I hear a lot of contradictory information regarding J&M; some people think they're a reliable mid-line brand, whereas others state J&M produces cheap, ugly shoes. It's weird how consistently inconsistent the input is. I wonder whether J&M uses drastically different construction for different lines. I own 3 pairs of J&M's myself: 1 pair of crown aristocraft oxfords and 2 pairs of their mid-grade stuff. All 3 pairs were bought in the past 18 months. The oldest pair I own is just a basic tan/light brown split-toe, which J&M apparently discontinued. Even though the quality of the leather isn't great, they have held up remarkably well. There's no wrinkling in the leather, that's for sure. Quite comfortable, too. Definitely worth the $50 I paid for them. I just bought these: http://www.johnstonmurphy.com/produc...1009&pid=54701
Easily the most comfortable business casual shoes I've ever worn (but I'm pretty young). The quality of the leather seems high according to touch, but they have barely been tested in terms of durability. The aristocrafts are not very comfortable. I think the uppers are too high on the foot and touch my big ankles too much. That's my biggest complaint. I receive a lot of compliments on them, though. I probably overpaid for them in retrospect, but I would not call them junk. I have a feeling they'll last me a really long time if I take care of them.