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Bespoke Shoes - Cleverly vs. Green

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I recently received my first pair of Cleverley bespoke and am very disappointed in the fit and feel of the shoes. Has anyone who has both Green and Cleverley bespoke shoes can opine on the difference regarding fit and feel of each maker. Thanks
post #2 of 33
I opted to go with Green bespoke based on feedback from friends who have had shoes made in the past by Cleverly's.  Tony Gaziano, formerly with Cleverly's, now oversees Green's bespoke and I, and others, regard Tony as a modern day master shoemaker.  That said, Perry Ercolino, no slouch either, based in Pennsylvania but with a presence in NYC, should be on your short list, too, for superior fit. Grayson
post #3 of 33
I have on a pair of old Cleverleys today that fit perfectly. All my Cleverleys do, actually. Yet I think Tony makes a slightly superior shoe. The finishing is better, the styling is a little sharper, and the quality control seems to be a tad higher.
post #4 of 33
Have you let Cleverley's know of your disappointment? I have an acquaintance who was in a similar situation, and Cleverley has agreed to modify his lasts and re-make the shoes. I think that any smart business would do the same, given that losing a customer is much more costly in the long run. Let us know how things work out.
post #5 of 33
I'm with shoefan on this. Let Cleveley know what your concerns are. There will always be some customers who are "eggshell" types who are very easily disappointed or otherwise very difficult to satisfy. Assuming you're not one of these, I would think you should go back to them and, with calm and tact, explain your concerns. Otherwise, I feel your pain, but no, I don't have experience with the bespoke program at Green/Cleverley.
post #6 of 33
Having gone the full nine yards with custom shoes, most recently with John Lobb/Paris, I have to confess that for all practical purposes, a well-made *ready-made* pair of shoes serve my purposes fine, and should most others out there in cyberspace, too.  For me, the small increment in comfort offered by custom shoes vs. the sizeable cost can't be justified on any real-world basis, and if your feet really are mangled, you'd be much better served by orthopedically designed shoes, not "bespoke" shoes.  Ultimately, my New Balance sneaks trump all of my fancy shoes for comfort, if not for appearance. Do also keep in mind that for many, the original aesthetics of bespoke shoes are lost if your feet are not very graceful to start with---For example, if your feet are wide, that width will be incorporated into the shoes, quite possibly throwing off the original lines of the shoes that you had admired. The results could be an expensive disappointment. Grayson
post #7 of 33
Cleverley will make your shoes right if you show them what's amiss. I've shoes from each and I also give Green an edge based on Tony's superior design skills and Green's superior brown finishes. Construction quality seems to be roughly equal.
post #8 of 33
The one drawback with Green, for me at least, is their signature antique finish. Brand new shoes with a faux antique finish don't appeal to me, as I much prefer the natural aged look and feel of leather. And, the upkeep of that antique finish is a pain. It's the only negative of Green shoes, aside from the cost. Grayson
post #9 of 33
Quote:
The one drawback with Green, for me at least, is their signature antique finish. Brand new shoes with a faux antique finish don't appeal to me, as I much prefer the natural aged look and feel of leather. And, the upkeep of that antique finish is a pain. It's the only negative of Green shoes, aside from the cost. Grayson
Surely with bespoke you can select a non-antiqued finish. You can with RTW, so a fortiori I see no reason why it would be a problem with their bespoke offerings.
post #10 of 33
When I broached the idea of going with a regular finish with Tony, he gently but clearly discouraged that idea.  I don't think Green's wants to veer away from that signature antique finish for which they're famous.  But, perhaps a more insistent approach might be more effective if one does not desire the antiqueing. Black shoes, of course, do not have the antique finish. Grayson
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
I thank all for your expert advice and suggestions. At the fitting stage I told George Glasgow that the shoes were very tight in the toe area. I did suggest an additional fitting, but George asssured me that was not necessary. I have spoken with George about the problem and will see him in New York next month. I recently bought 2 pairs of shoes from Ron Rider at Franco's. A 7 1/2 Medium fit perfectly in a Gravati as well as a Martegani. However, I enjoy the bespoke experience, whether it be suits, shirts or shoes. I just spoke with Tony G at Greens and have an appointment to see him in April. Will keep Forum members advised.
post #12 of 33
Quote:
I enjoy the bespoke experience, whether it be suits, shirts or shoes.
