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Nobleprofessor

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Can anyone tell me if Johnston and Murphy Crown Aristocrats are any good? I’ve never owned J&M but love the classic North American factories. I’d love to know where they stand in comparison to Alden/AE/Footjoy etc.
Yes, I believe that was their top of the line shoe. I have a pair of shell wingtips and they are equal in quality to Alden 975s I've sold. My shoes are 35 years old according to the seller, who included a nice handwritten note telling me he bought them at the start of his career back in the mid 80's.
View attachment 1366129
My pair of Crown Aristocrafts is solid. Heavy. Built like a tank. The other J&M shoes I've handled, while attractive to one degree or another, seem a little flimsy by comparison.
I’ve had (for myself or to sell) quite a few J&M and specifically the Aristocrafts. Like many other manufacturers, the vintage are better than the more recent. They were indeed the top of the line and were high quality.

Even the mainline J&M were good when they were still made in USA.

I think they still make 2-3 Aristocraft line that are made in the USA. They are not as good as they used to be. I think they are comparable to Allen Edmonds but not as good as Alden.

Just my opinion, but I do have a couple pair of vintage Aristocrafts and they definitely rival the other high quality American manufacturers.
 

CWOyaji

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Note the word 'Crown', which I think indicates those shoes are higher grade than Aristocraft alone. My impression anyway.
 
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Thomas Crown

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V-cleat site has a reprint of a 1992 J&M catalog. Indeed the Crown Aristocraft was the high end of their normal line. I say “normal line” because they had a top line known as “Handmade” that in 1992 were priced at (in today’s dollars) $1000 a pair! I have some Conley II shortwing bals in the regular Aristocraft line from that period that are very high quality. Vintage J&M don’t get much love in resale probably because in seems,90% of their shoes were black captoes or shortwing oxfords—I’ve heard it speculated that it was a reason for their fall from grace. There just weren’t enough bankers and undertakers to keep them afloat. According to the ‘92 catalog I don’t even think they have a longwing available anymore and almost nothing outside of black or dark brown.
 

Thomas Crown

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Actually I just rechecked that ‘92 J&M catalog and the “Handmade”(which probably WERE handmade) were priced at $1000 at the time!-which means they would be about $1800 now!—the Aristocraft was around $225($400).
The production costs were less in 1976 when these J&M’s below were made and initially marked at $65($300) -Happy Birthday @suitforcourt !
63116016-4A7C-4BB9-B560-ED860BBE9A72.jpeg
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Nealjpage

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So I had a light fever for a short while last night, but Mrs. Nealjpage requested that I seclude myself in the master bedroom for 24 hours just in case. I'm fine. But I'll use this opportunity to work on my shoes. I've treated these Alden with a couple coats of neatsfoot oil after several applications of Bick 4. Lots of brushing, too. Now for some more Bick 4 and VSC.

Happy birthday, @suitforcourt!

20200404_161521.jpg
 

meister

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Actually I just rechecked that ‘92 J&M catalog and the “Handmade”(which probably WERE handmade) were priced at $1000 at the time!-which means they would be about $1800 now!—the Aristocraft was around $225($400).
The production costs were less in 1976 when these J&M’s below were made and initially marked at $65($300) -Happy Birthday @suitforcourt !View attachment 1366159View attachment 1366160View attachment 1366161View attachment 1366162
Up until a few years before the demise of the handmade factory in Tennessee the handmades were all spades from memory. I had a pair (see below) from that time which had only a small spade extension. Not like the types that Sammy Davis (50 pairs!) and say President Reagan wore (second picture). I'll also post a pair of mine I wear which I suspect are from the 30s! (bottom pic)
 

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woofmang

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Given that it's my birthday, I am invoking rule number 1 of the group: post your shoe porn.

I have also started a change.org petition for weekly vcleat articles. Us shut ins need a respite.

Quiet celebrations today. Getting fried chicken and cake for lunch. And then Cantonese take out for dinner.

It will be the maiden voyage of a pair of rebuilt Blundstones today.

Wishing you all a great start to the weekend. With the stay at home order, I hope everyone is staying sane!
Happy Birthday to you! Here's a pic of my ~25-yo Allen Edmonds Bristols in Black Cherry Shell for your viewing enjoyment:

20190729_Bristols.jpg
 

KotaB

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Couple pair of Florsheim Imperial boots, left is 8.5 e right is 9 e. Was gona see which one fit better and return the other. Wish the pebble grain fit better but a buddy was over and said he'd pay me what I'm in on them. Shout out to v-cleats watch list where I spotted the pair on the right.
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Nealjpage

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Ok, a little help, please? Am I doing something wrong with the VSC? I'm not getting that deep, rich, glossy shine that the rest of you seem to get on your shells. I applied a thin coat of VSC with a paper towel and rubbed it into the leather, just like the directions say. I waited for it to dry and then hit it with my brush. The quarters got nice and shiny but the vamp is still pretty dull, even after working up a sweat with the brush. More VSC? Or do I need some neutral paste wax? The shoe on the right is still drying.

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suitforcourt

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Couple pair of Florsheim Imperial boots, left is 8.5 e right is 9 e. Was gona see which one fit better and return the other. Wish the pebble grain fit better but a buddy was over and said he'd pay me what I'm in on them. Shout out to v-cleats watch list where I spotted the pair on the right. View attachment 1366210View attachment 1366211
If you don't want the 9E, let me know!
 

CWOyaji

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@Nealjpage paper towels can be kind of coarse so i suggest going easy with that. The shoe surface texture looks like it's still rough, like fine orange peel. I'd use VSC applied with a 3500 grain sanding pad from the auto parts store (or Amazon these days) and a lot of rubbing to try to smooth that out, then let's see it again.
B4CD0D16-87C8-40EA-9E62-DCAEA0D968D7_4_5005_c.jpeg
 
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