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Archibald London Hand Welted Shoes - preorder issues, discussion,and resolution.

JustPullHarder

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First impressions were nice. Strictly related to those pictures I posted, I thought they were nice shoes.

When I wore them after the ice in central Illinois cleared, I realized how bad they were. They went to absolute crap.

I've been honest with all you about this. I don't know what more you want out of me here?

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. For my sins, for my sins, for my most grievous sins?
I just read your review.

I think the issue is that it waxes poetic in a way that largely mirrors the disingenuous copy that AoL put out.

The pictures did not show particularly nice leather or finishing even before you wore them and the ceasing became evident.

There are shoes with very large caps and don't crease. If you're going to make a structured cap toe you should design it in a way that doesn't allow it to crease too badly.

The comment about fudging also sounded a bit sycophantic. If the maker fudges over the stitches properly it will always look like it lines up. Good way to make 6 spi like 13 spi. EG only fudges the edge rather than over the actual stitches.

It LOOKED like you were out of your depth reviewing the shoes, got the shoes for free, and showered them with praise. Regardless of intent the optics were poor.
 

JFWR

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I just read your review.

I think the issue is that it waxes poetic in a way that largely mirrors the disingenuous copy that AoL put out.

The pictures did not show particularly nice leather or finishing even before you wore them and the ceasing became evident.

There are shoes with very large caps and don't crease. If you're going to make a structured cap toe you should design it in a way that doesn't allow it to crease too badly.

The comment about fudging also sounded a bit sycophantic. If the maker fudges over the stitches properly it will always look like it lines up. Good way to make 6 spi like 13 spi. EG only fudges the edge rather than over the actual stitches.

It LOOKED like you were out of your depth reviewing the shoes, got the shoes for free, and showered them with praise. Regardless of intent the optics were poor.
Not saying the optics weren't poor, but the shoes looked good to me.

The leather felt and looked nice.

The fudging was a nice touch. It's a mark of quality that can be attributed to aol. They might be shit otherwise, but the detail was excellent.

The finishing to me also looked good. Perhaps you disagree. That's fine, what precisely did you find objectionable? The stitching was nice. The fudging was superb. The welt was 270. The sole was closed channelled.

I pointed out the concern with the captoes. To me that's not a deal breaker; it became so when it was worn outside and I walked about half a mile around town in them.

Look, I admit: I was fooled. Whatcha want from me here besides that admission?
 

j ingevaldsson

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I'm seriously still waiting for someone to tell me this is a joke.

I understand the construction point of view. It would elevate these shoes but

Just to be clear and so that I don't misinterpret this.. this shoe
View attachment 1590543

Is supposed to compete against this one
View attachment 1590544
View attachment 1590551
Are these the actual pictures they use to market the Chelsea boots? Maybe my eyes are deceiving me, but are the shoes not filled with ugly creasing?
FWIW when I wrote this in an article about the brand: "Have never seen them in real life but they look ok, not super refined, and the leather might not be the best there is. But with the RRP of €450 for an Italian-made hand welted shoe, you can’t expect too much. And you can get them at only €290, a 35% discount, and that price tag for a European-made hand welted shoe is very rare", and after been called to their thread explained I stood by it and said didn't think they could state that the shoes were as good as they stated, I was repeatedly over a long period in time called "a quack", "a fraud", "a liar" etc. by the Archibald folks (they just recently said they "have made mistakes" though, but not given me a real excuse yet), for judging that looking at only photos...
 
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Wild Strawberry Rabbit

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I’d have to go back through the old thread but if I recall they were better than CJ, JL, on par with JL Prestige or EG. They may have only been second to Berluti but those weren’t HW so these got the win head to head.
On the other thread the guy from AOL stated that JL Prestige shoes are overpriced shit and that AOL is „trouncing” JL... He based his claims on the opinion of his Italian craftsman (or „craftsman”?) and the fact that he himself ordered a couple of shoes from Mr Porter, compared them to AoL shoes and decided that AoL are just much better (don’t ask how - he admitted that he has no knowledge of shoes)...
 

