I don't have the finest sense of what differentiates the Ed Green's from the Italian mades. Â I think that, based on reputation alone, you'd have to believe that the Ed Green's construction is at least two notches above the Italian mades. Â The Ed Greens will be handmade, I assume, while the Italian ones are clearly machine welted. Â But, in terms of the quality of the leather, I would say that the Italian mades are not too far from the quality of the Ed Greens. Â Maybe with years of wear you'd see that the Green's leather wears better. Â But compared to similar priced shoes, I'm extremely impressed with the quality of the leather used in the Italian mades. Â It is substantial leather, but still very supple -- in other words, it is not "plasticy" at all, and there is no sense that it has a polyeurethance coat like, say, $200 Mezlan's do. Â They are also eminently comfortable. Â What I believe is the shank running through the instep really supports the foot beautifully. Â They also have a really beautifully shaped last. Â I would say that the leather quality easily matches that of the Alden made shoes at Brooks Brothers. As for holding out for the Greens, "holding out" usually for me will mean paying at least $400. There's no way I could find a new pair of Purple Label shoes in my size for less than that -- I mean, that's like a 50% discount already. Going from $135 on Bluefly to $400 or thereabouts is a really big leap. I'd rather use the money to buy a second pair of nice shoes than go from a "great shoe" (which I consider the Polos to be), to a "superlative shoe -- best RTW on the planet," which the Purple Labels arguably are.