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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

clee1982

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I think most online retailer want you to try, otherwise you would never buy, just don't abuse it (which I don't think you would be). But yea I guess some are tough to fit (or I just have bought too many shoes so know by now whether it's going to work reasonably quickly)
 

Jmr928

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My problem with doing this is that you're basically trashing a pair of shoes to try on. This is kind of an abusive customer behaviour in the sense that they usually can only sell these shoes as 2nds thereafter.

I mean, I suppose you can be -really careful-, but generally me trying a pair of shoes on is going to mean wearing them long enough that I'm worried about messing the shoes up.
In the store, I try to tell within 5 minutes, but if I have a pair of shoes on at home, I feel like I want to wear them for about an hour and walk around in my house. Ideally, I'd even want to walk outside, but that would straight up ruin the shoe for returns, so I generally just walk around my living room.

I mean, sometimes it is obvious a shoe doesn't work. If my toes are crushed or my heels have like, 2 inches of space, no thanks.

I don't like the idea of buying several shoes explicitly with the idea of returning them and try to avoid this. I'm very cautious on this.

Amusingly: I just turned down a great deal on a pair of nice AEs because I think that the shoes would just not fit me.
You hit it in your second post - I can do literally, the exact same try on that I'd do at the store in the carpet in my living room.Put my foot in with a shoe horn, feel my pressure points, see where the flex point is, check for heel slip, take a short walk around on the carpet for a couple minutes (I need maybe a single lap around my living room if that) - You say your issue is you want to wear them for more like an hour or outside - I'd agree that is abusive if you return them but the idea of getting shoes, trying them on and returning them isn't abusive at all.
 

thatboyo

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Outside of loafers or unlined shoes that may stretch more than anticipated, a 5 min try on is fine for me. One hour and walking around house seems excessive to me.
 

JFWR

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You hit it in your second post - I can do literally, the exact same try on that I'd do at the store in the carpet in my living room.Put my foot in with a shoe horn, feel my pressure points, see where the flex point is, check for heel slip, take a short walk around on the carpet for a couple minutes (I need maybe a single lap around my living room if that) - You say your issue is you want to wear them for more like an hour or outside - I'd agree that is abusive if you return them but the idea of getting shoes, trying them on and returning them isn't abusive at all.
Provided you aren't wrecking them, yes. I just want to avoid causing a problem where I am blowing through five, six shoes that I just now made impossible to sell as Q1.

To be clear, I wasn't suggesting you were wrecking these shoes on purpose or something and then sending 'em back.
 

Jmr928

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Provided you aren't wrecking them, yes. I just want to avoid causing a problem where I am blowing through five, six shoes that I just now made impossible to sell as Q1.
This is a mindset though - Do you have the same hesitation if you walk into the AE store that you aren't willing to walk around their store to see if they fit?
 

orange fury

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really? I think I can tell if it's going to work at all in less than 1 minute, and pretty sure in 5 minutes, there are thing I might have to gamble (like is this going to stretch), but I just don't bother to gamble these days so...
Same- I've bought (and subsequently sold) too many pairs of shoes that I told myself "just needed to break in" to take risks anymore. The exception has been Rancourt- I have a couple loafers and moccasins from them that were absolute hell to break in, and they feel like slippers now.
 

JFWR

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This is a mindset though - Do you have the same hesitation if you walk into the AE store that you aren't willing to walk around their store to see if they fit?
No, but I purposefully try to avoid screwing the shoes up in store. I am not saying I wouldn't do that at home, too. I have ordered pairs, but I generally knew the fit would likely fit me to begin with, so I wasn't that concerned.

In contrast, I tried on about 15 pairs of shoes at Crockett and Jones before finding my right size/last for C&J at their Soho store ( great service from the wonderful sales rep Kyle Amy). I had no idea what size would work for C&J for me, so we really had to narrow it down, etc. Again: I went out of my way to avoid messing those shoes up, but I would have felt pretty ridiculous if I have made thet retailer ship and receive back 15 pairs of shoes.
 