Wild Strawberry Rabbit

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Are these the actual pictures they use to market the Chelsea boots? Maybe my eyes are deceiving me, but are the shoes not filled with ugly creasing?
On the other thread the guy from AoL commented on creasing that this is a very special top grade leather used only in bespoke orders. It looks badly on pictures but once you put your foot inside the shoe all the creasing magically dissapears. I’m not joking, he actually wrote that.
 

JFWR

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FWIW when I wrote this in an article about the brand: "Have never seen them in real life but they look ok, not super refined, and the leather might not be the best there is. But with the RRP of €450 for an Italian-made hand welted shoe, you can’t expect too much", and after been called to their thread explained I stood by it and said didn't think they could state that the shoes were as good as they stated, I was repeatedly over a long period in time called "a quack", "a fraud", "a liar" etc. by the Archibald folks (they just recently said they "have made mistakes" though, but not given me a real excuse yet), for judging that looking at only photos...
Would you normally review a pair purely from promotional pictures? I can say unequivocally that archibald responded badly, but do you normally review shoes you have never seen in person?

Serious question. Aol fucked me, but is this your standard practice?
 

j ingevaldsson

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Would you normally review a pair purely from promotional pictures? I can say unequivocally that archibald responded badly, but do you normally review shoes you have never seen in person?

Serious question. Aol fucked me, but is this your standard practice?
I paste a previous reply I did when my "review" was brought up (click here to see it with the photos shown directly, to easier assess it):

I was told my "review" of Archibald was brought up here again, so I will try to, once again, explain for all who feel that they want to understand.

I have never reviewed Archibald London's shoes. This is not a review:

View attachment 1572728

This below is an example of when I do a review (most in spoiler to not fill up the entire page). I hope you can see the difference:

View attachment 1572729
View attachment 1572730
View attachment 1572731
View attachment 1572732

View attachment 1572734
 

JFWR

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I paste a previous reply I did when my "review" was brought up:
I certainly agree there is nothing objectionable in your appraisal. You weren't even especially critical here. The response was not in keeping with a reasonable person. If that is all you said, that's not a problem as far as I can account.

On the other hand, I can understand why someone would be a bit annoyed because they've invested time and money in their brand. But this is still unreasonable by all measures.
 

j ingevaldsson

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I certainly agree there is nothing objectionable in your appraisal. You weren't even especially critical here. The response was not in keeping with a reasonable person. If that is all you said, that's not a problem as far as I can account.

On the other hand, I can understand why someone would be a bit annoyed because they've invested time and money in their brand. But this is still unreasonable by all measures.
I make comments on how shoes are perceived all the time, but I'm always clearly stating if I base that on just looking at photos, if I've also handled them in person, or if I've also owned and worn them (and in cases I also state opinions on shoes that I've gathered from others, but always explain what things are basedon). If it's only photos, if you know shoes you can judge quite a lot, but certainly not all, which I've always been clear about. If you've handled them in person you can judge more. And if you've worn them especially for some time you can judge even more. It's not really complicated, and actually this is only in this case that this has ever been questioned (if anything I'm called out by readers for not stating opinion on how I perceive shoes if I don't comment on it at all, which is why I normally have some short sentiment in the same manners as done here when new unknown brands are covered). In this case, the article was clearly seen as a positive highlight of them by almost all who read the article (and not just read AoE's statements of what it was), I know for a fact several bought shoes from them after reading it.
 

JFWR

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I make comments on how shoes are perceived all the time, but I'm always clearly stating if I base that on just looking at photos, if I've also handled them in person, or if I've also owned and worn them (and in cases I also state opinions on shoes that I've gathered from others, but always explain what things are basedon). If it's only photos, if you know shoes you can judge quite a lot, but certainly not all, which I've always been clear about. If you've handled them in person you can judge more. And if you've worn them especially for some time you can judge even more. It's not really complicated, and actually this is only in this case that this has ever been questioned (if anything I'm called out by readers for not stating opinion on how I perceive shoes if I don't comment on it at all, which is why I normally have some short sentiment in the same manners as done here when new unknown brands are covered). In this case, the article was clearly seen as a positive highlight of them by almost all who read the article (and not just read AoE's statements of what it was), I know for a fact several bought shoes from them after reading it.
My only question as a follow up is: did you ever get your hands on a pair. If not, why not?
 

