1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

Mr B's Blake boots vs Grenson Sharp/Fred

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by fromuio, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Potsmoker420

    Potsmoker420 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    I ordered the Blake in the Bordeaux colour online yesterday. the store near my house didnt sell them. so i hope they have some in stock they will ship soon.

    all the other Aldo shoes look like shit. this boot seems like a rare exception.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  2. md2010

    md2010 Senior member

    Messages:
    1,894
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Location:
    Sydney


    +1. These look hideous !! I went to aldo store in Sydney they had up to 70% off sale. Unfortunately that excludes Mr b's. Sydney store sell them for $219. Asked the sales assistant if any sale on the Mr B range. .... this guy started a lecture....these are limited editions... only 4000 units worldwide...

    Anyway had a good look at them nothing special .... leather looks rather ordinary.Few different shades all around the uppers. The toe box is wide and bulky.
    Bottom line under $150 I would buy them without thinking twice but at $220 .... better choices out there.
    Anyway I am looking at these (hoping for a sale )
    -
    http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Edmonds...=sr_1_7?s=shoes&ie=UTF8&qid=1324894850&sr=1-7
     
  3. CTfunk

    CTfunk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    83
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    I must apologize for not supplying pictures as promised, but given the same original price point and after comparing the two models in person, I have reasons to believe that the uppers are almost if not completely identical. The two models are both stamped as "Made In Romania" if that means anything. Like I said before, I'm absolutely against buying Aldo's; however, at the sale price (and the quality presented) I wasn't really going to complain, and for "sheez and giggles" these are perfect! For the pairs that I had examined in store, I didn't find a pair with the flaws as described. As far as the sole is concerned, I am not really sure how to describe it.

    Happy Holidays!
     
  4. sp4zz

    sp4zz Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Thanks for the info. I suppose I'll go ahead and pull the trigger on the rubber sole version from Amazon. What the "hey" - $200 Amazon gift card and sub $200 price point; I might as well. I can always return them, too, if I feel so inclined.

    Really? How so, and as compared to what, exactly? IMO, they look pretty much exactly the same as the Vibram sole Grenson Freds.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  5. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

    Messages:
    11,110
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Location:
    Suburban Sprawl Sector 3, Maryland
    I think the difference between those and an ordinary design is pretty obvious. There's no distinction between the sole and the heel, just tapers right into it. Looks all thick and blobby, especially in white rubber. It's like something you're find on a Goretex snowboot, not a leather boot.

    And I think the Grenson is ugly too, so it's not just Aldo hate.
     
  6. sp4zz

    sp4zz Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    I see, I didn't understand that you meant you just hated that design. I thought you meant as compared to other rubber soled boots. It's definitely a stray from the traditional, which is exactly why I prefer it, that and I just like that wedge sole and the taper you seem to disapprove of. lol

    No worries on Aldo hate; I'd normally be hating on them too.

    Anyways, folks, I went ahead and ordered the Aldo Smyser, so I'll try to post up some pics when they come in.
     
  7. chet31

    chet31 Senior member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Madison WI
    ^ I agree w/ you, the formality of the broguing coupled w/ the white rubber sole is eccentric in a fun sense.
     
  8. sp4zz

    sp4zz Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    A few more things I have learned since my last post...

    After ordering the Smysers, I ended up at the SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, NC returning a few things to the Louis Vuitton store and spotted the Aldo store on the mall directory. I stopped in and asked the cute little brunette behind the counter about the Blake and Smyser. They did not have them in stock, but she had just bought a pair of the Blakes for her brother and that she thought they were definitely two different uppers; the Blake being the better of the two, obviously.

    I also finally received an email back from Aldo customer service. This is what they had to say about the Blake / Smyser.

    Quote: Aldo Customer Service
     
  9. Patek

    Patek Senior member

    Messages:
    2,969
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Location:
    Delawhere?
    

    I agree with you on both counts. I don't care if they are G&G or JL. This is a case of the current shoe-meets-sneaker trend taken too far.
     
  10. sp4zz

    sp4zz Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Everyone has their own tastes, and a right to an opinion, and I would never infringe on that right, but...

    You do realize that wedge sole boots have been around and popular, at different times, since WW2? Hell, maybe even before that for all I know. Though, I suppose the last real surge of popularity was in the 70s, but the style remains largely the same since the beginning. Take these Domino fashion hikers for instance. Not a bad looking boot at all, imo.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. jlfama

    jlfama New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    I recently bought a pair of the Smysers. For the price the boot really can't be beat. It's no Grenson as far as quality goes but it's no Grenson as far as price goes either.

    As for the comments on the sole, the Smyser as well as the Fred V seem to me to be traditional British style, not American. Think back to the hard mods / skinheads of the late 60s and early 70s. Remember Monkey Boots?

    [​IMG]
     
  12. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

    Messages:
    6,501
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    The Arena - Centerfield
    Sorry, I don't mean to rain on the parade of joy but something is irritating me.
    The retail of only $175.00
    Sure it is a great price, in fact too good to be true, which leads to the old wise saying,
    'If it seems to good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.'
    Quad posted the best closeups for my purpose of analysis so I will use 2 of his photos for this purpose.
    Now for those of you who own the boots, that will be even better because you can directly confirm my suspicions.
    I have numbered some areas of interest or areas of scrutiny.

