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Another shoe question

bengal-stripe

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I presume very much, they are made by Crockett & Jones (although not hand grade, I can see the groove of the sole stitching)..

Yes they are expensive. Not so much $ 349, that's about the normal price for a non-reduced pair; but the "original" price of $ 600 seems to have been plucked out of mid air.
 

jcusey

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So are these Ben Silver listed C&Js truly "handgrade" for only $75 more? C&J Whitehall
Yes, they are. Handgrade, in this context, refers to the C&J line that the shoe belongs to. C&J Handgrade shoes have channeled soles and better leathers and better finishing than their regular-line brethren.
I like the look of the Ralph Lauren shoes somewhat better, though.
How about these?
This is the Belgrave model, also Handgrade.
 

AlanC

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Slow response, but yes, I do like those better. I'm working my way toward some brown dress shoes, likely captoe (or semi-brogue, below). I'm torn on whether I should go with Alden or upgrade to C&J (is it an upgrade?). I quite like The Berkley.
Here's the Alden (imagine tan):
I've read suggestions that the English brown leathers tend to look better/richer than, say, an Alden. On the other hand, I can get Aldens for ~$100 cheaper and finding a good fit on C&Js makes me nervous. *sigh* I'll keep saving and looking. Suggestions appreciated.
 

jcusey

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I've read suggestions that the English brown leathers tend to look better/richer than, say, an Alden. On the other hand, I can get Aldens for ~$100 cheaper and finding a good fit on C&Js makes me nervous. *sigh*
The leather on a tan C&J Handgrade shoe will probably look richer than the leather on a tan Alden shoe, but that's not so much because of the quality of the leather (although the C&J Handgrade leather is probably better quality) as because of the finishing that C&J gives to the shoe. It's antiqued, so there are darker and lighter spots on the shoe. The effect is beautiful. The Alden shoe, however, does not come with an antiqued finish and will consequently look flatter out of the box. In time, if you take care of them, Alden shoes can acquire more dimension: I have a pair in walnut that's beautiful.

C&J Handgrade shoes are higher quality than Alden shoes are. Whether they're $100 better per pair is something that you'll have to decide for yourself. FWIW, I've bought any number of shoes significantly more expensive than Alden, but my Alden shoes still form an important part in my shoe wardrobe. If you're worried about fit and you decide to buy C&J, you need to go with a source that will allow you to return them if they're not the right size. The same goes with Alden, of course, but you'll probably find more places to try Alden on than you will C&J Handgrade.
 

mack

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I bought a pair of the shell cordovan Alden Norwegians last month and just received a pair of brown C&J Weymouths, which are actually tan, from Ben Silver last week.

The C&J line appears to be slightly better made.  More importantly, the Alden shoes are less refined in styling than C&J, imho, which is fine if that's what you want.  I also liked the Alden Fan shoes much more than their regular line.

Either of these shoes should last ten years or more with care, so what's an extra $100 over this time period.  After you find your corect size you can order from someone like PLAL and save about $100 off of the Ben Silver price.

Ben Silver's prices look cheaper than ordering from any of the English sites like Pediwear.  Also, be aware that Ben Silver adjusts their width for American sizing, but not their length, so order a half to a full size smaller in length.  Their shipping is very reasonable, so you might want to order several pairs in different sizes so you get what you want.  They are a little slow on processing credits back on your card, but eventually it gets done.

Hope this helps.
 

AlanC

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At this point I'll probably aim for the C&Js from Ben Silver. I figure I'll never regret spending the extra $100. It looks like I simply have to pay my dues on the C&Js with a retail pair to get my sizing right.

There are some Aldens that I have my eye on at Alden-of-Carmel in shell cordovan, but these are my priority now.

By the way, it looks as though Pediwear is no longer listing C&J shoes.
 

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