Church's v C&J and misc. style questions

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Water4thePool, May 8, 2013.

  1. Water4thePool

    Water4thePool Member

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    I need a new pair of workhorse black oxfords. I like Church's and C&J shoes for my line of work (law in NYC), but have been reading this board and noticed that Church's may have gone downhill a bit? Please advise whether this is true.

    Regarding a style of oxford--plain toe v cap toe? Thoughts? I owned some excellent Ferragamo split toes in the past, but I'm looking in a different direction today.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Loathing

    Loathing Senior member

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    1. Yes, Church's has gone down hill (bought by Prada).
    2. Cap toe.
     
  3. Water4thePool

    Water4thePool Member

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    Thank you for your prompt reply. Re: the cap toe, with or without perforations and perforated designs?

    What are you wearing in London these days?
     
  4. Pembers

    Pembers Senior member

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    I disagree with (1). Ownership by Prada has meant that Church's has produced some awful 'fashion' shoes with sequins and the like. But JLP has done similar things since being bought by Hermes. In neither case has the quality of the classic models noticeable decreased, IMO. The Grafton, the Chetwynd, and so on, are still absolute classics and in my opinion both are better-made than C&J benchgrade.

    However, you are right that captoes are the way to go and for this style, C&J is a better choice. I personally love the Connaught. If the OP wants something a bit more elongated the Hallam is also nice.
     
  5. Water4thePool

    Water4thePool Member

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    Any other brands outside the usual suspects?
     
  6. Macallan

    Macallan Senior member

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    .
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  7. Macallan

    Macallan Senior member

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    If you want Church's, stick to the conserative styles, e.g. cap-toes. My work shoes are black Church's, all are oxfords except one pair (which is a triple sole)
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  8. Ilovelobbs

    Ilovelobbs Senior member

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    The following with large RTW collection.
    Vass
    John Lobb
    Edward Green
    Saint Crispin
    Carmina


    The 3 names with best value for money in following order:
    1) Vass
    2) Carmina
    3) Crockett & Jones

    Pembers right - some of the new crazy Prada inspired Church shoes are using the lower grade polished pinder leather that most fashion house uses (Gucci; Prada; D&G) - falls apart after 6 months and design to make you buy every "season"

    But the older Church classic on the 100; 73; 173 and 102 last like the Consul; Chetwyn; Grafton are classic solid stuff using
    proper calf leather.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  9. jssdc

    jssdc Senior member

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    You may also consider Alfred Sargent on this list. I don't personally own any but many on this board seem to place them between C&J Benchgrade and Handgrade in terms of quality (and that's where their price point is as well). Added benefit is that since you're in NYC you can try on AS (at Leffot) and the Crocketts (at their store on 56th St) in person. Not sure if you can do that with Carmina and pretty certain you can't with Vass.
     
  10. Loathing

    Loathing Senior member

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    For a start, I don't know why you think it's reasonable to compare Hermès with Prada. Anyway, Hermès bought the JL brand in 1976, and started making shoes that have nothing to do with the original St James's styles & techniques, so I have no idea how you can make the claim "in neither case has the the quality of classic models noticeably decreased".

    As for Church's today, you can still find high-quality, classic, bench-grade shoes in their stores for about £400. However, even on these the leathers have decreased in quality, especially in their soles and resoles. C&J resoles last perhaps three times as long as Church's. I believe C&J resoles are a little more expensive (perhaps £20 extra), but their actual shoes are typically much cheaper at £300-350 for bench-grade.

    You own shoes from both makers already, so I suppose you can decide for yourself if there is any difference. I've stopped buying form Church's, personally.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  11. Loathing

    Loathing Senior member

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    My pleasure.

    I wear both punch-caps and stitch-caps, just for variety. Most people wear black oxfords of one sort or another to work.
    I have one pair of Lobbs for interviews and so forth, and the rest are C&J.

    For shoes generally, I'd highly recommend Lobb and Edward Green, but their shoes are closer to £1k than to C&J prices.

    Vass is absolutely worth looking into, too. I've been buying weekend shoes from them recently -- their price:quality ratio is unbeatable, but they're still about £500-800.
     
  12. greasymonkey

    greasymonkey Senior member

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    +1 Connaught is good choice which has that smart look; i own a pair and love the comfort.
     
  13. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    C&J Connaught. One of the top 3 shoes they sell world wide. Better leather then AE Park avenue.

    Hallam if you have a narrower feet. Or Albany/ Belgrade if you feel to spend more.
     
  14. Ilovelobbs

    Ilovelobbs Senior member

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    The C&J's Wholecut Alex model on the 348 Last is my favourite. Like most W/C's, creases alot if
    your feet doesn't fully fill the vamp section....

    So hard to get hold of Alex since it was featured in the latest Bond moive...One magazine even mentioned the
    Alex was specially deisgned for the moive....lol....the model came out about 6 years...and film barely 2 years old.
     
  15. Quantimil

    Quantimil Well-Known Member

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    I have the Armfield oxfords from Alfred Sargent, and they're fantastic. C&J Connaught may be a tad more conservative in terms of last design, so that might be a plus, depending on what you're after.
     

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