• We would like to welcome American Trench as an official Affiliate Vendor. American Trench is a Philadelphia based outerwear, apparel, and accessories brand, making all of its products in the United States at (mostly) family owned factories. . Please visit the American Trench thread and welcome them to the forum.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

TLB Mallorca - Made in Spain Footwear

Schweino

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2008
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
2,553
Let me preface this by saying I like the brand and I've seen some really nice shoes from them. However my personal experience has been a bit disappointing, especially with regard to leather quality. Here's what my pair of Artista 135 STDs look like after being worn 4 times in good conditions. I don't really know what to think... View attachment 1713438 View attachment 1713439
Looks like loose grain (belly?) leather to me. I would be dissapointed too, certainly at this price point.

I would contact TLB to see what they have to say. Can't imagine they will see this pair as exemplary of their work.
 

Schweino

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2008
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
2,553
They look the same as other shoes to me. In fact, they will probably age really well if looked after.
I don't agree, I own several pairs of shoes that are decades old which only show micro creases while being worn regularly.
 

Schweino

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2008
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
2,553
What are your experiences in dealing with TLB directly regarding customer service? I am reading lots of good feedback here about the quality of their shoes but with most Spanish makers their achilles heel is CS (Meermin, Carmina, Yanko). At least when dealing with them directly instead of through a retailer.

For instance, I noticed TLB is non-compliant to EU law regarding returns and only offers a 10 day window while EU law mandates a minimum of 14 days which makes me pause even dealing with them.
 
Last edited:

John8867

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
63
Reaction score
98
In my experience, customer service from TLB is right up there. It's a big, growing company but they still have time for personal service. In fact, it's really refreshing to know you are dealing with good people who make a big effort to help you. As far as the 10 day thing goes, I don't know anything about that but would recommend trying them and seeing how it goes. Am sure there are many companies who offer the 14 day returns but it doesn't mean they have good CS.
 

Adhazem

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
330
Reaction score
757
Can someone explain what “bad clicking” means? Are shoemakers supposed to discard bits of the hide? I’ve read somewhere about “belly leather” so is that supposed to be cut o it and thrown?
 

apd90700

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Messages
393
Reaction score
241
Oliver Lenon's arrived -- which is the five eye captoe derby -- and they're beautiful. The Vegano Cuero seems like a medium brown rather than tan in my opinion, kind of close in color to the Old England Medium Brown pair I have. Did purchase a matching belt -- this was the waived MTO sale.

As for TLB customer service, it's excellent. One of the reasons I selected TLB over Carmina and others in the 400-500 price point was due to the claims of how stellar their CS is, which I can now vouch for. The Oliver's were running a bit behind, so Toni emailed me on the original questions email I had for the sale, and let me know that the pair he inspected to be shipped for me needed to be remade, so he was going to throw in a pair of free shoe trees. Some companies wouldn't say anything and just have you sitting for an extra month before your shoes arrive.
 

Patrick1053

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2020
Messages
1,318
Reaction score
1,946
Oliver Lenon's arrived -- which is the five eye captoe derby -- and they're beautiful. The Vegano Cuero seems like a medium brown rather than tan in my opinion, kind of close in color to the Old England Medium Brown pair I have. Did purchase a matching belt -- this was the waived MTO sale.

As for TLB customer service, it's excellent. One of the reasons I selected TLB over Carmina and others in the 400-500 price point was due to the claims of how stellar their CS is, which I can now vouch for. The Oliver's were running a bit behind, so Toni emailed me on the original questions email I had for the sale, and let me know that the pair he inspected to be shipped for me needed to be remade, so he was going to throw in a pair of free shoe trees. Some companies wouldn't say anything and just have you sitting for an extra month before your shoes arrive.
That's cool. It would be interesting to know what was wrong with the shoes that made them fail QC
 

Jmr928

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
2,540
Reaction score
22,154
Can someone explain what “bad clicking” means? Are shoemakers supposed to discard bits of the hide? I’ve read somewhere about “belly leather” so is that supposed to be cut o it and thrown?
There are parts of a hide that are more suited for different parts of shoes. It’s kind of hard to understand until you see the actual full hide how much variation there is. Bug bites, scratches and the one that was most shocking to me just how many there were - Fat rolls. This was on an “A” graded hide. Picture from a friend because I can’t find the picture of the hide I bought at the moment and it’s since been turned into shoes.
DBDF024E-093F-44BB-84FA-3A1CFCE9D270.jpeg

If you zoom in you can see scars, fat rolls etc.
377CD2D0-9B31-4A60-A8AA-F6084A6097E6.jpeg
Leather is expensive so a lot of makers use as much of the hide as they can which isn’t surprising. A good entry level company like TLB can click specifically around scars and marring and try to hide the fat rolls/stretch marks but it can be harder to identify them on hides that have been embossed like @j ingevaldsson mentioned because the embossing will hide a lot of them.

