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The Goral footwear (made in Sheffield, UK) thread...

Moostyle

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Yes and yes!
Interesting thanks. My UK11 should arrive next week at some point so I will report back here with how they fit! If they end up like a 'practical' size UK10.75 then it may work out well for me. :D
I am comparing the shape with the only other pair of casual sneakers I currently have. They are made by Bohempia and are by default much wider, inspired by Converse (I guess). They are much more casual obviously.
Two months old Cheaney in leather vs years old sneakers with hemp upper. (but nowadays made in Romania)
I will post pictures of the brown ones when they arrive for comparison of Mellor ll vs Cheaney Gorals.
PS: I will write to Goral if I decide to purchase some other pair of their sneakers.

View attachment 2160299
Wow the top ones kind of look like barefoot style shoes, very wide at the toes.
 

Hungry Otto

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Interesting thanks. My UK11 should arrive next week at some point so I will report back here with how they fit! If they end up like a 'practical' size UK10.75 then it may work out well for me. :D

Wow the top ones kind of look like barefoot style shoes, very wide at the toes.
They are totally barefoot. Their standard size already is wider than usual. They also have wide versions. I never tried the wide version but their standard option is true to size.
It´s a Czech company, materials sourced in EU, made in EU as well. Everything they do is hemp related. They used to do hemp clothes too but not anymore. I have been wearing their shoes for years. Also, they are obviously way cheaper than all leather shoes made in UK.
I consider these to be a great alternative to Converse = wider, slightly unusual and most likely more sustainable.

 

Moostyle

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Morning all. Two bits of news...

1) Today I received my Gorals in size UK11 from Ebay and it's been interesting. At first when I tried them on I was like "wtf, they feel small for UK11" but then I took a look at the insoles and wow... they are crazy thick and take up a TON of inner space (see attached photo)! I replaced them with thinner leather insole and while of course now it has less cushioning, at least my foot fits in it without being squished! I would possible size up to 11 wide if I buy them again.

2) Goral told me they have "updated their website and shipping/VAT calculation" but, believe it or not, they are still charging UK VAT for international customers who live in countried with different tax rates. Their explanation was:

We have now changed our policy to DDP on our end, this means that all charges are paid by us thus we charge UK VAT on all our shoes.

Sigh, Goral. :(

While I am annoyed by this illogical explanation, it likely won't stop me buying as I can stomach an extra 10% if it gets me the more sustainable and higher quality footwear I want.

The shoes:

The Mellor II's I received look fantastic, well stitched with quality construction. The MASTROTTO ADRIA BIANCO leather is actually not white as in the website photos, but more of a cream colour which I really like. The gum sole contrasts perfectly and will of course unlike white soles be very resistant to dirt and staining.

I will try these for a few weeks and then if I am satisfied I will strongly consider ordering some Natural shell cordovan Mellor II's. :)
 

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Hungry Otto

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Hello gents, the comparison between The Mellor II - Horween Dark Brown (right after arrival and after one walk) and Cheaney X Goral = Kelham Trainer in White/Off White Leather (after months of regular use).
I asked Goral to not print their name on the brown sneakers but to keep the flag.
Made for Cheaney are not stitched, hence the info that Goral will not resole them.
The insole is same for both and very thick as Moostyle pointed out.
After the first and only walk I would say that Mellors are slightly less padded all around and they seem slightly less spingy = I suspect as a result of the blake (or whatever) stitch and perhaps slightly different composition on the inside.
I mentioned my buying gripes before. Mellors were 10% more expensive than Cheaneys when counting in all the charges. I was not chaged VAT to Czech Republic though. Prices I see on Goral website are ex VAT.
Czech VAT, customs charge and some other thing was charged by DHL on delivery.
Built quality is obviously great. They fit true to size for me. They were comfortable until about 5km, then I started to doubt my decision to go that far in new shoes and in very thin sock:-D. They will be great after a bit more use.
 

