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Dress Shoes...How Would You Rank These?

Jerry52

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As I search -it seems endlessly- for a pair of dress lace-up leather shoes which I'll have to buy through the mail, I'm playing around with these brands now. I'm wanting to spend up to $400, probably on a blucher or "derby" type. My shoe size in American shoes is 12-C which may present complications in the European shoes. Anyway, if YOU had $400 to spend and wanted nice leather, good construction, good foot support and expected longevity how would you rate these brands, generally speaking?

Alden
Allen Edmonds
Bonura
Borgioli
Jil Sander
Testoni
Vass
Yanko

I know next to nothing about Bonura and Jil Sander except YOOX carries them and in my price range. I added Vass to the list but have serious doubts that I'd find it for $400.

Some of you will probably advise that none of these could top the Alden or Allen Edmonds for the money, and if that's the case, that's what I need to hear.

Thanks,
Jerry
 

pcunite

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Originally Posted by Jerry52
As I search -it seems endlessly- for a pair of dress lace-up leather shoes which I'll have to buy through the mail, I'm playing around with these brands now. I'm wanting to spend up to $400, probably on a blucher or "derby" type. My shoe size in American shoes is 12-C which may present complications in the European shoes. Anyway, if YOU had $400 to spend and wanted nice leather, good construction, good foot support and expected longevity how would you rate these brands, generally speaking?

Alden
Allen Edmonds
Bonura
Borgioli
Jil Sander
Testoni
Vass
Yanko

Jerry


Getting the best advice and looking the best requires using a shoe per purpose. Job interview, Wall Street, used car salesman? Get the picture
smile.gif


I think you should buy a discount Allen Edmonds to get started as you define your style. You can move on from there to different styles if AE does not deliver there. I will say it will be hard to beat the quality of AE. Please note that quality is not perfection. If you want that then go with John Lobb or others (I don't own any just aware that they charge $1,000 +). I would say if you want more English style shoes go with Crockett & Jones.

Finally if AE or CJ aren't good enough for the company you keep you will need John Lobb, Edward Green or Vass.
 

alchimiste

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1. "My shoe size in American shoes is 12-C which may present complications in the European shoes." Why?
2. Why exclude C&J and other English shoes?
3. Vass would be $400 per shoe in Hungary. Even more in the U.S.
 

acidboy

Stylish Dinosaur
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I seriously doubt Jil Sander shoes' construction is up to par with the rest of them, but otherwise I believe the other brands are pretty much there in terms of construction and "longevity".
 

drizzt3117

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You want an Italian shoe and have a slightly narrow foot.

Why not just shell out $339 for a pair of Tramezzas and call ti a day?
 

VMan

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One thing about AE is that they offer such a broad range of sizes on all their models. Plus, if you are an Ebay user you can find some great deals on brand new shoes and some real outstanding deals if you don't mind used shoes. They definitely aren't like Vass or the higher-end Testoni lines, but they are quality workhorse shoes. The Park Avenue in black is often recommended as a good versatile starter shoe. http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-Allen-Ed...em220074309781 You could probably get those for a steal. The Fifth Avenue is very similar to the Park Avenue, save for the fact that the cap-strip is punched. http://cgi.ebay.com/Mens-ALLEN-EDMON...em300074130039 The 'Chester' wingtip is also a classic shoe, and you could probably get an excellent deal on this as well. http://cgi.ebay.com/Size-12-C-BLACK-...em330080843000 This also appears to be a 'Chester' in black, excellent shape, for $29 shipped. http://cgi.ebay.com/Mens-Allen-Edmon...em120061521289 Here is the 'Byron' captoe bal in Chili, brand new in the box at $105 off of retail. I realize that the above are all bals rather than blutchers, but if you keep your eyes open you will be able to find some blutchers in time.
 

Christofuh

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Save yourself the hassles and get Aldens. They're built like Abrams main battle tank and can be had in any which size you wish.

P.S. That other maker you mentioned is not Bonura but Bonora.
 

Jerry52

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Originally Posted by Christofuh
P.S. That other maker you mentioned is not Bonura but Bonora.

I stand corrected! Amazing I noticed, since I was staring at your avatar!
crackup[1].gif
 

Jerry52

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Thanks for offering up these links. I'll look 'em over. I do have a recent AE catalog and I am able to see AE where I live. They do have some beautiful shoes.
 

Jerry52

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Originally Posted by acidicboy
I seriously doubt Jil Sander shoes' construction is up to par with the rest of them, but otherwise I believe the other brands are pretty much there in terms of construction and "longevity".

You could well be right about that. I've never see ANY on the list in person except for Alden and AE. I've owned Aldens for many years, several pair, and have one pair of "used" AE's that I never wear enough to tell how well they might support my feet. Of everything else on the list, many of you like Vass, and the Borgioli was suggested to me as a good supportive shoe by one of the leading experts on the forum. Since I can't afford Vass, I would say the strongest contenders are AE, Alden, Borgioli and Yanko. My only problem with AE and Alden is that desire to try a different brand. Then again, maybe Alden and AE can't be topped for the money especially with our weak dollar!
 

Jerry52

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Originally Posted by alchimiste
1. "My shoe size in American shoes is 12-C which may present complications in the European shoes." Why?
2. Why exclude C&J and other English shoes?
3. Vass would be $400 per shoe in Hungary. Even more in the U.S.


1) I have been told often enough by salespeople and folks on here that my foot would be a "narrow" fit for many overseas shoes
2) I have nothing against English goods, except that the dollar versus the British pound sterling is even weaker than dollar versus Euro...
 

Jerry52

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Thanks for the advice, pcunite. As to the English brands, as I said elsewhere nothing against them except price and whether very many would fit my "C" foot width.
 

NoVaguy

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Originally Posted by alchimiste
1. "My shoe size in American shoes is 12-C which may present complications in the European shoes." Why?

are you serious? european brands aren't known for their width selection.
 

alchimiste

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Originally Posted by Jerry52
the dollar versus the British pound sterling is even weaker than dollar versus Euro...
And the American shoe versus the British shoe is even weaker the dollar versus the British pound sterling.
 

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