1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was. I'd like to keep you abreast of the improvements we've made over the past few days.
    @notification emails have been added, in response to user requests

    Attached images are now Full Size by default

    Users are now all allowed three (3) links in their signature files,

    SSL certification is now in place so you can all browse securely.

    The server has been reconfigured so that site speeds will improve.

    Notice: Right now the site is slow because we are fixing all the images from the past 4 months. Many of you noticed that these were missing, and we are fixing that problem now. Unfortunately, it is taking up a lot of resources and causing the site to be slow.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

Mantellassi price points and quality?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by josepidal, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. Roger

    Roger Senior member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    Vancouver
    It all has to do with the law of diminishing marginal returns. Basically, as the input into the production of a shoe increases, the relative output decreases. For example, there is a HUGE difference between, say, a pair of Johnston & Murphy ($200) and a pair of C&J handgrades ($450). The C&J handgrades are twice the price and probably more than twice as nice.

    Now, say a pair of EGs is roughly twice the price of a pair of C&J handgrades; however, they are not twice as good quality wise because of the law of diminishing marginal returns. Sure, there are aesthetic reasons why one might prefer one to the other or other "value" reasons (e.g., the value of exclusivity); however, as I said, "quality" wise, they are not twice as good.

    Now, make the jump from a pair of EGs that retail for $1000 and a pair of Sutors that retail for $1500. At this point, the law of diminishing marginal returns has worked so much that the increase in quality is almost negligible. So, at this point, it's not rational to make a decision based on quality as a factor. Therefore, other factors have to catalyze the decision. These factors might be aesthetics, exclusivity, brand loyalty, national loyalty, necessity, whatever; however, the unifying element of these factors is that they are highly personal.

    In conclusion, it doesn't make sense to ask forum members which shoes are better quality-wise at this point. The quality difference between Sutors, Lobbs, EGs, and even C&Js (heck, even Allen Edmonds) is so negligble that it should not be a determining factor. Since the determining factors are highly personal, the decision also has to be personal.

    This analysis fails completely without a coherent operational definition of quality. Are you excluding esthetics from quality? If so, why? And if so, what do you mean by quality? People differ in how they define quality. You seem to be limiting it to, perhaps, (a) quality of leather and (b) construction. Many would say much more can be included. And just out of curiosity how did you establish a metric in which C&J Handgrades can be definitively described as "probably more than twice as nice" as J&Ms?
     
  2. Roger

    Roger Senior member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I find it hard to understand why some forumers have got so bent out of shape about Josepidal's failure to painstakingly use the search function. The question posed in this thread is a perfectly reasonable one that will be of interest to many shoe fanciers. Why should we require a poster to scan numerous earlier threads that are only tangentially related to the central question posed and have to piece together an incomplete answer to this question by finding the occasional posts that obliquely address it? Is forum space so precious that we must hold off all ideas and questions until we are 100% certain that they haven't been addressed--most likely only partially and tangentially--in some fashion before? Why don't we try to keep participation on this forum fun, not requiring hard work, and free from fear that we will be castigated for not making every little effort to keep all posts absolutely original. For those who feel the need to criticize a failure to exhaust all search possibilities before posting, you can always just ignore the thread.
     
  3. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

    Messages:
    21,813
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    A friend of mine bought some Martinelli (Spanish shoes) and said that they were "very good". I bought a pair years ago and found them to be "very bad".
    Their apple juice is ok, though.
     
  4. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

    Messages:
    3,134
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Location:
    Cygnus X-1
    Their apple juice is ok, though.

    [​IMG]

    koji
     
  5. josepidal

    josepidal Senior member

    Messages:
    1,923
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    This analysis fails completely without a coherent operational definition of quality.
    It also didn't really answer my question heh. [​IMG]
     
  6. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

    Messages:
    8,739
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Elizabethtown
    This analysis fails completely without a coherent operational definition of quality. Are you excluding esthetics from quality? If so, why? And if so, what do you mean by quality? People differ in how they define quality. You seem to be limiting it to, perhaps, (a) quality of leather and (b) construction. Many would say much more can be included. And just out of curiosity how did you establish a metric in which C&J Handgrades can be definitively described as "probably more than twice as nice" as J&Ms?

    I used the term "quality" to encompass objective factors. Aesthetics are completely subjective.

    Anyway, this is an internet message board, not a scientific journal dedicated to shoe quality.

