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What is the Best Value Shoe Brand for the Money

What is the Best Value Shoe Brand for the Money

  • Meermin

    Votes: 36 15.9%
  • TLB Mallorca

    Votes: 39 17.2%
  • Cheaney

    Votes: 7 3.1%
  • Carmina

    Votes: 34 15.0%
  • Crockett & Jones

    Votes: 38 16.7%
  • Other

    Votes: 73 32.2%

  • Total voters
    227

DrewMill

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I've been looking at different shoes for a while, and I've tried a few of these brands. These always seem to be the names that pop up when people discuss value per Dollar/Pound/Euro/Yen/etc. I'm not looking to compare the brands to each other. I'm just curious what shoes everyone thinks gives the most for your money. Can't wait to see the results!

edit: If you select "other", let us know what brand you think it is in the comments.
 
Last edited:

usctrojans31

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The inherent challenge with a poll like this is that fit has a major determining factor in "best." Carmina Simpson fits me better than any other RTW last. Crockett & Jones are objectively "better" shoes, but they almost all fit me mediocrely to poorly. Does that make Carmina the best value shoe for money or the best value shoe for me?
 

JFWR

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Of the choices offered: Crockett and Jones. They are amazingly beautiful shoes for a reasonable price. They are extremely well made and really look nice. I'd say they are a better value, pound for pound, than Edward Green, and certainly better than say Berlutti or other obscenely priced brands. They may not be completely as nice as EG, though, but not by that much.

Given Allen Edmonds are routinely on sale for 240 and available in a huge variety of styles and sizes, there are plenty of options for store visits in the US, etc, I'd say they are amazing besides.

It's really about how much of a premium you put on the little niceties. Allen Edmonds definitely lacks some of the superior traits of other brands, but they are extremely well made, the leather is quite nice and ages well, the styles are classic, etc. Some people might think they are a bit conservative, but I like conservative lasts, and they aren't as clunky as Aldens are in terms of dress shoes.

Especially for a gentleman with wide feet, I think Allen Edmonds are fantastic. Alden also accommodates a lot of wide foot sizes. Crockett and Jones was a bit of a struggle to get a nice fit for me, but thanks to the help of an amazing salesman, I got a really beautiful pair.
 

dieworkwear

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We had this convo in another thread a while ago and I think it helps to separate objective versus subjective value.

All value is subjective, but some dimensions are more subjective than others. I think most here can agree that certain shoes are built better than others.

So if you're looking at a pair of $60 cemented shoes made from corrected grain leather, I think most here would agree that a $200 welted shoe made from full-grain leather will age better. In this sense, I think Meermin offers the best value because it's often a big step above shoes under $200.

Then there's subjective value -- how well a pair of shoes fit, how pleasing you find the design, how much joy you get out of the shoes. I think answers here will be all over the place and will depend on people's preferences.

I think true, lasting value is subjective. Most people here will develop a point of view and a sense of taste, and they'll find what they like best. But a lot of people who are just getting into shoes aren't using "value" in this sense. They are simply looking for the best build quality for the lowest price possible. Many may not have developed a point of view about shoes yet. They may even be relying on concepts such as "build quality" and "value" to substitute for taste (e.g. "this purchase is good because of what I perceive to be these objective factors").

The shoes I wear most are all over the board in terms of build quality and price. I get the most "value" out of them simply because those are the shoes I wear most. In the end, many of the "value" focused brands aren't even things I wear because my own taste and preferences have moved away from those brands. I think if someone is starting to think about value, they should be clear on whether they're seeking objective or subjective value. If you're just starting to build a wardrobe, you may do well to jump from $60 cemented shoes to $200 welted shoes. But after that, I think it's better to think less about "value" and think more about your fit, taste, and wardrobe needs, as those dimensions will provide better "value" in the long run.
 

DrewMill

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The inherent challenge with a poll like this is that fit has a major determining factor in "best." Carmina Simpson fits me better than any other RTW last. Crockett & Jones are objectively "better" shoes, but they almost all fit me mediocrely to poorly. Does that make Carmina the best value shoe for money or the best value shoe for me?
A fair point, and definitely a subjective one. Obviously, Carmina is a better value for you if you include the "cost" of ill-fitting shoes.
 

