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First pair of Oxfords: which ones?


New Member
Jun 26, 2018
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Hey all,

I'm in the process of shopping around for my first pair of black calfskin cap-toe Oxfords, and I've narrowed it down to this selection. I'd love to hear from your collective wisdom as to what shoes I should eliminate from the running, if any:

- https://www.meermin.es/in_en/10153410190000se-19-101534-black-calf-e-negro.html#

- https://www.pediwear.co.uk/loake/products/5827.php

- http://yanko.com/product/yanko-shoes-106-black/

- https://www.pediwear.co.uk/cheaney/products/9345.php

- https://www.herringshoes.co.uk/herring/churchill-ii_oxfords/black-calf

- https://www.cobbler-union.com/collections/the-oxfords/products/richard-perfect-black-on-city-last

- https://www.herringshoes.co.uk/herring/charles-ii_oxfords/black-calf

- https://www.carminashoemaker.us/mens-oxford-shoes/lace-up-toe-cap-black

I've organized them from least to most expensive. What I'm most interested in is your opinions on Cobbler Union vs. Carmina, and possibly even the Herring Charles II. I know Carmina reigns supreme around these parts, but I'm still very curious to hear from anyone willing to share their opinions.

Much warmth,



Senior Member
May 16, 2016
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Interesting range of makers. I have shoes by Loake, Cheaney, Carmina and Alfred Sargent, which are well represented in your list. They all make fine shoes. The Herring Charles II is made on the Alfred Sargent 109 last to a lower specification than the Exclusive range. I have the Henry II from the same range and it is a fantastic shoe, although whether I would have paid full retail for them is another matter.

The 11028 last from Cheaney is quite spacious, I have the Fenchurch model and it has served me well. I also have shoes in the 205 last, which is a tighter fit. My Carmina (made for Skoaktiebolaget) are currently my favourite black cap toe, although it is in the Rain last, I don't have any personal experience of the Forest last.

In general, with English made shoes, the price reflects the quality of materials and workmanship, so there would be clear differences between the quality of the Loakes and the Sargents.

It would also be worthwhile to consider the amount of wear these would get. If they are planned for very regular use, you may wish to consider rubber soles such as Dainite until such a time as you have sufficient numbers to rotate frequently.

I presume you have seen @wurger thread in Classic Menswear "The Quintessential Dress Shoe: Black Cap Toe Oxford" which is a tour de force of available black cap toes.

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