Originally Posted by bespoken pa
I was advised that Carmina has an exceptional backstock of shell. I also tend to think that not as many people looked Carmina's way until Alden's shell started to dry up.
I agree with this statement. In my opinion Carmina "currently" makes far fewer pairs of Shell shoes than Alden. Give it a while and they will be short too. If Carmina has what you want...get it while the getting is good.
I think Horween is in a pickle, they can't get shell right now, and I don't see this getting fixed anytime soon, if ever. The demand exceeds supply for shell, the USA limits horse slaughter. Outside the USA, far fewer regulations on horse slaughter, but I don't know how many horses are available?
To take this a step further...Alden, and likely Allen Edmonds shortly if not already are in deep poop. You got retailers screaming about shell orders not filled for 2 years, demand far exceeds what Alden can produce...even in regular styles of leather! Alden retailers are screwed, can't make money if you can't get product. Allen Edmonds is now 3 months out on shell, that's for black and burgundy shell. If they have not stopped brown, they will soon. I'm waiting on a brown shell belt and shoes for 10 weeks so far.
Carmina has very few retailers in the USA and those that do, few if any stock shell. I see Carmina having a great window to capture short term market share, but they will run out of shell too.
I don't see Horween breaking ties with their main 2 buyers, Alden and AE. It's a storm we have to ride out. However I doubt we will see anything but black and #8 in any large amounts. I think Cigar, Ravello, and Whiskey will be ultra rare, if available at all. What little is available will be pre-sold and pre-paid and the average guy will be out of luck.
My advice...buy it now if its out there, and there are a few pairs not advertised to be had, but you will have to dig,call, pester, and ask the right questions.
Sorry for the long post.