    I think what Mr. Franklin really wanted was just a simple straight answer like "construction wise EG & Sutor Goodyear welts are very close, leather quality about the same with EG's antique finish 2 notches above; in terms of last, I much prefer EG's English understated elegant lasts...."

    But you mumbled and jumbled him to death with terms like "diminishing marginal return", "national pride", "brand loyalty", "value of relativity", "Law of Exclusivity...."


    I don't know who "Mr. Franklin" is, but josepidal, who started this thread, is a big boy who goes to Harvard Law - he should be able to understand terms like the ones I used.

    Sheesh, you try to give the guy an honest answer and not simply tell him to use the search function and people start bitching about it.
     
  7. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

    Messages:
    8,739
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Elizabethtown
    It also didn't really answer my question heh. [​IMG]


    How did it not answer the question? Let me summarize for you without all the big fancy words:

    Quality is about the same. Pick which ever one you like better.

    See, people tell you to use the search and don't bother to give you answers because even when they do give you answer you just don't get it.
     
  8. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

    Messages:
    3,134
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Location:
    Cygnus X-1
    Anyway, this is an internet message board, not a scientific journal dedicated to shoe quality.

    You sure about that?[​IMG]

    koji
     
  9. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

    Messages:
    8,739
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Elizabethtown
    You sure about that?[​IMG]

    koji


    Well - I was operating under some time constraints. I didn't have time to complete my double blind study before making my post so I threw caution to the wind and posted without all the necessary studies and data in front of me. Nevertheless, I stand by my original analysis.
     
  10. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

    Messages:
    938
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    I agree that no topic should be considered out of bounds just because it has been broached in the past. At the same time, the archives contain a wealth of information and research often proceeds by checking out tangents that might not immediately appear to answer the precise question at hand.
    I'll admit, though, to being a bit baffled by the initial query. josepidal seemed to be asking for a precise empiricism that does not exist (as far as I know) in the world of shoes. Mantellassis are very good shoes and cut no obvious corners. I think you can group them roughly (as jcusey did in his rtw shoe pyramid), but I don't understand the need to place them precisely on a continuum. The Italian shoes work according to a whole different set of principles than the English ones. At the higher end it's a matter of taste (and there's no accounting for that beyond the individual).
     
  11. Roger

    Roger Senior member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I used the term "quality" to encompass objective factors. Aesthetics are completely subjective.
    It would have helped if you'd said this, and it would also have helped if you told us what these factors were. Further, do esthetic factors not figure at all in one's evaluation of quality? If you believe this, then your understanding of this concept and that of most of the rest of the world differ. And while you're at it, do tell us how you arrived at your quantitative comparison involving J&M, C&J Handgrades, and EG.

    Anyway, this is an internet message board, not a scientific journal dedicated to shoe quality.
    So that means that you can be imprecise and confusing?
     
  12. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

    Messages:
    8,739
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Elizabethtown

    So that means that you can be imprecise and confusing?


    What's so imprecise and confusing about it? If you want a shorter version of what I was saying read the post that pejsek just made (bottom of the first page). If you don't want to do that again, I'll try summarizing again:

    Quality (materials and construction) are roughly the same with top English brands (e.g., Lobb and EG). Aesthetics are highly personal. So, make the decision on whichever shoe you personally like better.
     
  13. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Senior member

    Messages:
    2,461
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    I don't know who "Mr. Franklin" is.....

    Mr. Franklin aka josepidal. Read the RLPL Corben epic.
     
  14. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

    Messages:
    8,739
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Elizabethtown
    Mr. Franklin aka josepidal. Read the RLPL Corben epic.

    Ah ok, I avoid those threads because I've mostly sworn off English shoes except for the pair of CTs my inlaws are buying for me and a pair of Barker Blacks with the skull and crossbones that I plan on getting next month and because RLPL only gets D width shoes.
     
  15. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,381
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    I am with Odoreater on this one (or should I just call you Odor for short?). I would tend to think of "quality" as referring to objective measures such as construction and materials. hence, I have certainly heard other products having been described as not all that pretty to look at, but of real high quality.

    That said, I read Jose's original post to request a ranking of the Sutor line. I think I have seen something similar done with Santoni on this board (tan sock, orange sock, fatte a mano, limited, etc.) and wonder if a similar ranking could be done with Sutors.
     
