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Barker Black Shoes - what's your take?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by rogerm, May 11, 2006.

  1. Duveen

    Duveen Senior member

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    It seems like I may be missing something. I am honestly curious what the details of manufacture are that make folks think that BBs are 'not in the zipcode of $750 shoes'? Is it the skin quality or the finishing or what?

    My take is that they are $400-500 shoes selling for $750 and folks pay the upcharge for design and uniqueness. So they are certainly marked up. But in reading previous posts I worry that I have somehow missed the fact that these shoes are actually Alfred Sargent/Loake 1880 quality. That is not the impression I got when seeing them.

    To me, they felt pretty solid, I should have looked more closely at the finishing on the interior, but the soles were nice and I liked the last shapes. They didn't have anything in my size, so I couldn't try them on. I don't like their black leathers, but they have a couple of decent browns and a pebble-grain that were quite nice. So skin quality varies, but it ain't awful (IMHO).

    Anyhow, back to the question - do they feel different when you hold them in your hand? What are you observing that I am not?
     
  2. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    <I read somewhere that Barker Black is the "Thom Browne of shoes.">

    do you know what that is supposed to mean?


    Well - Beside the fact that they are both over-hyped, over-priced designers, the fact that Derrick Miller wears Thom Browne makes the link between the two not that crazy IMO...
     
  3. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    36,649
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    It seems like I may be missing something. I am honestly curious what the details of manufacture are that make folks think that BBs are 'not in the zipcode of $750 shoes'? Is it the skin quality or the finishing or what?

    My take is that they are $400-500 shoes selling for $750 and folks pay the upcharge for design and uniqueness. So they are certainly marked up. But in reading previous posts I worry that I have somehow missed the fact that these shoes are actually Alfred Sargent/Loake 1880 quality. That is not the impression I got when seeing them.

    To me, they felt pretty solid, I should have looked more closely at the finishing on the interior, but the soles were nice and I liked the last shapes. They didn't have anything in my size, so I couldn't try them on. I don't like their black leathers, but they have a couple of decent browns and a pebble-grain that were quite nice. So skin quality varies, but it ain't awful (IMHO).

    Anyhow, back to the question - do they feel different when you hold them in your hand? What are you observing that I am not?


    Yes - they do feel a million miles away from a pair of EG, JL or even Grenson MP (IMO). To me, they are barely C&J benchgrade quality + extra work on the finishing of the channeled soles (a là Zegna) to make it look and feel more "special" or luxurious. They should be sold at the same price point as a pair of Polo shoes, not RLPL or JL. JMHO of course...

    EDIT: I'll stop there because I don't want to look like I'm obsessively bashing BB. [​IMG] Someone asked for our take, a few of us actually saw the shoes in real life and I thought I would give an honest unbiased opinion - but re-reading my posts, it sounds like I'm on a crusade against D. Miller, which is of course not true. I wish him all the success.
     
  4. Duveen

    Duveen Senior member

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    To me, they are barely C&J benchgrade quality + extra work on the finishing of the channeled soles (a là Zegna) to make it look and feel more "special" or luxurious. They should be sold at the same price point as a pair of Polo shoes, not RLPL or JL.

    That seems fair, if a bit harsh. I'd also put them at somewhere between C&J bench and hand-grade shoes - not a bad shoe. I agree, they ought to be sold for $400-500.

    But at least we agree that they aren't Loakes... I was starting to doubt my own shoe-savvy.

    And I will say this - after having seen a ton of footwear in Paris, I am a lot more oriented towards tannery and leather quality as a differentiator than I was before. And IIRC, Barker Black did not have drop-dead skins, with one notable exception...
     
  5. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

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    interesting shoes, but the price would require another go at davy jones' locker. yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum! [​IMG]
     

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