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suitforcourt

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Oh I have certainly read the vcleat.com pieces on corfam. I was just unfamiliar with the term poromeric. Little known fact: its actually possible to dog-ear pages in vcleat.
I am certain I read, and re-read vcleat articles more than I read updated case law. Priorities.
 

mreams99

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Not disagreeing about delusional prices these days. But I guess that's what makes this fun - trying to haggle that extra few bucks. Let me mull it over.
I suggested the higher price because I prefer to work on a pair that is my size. And since I wear an uncommon size, I had a hard time finding a pair under $15 last year. Ultimately I had to purchase a pair that wasn’t even my size due to low availability and a short time period to complete the purchase.
 

suitforcourt

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I suggested the higher price because I prefer to work on a pair that is my size. And since I wear an uncommon size, I had a hard time finding a pair under $15 last year. Ultimately I had to purchase a pair that wasn’t even my size due to low availability and a short time period to complete the purchase.
The short time period to find shoes, is also part of the fun! This year, I am trying to arrange to see if a charity will accept the shoes at the end. You may already know Elegant Oxford. Haven't reached out yet, but just one idea. Participants can also trade between themselves. I believe most did not find shoes in their own size.
 

M635Guy

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Putting aside the issue of skilled labour and access to materials and suppliers, I am confident everyone here would be more than happy to pay $50 more, for a pair of shoes to be made in USA Vs China.


"For a shoe-factory job paying $12 an hour, the actual cost of shoemaking — when adding benefits — grows to $16 an hour, compared with about $3 an hour in China, said Mike Jeppesen, head of global operations at Wolverine Worldwide, which owns brands like Merrell, Sperry and Keds. And that cost of making shoes in America quadruples after wholesale and retail markups, he said, ballooning into a $50 price difference between a pair made in the U.S. versus in China."

Based on prices on Florsheim's website right now, I would love to pay $200-400 for a pair of well made shoes with all the bells and whistles that this thread appreciates. Though I suspect the $50 price difference takes into account the cheaper materials and craftsmanship that is prevalent these days.
I think that's overly simplifying it, to be honest. My Grant Stone stuff is eons better in every single way than any AE I down and most of the Aldens (all of which cost easily $200+ more than the Grant Stone pairs). They're not made in a sweatshop. They're not cutting corners in any way. Hell, they're not cutting corners that Alden is (full leather heel stacks, leather heel counters, etc.).

Wolverine is also guilty of being pretty shitty to the environment too.

Honestly, a company like Alden or Horween who are doing things right commands my loyalty. Companies like Wolverine... not so much.
 

mreams99

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I think that's overly simplifying it, to be honest. My Grant Stone stuff is eons better in every single way than any AE I down and most of the Aldens (all of which cost easily $200+ more than the Grant Stone pairs). They're not made in a sweatshop. They're not cutting corners in any way. Hell, they're not cutting corners that Alden is (full leather heel stacks, leather heel counters, etc.).



Wolverine is also guilty of being pretty shitty to the environment too.

Honestly, a company like Alden or Horween who are doing things right commands my loyalty. Companies like Wolverine... not so much.
Grant Stone is absolutely cutting corners.

They’re cutting corners by not having people measure your feet to sell you the proper size. They’re cutting corners by not having narrow and wide lasts to build their shoes on — again not providing for properly fitting shoes.

If you have an average width foot, or guess your size correctly, or just don’t care about proper fit then that might work out fine for you.
 

CWOyaji

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Been in an offsite the last couple of days. These Weyenberg loafers worked great for business casual and taking off and putting back on at SFO and Orange County AKA John Wayne/SNA.
fullsizeoutput_1e01.jpeg

I got them as NOS on eBay, and after replacing the crazy hard plastic heels I've really come to like the color and comfortable fit. And the 70's style font on the logo is intriguing.
fullsizeoutput_1e07.jpeg

Oh and I'm in favor of keeping the price limit at $15 for the shoe repair challenge, too. There are lots of thrifts that still price shoes at $8.99 to $13.99, even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, where most prices run above the national average. And Ebay is a good option too.
 
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OmBom

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Putting aside the issue of skilled labour and access to materials and suppliers, I am confident everyone here would be more than happy to pay $50 more, for a pair of shoes to be made in USA Vs China.


"For a shoe-factory job paying $12 an hour, the actual cost of shoemaking — when adding benefits — grows to $16 an hour, compared with about $3 an hour in China, said Mike Jeppesen, head of global operations at Wolverine Worldwide, which owns brands like Merrell, Sperry and Keds. And that cost of making shoes in America quadruples after wholesale and retail markups, he said, ballooning into a $50 price difference between a pair made in the U.S. versus in China."

Based on prices on Florsheim's website right now, I would love to pay $200-400 for a pair of well made shoes with all the bells and whistles that this thread appreciates. Though I suspect the $50 price difference takes into account the cheaper materials and craftsmanship that is prevalent these days.
The NPR story points out that high tariffs alone may not bring back MiUSA shoes because skilled workers are hard to hire (SAS example) and shoe upper build automation is expensive and difficult (New England Shoes example). In American History 301, I learned that the US was built on a high tariff policy and without an income tax. A return to that policy might bring back manufacturing, but we also should nuke Harvard Business School since they taught the CEOs how to sell out their country to make a buck. God bless Ross Perot, he was correct about the “giant sucking sound” of job losses when NAFTA passed, and cautioned us.