  16. Roger

    Roger Senior member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I would tend to think of "quality" as referring to objective measures such as construction and materials. hence, I have certainly heard other products having been described as not all that pretty to look at, but of real high quality.
    Do you not think that one of the reasons we consider a C&J Handgrade shoe as of higher quality than a Rockport is because of its shape--the result of the beautifully-designed and carefully-worked out 337 last on which it's made, as opposed to a formless blob that likely underlies the shape of the Rockport? And what about the unique and appealing colors that are available on an EG as opposed to the bland and drab ones found on Nunn Bush? Doesn't this contribute to our evaluation of quality? Any definition of quality I've seen is far less limiting than implied by your suggestion. The Merriam-Webster Online dictionary gives the following: "degree of excellence," "distinguishing attribute," and "an inherent feature."
     
  17. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

    Messages:
    2,381
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    For the purposes of odor's posting, I understood "quality" to refer to materials and construction. I think the factors you raise are valid considerations in preferring one shoe or line of shoes over another. However, the subjectivity of shoe shape, for example, gives me pause. While I would consider Aldens to be a higher quality shoe than A&E, I find the shape and last of many models to be somewhat less appealing than on A&E.

    However, there is often enough a correlation between aesthetic factors and the factors I tend to think of as the "quality" factors odor was referring to that I have been spared parsing through the question.
     
  18. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

    Messages:
    8,739
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Elizabethtown
    Do you not think that one of the reasons we consider a C&J Handgrade shoe as of higher quality than a Rockport is because of its shape--the result of the beautifully-designed and carefully-worked out 337 last on which it's made, as opposed to a formless blob that likely underlies the shape of the Rockport? And what about the unique and appealing colors that are available on an EG as opposed to the bland and drab ones found on Nunn Bush? Doesn't this contribute to our evaluation of quality? Any definition of quality I've seen is far less limiting than implied by your suggestion. The Merriam-Webster Online dictionary gives the following: "degree of excellence," "distinguishing attribute," and "an inherent feature."

    Roger,

    Even assuming that the factors you just listed are part of what we term "quality" how does that change my original analysis?
     
  19. josepidal

    josepidal Senior member

    Messages:
    1,923
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I used the term "quality" to encompass objective factors. Aesthetics are completely subjective.
    To give a less tongue-in-cheek answer, I understand that we all have very different personal metrics for quality here, and that past Kenneth Cole Reaction v. Allen Admonds, it becomes a lot of apples and oranges. I don't subscribe to that price-value thread that concludes that EGs are only marginally better than AEs because there is a lot of value in bringing out those last few increments of quality at the higher tier, which you can readily appreciate by putting two pairs side by side (acknowledging, of course, AE's indubitable value).

    What I'm trying to do is to put together a conclusion based on my personal metric, by asking you guys who actually own Mantellassi about specific factors like construction and leather quality, isolating these from the more subjective, personal factors such as aesthetic and regional bias. Answers to these (not found in the search function without a lot of inference and presumption, and not even in Jcusey's authoritative mini-treatise) help me better understand what goes into the conclusion that a shoe is "very good" or "excellent."

    Without doing this, even saying that Mantellassi and EG are about the same and at the same price point really does not help me. On the other hand, specific answers here help me make a judgment on whether Ferragamo Tramezzas can be placed on the same footing (pardon the pun) with C&J handgrades.

    Actually, I'm not confident in my own ability to judge construction yet, not even for shoes I own. Someone mentioned Mantellassi's handmade line might be even better in terms of construction than EG or Lobb. What, specifically, can you see on the shoe that supports this?

    Anyway, this is an internet message board, not a scientific journal dedicated to shoe quality.

    Hell, this is the most scientific porn site I've ever seen, though not quite a journal.
     
  20. josepidal

    josepidal Senior member

    Messages:
    1,923
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    That said, I read Jose's original post to request a ranking of the Sutor line. I think I have seen something similar done with Santoni on this board (tan sock, orange sock, fatte a mano, limited, etc.) and wonder if a similar ranking could be done with Sutors.
    Yes, incidentally, the original post asks for "quality" of different Sutor lines, and presumably there's not a lot of aesthetic difference between lines of the same brand, or any of these other imponderables raised.

    I even called the Borrelli store which used to carry Mantellassis under that brand, but all I got was a woman with a thick Italian accent who couldn't tell me much. They said their present shoes are over $1,000 though.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by