DrewMill

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Of the choices offered: Crockett and Jones. They are amazingly beautiful shoes for a reasonable price. They are extremely well made and really look nice. I'd say they are a better value, pound for pound, than Edward Green, and certainly better than say Berlutti or other obscenely priced brands. They may not be completely as nice as EG, though, but not by that much.

Given Allen Edmonds are routinely on sale for 240 and available in a huge variety of styles and sizes, there are plenty of options for store visits in the US, etc, I'd say they are amazing besides.

It's really about how much of a premium you put on the little niceties. Allen Edmonds definitely lacks some of the superior traits of other brands, but they are extremely well made, the leather is quite nice and ages well, the styles are classic, etc. Some people might think they are a bit conservative, but I like conservative lasts, and they aren't as clunky as Aldens are in terms of dress shoes.

Especially for a gentleman with wide feet, I think Allen Edmonds are fantastic. Alden also accommodates a lot of wide foot sizes. Crockett and Jones was a bit of a struggle to get a nice fit for me, but thanks to the help of an amazing salesman, I got a really beautiful pair.
I probably should have included AE considering the value you can get on sale (which is pretty frequent). Great points about the American manufacturers!
 

DrewMill

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We had this convo in another thread a while ago and I think it helps to separate objective versus subjective value.

All value is subjective, but some dimensions are more subjective than others. I think most here can agree that certain shoes are built better than others.

So if you're looking at a pair of $60 cemented shoes made from corrected grain leather, I think most here would agree that a $200 welted shoe made from full-grain leather will age better. In this sense, I think Meermin offers the best value because it's often a big step above shoes under $200.

Then there's subjective value -- how well a pair of shoes fit, how pleasing you find the design, how much joy you get out of the shoes. I think answers here will be all over the place and will depend on people's preferences.

I think true, lasting value is subjective. Most people here will develop a point of view and a sense of taste, and they'll find what they like best. But a lot of people who are just getting into shoes aren't using "value" in this sense. They are simply looking for the best build quality for the lowest price possible. Many may not have developed a point of view about shoes yet. They may even be relying on concepts such as "build quality" and "value" to substitute for taste (e.g. "this purchase is good because of what I perceive to be these objective factors").

The shoes I wear most are all over the board in terms of build quality and price. I get the most "value" out of them simply because those are the shoes I wear most. In the end, many of the "value" focused brands aren't even things I wear because my own taste and preferences have moved away from those brands. I think if someone is starting to think about value, they should be clear on whether they're seeking objective or subjective value. If you're just starting to build a wardrobe, you may do well to jump from $60 cemented shoes to $200 welted shoes. But after that, I think it's better to think less about "value" and think more about your fit, taste, and wardrobe needs, as those dimensions will provide better "value" in the long run.
Quite true! There are two types of "value". I hadn't considered that. I think it makes sense that Meermin provides the biggest jump in value from the tier below. Excellent point. I wonder at what point construction and materials fall off and aesthetics kick in. Does higher quality leather last longer? Will that affect the cost per use? At what point will that not matter?
 

dieworkwear

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Quite true! There are two types of "value". I hadn't considered that. I think it makes sense that Meermin provides the biggest jump in value from the tier below. Excellent point. I wonder at what point construction and materials fall off and aesthetics kick in. Does higher quality leather last longer? Will that affect the cost per use? At what point will that not matter?
For me, everything above the basics is subjective. I don't care about loose grain wrinkling on very casual shoes. If someone doesn't wear suits or sport coats often, I think they'd do better in a casual shoe than a dressy one. So with that, it would be OK to have a supposedly "lower quality" leather.

I find shoe discussions all too often take shoes as standalone objects. So we discuss things such as "leather quality," "finishing," or details such as a shaped waist or heel. Those things are supposed markers of a "better made" shoe and then compared to the price.

But some designs are inherently casual, such as a split toe, and may look worse with some of these design elements. Some people may also not have the wardrobe to support such fancy-looking shoes.

I enjoyed this recent post by Simon at Permanent Style, where he discusses what outfits he got wrong. He noted that some of the shoes he choose were too formal for his outfits. IMO, this is a good reflection, and often cuts at the core of many of these "value" discussions. When discussions like this happen, people often talk about the shapeliness of the last or handmade details. But what if you don't have the wardrobe to support that shape or those fiddleback details? If you're in chinos and a button-up all day, you'd do better with a more casual, rounded loafer, which may retail for less money and thus be a better "value."

