post #33353 of 37438
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainTohm View Post

@mimo Thanks for the detailed response! I may try to score a pair of 1880 Loakes just to compare to my Meermins, and I'll also look into Barker.

 

My advice is to go slow with the Meermin/Loake/Barker shoe acquisition.  There is a real trend on SF to go crazy buying entry level brands like Meermin and Allen Edmonds in large numbers, crave an upgrade to C&J, Carmina, Vass, etc. and then proceed to sell off all those Meermin/AE for pennies on the dollar while buying the upgrade brands.

post #33354 of 37438
Quote:
Originally Posted by New Shoes1 View Post

My advice is to go slow with the Meermin/Loake/Barker shoe acquisition.  There is a real trend on SF to go crazy buying entry level brands like Meermin and Allen Edmonds in large numbers, crave an upgrade to C&J, Carmina, Vass, etc. and then proceed to sell off all those Meermin/AE for pennies on the dollar while buying the upgrade brands.
I am living proof of this
post #33355 of 37438
@New Shoes1 Very good advice. I can easily see myself becoming obsessed with Carmina, so moving slowly is in my best interest.

@ridethecliche I have a few pairs of JE. Their newest Chelsea boot is quite nice in suede, but I've been disappointed with the two other shoes I've bought from them, compared to Meermin at least.
post #33356 of 37438

Fair advice.   But I also know that for some who are wanting to build up some basics, the need is for a couple of entry level staples now, especially if they're at college or just starting in the work environment.  Barker and Loake (and AE) make decent shoes that will never embarrass you (outside certain SF threads, anyway).  And even if the higher end is where you end up, having a couple of pairs for rainy days, travel and general back up is a good thing: if only to realise that with any quality shoe, it will survive a beating!

 

But yeah, it's a rabbit hole for sure.  And even now I have to keep telling myself "don't buy it because it's a bargain, wait...".

 

Edit: CT, I am also a Carmina fan.  Much as I love Vass and several others, the Carmina Rain last is probably my favourite, and that's also an important lesson: put the cost and brand aside, and focus on what fits and looks good. Once you've hit a last the looks and feels great on you, that trumps the brand or even the (finer details of) construction or leather.  Returns diminish rapidly once you pass that basic level of quality, and a Carmina or Cheaney that fits well is a way better buy than a G&G that doesn't.

post #33357 of 37438
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazedstate View Post

I am living proof of this

As am I.

@captaintohm

Forgo the purchase of two ties and stretch your budget to the 300+ range, and go for the Kent Wang bench grade captoes. I usually hate this answer when I ask, "What's the best (item) under (price)," but there is just not much quality footwear in the US in the $200 range. Unfortunately, this is not apparent until the 6 to 12 month mark when the durability of the construction and leather quality really becomes apparent.
post #33358 of 37438
@Darkside I do love everything KW... Maybe I'll splurge on a pair of KW captoes (especially since they're easily returned) and then save up for something on the lower end of the Carmina line.

Most of my problems stem from buying my first batch of shoes in the wrong size. Everything I own is a 10 US, and now I know I'm either a 9.5 or 9.5 E. I should just bite the bullet and go try a ton of lasts at an Allen Edmonds store so I can order online more confidently.
post #33359 of 37438
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainTohm View Post

@Darkside I do love everything KW... Maybe I'll splurge on a pair of KW captoes (especially since they're easily returned) and then save up for something on the lower end of the Carmina line.

Most of my problems stem from buying my first batch of shoes in the wrong size. Everything I own is a 10 US, and now I know I'm either a 9.5 or 9.5 E. I should just bite the bullet and go try a ton of lasts at an Allen Edmonds store so I can order online more confidently.

Carmina lasts are very tricky, FYI. The sizing is a bit all over the map. There is a thread on here, though, specific to Carmina sizing. People list other makers and the size they take in those, and then say what size they need in different Carmina lasts based on that. Should be helpful to you, if you haven't already seen it.
post #33360 of 37438
@TM79 Thanks! I just went and subscribed.

Jumping from Meermin and Jack Erwin to Carmina might be a bit much, but at the same time I feel like I've spent the past year making upgrade purchases, and wishing I would have just spent more initially.
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