I just received my "Darlton" shell cordovan pennyloafers, and I must say, they are a bit of a let down.
I like the other C&J-made Polo shoes I bought from the private sale and GVH: the Benton, the Langford, the Sheldon, and the Chawner.
In comparison, I think the Darlton pennyloafers I just received are not as well made. First, the two shoes are of noticeably different shades of dark brown. The sockliners are only half-liners, and one of them is already coming apart. There are several glue marks inside the shoes, for that matter.
The soles are not channeled. The coloring (dyeing?) is not uniform (and I don't mean the burnished look) -- there are black dots here and there. I would even say that these seem to be not as well made as my Polo Charlton pennyloafers (Italian-made, $345 retail compared to $600 for the Darlton).
I might hold onto them until A. Testoni (black label) loafers and Sutor Mantellassi split toes arrive from Sierra Trading in a week to determine whether they are a good value at $300, the shell cordovan notwithstanding.
By the way, my Darltons were also labelled as Marlowe. There is another sticker underneath the top one bearing the name and price, but I can't read it.