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Meermin Mallorca Shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by asturiano, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    I'm talking about comparisons between brands that are generally approved of on this board. I think everyone here would agree that To Boots aren't very high quality.

    For what it's worth, C&J has two grades - benchgrade and handgrade. Both are Goodyear welted and machine made, but handgrades feature finer calf leathers, asymmetric lasts, and oak bark tanned soles.* The soles also have channeled stitching (which means the stitching is hidden), instead of ones that are stitched aloft (which means the stitching is visible).

    Meermins MTOs (which are the only ones I've had experience with) can be made on any last (including ones you give them, I believe), feature channeled stitching, slightly beveled waists, high-polishes, and handwelted and hand-lasted construction. The leathers they use are very good, at least on the ones they sent me. It's also said that handwelting can be resoled more easily and more times than Goodyear welted ones. There is some controversy to this claim, but I don't take a stance on it either way.

    As you can see, there's no way to put a dollar amount on these features. They're subjective matters. While I feel confident in saying that I think Meermin is better than Loake, but not as good as Saint Crispin's, I wouldn't object if someone came here and said I was wrong. After all, things such as channeled soles, slightly beveled waists, and high-polishes are just aesthetic details; handwelting vs. Goodyear is somewhat controversial; and nobody here has owned Meermin's shoes for any significant period of time. I also like Saint Crispin's for their handconstruction and how they hug my foot's arch, but these are just artisanal details that you either like or you don't. Shoes from any of these brands - Loake, Meermin, and Saint Crispin's - will last you a long time with proper care. Saying one company is objectively better than the other (at least among SF approved brands) gets into very subjective territory and deals with small differences. I feel more confident about making a statement on the extremes, and very suspicious when people make claims about stuff in the middle. Perhaps you can drive a conversation out of members on this, but what I'm telling you is that if you do, few people here will be able to give you meaningful answers.

    I've owned about six pairs of C&Js in my life, and have just started wearing Meermins for about the past three months or so. I'm very happy with all of them and would not hesitate to recommend either company.

    * Oak bark tanned leather is a type of hide that has been tanned exclusively from vegetable agents made from barks and fruits. The process takes place inside of an oak-lined pit that is ten feet deep. The hide sits in the solution for about a year. There are no mechanical movements, no chemical catalysts, and the solution isn't heated; the hide just sits for a year. It's a slow process, but the leather that comes out is very lightweight, very hardwearing, and very flexible. It is also said to be highly water-repellent, but very breathable.
     
    2 people like this.
  2. hendrix

    hendrix Senior member

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    Disagree.
    Styling, "finishing" (whatever that means) etc are subjective matters. There are several objective indicators of quality, some of which you have mentioned. I have no idea what is controversial in saying that handwelting is a better method of construction than goodyear welting. No shoemaker has ever said otherwise.

    If you really want to compare shoe brands based on quality, learn about shoe construction and make the comparison yourself.
    But it's not going to change the fact that most people have yet to come to terms with the fact that it's ok to like shoes for the styling. It's ok to like a car because of the way it looks. You don't have to justify it by talking about its ceramic brakes if you don't want to. You can simply point at it and say "I like the design". You can even say "I like the brand", or "they sold me on a dream". That's ok too.

    So, I agree with the sentiment that creating hierarchies is pointless; but that's because people need to recognise they're buying design. If you really want to make a hierarchy based on quality, it can be done, but please make that comparison yourself. The information is there for anyone who wants it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  3. JBMarce21

    JBMarce21 Senior member

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    See that's what I am talking aboutttttt. Yes good information on all of it, particularly the bits about construction, and then from there the materials used (very cool bit about the oak bark soles) Gotta agree on the objective vs subjective too-- from my snooping I think I would need to agree that handgrade is a better than bench, but on two bench grade shoes if one is better looking (IMO) I'm likely to pay a bit of a premium because hey, no one here doesn't enjoy looking their best.

    From that, I am pleased with my MTO shell's that are on their way from Meermin to add to my "higher end" rotation, and I know now that the RTW classic or LM are just about the best I can get to flesh out my rotation in the meantime. That way, my higher end rotation (2xC&J benchgrade, I am buying some carmina brogued cap toes tomorrow, etc) grows more slowly, and I don't walk through the 3-4 good pairs I do have too quickly.


    Great information on all of it!

    (I wish there was a grasshopper emoticon... would be very fitting here)

    Thanks fellas
     
  4. meister

    meister Senior member

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    So true.
     
  5. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    I don't doubt handwelting is a better technique, assuming it's done well. But that doesn't address the question of whether Goodyear is good enough. I say it's controversial because I don't know of anyone who's had serious problems with their high-end Goodyear welted shoes. Do you?

    There are parts of your reply that I don't quite understand, such as whether you agree that aesthetics are subjective. It's obviously OK to like something for it's styling, but it's a different matter to use that to make objective claims about quality. I think it's helpful to separate these things out. That is to say, "Both are well made, but I like the styling of X better." The bizarre "hierarchy rankings" on SF don't do that. They just conflate everything and want to know the difference between something such as Loake or Allen Edmonds, or Crockett and Jones and Carmina. That seems ridiculous to me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  6. JBMarce21

    JBMarce21 Senior member

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    to your first bit--no way, definitely not problems of high end good years, just kind of a "if you had to pick one" reasoning from my research, handgrade edges out goodyear a little bit

    and then yes I misspoke, that is what I meant-- i.e. AE and Meermin LM's (and Classics) are both well made and of quality materials, but as frankie22 was saying earlier AE can be a bit boring, so I would much rather have these at this point.

    by learning about the construction and material quality, I am getting a better idea of where the value lies. from there, I can determine which I prefer for my own style.