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Moostyle

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Hello gents, the comparison between The Mellor II - Horween Dark Brown (right after arrival and after one walk) and Cheaney X Goral = Kelham Trainer in White/Off White Leather (after months of regular use).
I asked Goral to not print their name on the brown sneakers but to keep the flag.
Made for Cheaney are not stitched, hence the info that Goral will not resole them.
The insole is same for both and very thick as Moostyle pointed out.
After the first and only walk I would say that Mellors are slightly less padded all around and they seem slightly less spingy = I suspect as a result of the blake (or whatever) stitch and perhaps slightly different composition on the inside.
I mentioned my buying gripes before. Mellors were 10% more expensive than Cheaneys when counting in all the charges. I was not chaged VAT to Czech Republic though. Prices I see on Goral website are ex VAT.
Czech VAT, customs charge and some other thing was charged by DHL on delivery.
Built quality is obviously great. They fit true to size for me. They were comfortable until about 5km, then I started to doubt my decision to go that far in new shoes and in very thin sock:-D. They will be great after a bit more use.
Thanks for posting that detailed information, it's much appreciated and the Horweens look really nice! I noticed that the inner of the Mellor II underneath the insole is very firm. I swapped the super thick insole that came with it for a thinner one and the shoes are now much more spacious and still comfortable enough to walk in. Firm, but not spongy. They feel good. I will give some feedback to Goral on the thickness of their insole as it really seems over the top vs any other sneaker of this type I have ever seen and may even make people think the sneakers are too small when in fact they are not!

I have some outstanding questions with Goral regarding price and configuraiton possibilities and then I am planning to order:

-Mellor II Mastratto Lion UK11 (possibly Wide which is an extra 1cm in the toe room area)
-Horween shell black with black sole
-Horween shell natural with gum sole
-Horween shell blue with dark blue sole
 

Moostyle

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Well, Goral have just increased their prices. The reason given was:

"unfortunately, we've had to make a decision to increase our prices effective from yesterday midday. The main reasoning for this is continued increased living costs within the UK - meaning that in order to keep our skilled craftsmen a wage increases had to be applied across the whole business, above the inflations rate."

That is a not insignificant increase and I have been in contact with Goral for days and told them I was just about to order several pairs of shoes and I would expect any company that wanted to be open and transparent to inform me of this in advance. However they did offer to let me have the pending order at the older prices which I appreciate.
 
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Hungry Otto

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Well, Goral have just increased their prices overnight by 20%.
The reason given was:

"unfortunately, we've had to make a decision to increase our prices effective from yesterday midday. The main reasoning for this is continued increased living costs within the UK - meaning that in order to keep our skilled craftsmen a wage increases had to be applied across the whole business, above the inflations rate."

That is a big damn overnight increase and I am not sure if they communicated it beforehand in a newsletter or not?

The worst thing is that I have been in contact with Goral for days and told them I was just about to order several pairs of shoes and I would expect any company that wanted to be open and transparent to inform me of this significant price increase in advance. I am very disappointed in their behaviour here and strongly considering cancelling my order.
Hey there, I am not sure if it´s a mistake but I believe you get a discount for the 2nd pair after you´ve receiver your first. I ordered blue Mastrotto Mellors and they were cheaper than the first time I saw them. I see "Your rewards" button on the website (although it does not really work). It may be related.
I ordered after May 1st when they switched to Delivery Duty Payed and shipping was free. Looking at the website now, prices are up and they switched back to Delivery At Place. (on May 8th)
Paying workers living wages is understandable. Being this inconsistent is probably not good for business. I sent them a question regarding these changes and hope they ship according to the order and not the new conditions.
As far as I can tell there was no communication regarding any of these changes.
Perhaps try to get a discount or some other benefit.
 

Moostyle

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Hey there, I am not sure if it´s a mistake but I believe you get a discount for the 2nd pair after you´ve receiver your first. I ordered blue Mastrotto Mellors and they were cheaper than the first time I saw them. I see "Your rewards" button on the website (although it does not really work). It may be related.
I ordered after May 1st when they switched to Delivery Duty Payed and shipping was free. Looking at the website now, prices are up and they switched back to Delivery At Place. (on May 8th)
Paying workers living wages is understandable. Being this inconsistent is probably not good for business. I sent them a question regarding these changes and hope they ship according to the order and not the new conditions.
As far as I can tell there was no communication regarding any of these changes.
Perhaps try to get a discount or some other benefit.
They have offered to give me my order at the "old" prices which is something. I will proceed with my order.

How do you like your Mastrotto blues is the colour darker navy or brighter blue? I am undecided whether to get Mastrotto or regular calf... I know Mastrotto shows creases less than calf, but its also more informal.
 

Hungry Otto

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They have offered to give me my order at the "old" prices which is something. I will proceed with my order.

