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The Ultimate Ivy-Style Plain Toes

Lazarevsky

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Joined
Jul 8, 2019
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Hi gentry,

Long time lurker here - made my first post yesterday and got some good advice.

Before I get on to my main point, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading through the hundreds of threads on this forum ranging from style, cloths and shoes. I used this forum as a platform and guiding light in my quest to reimagine my style.

The style I decided to adopt is Ivy Style (tho I'm afraid that I've started following the guidelines / rules dogmatically).

I purchased high quality OCBDs, polo shirts, chinos, Church's Pembrey penny loafers (my first high quality shoe which I cherries and care for obsessively), a Baracuta Herrington jacket, a RLPL navy blazer and I already had a wool and tweed sport jackets.

Seeing how my wardrobe has started to take shape nicely I have now decided that the time has come for me to invest in some high quality shoes. The shoes that I feel would complement my style are Plain Toe Bluchers. I have experimented with derby brogues too, but I don't feel they work as well as a hefty plain toe.

Bear in mind that I work I'm starting a new job at a bank in the IT department, and even though suits are not the required, a level of sophistication and a "clean" look is desired.

Before I lay down all the different PTBs I am considering, I just want to say that of the lot I like Church's Shannon the best purely for their aesthetic. Also important to note is that I would ideally like to get 2 pairs of PTBs - black and oxblood / burgundy.

---

Alden's PTB - There appears to be a consensus that these are probably the best money could buy, and for a lot of gents something to aspire to. I have researched and gotten familiarsed with the properties of shell Cordovan and I quite like the feel of it. The only flipside for me is the rather steep asking price - 850 euros. This in and of itself is well within my budget, however as I mentioned earlier, ideally I would like to get 2 pairs and I just can't afford to spend 1700 euros on them.

Church's Shannon - In my eyes, aesthetically the winner of the bunch. It's got a nice heft to it, feels like it would fit quite well with the rest of my style, is extremely versatile, etc. However, one can't look past the barrage of hate Polished Binder gets on this forum. I have never owned a Polished Binder shoe so I can't speak about how well they age and patina, whether the Polished Binder is there to conceal an inferior leather or whether Church's uses premium leather that is then treated to conform to the original design of the shoe (jury is still out on this one. I like to believe it's the latter). Furthermore, Shannon's go for 690 euros which is within my budget, but same as with the Alden's, would total 1400 euros for 2 pairs which may be a bit too steep.

C&J Lanark (and other PTBs) - All the PTBs I came across from this brand seemed too pointy for my taste. If you feel I am missing a model, please feel free to add a link in the comments.

Allen Edmonds' Leeds - I love this shoe! In my eyes, it's slightly more sleek than the Shannon's but just as beautifully made. On top of that, it's got the stamp of approval from the aficionados on StyleForum as it's made using Calf and not PB. The price is also very reasonable and in my eyes, this would be the shoe I'd go for given the built quality, design and price. However, unfortunately, AE is not available in Europe so it would be impossible for me to try these on in real life. Also, if I were to order them, the shipping + import tax would make it not worth my while as they would end up costing close to the Shannon's.

Florsheim Kenmoor - A good looking shoe, but my opinion has heavily been influenced by the comments on StyleForum. It seems that the quality has gone down tremendously compared to the days of old, and that even at this price point, it's not a good deal, as the leathers used are of inferior quality.

Herring Shoes - I came across a bunch of PTB blucher but they all seemed generic and I could find no reviews on them anywhere online, so I did not really consider them seriously.

---

My intention is to spend my hard-earned money well and get a pair of shoes which will be with me for decades. I have fully bought into the hobby / passion for shoes and shoe care and have no doubt in my mind that, whatever I end up buying, I will take care proper care of the shoes regularly.

So, I am turning to you ladies and gents for advice before I end up making a costly mistake and be ridden with buyers' remorse. Given my style, office setting (smart casual), bang-for-buck and quality, which shoes would you advice me to go for and could you please motivate your answer. Is there a model which suits the my criteria which I have missed? What is your view on the Shannon's?

Looking forward to reading your answers.

P.S. I will be moving to Vienna in a couple of weeks if that helps at all.

---
EDIT: Marked the make and model in bold for readability

EDIT 2: Updated price of Shannon's after calling Church's store in Vienna
 
Last edited:

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