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30 year old improving his gear


New Member
Jan 15, 2016
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Hi guys,

Just like my watches i'm looking to improve the quality of my shoes. I'm 31, 2 little kids, from Belgium.

I'm used to spend 150 eur to a formal oxford dress shoe, but i'm willing to up the ante to 350 - 400 eur. Everything below that is just great and gives me spare money to spend on something else. Everything above it must be talked over with the wife :p

As for the shoes, i've been lurking a bit on this forum and my first opinion was to buy Meermins. The classic range (160eur). But i'm reading a lot about that the shoes are very hard (very, very hard) to break in. That's why i'm looking for Carmina's. Their oxford wholecuts are 385 eur. As you can see, i'm willing to spend this, but I expect some great quality.

But today i've discovered this German brand; Shoepassion.com. They also have the goodyear stitched soles and are a lot cheaper. I've already have my eye on some oxfords starting from 200 eur. This would give me some spare money for boat shoes or loafers.

As for now, with my newbie knowledge, these are my options:

1. Buy the Carmina's for spring/summer. Buy the boat shoes or loafers for the really hot days from shoepassion.com and hope for the best the wife doesn't find out.

2. Buy the oxfords from shoepassion.com and throw in some boat shoes or loafers as wel.

So what would be the best option?

Thanks for the advice!

PS, Those Cobbler Unions that i've saw yesterday are also nice, but probably the same quality as shoepassion?


Senior Member
Mar 14, 2008
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There are many solutions if you are on a tight budget - one is eBay (there are some good vendors that have slight seconds I.e. small aesthetic problems, so the quality of the shoe is there and the price is right; second is during sales, I highly recommend Herring shoes, notably their A. Sargent for Herring, another option is Pediwear.
It takes some patience and planning to build your shoe wardrobe, depends mostly on what job you have, if it needs to be ultra formal or you can be more creative, etc. As always, start with a pair of black captoes, and then build it up to whatever, but do not invest first in "exotic" i.e. heavy patina, double monks, if,you are working in a very conservative environment.


Senior Member
May 27, 2012
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Herring are excellent - the Herring branded shoes are made by various different (primarily English) makers, so try to find out which you are buying.

In terms of price : quality, you would struggle to find better than a range produced by Loake called '1880' (these are the high-end Loakes in calf-leather and retail full price for about £200).

Ensure you have enough pairs so you can give each pair a day of rest following use and please use shoe trees.
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