 

DrewMill

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For me, everything above the basics is subjective. I don't care about loose grain wrinkling on very casual shoes. If someone doesn't wear suits or sport coats often, I think they'd do better in a casual shoe than a dressy one. So with that, it would be OK to have a supposedly "lower quality" leather.

I find shoe discussions all too often take shoes as standalone objects. So we discuss things such as "leather quality," "finishing," or details such as a shaped waist or heel. Those things are supposed markers of a "better made" shoe and then compared to the price.

But some designs are inherently casual, such as a split toe, and may look worse with some of these design elements. Some people may also not have the wardrobe to support such fancy-looking shoes.

I enjoyed this recent post by Simon at Permanent Style, where he discusses what outfits he got wrong. He noted that some of the shoes he choose were too formal for his outfits. IMO, this is a good reflection, and often cuts at the core of many of these "value" discussions. When discussions like this happen, people often talk about the shapeliness of the last or handmade details. But what if you don't have the wardrobe to support that shape or those fiddleback details? If you're in chinos and a button-up all day, you'd do better with a more casual, rounded loafer, which may retail for less money and thus be a better "value."

I somehow missed that post from Simon! Thanks for sharing it. Another great point. Why buy a EG Dover if nothing in your wardrobe pairs well?

edit:

I'm a notoriously heavy walker and tough on my shoes. I have a limit where I'll stop spending money on shoes because it doesn't make sense after that.
 

kevinsvindland

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Out of the ones mentioned, C&J checks the most boxes in my book.

But like mentioned above, fit should always be the most important box to check.

To me the «world» and people around the brand usually adds to my interest in their shoes. In that sense Stefano Bemer is a great value, because they embody so much of what I love about Florence and Italy in general. Being reminded of beautiful cobblestone streets and late night dinners in good company, every time I put on a pair of shoes adds great value to me.

I think it is important to allow yourself to buy into the emotional part of it. I find the very analytic approach to be rather dull, as it takes the fun away from it all.
Kind of like eating a grey smoothie made from only the essentials your body need to be able to function, for every meal of the day.

I guess my point is to always try to get the best you can afford. And by best I mean what adds the most value to you.
 

DrewMill

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Out of the ones mentioned, C&J checks the most boxes in my book.

But like mentioned above, fit should always be the most important box to check.

To me the «world» and people around the brand usually adds to my interest in their shoes. In that sense Stefano Bemer is a great value, because they embody so much of what I love about Florence and Italy in general. Being reminded of beautiful cobblestone streets and late night dinners in good company, every time I put on a pair of shoes adds great value to me.

I think it is important to allow yourself to buy into the emotional part of it. I find the very analytic approach to be rather dull, as it takes the fun away from it all.
Kind of like eating a grey smoothie made from only the essentials your body need to be able to function, for every meal of the day.

I guess my point is to always try to get the best you can afford. And by best I mean what adds the most value to you.
There can definitely be an emotional connection too. If you feel a certain way with a pair of shoes, it makes sense to include that in your concept of value.
 
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I take those entry level goodyear welted shoes fits your description. You could buy a pair for less than $200 while John Lobb and Edward Green could cost you £1000. They last longer than glued shoes, and they look like top tier shoes at first glance, if the style is traditional that is.
 

Potatoe

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I'm a bit surprised that Carmina is on the list.

Last time I priced out a pair of oxfords from them it was almost $700cdn once I added toe taps and lasted trees.

At that price point why not just go Vass or TBL Artista, both of which seem to be offering a better product, at a similar or lower price point.
 

FlyingHorker

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I struggle tonnes with fit, so I pick Herring. They're a company which carries many shoe brands.

They made it easy to exchange 3 sizes from overseas, on the same pair of shoes, to help me find the right fit on a pair of shoes. In contrast, I've had local shoe shops not even bother to order in a pair to see if it will fit me or not.
 

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What Is The Best Value Shoe Brand For Money?

  • Meermin

    Votes: 36 15.9%
  • TLB Mallorca

    Votes: 39 17.2%
  • Cheaney

    Votes: 7 3.1%
  • Carmina

    Votes: 34 15.0%
  • Crockett & Jones

    Votes: 38 16.7%
  • Other

    Votes: 73 32.2%

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