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Church's Chatsworth vs John Lobb DARBY II

Which one should I buy?

  • Church's Chatsworth

    Votes: 5 45.5%
  • JL DARBY II

    Votes: 6 54.5%

  • Total voters
    11

Panos

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So, I am about to buy my most expensive pair of shoes. Let me give you some of my background. I am a Church's man and I only own Church's so far. I am tempted to buy John Lobb in order to see the actual difference that everyone admires them. Although JL are a little trouble for me as they do not exist in my city. I'll have to go to London to try them and buy, as there is no chance to buy without trying them and make sure that they are what I like. Church's store is in the same block with my house which makes it more convenient.

Church's Chatsworth is the most premium line that Church's sells (RTW). It's Last 137, has oak bark leather sole and it comes with shoe trees (in the original Last, not generic in shape). The box comes with a separate compartment that includes a Church's apron, plus leatherbound polishing kit, including shoe horn, laces, polish, and a brush. Its price is £625 or £685, I can't really remember.

Here are some photos that another poster uploaded in a past thread at SF.







Here is the actual shoe.





The John Lobb DARBY II, comes at £680. I will have to buy shoe trees which will be in generic shape (?). The only advantage that I can seriously think of, is the channeled soles which is not an issue for me.

You can get an extensive look of the shoe on Mr. Porter.

Now, you should all now that I like both shoes. Is there a reason to drag my self over to London in order to buy the JLs ?


I would like to hear your opinions.


Thank you.
 
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Gdot

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They are really two totally different shoes.

One being and Oxford and one being a Blucher.

This would imply to the well dressed man that they are for two completely different uses. Do you intend to wear these shoes with a suit?
 

Panos

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They are really two totally different shoes.
One being and Oxford and one being a Blucher.
This would imply to the well dressed man that they are for two completely different uses. Do you intend to wear these shoes with a suit?
No, I wasn't thinking a suit, more like with a blazer or jeans/chinos. Actually for a more smart appearance than a formal one. But let me ask you, the Church's is more suitable for suit, right? Because Mr.Porter combines the JL with a suit on the photo
 
Last edited:

Ivon

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The Lobb has open lacing and what looks to be a double sole, making it appear to be the more casual of the two. The Church's generally is workable with a suit, I wouldn't really consider the Lobbs with a business suit. If they were both EG, think Inverness/Falkirk vs Sandringham. I haven't owned a Church's in a few years, so I can't speak too much about them, but I have some Lobbs, I really like them. Not a big price difference, so choose the one you really want/need. Since the Church's is so close, make the trip to try the Lobb for yourself, assess what you need, then decide.
 

Panos

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The Lobb has open lacing and what looks to be a double sole, making it appear to be the more casual of the two. The Church's generally is workable with a suit, I wouldn't really consider the Lobbs with a business suit. If they were both EG, think Inverness/Falkirk vs Sandringham. I haven't owned a Church's in a few years, so I can't speak too much about them, but I have some Lobbs, I really like them. Not a big price difference, so choose the one you really want/need. Since the Church's is so close, make the trip to try the Lobb for yourself, assess what you need, then decide.
That's my thought exactly, I believe it's not a successful proposal from Mr.Porter (to wear them with suit).

Normally, I would ask which one to buy (I would go directly for Church's) but I started reading SF and I realise that most of you admire JL very much, which I find it normal. Although my concern is that the majority here do not admire Church's. That's why I am asking, what are the thoughts on a similar price pair of shoes.


PS Generally I never though myself wearing suit with brown shoes.
 
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Ivon

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Forgot to mention, I have G&G Rothchilds in Vintage Chestnut in transit to me from BE as we speak, very similar to the Church's, I may order MTO Sandringhams for the fall. As an alternative to the Church's, consider G&G from Bespoke-England, Nick is a wonderful person to deal with. But the 8.5 Rothchilds are on the way to me.
 

Panos

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Forgot to mention, I have G&G Rothchilds in Vintage Chestnut in transit to me from BE as we speak, very similar to the Church's, I may order MTO Sandringhams for the fall. As an alternative to the Church's, consider G&G from Bespoke-England, Nick is a wonderful person to deal with. But the 8.5 Rothchilds are on the way to me.
Are you talking about these? I assume Nick is someone who works there, right?
 
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Ivon

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Yes, should get them in a few days. Nick is the proprietor and Bespoke-England is an affiliate here. I have a couple of pair of G&G, they are a fantastic brand. Very well made and beautiful shoes.
 

TheTukker

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Why has no one said yet that JL beats Church's?
 

Panos

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Why has no one said yet that JL beats Church's?
Well, that's why I started the thread.



That's why I said that I like them both. In order not to discuss which one is more beautiful. (Although, the argument mentioned above that they are different shoes types is valid).

I was expecting to hear that JL, even those in the cheapest range, are far superior (quality) than the "best" RTW Church's... Are they?

Do they deserve the hassle of going a trip to London (1:30, flight)?
 
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Ivon

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I don't really know what more to say. I haven't owned a pair of Church's in years so I can't comment on their quality. Regurgiting non first hand experience with brands is a dumb thing to do. At these prices, these are among the most expensive RTW shoes out there. At this point, it's personal preference among the notable brands. If you are considering Lobbs, you should try them on in several models and lasts. While you are in London, you can also examine EG and G&G shoes as well, so a trip is worth the effort.
 

fritzl

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fritzl

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erpet

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...........But let me ask you, the Church's is more suitable for suit, right? Because Mr.Porter combines the JL with a suit on the photo

I would not pay too much attention to how Mr Porter does the matching. Such light brown shoes with a black suit is not how I interpret classic style and in my personal opinion it looks horrible. I'm not sure they serve as good style guides.

My point: with a very dark suit, dark shoes go better than very light shoes and the colour combination is more important than how the shoes are laced.
 

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