(Giona Granata @ 06 Oct. 2004, 09:21) And what about Church's?
It seems they have many new models which looks not to bad, Â at least better than what they made these 3 last years. The upscale range, "masterclass" looks nice.
Right, but at around $500 including tax (and some models breaking 500 euro) the shoes simply are grossly overpriced. I haven't looked at the new ones up close enough to see if they're corrected grain, but stitched aloft, with clunky lasts, the shoes really don't deliver for that price. Go for Tricker's (lasts might be similarly clunky but very, very well made) or Crockett and Jones. Alfred Sargent Premier Exclusives deliver a much better shoe at a much lower price. That said, "Tootsie Plohound" is a dumbass name for a retailer (cf AAAC). I think Green makes a fantastic RTW shoe; I've had nothing but phenomenal service from the Green personnel and the Green corner at Old England. To the RTW shoe best of list I suppose we should add Silvano Lattanzi/Borrelli (made by Lattanzi?) as well as Kiton. Fantastic shoes but only when judged when price is no object. $2000 for ready-to-wear shoes is certifiably insane. The Lobb bootmaker soles are nice, but $1200 for them? I've got some Green special orders down the pike and have specified (very) bevelled waists for them: they're quite accomodating for much less. Watch this space. In terms of shoe value for money, I suppose Trickers and Alfred Sargent Premier stand out. I've seen a French brand called Loding at ludicrously low prices for quality shoes (channelled soles, antiqued leather, decent construction for 150 euros). I'm curious if anyone else knows it. And of course, Vass ready-to-wear, which is constructed in the same way as Vass bespoke, is another contender for best RTW shoe. Fantastically well made, although it appears that there is no bevelling except on the chisel-toed U last (A Harris, correct me). Also no antiquing -- I suppose avoiding the ersatz-antiquing charges levelled against Berluti, Aubercy and Corthay.