I agree with this to a certain extent. They won't be able to tell difference from Allen Edmonds/Aldens/Crockett Jones vs Edward Greens/Lobbs. Hell even average guys who shop at Nordstroms, Macys, etc. wouldn't either. I think they would mainly use indicators like a leather sole (as opposed to rubber soles you find on department store shoes) and the sleekness of the last to tip them off that it is a shoe of quality.
I'd go as far as saying 95% of men and women can't tell the difference between those shoes. Honestly, I cannot tell the difference between these shoes. I have poor distance vision and can't make this determination from a distance