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LA Guy

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Mike (@Epaulet ) and I have both noticed that shell cordovan footwear has become a bit of a thing, to the point that shoemakers of all types of facing a shortage of the stuff. Also, we noticed that while some very good shell cordovan footwear has been made by the likes of Viberg (tough, rugged boots) and Carmina (a much more refined, but still rugged, look), we hadn't seen any really strong examples of shell cordovan sneakers on the market. What has been made has both been extremely expensive ($800+) and somewhat unwieldy because of the thickness of the leather used. Nonetheless, all those sneakers sold really well, which speaks to the need in the market for minimalist sneakers that are made well and can work with a variety of styles.

A little while ago, Mike approached me, and suggested a collaborative effort between Styleforum and Epaulet to get the Styleforum community some shell cordovan sneakers at a more reasonable price.

He had samples made that used shell cordovan, vegetal tanned by the famous Comipel tannery of Italy, and set on a durable gumsole from Margom SPA.. The sneakers are fully lined in kidskin leather, and have the low profile of tennies shoes from the 1960's, and are designed to be both distinctive and neutral, so that they can be worn with a wide array of styles.

We are now doing preorders for delivery in time for January-February 2015, i.e. in time for early spring wearing. The colors available, in order, are navy, oxblood (my favorite, and probably what I will get for myself), black, cognac and cigar.

Most companies offer only full sizes. I'm lucking enough to fit perfectly into a 43 on nearly all sneakers on this sole, but recognizing that not all customers are lucky, we are also offering half sizes.



We are taking preorder deposits here, now.

Mike will be answering questions on this thread. Please make good use of his expertise.

Cheers,

Fok.
 
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Mr. Six

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The shoes look great! Cigar and navy are the winners in my book. I wish the oxblood had come out darker.

In light of what sounds like a thinner cut and the tanning process is the leather going to roll like typical shell or crease more like calf?
 
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My Main Man

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I think you guys invented the sneakers I've been wanting forever. Good god. Price is better than I expected too. Great job!
 

notwithit

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Same last, sole, and sizing as the regular epaulet tennis sneakers?
 

tonio028

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Excellent idea and great move using the gumsole in lieu of white for the cordovan leather.

@LA Guy or @Epaulet, is there any chance of seeing pics of any (preferable cigar and cognac from my end) of the sample sneakers with a bit of wear and tear before the pre-order window shuts down? They all look great brand new and I have no doubt you did your research, but it would be great to see pics with some mileage even if low mileage to give us all a sense of how they look worn.
 

badsha

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Is the sizing consistent with the Epaulet Sport Trainers in leather?

 

lifeinabox

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Damn, I want one of each!

Another sizing question. I tried the calf tennis trainers in 8 and they were too narrow. Length was fine but I returned them. I also have the sport trainers in 8 and they are a bit long in the toe box but width is fine.

I'm a 7E in Barrie. Wondering if an 8.5 is the way to go or if it will be too long.
 

Epaulet

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Thanks Fok!

We're really excited about this project. We introduced our Tennis Trainers a few months back and they quickly became one of the best-selling items that we've ever offered. I think that you guys will really be delighted with them!

A few quick notes:

1) We have physical samples of the shell sneakers at both of our NYC boutiques. Stop by either our Brooklyn or Manhattan store if you want to see them in person

2) We're largely sold through our last delivery of Tennis Trainers, but I've still got a small size range in the Snuff Suede ones. If you hit our stores then we may be able to fit you on one of the trainers directly. But if not, we've gotten the best result by asking customers to use their Chuck Taylor low top sizing. Those are available everywhere and fairly easy to try on. For Alden guys, most people add a half size to their Barrie Last or take the same size as their Aberdeen/Leydon

3) They are unfortunately not available in widths, but they are easier to fit than a goodywear welted shoe. They will break in and stretch a bit in the width or the length. If you're a true wide (American E), then you'll want to size up a half. This results in a better fit than trying to do this with a goodyear welted shoe or boot because the trainer can be tied more tightly and the overall piece is lighter and more flexible. If you take a narrow fit, then I'd advise getting your proper numerical size and wearing them with a tongue pad. If you typically wear larger than a standard wide (E) or smaller than a standard narrow (C), then this shape will probably be difficult to fit.

The shoes look great! Cigar and navy are the winners in my book. I wish the oxblood had come out darker.

In light of what sounds like a thinner cut and the tanning process is the leather going to roll like typical shell or crease more like calf?

Great question. I don't see why it wouldn't roll, as the leather has the same fundamental properties. Chromexcel seems to be around the thickness of Horween Shell, but it doesn't age in the same way, so it doesn't appear that the weight of the leather is the main determinant.

Honestly though, I'm really not sure. There's very few shell sneakers that have ever been made, and I can't find any images of one that's been worn in and aged. I'd be wearing these right now if I wasn't saving the samples for guys to see in person. Once the preorders close, I'll start wearning a pair and working on that :slayer:

For reference, here's a pic of a nicely aged Trickers boot (not mine). Trickers is also using Shinki/Comipel shell:



I think you guys invented the sneakers I've been wanting forever. Good god. Price is better than I expected too. Great job!

Thank you sir! I've been waiting on these myself. This was something that's sorely needed!

Resolable?

Unfortunately no. But these Margom soles are extremely long wearing, so you will get plenty of use out of them.
 

Epaulet

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Is the sizing consistent with the Epaulet Sport Trainers in leather?


Most guys drop a half size from their Epaulet Sport Trainer sizing. Those were about a half size larger than true.

Damn, I want one of each!

Another sizing question.  I tried the calf tennis trainers in 8 and they were too narrow.  Length was fine but I returned them.  I also have the sport trainers in 8 and they are a bit long in the toe box but width is fine.

I'm a 7E in Barrie.  Wondering if an 8.5 is the way to go or if it will be too long.

The Sport Trainer size 8 is roughly equivalent to the Tennis Trainer in 8.5, so if you find that size wearable, then there's an excellent chance that the 8.5 will work for you here. It's pretty far out from your Barrie last sizing, but worth a shot if you really dig them.

Excellent idea and great move using the gumsole in lieu of white for the cordovan leather.

@LA Guy or @Epaulet, is there any chance of seeing pics of any (preferable cigar and cognac from my end) of the sample sneakers with a bit of wear and tear before the pre-order window shuts down? They all look great brand new and I have no doubt you did your research, but it would be great to see pics with some mileage even if low mileage to give us all a sense of how they look worn.

Unfortunately no - I want to keep them in new condition for guys who see them in our stores. I'll see if we can have some customers post up photos of their calf and suede Tennis Shoes with some wear though, just to show how the shape looks.

Ultimately we're using better quality leather and overall materials than anyone else at this price point, so they're going to age and wear in nicely.

Same last, sole, and sizing as the regular epaulet tennis sneakers?

Yessir!

Holy shit. I love these.

Haha, thanks dude!
 

Epaulet

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Do the sizes for the cordovan trainers only go up to size 13? Want a pair so bad, but I'm a 13D in US Barrie sizing and it looks like based on that I'd need a 13.5. Are you able to do larger sizes than a 13?

Just spoke with the factory - unfortunately size 13 is as large as we can go on these.
 

Journeyman

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Very tempting.

As Doc says, these could become the latest (and perhaps biggest) SF fetish.

I feel crazy for saying it, but $295 sounds quite reasonable with regard to pricing - it's cheaper than Common Projects and for that price, you're getting a pair of limited edition, shell cordo sneakers.
 

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