I bought some vintage shoes today on the bay. They should get here Monday!
 

M635Guy

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That's coming at it from a...unique...perspective...

My comment was on build (where they're definitely not cutting corners), but since I'm apparently battling a bit of insomnia let me unpack this a bit.

They’re cutting corners by not having people measure your feet to sell you the proper size.
You know what's funny - I've been to the AoSF store at least twenty times, and the AoDC store three times. I've visted Alden Madison twice and Yenni's B+M store (sadly) only once. You know how many times my feet have been measured across all those stores combined?

Zero.

And somehow I own fifteen or so pairs of Alden that fit great. (and have bought and sold others - I've never owned an Alden that was a poor fit). I know my Brannock and and places like this have given me a lot of info to understand how that nuances into the various lasts for Alden and AE.

Yeah - GS is on a direct model vs. a stockist model. That's Uber vs. Taxi.

And frankly, Alden isn't really providing a lot of sizing opportunities for their customers - they don't have very many places people can walk in and get sized. Even counting their stockists the majority of people they're selling to are guys who know their sizing pretty well and are doing the puts and takes for Alden lasts (like me). Guys like TSM have excellent return polices so people can size without getting stuck with a pair of mis-sized shoes. That's exactly what GS does, and from what I've seen on their thread here and seeing mentions on Reddit, they're outstanding at giving solid sizing recommendations based on whatever info is provided. Based on unsuccessful loafer sizing with Alden (three or more attempts) I had mighty reservations about sizing the new loafer from GS - I really felt like 11.5D (my normal size in their Barrie last) was going to be too narrow/tight, but they steadfastly recommended that size. When I finally broke down and "took a chance" on a pair of their B-grades, it turned out they gave me the exactly the right size. It's a very different last, but they know how to translate. I've got seven Grant Stone pairs (I think) across all three of their lasts, and all fit me very well.

I can't remember being sized at an AE store - maybe once at the SF store - though I've visited quite a few of them. I've had a couple dozen AE's over time, many now gone due to fit issues of one kind or another.

They’re cutting corners by not having narrow and wide lasts to build their shoes on — again not providing for properly fitting shoes.
I think saying they're not providing properly fitting shoes is a fairly pejorative way of saying they don't have a vast array of sizing options. In the sizes they do offer, I think fit is good to outstanding for most people. (I'm fortunately in the 'outstanding' camp)

As for sizing availability, across the three different lasts they have, GS has D and E widths these days for most styles and leather options, and I heard recently they were adding EE for at least a few. That's more width variety than (much) bigger companies like Meermin and Carmina appear to offer. Small guys like Truman and others took far longer to offer any widths at all, and still don't offer as many lasts (though in fairness, Truman isn't really shooting for that). Beckett Simonon is probably closer to the size of Grant Stone (meaning tiny) and they offer a single width only.

AE has significantly reduced their sizing coverage (and has harder-to-fit lasts overall IMHO). Alden is sorta selective about it - I hear plenty of complaints about lack of sizing range and/or width availability about them too.

Net: it's a business decision, and while I get that it's a tough one for folks who aren't a D-width, I'm not holding it against any of those guys. In a niche business like this ultimately is, you've got to make decisions. There are plenty of companies with less sizing options than GS.

If you have an average width foot, or guess your size correctly, or just don’t care about proper fit then that might work out fine for you.
There's not really guessing involved unless you want to do it that way. If you don't know your Brannock size and have no other sizes to offer for directional help, I've seen them respond to measurements. I've also seen them offer what turned out to be good sizing recommendations based on a couple sneaker sizes, and I believe they offer free returns. They care about good fit, and they've developed lasts that are optimized for fit/comfort (the dad has a background in orthopedics apparently).

In any case, I don't see any of that as "cutting corners" - it's a small direct-model company trying to make good decisions and a high-quality product. I'm yet to see a complaint about their customer service. I don't say this lightly or casually at all: Every single pair I have from Grant Stone in my closet ranks better on execution/quality than the best of my AE's and most of my Alden pairs (and are equal to the best of my Aldens - and that's including the B-grade pair I bought).
 
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wasmisterfu

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Oh I have certainly read the vcleat.com pieces on corfam. I was just unfamiliar with the term poromeric. Little known fact: its actually possible to dog-ear pages in vcleat.
Littlest known fact: I want a pair of Corfam wingtips in my size for my collection. Why? So I can bore people to tears about the story of Corfam every time I wear them.
 

wasmisterfu

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I suggested the higher price because I prefer to work on a pair that is my size. And since I wear an uncommon size, I had a hard time finding a pair under $15 last year. Ultimately I had to purchase a pair that wasn’t even my size due to low availability and a short time period to complete the purchase.
And this is my issue also... I wear my decorrected grain wonders in regular rotation. I can find 15 dollar beaters if I’m looking outside my size range, but I’d prefer to follow the intital rules of “ya gotta wear ‘em”. Of course, my plan for this years competition is far worse than last years idea, so I’m actually looking for “dry-run” shoes to practice on so I’m also getting a feel for what’s out there at the 15 dollar price point. There are options just north of 15 bucks, but man it’s tough at, and below, that price-point.
 

hamercha

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That's coming at it from a...unique...perspective...