How do you like your Mastrotto blues is the colour darker navy or brighter blue? I am undecided whether to get Mastrotto or regular calf... I know Mastrotto shows creases less than calf, but its also more informal.
Great news about the discount. I have the confirmation that my order will be delivered DDP so I am happy too.
I will let you know when those shoes are made and delivered. I am wondering about the color myself. Some pictures show it as cold, some as fairly bright. If it´s too bright I will probably experiment with color creams. PS: A polo shirt sometimes feel like being overdressed in my current work environment. Regardless, if I want to be formal, I have Crockett and Jones to help with that:D
 

Moostyle

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Well, I just ordered the following Mellor II's:

I ordered them in a Wide fit, as according to Goral this gives an additional 1cm room in the toe box without affecting the rest of the shoe dimensions (length and heel area). My Mastrotto Whites in regular size do fit well overall, but I would definitely appreciate a bit more room in the toe box for my pinkie to be able to fully breathe. Still, the regular Goral size is far more comfortable in width than Common Projects, which squeezes my foot too much for all-day comfort.

I also ordered black inner lining for the Black, Grey and Navy pairs as I don't like the default contrasting orange/tan liner against darker colours. I also asked for no Goral stamp on the tounge.

That will give me the core "classic" colourways I wear. I chose smooth calf leather on the darker colours and pebbled on the tan Mastrotto Lion as I think lighter colours suit pebbled leather more than with darker colours. Lets see how long they take to arrive!

Additionally Goral told me they are NOT able to source Horween shell cordovan at the moment, they can only source Maryam, so I will wait and see what they have to offer before deciding if I want to go down the shell route.

One thing is for sure though and that is that I think the Mellor II is a great design that looks better than my common projects and FAR better looking than my Crown Northampton Harlestones (which in retrospect its one of the least aesthetic and least rugged sneaker designs I have ever had, luxury materials on the supper but a very soft and weak sole and imo they do not look very cool).

Great news about the discount. I have the confirmation that my order will be delivered DDP so I am happy too.
I will let you know when those shoes are made and delivered. I am wondering about the color myself. Some pictures show it as cold, some as fairly bright. If it´s too bright I will probably experiment with color creams. PS: A polo shirt sometimes feel like being overdressed in my current work environment. Regardless, if I want to be formal, I have Crockett and Jones to help with that:D
Thanks for the feedback looking forward to hearing about it! :)
 
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Moostyle

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My sneakers should ship in mid-June, only a couple of weeks to go! If they work out well I will likely have a go at the next MUGS batch too...
 

Moostyle

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Well, I will finally receive my four pairs of new Goral sneakers today... however something has already soured my expectations.

I live outside the EU and Goral customer service specifcally assured me back in April, in writing via email, that by paying the UK VAT at checkout it means I would not pay any customs fees or charges and the goods would be delivered directly to my door. Ok fine, I thought, I can live with paying the higher UK VAT for less hassle with customs and shipping.

Lo and behold today received an email from UPS saying I had to pay £90 to receive the shoes! I paid it but needless to say I have now written back to Goral asking for an explanation and a refund of the money.

Why can't companies that we pay large sums of money to just a) act competently and b) do what they say they will do? Lets see what they have to say for themselves, I am hoping it is just a case of Goral either using the wrong delivery service or filling out the shipping information wrongly.

I will update later when I receive the shoes and get change to check them out for quality and try them on. I ordered the UK11 Wide version and Goral assured me that they are dimensionally the same as regular UK11's at the heel and sidewalls and that the only widening is 1cm in the toe, so lets see if that holds true.
 

Moostyle

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Yesterday I received the shoes (Goral still have not replied about the VAT issue) and wow... they are awesome! All of the pairs are very consistently made and the calf leather is very soft and supple and shiny. The biggest revelation for me is the wide sizing... this is the first time in living memory that I can remember wearing sneakers and not feeling something pressing, no matter how lightly, on my pinkie toe. My feet can breathe, and in combination with the elastic laces that I fitted I now have a set of very smart casual and minimalist high quality sneakers that are very comfortable and slip on and off with minimal effort.

It's early days so I will do a little breaking in then upload some further thoughts and photos soon... however first impressions are very good. :)
 

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Moostyle

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Good news... Goral are refunding the customs and VAT charges so I have calmed down somewhat. It was either a mistake with the type of shipping that Goral ordered, in which case annoying but I can live with it, or its Gorals normal policy to have the customer pay it and then get it refunded... which if that is the case I would expect to be informed first. Either way at least they are sorting it out.

I wore the tan browns yesterday and the blacks the other day and having the extra toe space is just such a huge improvement in terms of comfort, its almost what I imagine a bare foot shoe is like.

One weird thing I noticed is that the pattern of the Mellor II appears to have changed and the back and side of the shoe is now higher up. You can see it on the attached photo where the white Mellor II is lower and imo more aesthetically pleasing. No idea why they made that change, the white shoe looks more sleak and wears just as comfortably, I may ask them out of curiousity.
 

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