To Boot NY patent leather balmoral? (Caine)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by BackInTheJox, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. BackInTheJox

    BackInTheJox Senior member

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    Admittedly, I know very little about To Boot New York and their products. I am in the market for a shoe to wear with my tuxedo, and have a unique opportunity to purchase these shoes at ~50% off (~$220).

    http://www.zappos.com/to-boot-new-york-caine

    [​IMG]


    As far as patent leather bals go, options are not exactly aplenty. BB has some nice ones via Peal, but I'd be paying ~$350. I'd like to spend as little as possible while still getting a decent shoe, obviously. The only real viable option at <$200 seems to be the Florsheim Kingston, which has a blobby look to it and I don't know about the quality.


    Thoughts? I'd pair them with silk flat laces.
     


  2. mymil

    mymil Senior member

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    Heard very mixed things about To Boot quality, but it's most likely not that great. That said, they're patent leather, which isn't that great to begin with. Do they have to be patent leather, or can you wear black calfskin instead?
     


  3. BackInTheJox

    BackInTheJox Senior member

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    Thanks for the quick reply!

    I can do calfskin too I suppose . . . I've actually been on the fence about this for a little while. I'm getting married in June and have my own tux and am obviously looking for shoes now. The issue here is that I will most likely (and most unfortunately) be having the groomsmen renting tuxes (don't worry, they will be one button peak lapeled with no flap pockets), and with that comes renting the awful vinyl "patent leather" shoes that rental places offer. Some do offer a matte or regular black shoe as well. I'm just wondering if it will look "silly" to have shiny vinyl/patent shoes on them and then me with simply a pair of well polished calfskin shoes that look like they stand out less. I know, it'd be a way to differentiate myself from them, it just seems a bit backwards.

    That said, I'd obviously get more mileage out of a nice new pair of calfskin shoes. I had been looking at the AE Vernon during the recent sale, but I convinced myself that I should opt for a plain toe without brogueing. I had given Kent Wang's plain toe balmoral a solid look and love them, but was really hoping to spend a lot less than $350. Had also looked at Meermin black wholecuts as a less traditional option, but am worried about the shipping issues and getting the wrong size and having trouble returning them.

    I keep getting mixed input on here about skipping patent leather for such a formal occasion.
     


  4. mymil

    mymil Senior member

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    I've handled the shoes stocked by Kent Wang, and they are exceptionally good for that pricepoint. Nothing else comes close.

    The styling on the Vernon, and AE's in general, is/are not my cup of tea. And generally, the less ornamented, the more formal, so the Vernon might be a little under-casual if your wedding is black tie. So I think you were right to avoid.

    Patent leather is traditional... unfortunately! If you're able, you could bull the toes of calfskin balmorals to approximate the look a little more closely.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012


  5. BackInTheJox

    BackInTheJox Senior member

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    I believe it, the KW shoes look tremendous. I'm just really trying to limit my budget as much as possible. I have been very, very close to pulling the trigger on them, believe me. I just feel like I would be able to find a suitable alternative that either retails for less, or retails for a similar amount but is on sale or something. And I currently have a $100 amazon gift card, so I was also hoping I could find something there (wishful thinking, I know).

    In general I do enjoy AEs a good bit, and like the last (8) that the Vernon is on the most out of all their lasts. But indeed, the detailing/brogueing on the toe makes the Vernon a less formal shoe. My wedding party will be dressed in black tie, but the invitations themselves do not indicate black tie, nor do I expect many/any other people to be wearing tuxedos (I know, it seems silly and it should be all black tie or none, but these are the constraints within which I am working at this time). So in theory even if my shoe choice was not quite up to the formality we all know and appreciate as part of black tie, it would still likely appear more formal than any of the guests (but again, there's also the issue of how it would look vs. the groomsmen's shoes . . . even though they'll be cheap vinyl rentals, the casual wedding guest presumably will see them and think them to be the most formal and fanciest, and then see me wearing highly polished calfskin and wonder why I chose a less formal route).
     


  6. SloopyNoob

    SloopyNoob Senior member

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    Just wanna chime in. Why would you want to buy a shoes that you most likely will wear once or twice a year? I'd rather spend the money and get KW since you can wear it on many occasions.
     


  7. BackInTheJox

    BackInTheJox Senior member

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    I guess my concern was wanting to "do it right" for my wedding. Even though the sensible voice in my head obviously says it makes more sense to invest in a shoe I'll get more mileage out of.
     


  8. BackInTheJox

    BackInTheJox Senior member

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    I should note that after reading a review on Zappos, someone stated that the shoes were indeed not patent leather, but regular calfskin. And to be fair, the product description never mentions patent leather on Amazon, but it does say it on Zappos.

    Then, I found this picture of them (on the left):

    [​IMG]

    Certainly doesn't look like patent leather there. Is it possible there are two versions (calfskin and patent leather)? Or are the stock photos shinier than real life and it is indeed regular leather. I'd love to own a pair of the shoes in this picture above on the left.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012


  9. BackInTheJox

    BackInTheJox Senior member

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