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Advantages of a $1000 Pair of Shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by MCanavan6, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. jerrybrowne

    jerrybrowne Senior member

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    That's great. Try not to be so self-deprecating. Perpetuating these stereotypes is not good, and frankly tiresome.
     


  2. UnnamedPlayer

    UnnamedPlayer Senior member

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    weren't they brothers?
     


  3. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    yes.
     


  4. gsugsu

    gsugsu Senior member

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  5. Petepan

    Petepan Senior member

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    No one is being self deprecating, just as no one was being racist. Kind sir, the next time you talk down on me again, you will not receive a response as civil as this, so let it rest while you are still ahead.
     


  6. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    There is some bullshit floating around.

    My OPINION:

    1. Alden shoes are not attractive. They are blobby as hell and the quality is not measurably superior to AE, although I will agree that some of their leathers are better. At the price point, I don't give them a first thought, much less a second.

    2. Meermin. An upstart that has promise. But, we are talking about chinese made shoes here and the quality control is seemingly lacking. From what i've seen, you've got about a 1 in 3 chance that your shoes may have a noticeable defect. Yes, the prices are good for handwelted shoes. Will this handwelting benefit the vast majority of users...probably not. To put Meermin in the same league as carmina or C&J is simply not correct.

    The only benefit I see to meermin is that they offer a MTO service for 100 euro...and of course if you like the styling.

    3. As much as some people like to say the difference between a benchgrade C&J and an EG/JL is "pretty big", I don't see it. I've worn EGs and have a few C&J benchgrades. Is the finishing a little nicer, the sole work better, and the leather quality a bit nicer, sure. What was the end result while wearing....not much...they both look great, wear well, and shine up nicely. If you spend your days examining your shoes up close, you may get value from these differences, but to the average SF user, the difference is academic. We are already talking about what, the top 1-3% of shoes made?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012


  7. gsugsu

    gsugsu Senior member

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    Fit is indeed paramount and there is no value in investing even one dollar on a pair of shoes that don't fit. Doesn't matter if it is EG or AE.

    Meermin has seemingly become the new darling of SF in that it delivers a quality product at a great price point. But I have a question. Reading the Meermin thread there have been quite a number of major flaws occurring, like heels separating or falling off. There are quality control issues with any product but how does this compare to other brands. In relative terms does Meermin seem to have more major flaws or is this just a blip because of their recent popularity and people posting a great deal?

    How often are people encountering major problems with the higher end brands?

    AE and Alden seem to have variable quality issues with finishing like stitching.

    Vass? Other than issues with inconsistent sizing how often are major quality control issues reported here?

    Carmina and C&J experience seem to be positive with the only difference separating them from EG and JL being a perceptible difference in the esthetics of last choices and level of leather finishing, antiquing etc. Is that a fair statement?

    In short, how often do we experience major flaws from the upper tier makers and, assuming that there are no issues with fit, is this another key reason for choosing upper tier over lower?
     


  8. Beatlegeuse

    Beatlegeuse Senior member

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    To your first point, Alden does many things very well (like unique makeups in exotic shell colors). However, if you are just talking about a standard calfskin dress shoe, which I think you are, then I wholeheartedly agree. There are much better options for the money.

    Your third point makes a lot of sense, especially to someone who is just getting their first decent pair of shoes. I think someone already said it on the first page, but it is insane to go from a $100 shoe to a $1000 shoe in one fell swoop. Try a mid to high-end range shoe first and upgrade to the super high end after you can truly appreciate the subtle differences.
     


  9. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    Fit is indeed paramount. I would put looks over quality for 2nd. If the shoes are ugly and I won't wear them, why do I care that they are great quality.

    The number of flaws with Meermin is alarming. Given that they are not known at all in the US (not sure about elsewhere), I'm guessing a lot of their order flow comes directly from this site. From what we have seen, a decent percentage of their shoes have some type of issue, the ones I purchased included.

