english shoes quality heirachy

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr Herbert, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. Leather man

    Leather man Senior member

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    P.S. I do groan at the fact that a couple of members have brought in Allen Edmonds and Alden to this discussion - two American companies

    The OP clearly asked about English shoes!!

    Its a bit like AAAC where there's very little interest in any shoe make outside AE!

    If this were a thread about American shoemakers I would not inject a plug for an English make, I'd just stay out of the discussion because I have no personal experience of those makes.
     


  2. Leather man

    Leather man Senior member

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    So to answer the OP's question here's my heirarchy - I will only include shoes I have personal experience of or about which I have spoken to people in the industry at some depth. I have no experience of John Lobb Paris.

    Edward Green
    Gaziano and Girling
    Crockett and Jones Handgrade
    Church's Royals
    Church's Custom Grade
    Crockett and Jones Benchgrade
    Cheaney
    Grenson
    Alfred Sargent ( Premier and Prem Exclusive only)
    Barker
    Loake
     


  3. cdmoore1855

    cdmoore1855 Senior member

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    I would say Gaziano and Girling, Edward Green and John Lobb are the best RTW shoes made in the UK, with Crockett and Jones Handgrades coming in fourth.
     


  4. -AJ-

    -AJ- Member

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    Following this thread - good opinions here.

    I'd like to turn the tables a little if I may (don't mean to hijack this thread).

    I'm shopping for new shoes, oxfords or semi-brogues, with a budget of about GBP 150. Realise this is at the lower end of the scale, but I would value any guidance on which of the above mentioned english manufacturers I should start with. Loake are at that end of the market, but seem to have a low rep here. I found some nice C&Js, but at GBP300, it's hard for me to justify. Single income - (Wife + baby + mortgage) = -AJ- needs to keep a lid on the shopping!

    Shoes will be part of a 4-pair rotation. I do walk a bit in the shoes, so sole quality is important.

    Any opinions welcomed.

    Ta.
     


  5. ManofKent

    ManofKent Senior member

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    Following this thread - good opinions here.

    I'd like to turn the tables a little if I may (don't mean to hijack this thread).

    I'm shopping for new shoes, oxfords or semi-brogues, with a budget of about GBP 150. Realise this is at the lower end of the scale, but I would value any guidance on which of the above mentioned english manufacturers I should start with. Loake are at that end of the market, but seem to have a low rep here. I found some nice C&Js, but at GBP300, it's hard for me to justify. Single income - (Wife + baby + mortgage) = -AJ- needs to keep a lid on the shopping!

    Shoes will be part of a 4-pair rotation. I do walk a bit in the shoes, so sole quality is important.

    Any opinions welcomed.

    Ta.


    Loake 1880 or Sanders Ambassador/Clubman ranges are both perfectly decent shoes if you're looking at a £150 retail budget. No leather quality and finishing isn't as good as much dearer shoes but they're perfectly decent. I own EG and C&J but it doesn't stop me wearing Sanders or Loake.

    Alternatively look at the B&S forum on here or ebay - for £150 if you don't mind slight seconds or discontinued stock you can get some good bargains.
     


  6. makewayhomer

    makewayhomer Senior member

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    Loake 1880 or Sanders Ambassador/Clubman ranges are both perfectly decent shoes if you're looking at a £150 retail budget. No leather quality and finishing isn't as good as much dearer shoes but they're perfectly decent. I own EG and C&J but it doesn't stop me wearing Sanders or Loake. Alternatively look at the B&S forum on here or ebay - for £150 if you don't mind slight seconds or discontinued stock you can get some good bargains.
    and if you don't mind lightly used you can even do a lot better ie here, Grenson Masterpiece for $120 shipped. imo shoes worn < 10 times is really where the value curve is best. they are done with perhaps 1% of their lifespan, aren't beat up and smelly, aren't even really broken in, but can usually be bought at 60%+ off I understand that some people are a bit turned off by this, but if you have a limited budget I think it's a great move. and even if you have a largish budget, you can now buy nicer shoes for the same $ amount
     


  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Maybe I missed some qualifier in the OP but I think if you're talking about English shoes you have to put John Lobb St. James Street at the top of the list in anyone's ranking.
     


  8. ManofKent

    ManofKent Senior member

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    Maybe I missed some qualifier in the OP but I think if you're talking about English shoes you have to put John Lobb St. James Street at the top of the list in anyone's ranking.