    Boys, would you be good enough to get your boots in front of you please?
    Let's begin (RIGHT-CLICK & 'Open In New Window' to see full size photos):

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Area 1: Not leather but a flexible rubber or plastic. Lightly scrape with the point of a knife or fingernail.
    Area 4: A thin layer of leather glued on to give a nice finish.
    Area 2: A plastic heel which is coloured and textured as leather (knife scrape test)
    Area 3: Heel plate is an acceptable standard plate of slightly different colour to accentuate the plastic heel
    Area 5: Welt stitching is not actual thread but cleverly molded plastic imprint giving the illusion of thread
    Area 6: Welt is not leather but plastic. A plastic welt with fake stitching



    Other tests (for those who have them in your hands right now):

    1) Feel inside. Are the interiors leather? (conduct a scrape test)
    If so, is the leather paper thin? or if a decent thickness?

    2) Stick your hand deep into the boot.
    Feel the upper inside. Is it leather lined? or cloth? or synthetic? (I suspect synth cloth)


    My conclusion, based only on these 2 photos and the low retail price is:
    Leather Uppers (outer)
    Leather/Cloth inside
    Insole - Please confirm
    Plastic welt with faux stitching
    Plastic or rubber soles glued to the welt
    Thin leather finishing layer (marked 'vero cuio')glued onto the plastic sole
    lovely finishing
    Slave labour
    Shipping to your local friendly Aldo store
    -------------------------
    Total - $175.00

    It is a very nice looking boot at an irresistable price.
    It will gain you numerous compliments from those on the street or at work.

    But, it is below SF standards of quality and excellence.
    Aldo distributed shoes and boots constructed in exactly this manner in the 1980's & 1990's
    Browns currently sells shoes with this identical construction today (for more $$$ too)

    If I am mistaken on any of my observations please set the record straight.
    I am not saying that you have all been duped. What I am saying is there are reasons why this seemingly amazing boot has such a low retail price.
    On the up-side, you may get one shot at a resole provided your plastic welts don't crack along lifes journey. If the welts crack, consider these disposable boots. They seem like very nice boots though for the money and only if your feet don't sweat in them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
    3 people like this.
  13. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

    Messages:
    3,578
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario
    ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  14. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

    Messages:
    2,970
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    I can confirm most of what man of lint said.

    1. I can't tell...tried scraping with a fingernail but didn't reveal anything.
    2. Definitely seems like a seam there...there is no stitching into the sole, so its probably glued
    3. Same story as number 1 on the heel...not sure what this material is.
    4. heel toplift is rubber all the way through
    5. the stitching on the welt is not plastic...it is actual thread
    6. the welt is not a natural material

    So it looks like the plastic welt is stitched to the rubber/plastic/whatever "mid-sole" to which a thin piece of leather is glued.

    The insole appears to be leather, but its probably leather glued to fiberboard.

    The inside is partially leather lined...the front is cloth/synthetic.


    Overall, you're right...these are actually pretty shitty. I did not look too closely since other members seemed to approve these, but you've pretty much blown this one wide open.
     
  15. MadAboutPlaid

    MadAboutPlaid Senior member

    Messages:
    146
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I always enjoy MOL's posts. He has the ability to speak factually without trashing anyone or making it personal. Nice post, MOL.
     
  16. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

    Messages:
    6,501
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    The Arena - Centerfield
    Thank you both (Quad & Mad).
    I'm sure what matters the most is comfort and durability. I'm sure you'll get at least a year or 3 out of them with moderate wear. I have a pair of Aldo and Browns shoes from years ago that are constructed the same. They are among my beater shoes so only worn in bad weather and they have proven themselves durable and comfortable. I am confident you'll all have a good ride with these boots. They do look exceptionally attractive and I may even buy a pair myself. Whatever processes they are using with more modern materials, etc. they are turning out better looking footwear for their price point. Signifigantly, and even at full retail, one will still get their moneys worth out of them and they look more than respectable. I wouldn't feel bad at all about owning a pair of these boots.
    It would be interesting to see how everyones boots endure rain or just regular wear over the next months so I hope there will be updates from all of you.
    What will really interest me is how the soles are wearing, the overall comfort. and do they make your feet sweat or not. One last question: Are the insoles removable or fixed?
     
  17. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

    Messages:
    2,970
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    To me, the soles are wearing like iron. Very little wear after probably 10-15 outings, even on the toe, which I'm hard on.

    No excessive foot sweating issues and I find them quite comfortable for the most part.

    The insoles are non-removable.
     
  18. reedobandito

    reedobandito Senior member

    Messages:
    6,803
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Location:
    Portland!
    

    This is true, sole seems remarkably resilient. Haven't worn mine in a while, someone buy em! Size 42, worn 3 times, cognac. Will let them go for a good price!
     
  19. shilleck

    shilleck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    92
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Location:
    SF
    Most guys probably don't like the white sole, but I'm really liking this one.
     
  20. PipersSon

    PipersSon Senior member

    Messages:
    1,543
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    

    That was brilliant. Posts like yours are what make SF a great learning experience.


    To each his own, but IMO, the white soles suck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by