You must be a glutton for punishment. Just kidding, of course. Grayson
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
Lisapop- Not only am I a gutton for punishment, I am a "Harrased Husband". My wife saw a pair of Green bespoke and loved the antique finish. I can take or leave it. However, she has been on my case to be fitted by Green. After not being happy with the Cleverleys, I agreed to try Tony at Greens. BTW, how do you rate your Lobb/Paris vs. Cleverley vs. Green. Thanks.
post #14 of 33
Wow, sounds like you have a really terrible wife.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
My wife saw a pair of Green bespoke and loved the antique finish.
Does your wife have an available sister? How the various custom shoes stack up for me is Lobb/Paris is #1 for exquisite product, materials, finish, fit and form.  A work of art.  Fanatical attention to measurements and fittings, performed with a surgical-like exactitude.  By the end of the fitting, there can be dozens upon dozens of markings.  Stitching performed with remarkable precision and perfection, especially with hard-to-handle leathers. Clever fitting using an interim plastic prototype/mold of shoe.  Experimenting with computer-aided development of molds, but not perfected as yet.  Trouble is, for me they're much too nice to wear.  Nice, though expensive, eye candy.  I'll need to get over it.  The most expensive of the bespoke shoemakers. Edward Green is just below Lobb/Paris by a notch for fit and finish.  Tony does a careful job of measuring and fitting, however Lobb Paris goes to fanatical extremes in this regard. Stitching performed with great precision; brogueing done with immense artistry. Tony gets high marks for his love of the craft and for reviving great designs of the past, with his own unique imprint interwoven in those designs.  Third most expensive, after Lobb/St. James's (London)  Tony is also very easy to work with, and very accessible; answers questions promptly and courteously.   Lobb/St. James's (I could say London, but St. James's sounds sooo delightfully snooty), in my own experience, falls short in the measuring process, which took rather an abbreviated 5 minutes or so (no fitting), and, consequently, in the fit of the shoes.  Fitting process is apparently contingent on your fitter, some of whom are more cursory than others.  Given their steep prices, however, Lobb really should institute a more uniform measuring process so that nobody receives short shrift.  The attitude at Lobb London is that *they* will ultimately determine if your shoes fit you.  Or, so it seems.  Stitching not up to the benchmarks set by Lobb/Paris and Edward Green.  Where Lobb London distinguishes themselves is in producing the purest traditional English designs.  Their wholecut shoe is perfect, vis a vis that from Lobb/Paris, which is rather pointy at the toe.  Lobb/London's William is the only double monk design I like.  And, be prepared to fork over another $500 for shoe trees.  Shoe bags and other acoutrements (laces, polish) all cost extra, as well.  Second most expensive shoes. I give the highest marks, however, to Perry Ercolino for fit and comfort.  Perry's measuring process exceeds even Lobb/Paris, which itself is impressive and comprehensive.  Perry is the only shoemaker with whom I have experience who employs physics in his measuring process in determining how one's feet strike the ground.  He also is the only one who uses the ink procedure, as outlined in the Vass book, to determine arch characteristics.  Closest comfort level to wearing sneakers.  Perry is a classically trained shoemaker with an appreciation for both English and Italian designs.  The most flexible shoemaker in this regard in that he's not beholden to any one design perspective.  Least expensive shoes of the group, at around $3,000, and fastest turn-around time for US residents. No shoemaker is absolutely perfect, they all have their own strengths, and they all aspire to make you a more soleful individual. Grayson
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