Please help in assessing these ebay shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kinesthesia, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. kinesthesia

    kinesthesia Member

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    I have a possibly specific set of questions regarding a pair of Church's shoes I'm looking at on ebay. Please bear with me as this is my first post and I have only been reading about clothing/shoes for a few months.

    I have been looking for clothing that can work both with in a formal and very casual setting as I work as a janitor and it is simply not practical or desirable to show up in a charcoal suit. So I want clothing that is simple looking but still nice enough to be dressed up.

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    The information I have gleaned from this forum indicates that post-prada church's are not worth retail. These are supposedly pre-prada buy out and about 110 USD. Are they worth that much?

    Secondly, a whole cut upper costs more, and I am fairly certain that this is the type of construction that I want. Is this style of shoe common? I had wanted a shoe with minimal or no patterned punching (I am guessing this is the wing tip part of a wing tip?) and a common color. Or common enough that I can expect to find a higher quality manufacture of a similar style?

    And lastly I'm guessing that the shoe is calfskin with a channeled sole. Could someone be so kind as to confirm/deny this for me?

    Oh and sorry if my etiquette is off. These image embed scripts vex me at the moment...
     
  2. rathebaindc

    rathebaindc Senior member

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    That's not a channeled sole. You see that stitching around the edge? If the sole was channeled, you wouldn't. There would be another thing piece of leather covering that stitching up, to "dress up" the sole a bit.
     
  3. kinesthesia

    kinesthesia Member

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    That's not a channeled sole. You see that stitching around the edge? If the sole was channeled, you wouldn't. There would be another thing piece of leather covering that stitching up, to "dress up" the sole a bit.

    Thank you. So at the very least I should expect to find a similar shoe that is better made. And am I correct in presuming that a channeled sole would be substantially better at preventing moisture damage to the shoe?
     
  4. Loathing

    Loathing Senior member

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    that wholecut is a very nice, simple shoe
    A channeled sole is essentially when the sole stitching is hidden under a flap of leather than runs around the edge of the shoe. I've never heard that a channeled sole makes any difference to 'moisture damage'. I think it's partly cosmetic, but if done properly it does improve the life of the sole.

    on another note, I don't rate buying second hand shoes at all, especially with that amount of wear
    a shoe changes shape to fit the mould of your foot: this shoe has already settled in the shape of someone else's foot
     
  5. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

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    Thank you. So at the very least I should expect to find a similar shoe that is better made. And am I correct in presuming that a channeled sole would be substantially better at preventing moisture damage to the shoe?

    Channeled soles are mostly aesthetic. You have to go up a decent amount in quality to start finding channeled soles, probably out of your price range really. Peal for Brooks Brothers (by either C&J or Alfred Sargent) has probably the cheapest you'll find. Even the usual C&J benchmade don't have channeled soles. Allen-Edmonds, the usual default recommendation for starter shoes, doesn't even offer channeled soles as far as I know.

    I'd be a little concerned about those shoes simply because it doesn't look like they've ever seen a shoe tree. That crease is awfully deeply set. You can do better for $110 on Ebay, especially if you have a reasonably common shoe size.
     
  6. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Church's or not, these are not good looking. Pass on them.
     
  7. kinesthesia

    kinesthesia Member

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    Any new pair of shoes that is referenced in the shoe porn threads on this site is out of my price range. I can spend at most 200 USD and even new Alen Edmonds are mostly out of that range, also the pair of AE that I own already are disappointing to me so I'd rather not bother again with them or similar quality brands.

    So the advice I'm getting out of here is to buy a barely worn or never worn shoe. Secondary to that would be a used shoe that has seen a shoe tree. That I shouldn't worry too much about a channeled sole. And lastly since I have a common shoe size I should be able to hold out for a better pair at a similar or lower price. Oh and I should be able to find good advice on what brands to ebay for off of this forum's various info threads.

    Thanks again for the advice.
     
  8. An Ex Parrot

    An Ex Parrot Active Member

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    You mention working as a janitor. Presumably, you are looking for a shoe that you can wear to work as well as one that will look nice for social activities. You may want to re-think this approach.

    Years ago in college I worked as a waiter. Had a lovely pair of (then) top-of-the line J&M Aristocraft. While they were wonderful shoes and very comfortable, I found out the hard way that they were not made for the sort of stuff shoes are subject to in a restaurant (grease, spilled food, mopping up after hours, etc.). Granted, I know more about proper shoe care now than I did then, but still: restaurant work took a real toll on the shoes. Additionally, the type of leather sole on dress shoes is more likely to slip on a wet floor than a rubber sole often found on work shoes. I would think that as a janitor you are likely to run into many of the same hazards.

    It may be better value in the long run to buy a pair of good solid work shoes (steel toe black oxfords with a good arch support), and separate shoes for your social life. Red Wing reportedly makes a high-quality pair of work oxfords, and I am sure there are other well made brands.

    I realize that budget may by an issue, but in the long run I think your body and wallet will be better served by using different shoes for these very different purposes.

    Regards,

    AEP
     
  9. An Ex Parrot

    An Ex Parrot Active Member

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    Any new pair of shoes that is referenced in the shoe porn threads on this site is out of my price range. I can spend at most 200 USD and even new Alen Edmonds are mostly out of that range, also the pair of AE that I own already are disappointing to me so I'd rather not bother again with them or similar quality brands.

    So the advice I'm getting out of here is to buy a barely worn or never worn shoe. Secondary to that would be a used shoe that has seen a shoe tree. That I shouldn't worry too much about a channeled sole. And lastly since I have a common shoe size I should be able to hold out for a better pair at a similar or lower price. Oh and I should be able to find good advice on what brands to ebay for off of this forum's various info threads.

    Thanks again for the advice.


    Note that some of the advice you tend to get on this site comes from shoe snobs. (I say that with affection, for I am one on occasion.) So, you find various criticisms of brands such as Bally, Bruno Magli, Mezlan, J&M, Cole Haan--even AE. While I agree that CH and JM have gone down in the last few years (stay away from the low ends, especially CH's "Nike Air" line), they still do make some very solid shoes in their upper lines (for example, CH Bragano shoes are fairly well made). To be sure, these aren't going to have the same construction or quality of leather as an Alden, Church or whatever, there are still many good-looking soundly-constructed shoes within a reasonable price range.

    And if (as I suggested above) you have separate pairs of work shoes and social shoes, you won't be putting as much wear and tear on your social shoes. So, you can buy a slightly used pair (or two) for social use without breaking the bank on the "shoe porn" brands.

    When buying on Ebay, I suggest the following guidelines: (1) Obviously, they style should be something that you really like. (2) Ideally, try on a similar pair of shoes in a shoe store so you can get an idea of how the model and make feels to you. (3) Only buy shoes with little wear: Original soles (not repaired soles) without much wear--but personally I don't mind replaced heels; upper without significant creasing; no gouges or significant scratches; etc. For example, here are examples currently on Ebay in random sizes and styles, of the type you can probably get inexpensively with a little patience:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Mens-Bruno-Magli...c#ht_500wt_677

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Bruno-Magli-Emil...ht_3842wt_1340

    http://cgi.ebay.com/MEZLAN-Mens-Dres...8#ht_500wt_908

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Mens-Dress-Shoes...#ht_2429wt_667

    Your taste may vary, of course, but there should be something of reasonable quality and condition for you.

    Cheers,

    AEP
     

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