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clee1982

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Would be interesting to hear your opinion, believe Lu Yang is based in Hangzhou, that’s my wife’s home town so at least some chance I might make it there in the next 5 years...
 

j ingevaldsson

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So, it's all about the bottom line--price. Which, in anyone's world, is not the same as "better or best they can." Unless you're really talking about better profits.

Which kind of makes my point.
When you write this, I can't for the world see how you actually read and understood my first post. Or my other posts either, for that matter. I paste the sort of key sentence again, to give it another try: "they try to make the best shoes they can for the price point and market segment they aim to be in." Following the next most important sentences (in relation to the topic that was to be discussed): "That does not necessarily mean taking shortcuts all the time. Lots of brands choose to raise prices instead of declining the product, if needed, since they don't want to put out a less good product than what they always have done."

I don't think I can be more clear. I give up.
 
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deez shoes

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To DW's point, Alden use to be great. I believe Massachusetts in general, at some point, was the shoetopia of the US ..back when stuff was done by hand. I read that the decline began when gyw replaced people and then the skill or knowledge was not passed on. I bet you can ask half the population in MA today about the shoe history of the Commonwealth and all you will hear is "New Balance" from a few folks that drive down I90.
 

Evergreen88

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well lots of small ish chinese factory moved from blake to gyw to hw in less than a decade, so at least it's getting pretty easy to buy sub $1k hw these days...
Nothing against Chinese businesses but personally as a European I would rather buy an amazing GYW shoe from a shoemaker with an amazing legacy like Crockett and Jones and help this trade staying alive rather than buying online from the opposite side of the world.

Just my 2 cents!
 

lexxdeleon

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Would be interesting to hear your opinion, believe Lu Yang is based in Hangzhou, that’s my wife’s home town so at least some chance I might make it there in the next 5 years...
So far the experience has been really good. The communication with his translator has been fantastic with very prompt replies mainly over instagram, and some over email and whatsapp. When Alex (Lu Yang's translator/social media manager) doesn't have the answer he replies the next day or sooner after he's been able to check with Lu Yang.

As far as the first trial fitting goes it was done over a Zoom video conference, though I need to provide some clearer footage for what Lu Yang is looking to evaluate more closely. I think this first pair came out quite well for my expectations on a remote fitting and sending in my own measurements of my oddly shaped feet.

I'd say I have a far from standard foot shape. I have a wider forefoot, narrow heels, low instep/volume, flat feet and a navicular accessory (small extra bone in the area below the ankle on the medial/inner side). These are the items that need to be addressed so far which I have communicated, but Lu Yang is also looking at other areas of the foot that may need adjustment as well.

- Tightness at the outside joint/small toe area on my left foot
- Heel slightly loose, but still closer fitting that any of my other shoes
- Gaping in the area between the ankle and instep ( I get this on all my shoes, some much more pronounced than others)

I'd be satisfied with the fit already if these were addressed, but Lu Yang was looking at other areas for improvement (the arch and vamp in particular).

One of my main requests was to have a high and sturdy arch support. While these are only trial shoes, the arch support already felt pretty good.
 

clee1982

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Nothing against Chinese businesses but personally as a European I would rather buy an amazing GYW shoe from a shoemaker with an amazing legacy like Crockett and Jones and help this trade staying alive rather than buying online from the opposite side of the world.

Just my 2 cents!
that use to be an easy call, but now CJ price buys you a HW Chinese shoe that's made better (not just handwelt alone, the waist, the heel all done better). I still buy Antonio Meccariello from Italy, but I really wish the English guys continue to step up. CJ has aesthetic appeal to me, especially its country shoes, but they really need to start doing more to be more competitive (at least from my stand point of view).
 

bdavro23

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When you write this, I can't for the world see how you actually read and understood my first post. Or my other posts either, for that matter. I paste the sort of key sentence again, to give it another try: "they try to make the best shoes they can for the price point and market segment they aim to be in." Following the next most important sentences (in relation to the topic that was to be discussed): "That does not necessarily mean taking shortcuts all the time. Lots of brands choose to raise prices instead of declining the product, if needed, since they don't want to put out a less good product than what they always have done."

I don't think I can be more clear. I give up.
I think Allen Edmonds is a pretty good example of one of the issues at hand. 15 years ago, they made fairly decent to bordering on good quality shoes, in the US, with many sizes, lasts and widths. Between then and now, they've made 2nd quality shoes a core part of their business model, moved much of their production out of the country, use shit materials, terrible QC and raised prices dramatically. So now, they are a shit product at a higher price.

So far as I can tell, they big difference is that they've gone through the hands of several private equity groups who have all wanted to extract "value", which I'm sure they've done. I dont think all shoes should be handwelted and I acknowledge that there is a place for shoes at a whole host of price points, but there does seem to be something of a race to the bottom that often happens.

As to @DWFII point about materials equalizing over time, there is something to be said for that. When large manufacturers like AE shift to using inferior materials, it shifts the production of a plethora of adjacent industries. People stop producing higher quality materials because they cost more to produce and are in lower demand. Over time this compounds. At some stage, even if you wanted to produce a higher quality GYW shoe, you couldnt because the materials are no longer available or are produced in such small quantities so as to make it impractical. impossible.

As a consumer, this has a direct and negative impact on me. Over time, it seems that the quality of the industry as a whole declines as prices rise. There are of course bright spots, but they are spots.
 

