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Help deciding on new dress shoe.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm in the market for a new pair of dress shoes.  I've been wearing a black cap toe Ferragamo lavorazione originale that I bought entering into college but have outgrown them.  My office is pretty laid back so I'd be only wearing them when visiting clients and other miscellaneous events (i.e. weddings,fancy dinners, etc.).  I'm hoping this will new purchase will be last black dress shoe I need to purchase.  Should I stick with a cap toe or go with a plain toe or maybe even a wholecut?  I've done some browsing on the forum and it seems that John Lobb, Edward Green, or Gaziano & Girling would be the ideal choices, but am open to other suggestions.

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonng85 View Post

Hi, I'm in the market for a new pair of dress shoes.  I've been wearing a black cap toe Ferragamo lavorazione originale that I bought entering into college but have outgrown them.  My office is pretty laid back so I'd be only wearing them when visiting clients and other miscellaneous events (i.e. weddings,fancy dinners, etc.).  I'm hoping this will new purchase will be last black dress shoe I need to purchase.  Should I stick with a cap toe or go with a plain toe or maybe even a wholecut?  I've done some browsing on the forum and it seems that John Lobb, Edward Green, or Gaziano & Girling would be the ideal choices, but am open to other suggestions.

If this is your one black dress shoe, a stich-cap oxford with a classic round toe is probably the most versatile. It will look good on all the occasions you mention. Tricker's Regent is a good example.



So is Vass F Last:



At EG price points, I would go with hand-welted shoes like Vass or Enzo Bonafe, or with Blake-Rapid constructed shoes like Romano Martegani or Gravati or some Sutor Mantellassis, since hand-welting, Blake/Rapid, or even pure Blake construction is more durable than Goodyear welting. But it doesn't matter all that much. Good Goodyear shoes will last a long time. Keep in mind that fit should always win out over everything else.
post #3 of 9

Cap toe oxfords are probably the most versatile shoe you can buy. Wholecuts for me look lovely on photographs and in shop windows but lack the character and tradition of a nice oxford and look a bit "bland" when on the foot. They are also obviously very critical of last shape as there is no other character to the shoe and can in turn look quite blobby.

 

I keep convincing myself I need a pair of wholecuts but think my next pair will be another oxford (possibly this time with brogueing) because they are a classic and timeless design.

 

Out of the brands and models you posted I would go for the G&G Sinatra on TG73 or EG Chelsea on 82. To me, they are the best examples of each style.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses.  I think I've narrowed my choices to either the City II or Chelsea (82 last)...although I'm also intrigued by the Becketts.  I saw one of ebay in my size but I'm not sure how I feel about paying over $900 for rejects.

post #5 of 9
Why pay 900USD for a Goodyear-welted factory second when you could pay 600 EUR for a hand-welted Bonafe first?



Or if you can wait a bit, even better would be to have Meccarriello make you an MTM hand-welted shoe for less than the Lobb seconds.
post #6 of 9
Because hand-welting isn't everything. That single aspect aside, Bonafes are not the equal of EGs. And yes, I have plenty examples of both.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post

Because hand-welting isn't everything. That single aspect aside, Bonafes are not the equal of EGs. And yes, I have plenty examples of both.

I agree that hand-welting isn't everything. So in what ways is John Lobb Hermes or EG so much better than Enzo Bonafe? After all, you are advising him to pay 900 USD for a factory-second Goodyear-welted shoe instead of 667 USD for a hand-welted Bonafe. And those Bonafes look pretty good to me.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post


I agree that hand-welting isn't everything. So in what ways is John Lobb Hermes or EG so much better than Enzo Bonafe?


​I would say that EG's lasts are far more beautiful than most RTW makers and their burnishing is the best I have seen. I have never handled any Bonafes but their finishing looks to be a lot lesser than both EG and JLP and it is also generally accepted that JLP use the best leather too.

 

Whether this is enough to sway you from HW to GYW is another thing but to get JLP leather quality, EG finishing and HW construction I would say is nigh on impossible outside of bespoke (or very specialized makers).

 

You make your decision based on what is important to you.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post


I agree that hand-welting isn't everything. 

 

Excellent.  My work here is done - lol. :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post


 So in what ways is John Lobb Hermes or EG so much better than Enzo Bonafe? After all, you are advising him to pay 900 USD for a factory-second Goodyear-welted shoe instead of 667 USD for a hand-welted Bonafe. And those Bonafes look pretty good to me.
 

Okay, first things first - I'm not recommending the OP do anything at all.  You posed the rhetorical question of why one would choose to purchase a GYW shoe when one could purchase a HW shoe for less money.  That is what my response addressed - there are good reasons why one might choose to do so.  

 

As for your current question (and leaving Lobb aside for the purpose of discussion because I have no ownership experience to draw upon) - the short answer is that EG - and G&G will be superior in just about every other measure:  design, lasts, quality of leather, finish, consistency of execution etc.  Bonafe - and Vass - represent superb value in premium RTW shoes and boots, but they are not at the top of the RTW hierarchy.  If you want EG / G&G level of overall quality AND hand-welting, then St. Crispin's is good choice.

 

And yes, the Bonafes in question look pretty good and no doubt are - just like the half-dozen or so pairs from the brand that I have owned.

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