j ingevaldsson

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My only question as a follow up is: did you ever get your hands on a pair. If not, why not?
My first contact with them was them reaching out to me and asking if I wanted to do a review, and I said no thanks since I'm already way over my head with things to review, I say no to most review requests nowadays if it's not something I find of particular interest to me or the readers. I then shared that article with them to show that I had covered them a bit before, which was when all this shebang started. And as I also wrote a while back: "I see no point in doing a review of their products, even if I would know that it was objective, any potential criticism could just be discarded by me wanting to “get back on them” for being treated badly (the same reason, but the other way around so to speak, why I would never do a review of any of the products we sell at Skolyx. If one can be viewed as biased towards any direction there’s no point with reviews IMO). And also as I wrote, people who treat others the way they do I just rather not have anything to do with at all. If the shoes are as good as they believe that they are, people will know either way. And if they aren’t, that will also be known."
 
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JFWR

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My first contact with them was them reaching out to me and asking if I wanted to do a review, and I said no thanks since I'm already way over my head with things to review, I say no to most review requests nowadays if it's not something I find of particular interest to me or the readers. I then shared that article with them to show that I had covered them a bit before, which was when all this shebang started. And as I also wrote: "I see no point in doing a review of their products, even if I would know that it was objective, any potential criticism could just be discarded by me wanting to “get back on them” for being treated badly (the same reason, but the other way around so to speak, why I would never do a review of any of the products we sell at Skolyx. If one can be viewed as biased towards any direction there’s no point with reviews IMO). And also as I wrote, people who treat others the way they do I just rather not have anything to do with at all. If the shoes are as good as they believe that they are, people will know either way. And if they aren’t, that will also be known."
Fair if you feel you can't be objective, but it still strikes me as somewhat odd to not at least give them a personal look over and communicate to them whether you think your initial appraisal was legit.

Admittedly, this was all handled badly.
 

JustPullHarder

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Not saying the optics weren't poor, but the shoes looked good to me.

The leather felt and looked nice.

The fudging was a nice touch. It's a mark of quality that can be attributed to aol. They might be shit otherwise, but the detail was excellent.

The finishing to me also looked good. Perhaps you disagree. That's fine, what precisely did you find objectionable? The stitching was nice. The fudging was superb. The welt was 270. The sole was closed channelled.

I pointed out the concern with the captoes. To me that's not a deal breaker; it became so when it was worn outside and I walked about half a mile around town in them.

Look, I admit: I was fooled. Whatcha want from me here besides that admission?
Fudging is nice. But it doesn't mean that the stitches match up is the point I am making. They fudge after stitching the outsole. Getting that look is not almost impossible.

The waist as you brought up is not very slim. Little to no handwork there. Sole wasn't painted consistently. Looks like they stained it in a hurry.

The cap on the left (and the stitching) doesn't look straight.

The lining edge is exposed and looks rough.

Not sure how your EGs are but everything I've seen indicates more care and attention. Not perfect but definitely better finished holistically.
 

JustPullHarder

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It's less a criticism more to highlight some possible signifers of quality (or a lack thereof). I know I've picked up different things I look at now that I wouldn't have in the past.
 

JFWR

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Fudging is nice. But it doesn't mean that the stitches match up is the point I am making. They fudge after stitching the outsole. Getting that look is not almost impossible.

The waist as you brought up is not very slim. Little to no handwork there. Sole wasn't painted consistently. Looks like they stained it in a hurry.

The cap on the left (and the stitching) doesn't look straight.

The lining edge is exposed and looks rough.

Not sure how your EGs are but everything I've seen indicates more care and attention. Not perfect but definitely better finished holistically.
I mean, the stitching looks to match the fudging very well. I don't know if that is apparent to you, but it looks that way as I'm staring at the shoes in my hand at home. I've tried to zoom in as much as possible, but I don't think my phone is gonna give any better resolution.

Before wearing the soles looked nice to me.

Where do you think the lining edge looked rough? At the neck of the shoe?
 

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