A lot of times people just kind of refer to this as “loose grain” as a blanket statement and call it that but my understanding is that’s not always what it is.

If you think about your own skin - There are parts of your skin that get used more or differently, stretch more or differently (think belly vs your shoulder blades) are more prone to scars or things you damage (scraped knees are more common than a big scar on the inside of your bicep. So when you’re making a shoe, the different parts of the hide will look different, behave differently, have more or less stretch and give and how much they snap back.

Add in the differences in how leather is tanned giving it different characteristics in how it looks, behaves, how tempered it is, are oils pushed in etc. Now try to maximize how much of the hide you can use, click around scars in places they can be hidden, put softer parts over hard countering where they aren’t likely to bend and crease, it’s a whole deal that takes a lot of skill under the best circumstances when the leather is easy to see where those are. Add embossing that hides some of that and it gets harder. Then you get to lasting the shoe and attaching lining leather, stiffeners and calf for the uppers and you’ve got more things that have different levels of give and different characteristics.

All of that is just the leather. Factor in fit and volume in the shoe, whether they’re stored with trees, how they’re cared for and you can see why there are a ton of factors that can impact something like that. Some leathers/tanning processes are more prone to looking like what people call loose grain or behaving differently and it’s a whole deal.
 

Patrick1053

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2020
Messages
1,318
Reaction score
1,946
I also don't like the horween hatch grain. I much prefer Utah grain. Different tanning processes.

IMG_20211001_092357.jpg
IMG_20211001_092415.jpg
IMG_20211001_092503.jpg
IMG_20211001_092514.jpg
 

Braid

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2018
Messages
339
Reaction score
828
Let me preface this by saying I like the brand and I've seen some really nice shoes from them. However my personal experience has been a bit disappointing, especially with regard to leather quality. Here's what my pair of Artista 135 STDs look like after being worn 4 times in good conditions. I don't really know what to think... View attachment 1713438 View attachment 1713439
I have hatchgrain (sons of Henrey and not tlb) and the creasing is much worse. After this experience and after seeing many other examples from other brands and speaking with people from Northampton factories I believe horween hatchgrain should be avoided.

Plenty of other grained leathers that age much better.
 

Adhazem

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
330
Reaction score
757
There are parts of a hide that are more suited for different parts of shoes. It’s kind of hard to understand until you see the actual full hide how much variation there is. Bug bites, scratches and the one that was most shocking to me just how many there were - Fat rolls. This was on an “A” graded hide. Picture from a friend because I can’t find the picture of the hide I bought at the moment and it’s since been turned into shoes. View attachment 1714127
If you zoom in you can see scars, fat rolls etc.
View attachment 1714130 Leather is expensive so a lot of makers use as much of the hide as they can which isn’t surprising. A good entry level company like TLB can click specifically around scars and marring and try to hide the fat rolls/stretch marks but it can be harder to identify them on hides that have been embossed like @j ingevaldsson mentioned because the embossing will hide a lot of them.

A lot of times people just kind of refer to this as “loose grain” as a blanket statement and call it that but my understanding is that’s not always what it is.

If you think about your own skin - There are parts of your skin that get used more or differently, stretch more or differently (think belly vs your shoulder blades) are more prone to scars or things you damage (scraped knees are more common than a big scar on the inside of your bicep. So when you’re making a shoe, the different parts of the hide will look different, behave differently, have more or less stretch and give and how much they snap back.

Add in the differences in how leather is tanned giving it different characteristics in how it looks, behaves, how tempered it is, are oils pushed in etc. Now try to maximize how much of the hide you can use, click around scars in places they can be hidden, put softer parts over hard countering where they aren’t likely to bend and crease, it’s a whole deal that takes a lot of skill under the best circumstances when the leather is easy to see where those are. Add embossing that hides some of that and it gets harder. Then you get to lasting the shoe and attaching lining leather, stiffeners and calf for the uppers and you’ve got more things that have different levels of give and different characteristics.

All of that is just the leather. Factor in fit and volume in the shoe, whether they’re stored with trees, how they’re cared for and you can see why there are a ton of factors that can impact something like that. Some leathers/tanning processes are more prone to looking like what people call loose grain or behaving differently and it’s a whole deal.
wow very very informative. Thank you!
 

Proleet

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2017
Messages
1,086
Reaction score
943
I have hatchgrain (sons of Henrey and not tlb) and the creasing is much worse. After this experience and after seeing many other examples from other brands and speaking with people from Northampton factories I believe horween hatchgrain should be avoided.

Plenty of other grained leathers that age much better.
it might just be that the risk factor is higher. I’ve got that leather as well from sons of Henry and I don’t have much creasing
 

Featured Sponsor

What's Your Favorite Summer Shoe?

  • Loafers

  • Boat shoes

  • Espadrilles

  • Sneakers

  • Desert Boots

  • Sandals


Results are only viewable after voting.

Forum statistics

Threads
475,094
Messages
10,156,142
Members
213,517
Latest member
djromania10
Top