My comment was on build (where they're definitely not cutting corners), but since I'm apparently battling a bit of insomnia let me unpack this a bit.



You know what's funny - I've been to the AoSF store at least twenty times, and the AoDC store three times. I've visted Alden Madison twice and Yenni's B+M store (sadly) only once. You know how many times my feet have been measured across all those stores combined?

Zero.

And somehow I own fifteen or so pairs of Alden that fit great. (and have bought and sold others - I've never owned an Alden that was a poor fit). I know my Brannock and and places like this have given me a lot of info to understand how that nuances into the various lasts for Alden and AE.

Yeah - GS is on a direct model vs. a stockist model. That's Uber vs. Taxi.

And frankly, Alden isn't really providing a lot of sizing opportunities for their customers - they don't have very many places people can walk in and get sized. Even counting their stockists the majority of people they're selling to are guys who know their sizing pretty well and are doing the puts and takes for Alden lasts (like me). Guys like TSM have excellent return polices so people can size without getting stuck with a pair of mis-sized shoes. That's exactly what GS does, and from what I've seen on their thread here and seeing mentions on Reddit, they're outstanding at giving solid sizing recommendations based on whatever info is provided. Based on unsuccessful loafer sizing with Alden (three or more attempts) I had mighty reservations about sizing the new loafer from GS - I really felt like 11.5D (my normal size in their Barrie last) was going to be too narrow/tight, but they steadfastly recommended that size. When I finally broke down and "took a chance" on a pair of their B-grades, it turned out they gave me the exactly the right size. It's a very different last, but they know how to translate. I've got seven Grant Stone pairs (I think) across all three of their lasts, and all fit me very well.

I can't remember being sized at an AE store - maybe once at the SF store - though I've visited quite a few of them. I've had a couple dozen AE's over time, many now gone due to fit issues of one kind or another.



I think saying they're not providing properly fitting shoes is a fairly pejorative way of saying they don't have a vast array of sizing options. In the sizes they do offer, I think fit is good to outstanding for most people. (I'm fortunately in the 'outstanding' camp)

As for sizing availability, across the three different lasts they have, GS has D and E widths these days for most styles and leather options, and I heard recently they were adding EE for at least a few. That's more width variety than (much) bigger companies like Meermin and Carmina appear to offer. Small guys like Truman and others took far longer to offer any widths at all, and still don't offer as many lasts (though in fairness, Truman isn't really shooting for that). Beckett Simonon is probably closer to the size of Grant Stone (meaning tiny) and they offer a single width only.

AE has significantly reduced their sizing coverage (and has harder-to-fit lasts overall IMHO). Alden is sorta selective about it - I hear plenty of complaints about lack of sizing range and/or width availability about them too.

Net: it's a business decision, and while I get that it's a tough one for folks who aren't a D-width, I'm not holding it against any of those guys. In a niche business like this ultimately is, you've got to make decisions. There are plenty of companies with less sizing options than GS.


There's not really guessing involved unless you want to do it that way. If you don't know your Brannock size and have no other sizes to offer for directional help, I've seen them respond to measurements. I've also seen them offer what turned out to be good sizing recommendations based on a couple sneaker sizes, and I believe they offer free returns. They care about good fit, and they've developed lasts that are optimized for fit/comfort (the dad has a background in orthopedics apparently).

In any case, I don't see any of that as "cutting corners" - it's a small direct-model company trying to make good decisions and a high-quality product. I'm yet to see a complaint about their customer service. I don't say this lightly or casually at all: Every single pair I have from Grant Stone in my closet ranks better on execution/quality than the best of my AE's and most of my Alden pairs (and are equal to the best of my Aldens - and that's including the B-grade pair I bought).
"
You know what's funny - I've been to the AoSF store at least twenty times, and the AoDC store three times. I've visted Alden Madison twice and Yenni's B+M store (sadly) only once. You know how many times my feet have been measured across all those stores combined?

Zero."
I worked at a store that sold Alden around 1997 for about four years. The number of times I have measured customer's feet was probably less than 10. I rarely measured customers' feet. Some insist to get measurement and resist even trying different size than what they normally wear.

Brannock size does not equate to the size of the shoe. By looking at the shoe they are wearing, we can tell how their shoe fit. We stock shoe size in multiple width. So, I always bring out shoe in half or 1 size up and down for the customer to try. And then explain to them why I brought different size than that what they asked for.

If Grant Stone are advising correct sizing, then I would not consider it cutting cost.
 

kilowatts

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Well said 365:

I couldn't agree more, GS is a company trying hard to succeed in a small market area of quality shoes and I wish them good luck. However, so far I don't have a pair, but I hope to remedy that very soon.

kilowatts
 

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