Originally Posted by kashmir
That is some extensive info, thanks MoK... and yeah, you're among the few not-so-satisfied customers of C&J, may I ask for what reason? Have you got any comments for the rest of the Northampton makers, namely those at around Loake 1880 price range - Sanders and Herring? I have only experiences with Herring and they are wonderful to deal with from a customer standpoint; hence it would be great to have more info regarding the other brands carried. They are always a solid option to recommend especially for entry-level...
I've had three pairs of C&J - two of which have held up well, one of which hasn't. I wouldn't say I'm exactly unsatisfied, but I think it's a bit over-hyped, and a little over-priced. The pricing puts it up at Tricker's level, and I think for the money they produce a much better quality shoe.
Sanders quality seems variable - I've got a great pair of commando soled derbies that are slightly better than typical Loake 1880 quality, but a pair of Chelseas where the leather won't take polish evenly and are 'okay' at best. A pair of black boots are one of my most worn bits of footwear. Certainly worth a look.
The only Herring shoes I've had were effectively re-branded Loake 1880's (much like most of Charles Tyrwhitt's better own-branded shoes). I've no experience with their Portuguese made lines.
Cheaney have been very solid shoes for the price, although I think mine were made pre the Church family buyout. I'd certainly look at their current stock.
Church's are decent enough but nothing special for the price.
Alfred Sargent seem to have positioned themselves more upmarket recently and look really nice. The only shoes I've got from them were from the discontinued Premier line (good shoes at a good price) and a pair from the old Classic Collection (generally decently made, but corrected grain, although the Suede shoes were a bargain).
Grenson seem to have changed their lines too - I liked the old Rose Collection, and disliked the lower lines.Edited by ManofKent - 3/9/13 at 10:13pm