    Thanks again
     
  7. hendrix

    hendrix Senior member

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    Do you know anyone whose fused jackets have spontaneously combusted?*

    It's a clear, objective factor of the internal construction of a shoe. Like handlasting, veg tanned insoles, leather toe and heel stiffeners...etc. You can say one is better than the other with reasonable confidence.



    Here's what i'm saying:
    I agree with you that comparing shoe brands overall is a waste of time, because it's largely subjective. I think most of that subjectivity lies in aesthetics, not quality.
    If you want to compare the "quality" of different shoes, it can be done very easily. There are enough videos out there that we can see how the brands of SF-popular shoes are made. These are rather objective things.

    If you want to compare shoe brands overall, style and aesthetics comes into play. These are subjective. People are confusing quality and aesthetics and not remembering which is subjective and which is objective. This is very evident when people start trying to make leather quality comparisons (unlikely to be a factor in most shoes talked about here), "finishing", and last shapes in relation to quality - they've taken subjective points as objective measures of quality.

    So rather than "Both are well made, but I like the styling of X better", one can make the decision that "Y are better made, but I like the styling of X better" when they become more comfortable with the idea of buying for design.



    *Actually this is a bad analogy because a floating canvas is probably more of an aesthetic consideration. I hope you get the point though: durability =/ quality.




    Agreed. This is more of a shopping forum than a styleforum most of the time, unfortunately.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  8. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    Saying over and over that something is objective doesn't answer the question of whether or not you know anyone who has had their high-end Goodyear welted shoes fail. You can't make an analogy to skirt the question, especially one that, as you pointed out, is largely about aesthetics.

    I've worn something around forty pairs of Goodyear welted shoes, and owned three pairs of handwelted shoes. All of them have held up fine, with some being even as old as a decade (owned by me, bought brand new). I recognize, however, that this is a short lifespan for shoes. For what it's worth, I don't know anyone who has had problems with their high-end gemmed shoes, but I'm also not an expert on the matter. However, people I've talked to in the trade (bespoke shoemakers included) have said that Goodyear is a fair enough standard and unlikely to fail, even though handwelting is better. David disagrees. This is why I don't take a stance on the issue and I say the matter is controversial. I personally think this is a fair position to take; not one that says there's only one interpretation and that everyone else is ignorant.

    I don't want to turn this thread into a debate about handwelting though. There are enough of those and they never go anywhere.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    Please, not again.
     
    2 people like this.
  10. hendrix

    hendrix Senior member

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    What am I missing here?

    One is better than the other? Is that not what I was saying?

    I would suggest that you yourself are circumventing the issue by asking me whether anyone's high end gemmed shoes have failed. I don't know, and it's irrelevant. All I am saying is that one is better than the other. No need to fluff around and say it's controversial or subjective.

    I'm not suggesting that anyone is ignorant.


    Neither do I. As far as I'm concerned, there is no debate.

    And, honestly, I don't care about comparing any of these shoes. It doesn't make a difference to me. I don't buy any of them. I don't buy Meermin, I don't buy any English shoes, I don't buy any of the shoe brands that are talked about on SF. It's not a concern of mine whether they are placed on a silly hierarchy. And it is silly, I agree.

    I just think we've come to ridiculous lengths of sensitivity if we have to say that quality is subjective.

    After all, isn't it what allows you to say this:


    ?

    We have the knowledge. We can make decisions about what's important to us.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  11. Petepan

    Petepan Senior member

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    Oh come on now people, the same old arguments again, resurrected from countless forum disputes past. Especially you Hendrix. You have a chip on your shoulder? Let it rest okay, before you sound like a priest. You are technically correct, but you are beginning to sound tiring, like a grandmother poo-pooing every single grandchild over bad manners and elbows on tables.

    Just stop it, okay. STOP.
     
  12. hendrix

    hendrix Senior member

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    Excuse me?

    i'm not sure where the discussion of "whether shoe quality has objective indicators" has been previously discussed by myself.
    Dieworkwear has made some good points for the sake of the forum, most of which I agree with. We are now having a discussion on a detail of his post.

    I was under the impression that this was where we came to discuss such matters.

    Pardon me. Please resume rambling about sizing and quality control and bloody AE vs Meermin vs Loake vs Vox's left buttcheek.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
    2 people like this.
  13. Petepan

    Petepan Senior member

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    Read the thread header for clarification. The door is over there. Thank you for coming.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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    Hendrix should be one of the role models of this forum regarding contribution, get of your high horse, Petepan.

    I think a TL;DR is: Quality is objective, but the price/value is subjective, thus giving us: If you like Meermin and want them; buy them; if you don't; don't buy them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  15. Petepan

    Petepan Senior member

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    If you wish to start another slanging match, I am not interested. So quit the high horsing language Christian B.

    There is a place and time for everything. This is a thread specific to Meermin. Discussions on shoe construction quality indicators in general can go elsewhere, although by and large everyone is just repeating themselves. No problem if you talk specifically about Meermin quality indicators. If you want to discuss privately, take it offline.
     
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  16. Zarium

    Zarium Senior member

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    ^ I agree. I honestly tire of all these pointless discussions every time I read shoe threads on SF. I'd much rather just a Meermin thread be about Meermin shoes, not all this shit about what sort of construction is better.

    Anyway, I just received the Meermins I purchased yesterday. Pictures to follow soon!
     
  17. newtoshoes

    newtoshoes Well-Known Member

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    You purchased yesterday and received the shoes today?
     
  18. maraca2020

    maraca2020 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know if there is a place to buy Meermins in the US? Thanks
     
  19. Frankie22

    Frankie22 Senior member

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    Yep those are it, not MTO. I am very happy with the LM line, will order more.
     
  20. gettoasty

    gettoasty Senior member

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    this topic is stupid

    Where is NAMOR and why has he not got back with deets? :(
     

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