    AE had issues as well, but I believe has taken steps to fix those issues (heel separation). Sure, some pairs of AEs are messed up and shouldn't go out the door, but their customer service is top notch, and the number of defective shoes vs. good shoes, I believe would be lower than meermin.

    As with flaws from the upper echelon, there may be some, but they produce fewer shoes, giving them the ability to do closer quality control checks. Furthermore, purchasers of these shoes usually know what and what is not acceptable, and as such, you don't see posts on here asking "whether xyz issue on my new EG/JL/G&G is normal". They simply recognize the flaw, determine if its acceptable to them, and either live with it or contact the company to resolve the issue.
     


  10. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    good points. Alden does do unique cord products, but since I don't like their lasts, alas, its not for me. They do make a quality product, but as you stated, for the price, i look elsewhere.

    agree wholeheartedly that someone going from $100 shoes to $1000 shoes will likely miss whatever minor additional value exists over a $500-$600 shoe.
     


  11. Xenon

    Xenon Senior member

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    Seriously this cannot be stressed enough!

    Also remember that a properly fitting shoe of any design is inherently nicer looking when worn than a poorly fitted uber expensive one.
     


  12. Pliny

    Pliny Senior member

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    good post- and this seems like sensible advice - Buying these kind of shoes is not the same as buying a purely functional item. I buy really good shoes with my heart, not my head.

    If you love paintings for example (and you can afford to buy em) you'd rather have one Freud, or Rothko, or Bacon than any number of well-executed pics by the dude selling at the local boardwalk market.

    So why don't you try buying something mid-range, like a C&J Belgrave cap toe, and a really classic EG or Vass, like an Asquith or Inverness or a P2 Norweger (a hand-made shoe) and compare them? If you then decide you dont want a collection of very expensive high end shoes, no great harm, but I suspect you'll only ever have that one C&J.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012


  13. Xenon

    Xenon Senior member

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    No the idea is that presumably he can afford up to $1000. So for a while he should ignore price and just try on as many different lasted shoes as he can in store/wherever and find the one that fits the best. Once he finds that last if the price of the shoe is $1000 or below then he buys it.
     


  14. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    no. Aside from just plain ridiculous fit issues, a slight bit of misplaced creasing does not make an uber expensive "nice" shoe (eg/jl etc) inherently worse loooking than a properly fitted pair of cole haans.
     


  15. SuitedDx

    SuitedDx Senior member

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    This is a lively conversation. :D

    I can only comment on AE, Alden, AS, C&J, EG, and JL; I do not have any Vass, G&G, Carmina, St. Crispin, or Meermin.

    My two cents:
    -AE and Alden are fine shoes but the QC is much better with their Northampton counterparts.
    -Alden is excellent for casual shell shoes/boots but AE has the edge with calf dress/smart shoes. I consider Alden a niche brand for my casual shell footwear.
    -C&J makes very good shoes with a nice variety of lasts (tradition 341 to contemporary 348/358) at a fair price (BG ~ $400; HG ~ $600 without customs/fees UK to US).
    -AS' quality is overall better (i.e., leather uppers, sole treatment) compared to C&J (Exclusive vs. BG) and is reflected on the slight difference in price; AS HG (MTO) is great because of the quality but more importantly the level of accomodation/flexibility with CC.
    -EG has excellent variety of styles/colors and their brown leathers ages beautifully. For comfort, not even factoring looks, their lasts fit me the best.
    -JL's museum calf is unique and shoes like the William are classic.

    I have found a happy triad of dress/smart shoe brands: C&J, AS, & EG with only EG breaking the MSRP >$1K mark (I consider my Alden shells casual wear). I own EG (and spend the money) because the 82 & 888 lasts fit me very well and EG has a great selection of color/style combinations; this is what I consider the 'advantage' of the brand. However, AS & C&J also fit the bill even if they are under the $1K mark.

    Looking forward to receiving Vass & G&G soon.
     


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