    Probably, but a lot of the comments were based on personal experience, and not all of us have run that high.
     


  9. TheDarkKnight

    TheDarkKnight Senior member

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    Roughly - (but shoes vary, and it depends on how much weight you put on leather quality, construction, finishing, style etc.)

    Edward Green
    C&J Handgrade
    Trickers
    Grenson Rose
    Barker Hand-crafted
    Alfred Sargent Premier
    C&J Benchgrade
    Cheaney Signature
    Church
    C&J Benchgrade
    Church
    Cheaney (most)
    Barker non-hand-crafted calf
    Sanders calf
    Loake 1880
    Alfred Sargent Classic
    Sanders non-calf, Loake non-calf, Grenson Feathermaster, Barkers non-calf


    MoK, I shudder to think how many shoes you have owned!

    I think I'll take the above list as a starting point into my research and education into fine shoes.

    I have bought calf Loake 1880 which arrive Thursday. So despite my modest budget, it's good to see they rank well in the budget arena.
     


  10. Roger Kearey

    Roger Kearey Member

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    I would say that the quality of C&J Bench is far better than that of Church's. I heard a rumour on Saturday from the cool salesman in C&J, Burlington arcade that Church's are going to introduce shirts & suits! ha ha they're a joke now.

    EG's of course pwn them both as would Lobb's and G&G's but I don't own either of those two so can't fairly comment. In my limited knowledge though I would say that these three are the podium sitters.
     


  11. the_sartorialist

    the_sartorialist Senior member

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    Just canvassing opinions here - but would it be worth getting seconds from say, a maker sitting in the mid tier of the hierarchy, than to say, getting a perfectly fine pair from the lower tier of the hierarchy?
     


  12. makewayhomer

    makewayhomer Senior member

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    Just canvassing opinions here - but would it be worth getting seconds from say, a maker sitting in the mid tier of the hierarchy, than to say, getting a perfectly fine pair from the lower tier of the hierarchy?

    all depends on what makes it a 2nd. if it is a small cosmetic flaw, well, that's something that will probably happen to you in short order anyways. I'm all for taking a big discount due to that. I've seen other ones which are LOLbad, for instance speed hooks on the right shoe and eyelets on the left.
     


  13. TheDarkKnight

    TheDarkKnight Senior member

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    all depends on what makes it a 2nd. if it is a small cosmetic flaw, well, that's something that will probably happen to you in short order anyways. I'm all for taking a big discount due to that. I've seen other ones which are LOLbad, for instance speed hooks on the right shoe and eyelets on the left.

    Yes I'm looking into this myself. A local shoe shop I have sourced, sells Loake 1880 half price, for minor cosmetic flaws.
     


  14. ManofKent

    ManofKent Senior member

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    MoK, I shudder to think how many shoes you have owned!

    I think I'll take the above list as a starting point into my research and education into fine shoes.

    I have bought calf Loake 1880 which arrive Thursday. So despite my modest budget, it's good to see they rank well in the budget arena.


    More than my wife thinks I need [​IMG] Must sought out a group shot once I've got some racks assembled and polished/brushed them all.

    Nothing wrong with Loake 1880's - if I drew up a list of shoes based on value for money, they'd be near the top. The leather needs a bit more conditioner than some, but with a bit of love they'll do you well. As you climb the price brackets the law of diminishing returns clicks in pretty quickly - you start paying a lot more for a relatively small jump in quality. I'm not saying it's not worth it, but it is worth considering.

    Just canvassing opinions here - but would it be worth getting seconds from say, a maker sitting in the mid tier of the hierarchy, than to say, getting a perfectly fine pair from the lower tier of the hierarchy?

    all depends on what makes it a 2nd. if it is a small cosmetic flaw, well, that's something that will probably happen to you in short order anyways. I'm all for taking a big discount due to that. I've seen other ones which are LOLbad, for instance speed hooks on the right shoe and eyelets on the left.

    +1 - if you're just talking a minor scratch in an inobtrusive area of the shoe, or better still a minor colour variation that will soon be covered up by a few layers of polish then it's a no-brainer.
     


  15. Montrachet

    Montrachet Senior member

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    I would put John Lobb bespoke at the top of the list. The RTW John Lobb Paris line is owned by Hermes and should therefore count as a French shoe.
     


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