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Suede shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by chorse123, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    Alright, to top off my rash of postings for this evening, can any of you shed some light for me on suede shoes and the various merits of English makers? I walked down Jermyn street today and through the Burlington Arcade. The C&Js are beautiful, but how much better are they than, say, these from Charles Tywhitt which retail for a quarter of the price (bought in US with new customer discount). Or these by Loake (Loake 202DS). Obviously the C&Js are the beauty queen among these, but what are the points on which to judge suede shoes? Assuming they're all goodyear welted. Thanks, shoe guys. You're converting me and it's trouble.
     
  2. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Senior member

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    I was wondering about this as well.... I can understand the big difference between lower and upper grade calfskins (especially when comparing top or full grain against corrected grain), but what is the difference between the various suedes?

    Edit - my grammar sucked the first time. I've become too used to the spell/grammar checker on Word...
     
  3. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The C&J shoes are regular old Benchgrade shoes, which means that you should be able to pick them up for around £200 ex VAT from the UK; so they're not quite four times as expensive as the Tyrwhitt shoes or the Loake shoes. Regardless, the price difference is significant.

    Just as there's nice leather and not-so-nice leather, there's nice suede and not-so-nice suede. It's difficult to communicate in writing, but it's pretty easy if you feel the two side by side. In addition, there are the other aspects of shoe construction: I have no doubt that the C&J shoes are made to significantly higher standards than the other two.
     
  4. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You can get a hamburger at McDonalds or at the Savoy Grill. The Savoy one might use the finest filet steak, but ultimately they are both patties of minced beef.

    You can buy a suit (of sorts) for $ 100.00 and you can spend thousands on a Kiton or Brioni. What's the difference? They both have two sleeves, two lapels, two or three buttons.

    Same thing applies to shoes. If at all possible try them on side by side. Do you see a difference between the cheaper and the more expensive one? If you can't, get the cheaper item.
     
  5. raley

    raley Senior member

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    The Loake's and the Charles shoes are one in the same, I believe.
     
  6. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    I've had C&J suede penny loafers for seven years, and they've held up well ("Eaton" benchgrade) - no major creasing or other problems. I'm no shoe construction expert, but they seem similar in quality to my Alden suede loafers. The suede finish, though, is rougher than Alden, so the C&J seem to work better with cords than with smoother fabrics.
     
  7. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Senior member

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    I think these are C&Js. Maybe slightly darker than the ones you're looking at, but I think on a more stylish last: http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatPr...._Id=202 If you're in the US, these are going to be considerably less expensive than ordering from C&J. Montecristo
     
  8. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    Same as with any shoe:
    quality of the upper
    quality of the lining
    quality of the insole
    construction
    time on the last
    fit

    Surface defects are not apparent on suede, as it is the flesh side of the hide, and fat wrinkles are sanded out anyway in the production. The top manufacturers will use full grain hides reversed, most others are splits. In more than a few cases, the suede is not even calf.
     
  9. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    Thanks, everyone. I think I'll have to take a longer look, and hope that perhaps the C&J's come down in price during the sales.
     
  10. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    Oops.
     
  11. josepidal

    josepidal Senior member

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    quality of the upper
    quality of the lining
    quality of the insole
    construction
    time on the last
    fit

    Surface defects are not apparent on suede, as it is the flesh side of the hide, and fat wrinkles are sanded out anyway in the production. The top manufacturers will use full grain hides reversed, most others are splits. In more than a few cases, the suede is not even calf.

    Thread resurrect.

    Might anyone have photos of great, good, and not so good suede? This is a bit more difficult to describe than the already difficult topic of spotting corrected grain leather.
     
  12. morsem

    morsem Active Member

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    Additionally, it seems that half lined suede shoes are fantastically soft. Although I have never owned one myself, I can say that I have seen a few by John Lobb that are superlative.

    I'm not sure if the folks here would opine that half lined suedes are better than fully lined suedes, but for summer it definitely seems the part.

    Any thoughts?
     
  13. josepidal

    josepidal Senior member

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    What are half lined shoes?
     

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