Just received my Rugby Masterpieces from Bennies. My credit card was charged $250, pending an expected refund of $100, making the whole thing a great deal. I thouhgt it might be fun to compare them with my Handgrades: Fit and last shape: Grensons are rather narrow, but are otherwise true to size, I think. Quite comfortable overall, and hopefully won't inflict my pinky toes with anything a little liquid nitrogen cannot remove... The C&Js are on the beuatiful 337 last, with the elongated, squared off nose and the rather narrow waist. However, the Greson last has a nicer instep shape - more pronouncedly convex when you look from the side, a-la EG. This is comparing apples to oranges, but overall, I rather like the 337 better. Leather: both appear to have very high quality leather uppers, with fine, uniform grain. The Grensons have a mild antiquing effect (C&Js are black), especially in the cap area - nice but limited in scope. Stitching: I remember reading somewhere that Grenson's stitching is finer and with a greater number of stitches per inch than C&J. I didn't count, but it appears to be so. Sole: Grenson's chanelling is very nice, but the waist appears to be slightly wider, with less beveling, and the fiddleback effect less pronounced than C&J. On the other hand, the sole does not extend as much out on the perimeter as in the C&Js, and is hence trimmer and neater - giving the shoe more of a bespoke/slimmer look, again, a-la EG. Lining: C&J has an inner liner than extendes the full length of the shoe (don't know the correct term). Grenson has a heel part made of "fine" leather, while the rest of the shoe is lined with a coarser, thicker type of leather, the way benchgrade C&Js are lined. I don't know whether this is a functional or esthetic choice on part of the manufacturers. I like the look of the C&J lining better, though. And, finally, surprise: the C&Js are noticeably heavier and "denser", while the Grensons are almost Italian-light. No idea what can account for that, but you definitely get more shoe for your money Â Overall, differences are minute and the two brands seem to be running neck and neck in term of quality. Choice may come down to fit and last shape.
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9/1/04 at 8:33pm