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Chelsea boot--church's vs. c&j?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by AJL, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    Greetings Well-Shod Ones,

    I am currently in the market for a pair of chelsea boots. I recently tried on a pair of Church's Amberly boots, and thought they looked pretty well made, and cleanly styled (though, unlike some of you, I'm no Shoe Expert). Unfortunately (or possibly not) N.M. did not quite have my size.

    After perusing this site the past few days, I see I have at least a few other reasonable options, among which C&J's boot looks to be a decent alternative. At approx. $375. U.S., it is about $120 less than Church's boot. My question: is there a notable difference in styling & craftsmanship/finish between the two, or are they comparable? Also, are there any others you feel would be worth looking into at this price range ($300-500)?

    And while I've got you here, what do you think about the C&J chukka/desert style boots, notably the Chiltern? Any other recommendations regarding this style of boot?

    Thanks for any feedback.

    Regards,
    AJL (new guy)
     


  2. HRHAndrew

    HRHAndrew Senior member

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    I think the C&J is a better choice, in fact I am surprised to see that the Church's is more expensive. I own the cC&J Chukka and absolutely love it. I bought mine in London at Gordon Scott on clearance for £60. I also tried on the Church's equivalent at the same time and thought the C&J was clearly a better shoe.
     


  3. tattersall

    tattersall Senior member

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    I have the C&J Chelseas in black calf and am very impressed with both the construction and the finish and they are supremely comfortable to wear as they conform to your foot shape beautifully. It's from their regular line (so not up to handgrade quality) but I would choose them over Church's any day. Church's (as others have pointed out in the forum) use inferior leather that gets treated to some sort of 'plasticized' finish and will not age well at all.

    One caveat is that I find that the C&J's are dressy-looking - I wouldn't wear them with boot-cut jeans, for instance but they do very well with slim cut trousers.

    Others have also raved about RM Williams. Blundstones seem popular but look more like a workman's boot to me.
     


  4. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

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    I actually owned the Church's you're talking about, but returned them after not liking the leather they use. The look of bookbinder leather is kinda ugly. I've never seen the C&J boots, but I'd definatly advise against the Church's.
     


  5. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    "I think the C&J is a better choice, in fact I am surprised to see that the Church's is more expensive. I own the cC&J Chukka and absolutely love it.  I bought mine in London at Gordon Scott on clearance for £60.  I also tried on the Church's equivalent at the same time and thought the C&J was clearly a better shoe."

    HRH- did you find the sizing commensurate with what has been reported here, i.e., 1 full size smaller for your Chukka?


    "I have the C&J Chelseas in black calf and am very impressed with both the construction and the finish and they are supremely comfortable to wear as they conform to your foot shape beautifully. It's from their regular line (so not up to handgrade quality) but I would choose them over Church's any day. Church's (as others have pointed out in the forum) use inferior leather that gets treated to some sort of 'plasticized' finish and will not age well at all.


    One caveat is that I find that the C&J's are dressy-looking - I wouldn't wear them with boot-cut jeans, for instance but they do very well with slim cut trousers."

    tattersall--

    this is somewhat a concern of mine, vis a vis "dressy-looking", as I'd like to be able to wear them them casually, w/ jeans. etc. What is it about them that you feel makes them dressy?

    "I actually owned the Church's you're talking about, but returned them after not liking the leather they use. The look of bookbinder leather is kinda ugly. I've never seen the C&J boots, but I'd definatly advise against the Church's."

    Mike C.-
    I noticed a strange kind of haze on the boot, to which the SA replied, "Oh, its a special coating they apply that will dissipate once you polish the shoes". Maybe just something to hide an inferior quality leather?

    Thanks for the helpful responses thus far.

    AJL
     


  6. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    No contest. The Chiltern hands down. I just ordered a pair from PLAL and they cost something like $258. With shipping it's something like $280 -- that's a steal.
     


  7. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

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    I'm not talking about a haze so much as the dull, smooth look of the leather. The construction of the Church's are amazing, it's just the styling... It's a shame they use such bad leather.

    Instead of the Church's, I picked up a pair of Ferragamo chelsea boots from the Studio line, they have a rubber sole. They are nice enough to dress up with my skinny black suit, and casual enough to wear with my beat up Paper Denim's. A perfect compromise. Maybe try to expand your horizons beyond C&J and Church's. I know that Gucci makes an awesome chelsea boot; I would have actually bought them if they were priced a bit lower.
     


  8. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

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    Just checked out the shoes on the P. Lal site... wow, those are great looking. I especially like the Quorn model; I've always thought buckles on shoes looks cool. It's not even a question between them and the Church's.
     


  9. tattersall

    tattersall Senior member

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    Didn't mean to alarm - this is probably more a matter of personal preference. The C&J's have leather soles, are relatively narrow and while chisel-toed, are a bit 'pointier' than I am used to for weekend wear. They seem to get a bit lost when I wear PDC or Seven jeans that are boot-cut, but I wouldn't hesitate to wear them with straight-legged trousers or jeans in a casual setting.
     


  10. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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  11. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    So P Lal is an absolutely legitimate seller? Prices seem quite low. Did you order it one full size smaller than US sizing? I would be interested to hear how they fit once you receive them.

    AJL
     


  12. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    I am absolutely open to other suggestions. Does the Ferragamo boot you refer to have a squared toe ("Origamo")? It seems quite expensive--$600+. Where did you buy them & how much paid? I am definitely not averse to a rubber sole as I would be wearing them in mostly casual situations.

    I assume with the Gucci you'd be paying a bit of a premium for the name, regardless I've not seen any boot of theirs other than a jhodpur type buckle number.
     


  13. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    Yes, PLAL is a great source. I've purchased a pair of Whitehalls and more recently a pair of the Downing brogues in tan. Wonderful shoes, great service, better prices.
    The Chilterns are my first foray into their benchgrade shoes. I ordered them in 8 1/2 E which according to the salesman, corresponds to my U.S. size of 9 1/2 D. The handgrade shoes are about a half-width tighter though, so in the handgrade collection I order 8 1/2F, or if they aren't available in F widths, 9E.
     


  14. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    Stu-

    Were you able to order the Chiltern in the Snuff Suede? Its listed in pricing as only being available in brown (I assume that means Dark Brown).
     


  15. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

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    The boots I have retailed for $390, but I picked them up on sale at Barney's for $185. They have a slightly squared toe, but they're definatly not the Origamo model.
     


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