Ludwig reiter shoes - opinions?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by SJX, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. SJX

    SJX Senior member

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    Hi,

    What do you guys think of Ludwig Reiter shoes? They appear to be good quality welted shoes with some interesting styles, the ones with the high toe box remind me of Vass shoes.

    Regards,

    JiaXian
     
  2. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Although I personally have no first hand experience with Ludwig Reiter shoes, they are very highly regarded in Germany and Austria (but are not well represented outside of these countries.) Maybe forum member JoeG, who owns a pair of LR "Gustav Mahler" shoes (furthest on the right), can give you his opinion on quality and comfort. [​IMG] The high-walled, square toe box last is very popular in the former Austro/Hungarian Empire and southern Germany. I've heard two stories about the origins of that particular style (not necessarily exclusive of each other). One, that county folks stuffed their shoes with hay, as an added level of insulation on cold winter days. The other, that the high toe box, prevented your foot from getting wedged inside the shoe, while you were walking down the mountains.
     
  3. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    Andrew would be the best one to chime in on this, however, I understand the high wall to be a function of the last maker in accommodating the 'reverse-welt' construction favored on these shoes. I'm not sure of the specific details on this, but there seems to be some connection between the construction requirements and the form of the last; also there is some destinction between the 'reverse-welt' welting Vass favors and the 'split reverse'welt' A/E and Alden make.
     
  4. Joe G

    Joe G Senior member

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    Simply outstanding. They are as comfortable as any shoes I've ever worn, and constructed at least as well as ready-to-wear Lobbs. At least as well. from at least as high quality materials.

    Since I bought the Mahlers bengal-stripe mentioned several years ago, I have added a couple more pair of Ludwig Reiters to my collection. Now it seems that all of my professional shoes are either LR or Alden....

    Peace.
     
  5. *Tee*

    *Tee* Senior member

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    2004. Damn...

    Is there any online-shop with a wide selection of Ludwig Reiter footwear; especially oxfords ? It seems like they're like gold dust on the internet...
     
  6. Sebastian

    Sebastian Senior member

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    They pop up on German Ebay from time to time.

    Personally I think they are vastly overpriced for what they are. Furthermore they need some time to break in... much time. They are very, very stiff at the beginning and I am not entirely sure, if this changes over time.

    Just my to cents. That said they are quite sturdy and will last very long.
    At least the uppers. In my experience the soles may not be as resistant as you would expect: My brother walked through a sole in a rather short period of time and a shop owner who sells both Ludwig Reiter and Allen Edmonds told me, in her experience the AE soles were much better than the LR soles.
     
  7. scottythebody

    scottythebody Member

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    They are very nice shoes but the style variation is limited, as noted above.

    The welted shoes are all made in Austria from very high quality French leather of varying materials: boxcalf, Russian, Scotch grain, and water buffalo. The welting is generally all the way around and you can have a few types of soles. There are not a lot of lasts to choose from, but if you find one that works for you in terms of style and fit, then you will be very happy with the shoes. They also make some very good boots and athletic shoes. The Chelsea boots are the design for some sort of Austrian military or police uniform (Austria was always famous for military uniforms) and the trainers, too, were designed for the military. They do not do bespoke or measured shoes, but they do a limited customization type business off of their existing lasts. So, for example, you could order any shoe they make in a different leather or with different stylings.

    Here in Austria, where I live, the brand is considered very "established" and rather posh, although those with real wealth and maybe a tiny bit less sense go full bespoke with somebody like Scheer (with an entry price of EUR 2500). They have three stores in Vienna and the factory is just outside. I have toured the factory and it's very educational and fun to see your potential future shoes being made by a small team of what seemed to be long term employees.

    The website has an online store which offers variations based on the season and what's in the stores or is in need of clearance. They also have a factory outlet/store at the factory, which is located in an old estate and definitely worth a visit. They have two festivals per year at the factory and with food pop-ups, high quality clothing, shoe care workshops, and factory tours. You must book the tours and workshops, but you don't need to reserve the fest. You can also book tours of the factory for groups or, one time per month, they give a tour for any individuals who show up.

    New shoes from Reiter are indeed *very* stiff, but they break in over time and last forever. The leather soles must be replaced (Reiter will do it with the original materials and lasts) every five years of wear or so. They charge 180 EUR for this.

    Shoes range from EUR 250 for trainers to 1000+ for boots. The typical goodwill welted oxford or derby in boxcalf with leather soles will cost 490-700 EUR, so the price is maybe on the middle-high scale for RTW shoes. I don't think they charge a surcharge for customization, but I'm not sure.

    I will post pictures of the factory and my shoes from Reiter as soon as I get to my computer (with the photos).
     

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