Evergreen88

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that use to be an easy call, but now CJ price buys you a HW Chinese shoe that's made better (not just handwelt alone, the waist, the heel all done better). I still buy Antonio Meccariello from Italy, but I really wish the English guys continue to step up. CJ has aesthetic appeal to me, especially its country shoes, but they really need to start doing more to be more competitive (at least from my stand point of view).
Yeah I understand what you mean and I can partially agree. Surely these 'modern' HW brands tick all the boxes: handwelted, super thin waists, aggressive lasts, small tapered heels etc... but I still need to see a picture of a 5-10yo Chinese shoe that has been used, loved and resoled!
 

j ingevaldsson

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I think Allen Edmonds is a pretty good example of one of the issues at hand. 15 years ago, they made fairly decent to bordering on good quality shoes, in the US, with many sizes, lasts and widths. Between then and now, they've made 2nd quality shoes a core part of their business model, moved much of their production out of the country, use shit materials, terrible QC and raised prices dramatically. So now, they are a shit product at a higher price.

So far as I can tell, they big difference is that they've gone through the hands of several private equity groups who have all wanted to extract "value", which I'm sure they've done. I dont think all shoes should be handwelted and I acknowledge that there is a place for shoes at a whole host of price points, but there does seem to be something of a race to the bottom that often happens.

As to @DWFII point about materials equalizing over time, there is something to be said for that. When large manufacturers like AE shift to using inferior materials, it shifts the production of a plethora of adjacent industries. People stop producing higher quality materials because they cost more to produce and are in lower demand. Over time this compounds. At some stage, even if you wanted to produce a higher quality GYW shoe, you couldnt because the materials are no longer available or are produced in such small quantities so as to make it impractical. impossible.

As a consumer, this has a direct and negative impact on me. Over time, it seems that the quality of the industry as a whole declines as prices rise. There are of course bright spots, but they are spots.
Note, I have in my posts here never said that there isn't brands that are declining and shortcuts are taken and so on, I've said the opposite (and as I've said written a bunch of times on the topic on the blog). But looking at the industry today, this is not something that you can say goes for it all, it's not the general approach.

I definitely don't agree with "Over time, it seems that the quality of the industry as a whole declines as prices rise. There are of course bright spots, but they are spots." Especially the past 5-10 years, the increase in competition, from various places of the world as well, have meant that you today can get more shoes for the money (taking into account inflation) in most price ranges than in decades. Not from everyone, definitely not, but in general. It's a golden age to be interested in welted shoes, in all price ranges, from €150 Goodyear welted to €4,000 full bespoke, the options and quality-price ratio available is better than in a long time.
 
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clee1982

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Yeah I understand what you mean and I can partially agree. Surely these 'modern' HW brands tick all the boxes: handwelted, super thin waists, aggressive lasts, small tapered heels etc... but I still need to see a picture of a 5-10yo Chinese shoe that has been used, loved and resoled!
oh yea, still too early to have that kind of experience, the first one being international accessible (to North America at least, if you lived in Shanghai different story, though it does seem Xibao improved quite a lot from early days) was Yeossal, and Yeossal's made in China handwelt line has only been around for 2 years?

edit: though I suppose I can report in 5 years, I beat the crap out of my shoes with my minimal care regime...
 
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clee1982

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I think Allen Edmonds is a pretty good example of one of the issues at hand. 15 years ago, they made fairly decent to bordering on good quality shoes, in the US, with many sizes, lasts and widths. Between then and now, they've made 2nd quality shoes a core part of their business model, moved much of their production out of the country, use shit materials, terrible QC and raised prices dramatically. So now, they are a shit product at a higher price.

So far as I can tell, they big difference is that they've gone through the hands of several private equity groups who have all wanted to extract "value", which I'm sure they've done. I dont think all shoes should be handwelted and I acknowledge that there is a place for shoes at a whole host of price points, but there does seem to be something of a race to the bottom that often happens.

As to @DWFII point about materials equalizing over time, there is something to be said for that. When large manufacturers like AE shift to using inferior materials, it shifts the production of a plethora of adjacent industries. People stop producing higher quality materials because they cost more to produce and are in lower demand. Over time this compounds. At some stage, even if you wanted to produce a higher quality GYW shoe, you couldnt because the materials are no longer available or are produced in such small quantities so as to make it impractical. impossible.

As a consumer, this has a direct and negative impact on me. Over time, it seems that the quality of the industry as a whole declines as prices rise. There are of course bright spots, but they are spots.
I can't get by AE's last, but if you want to pay AE's old retail price (I feel like AE is always on sale, so not sure if that's relevant?), there are so many choice out there these days vs. 2007
 

ntempleman

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how much for a shoe made out of plastic bags to keep the spirit of the argument going?!? Preferably green alligator suede plastic
You’re in luck! I have secured a small lot of deadstock vintage plastic bags from an old Russian baggery. You heard about the reindeer from Metta Catharina right? well this stuff is also sourced from the sea! This is the real deal veg bag like the olden days, with a beautiful umm.. “oceanic” odour. Hurry as there’s only at least 50 years supply left!
 

bdavro23

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You’re in luck! I have secured a small lot of deadstock vintage plastic bags from an old Russian baggery. You heard about the reindeer from Metta Catharina right? well this stuff is also sourced from the sea! This is the real deal veg bag like the olden days, with a beautiful umm.. “oceanic” odour. Hurry as there’s only at least 50 years supply left!
Unfortunately, I still couldnt afford your baggery shoes :(
 

Texasmade

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You’re in luck! I have secured a small lot of deadstock vintage plastic bags from an old Russian baggery. You heard about the reindeer from Metta Catharina right? well this stuff is also sourced from the sea! This is the real deal veg bag like the olden days, with a beautiful umm.. “oceanic” odour. Hurry as there’s only at least 50 years supply left!
Green suede gatorskin in that Russian baggery?
 

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