Yeah, I figured why not go crazy on this pair?
So, here is my 2 cents.
You are in the Alden thread, and will likely get a biased response here.
However, having owned both pairs you mention, the LWBs will be easily much more versatile.
That being said, the ruby shell is beautiful. Beware of the Simpson last, as it is quite narrow.
In a casual but conservative environment, the LWB wins hands down.
The only hesitation I have with the LWB is that I already have four LWBs in various forms (two Alden Ravello LWBs, one AE MacNeil in natural shell, and one AE McGregor in dark chili calf). I love LWBs, but I just am hesitating a bit to pick up another pair.
I would add:
(1) While some do have trouble with Simpson, I just go with my Barrie size (i.e., 9.5D Barrie = 9.5 UK Simpson) and it works great for me.
(2) I have those same Carminas and acquired them in part because I didn't know if I would ever see ruby shell again, whereas the 975 will presumably be in plentiful supply until the end of time (or the end of shell at least), and may even be relatively easy to come by gently used.
(3) I don't own 975s. But, I do have the AE MacNeil LWB in burgundy shell, and I have the Alden LWB in cigar shell. For me, the Alden has a slight advantage in comfort, but the AE beats it in styling. So, if you haven't checked out the MacNeil, you might do that too.
How come you unloaded the Florsheims?
I am planning on going with my Barrie size for the Simpson, as well. Haven't tried it, though.
Your point on the 975 availability is well-taken and is a big factor in my decisionmaking process.
For starters, it's hard to imagine that the Euro will get much weaker than it is now, and Carmina could well raise prices on shell again. Alden's shell prices are unlikely to fluctuate so dramatically. And, who knows how much more Color #2 shell Carmina has?
I think I'm leaning towards the Carminas, with the idea that I can always get the 975s down the road...
Keep the 975 and sell the AE.
Thanks, Mike. I don't actually have a 975 to keep at the moment. And, considering the deal I got on the Cambridges ($350 brand new), I don't think I want to sell those.
They look great.
My understanding was that double Dainite means a Dainite sole with a single leather midsole between the welt and the Dainite sole.
Dainite, or single Dainite, would be attaching the Dainite sole directly to the welt (with no midsole).
So yours is double (is "triple" more accurate?) Dainite but with a double leather midsole?
It's slightly complicated by the different thickness options of the Dainite. I'm not 100% sure which weight/thickness of Dainite this is, but I think it's the standard "single" Dainite thickness.
Some people use the phrase "double Dainite" to refer to the thickest Dainite option, whereas others use it to refer to using a midsole in addition to Dainite. I wanted the thickest Dainite option AND the midsole, but Beehive only has the normal single-thickness Dainite, so it seems they used two midsoles. It probably ended up a touch thicker than it would have with a thicker Dainite + single midsole, but I really do like the chunkiness.
So it sort of is "triple". :)