Jmr928

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If I were ordering Carmina I could for example say "Let me try the Simpson, Inca and Rain" - I'd get a pretty good idea of what works or doesn't work. It's even easier if I'm trying TLB Artista as the only thing I can change is length. On CJ I could try say 325, 341, 348 and have a pretty good idea of how their various lasts would fit me. If I wanted to try EG I could try 82 and 202 and have a pretty good idea. The only ones that are hard are the MTO/GMTO only ones that aren't readily available and I can't return or the people who don't have ready stock like Meccariello for much of their RTW which is why they use measurements to try and dial you in but it's still a little bit of a gamble. I don't need to abuse any of them to put my foot in and take a half lap around my living room. Again it's all the mindset - With e-commerce brands they get it and they'd have a much smaller customer base if they could only sell to people who could try their items on in person.
 

clee1982

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separate point, there is probably also value to simplify last offering (especially for new brand), some brand went all out on last in first go and probably scare some potential buyer
 

Jmr928

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separate point, there is probably also value to simplify last offering (especially for new brand), some brand went all out on last in first go and probably scare some potential buyer
Definitely something to be said for this. It can steer me away from a brand if they have too many or too few though. Finding that happy medium - TLB Artista for example isn't a great fit for me, given they don't have a different last that would fit me better it means that I have a couple pairs that I'm selling and can't go back to the brand. Something like Yeossal on the other hand has a bunch of lasts that was hard to dial my sizing in on without modification because I had to try and figure out what would work and then still got it wrong.
 

Potatoe

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I think this is the important part. It’s about what you like and also what fits into how you’d wear it. For me - I know more casual makeups that are derby’s etc get the least wear in my closet if we are talking just shoes. I can find reason for loafers or boots with more casual outfits. I don’t wear much that calls for a country shoe or derby very often though so my rotation is Oxford heavy because my attire is suit heavy and then on the weekend it’s the complete end of the spectrum and I grab boots or sneakers more than I would grab say a country shoe.
with regards to price - I’ve never regretted spending more money on something if it fit, I liked it and I had a use for it. The purchases I’ve regretted are where I got something on sale because it was a good deal without a plan or where I looked for a cheaper alternative to what I actually wanted.
Yes we have totally different needs.

Pre-Covid I was doing roughly 40 events per year where some sort of jacket was appropriate. Of those 40 only a handful would be suit appropriate. My daily wear is casual.

I started reading this forum to improve my appearance at those 40 events.

If I wore a suit and oxfords daily I would drop the cash for Meccariello's right now :).

Currently Vass is my go to brand. Not only are they excellent in terms of value but they have a great selection of more casual shoes which fit my needs.
 

deliku

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A lot of good posts in this thread and many valid points that have been brought up for one brand or another. I think part of what makes this a tough question is all the different ways that ‘value’ can be perceived.

On one hand, I feel that being truly objective means you’d have to strip out all the subjective feelings you have accumulated and that have molded your experience such as: what brand you started out with, what you discovered fits you best, or what best fits your style choices. Instead, you’d have to look purely at raw components in a cold, sterile way, and possibly even be left with a brand you have no feelings for one way or another.

But then, that kind of defeats the purpose of the exercise because no one wants to recommend a brand they have no feelings for. Perhaps this why many of the ‘best value’ brands are also the brands people like to shit on the most.

That said, it can still be a fun exercise as long as one understands that there’s no actual right answer. So if all you’re looking for is a Goodyear welted shoe with half decent leather then the best value I can think of is probably an Etsy seller out of Tijuana, Mexico called Miles & Louie. If all you’re looking for is a stitched shoe then take your pick of any of the Italian brands you can find on discount at Nordstrom Rack. If all you’re looking for is Goodyear welted+respectable leather+dressy features then it would have to be Meermin. And if you know just enough about shoes to be familiar with terms like “SPI” or “beveled waist” then it would have to be TLB.

Edit - I should probably throw in my actual favorite brands that don’t blow the bank, which would be Carlos Santos, Sons of Henrey, Lof & Tung, Cavour’s new in-house line, several of the lines offered by Herring Shoes.. basically anything made in Spain or Portugal.
 

JFWR

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If I were ordering Carmina I could for example say "Let me try the Simpson, Inca and Rain" - I'd get a pretty good idea of what works or doesn't work. It's even easier if I'm trying TLB Artista as the only thing I can change is length. On CJ I could try say 325, 341, 348 and have a pretty good idea of how their various lasts would fit me. If I wanted to try EG I could try 82 and 202 and have a pretty good idea. The only ones that are hard are the MTO/GMTO only ones that aren't readily available and I can't return or the people who don't have ready stock like Meccariello for much of their RTW which is why they use measurements to try and dial you in but it's still a little bit of a gamble. I don't need to abuse any of them to put my foot in and take a half lap around my living room. Again it's all the mindset - With e-commerce brands they get it and they'd have a much smaller customer base if they could only sell to people who could try their items on in person.
My experience is a little bit different because I have wide feet. The result is that in order to get a good fit on European shoes, I have to try several sizes. This may colour my experience as necessarily closer to guess work, so when I think of ordering shoes, I think of having to order 15.
 

H. E. Pennypacker

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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?
I favor Crockett & Jones over Carmina, yet I choose Carmina over C&J, due to the broader spectrum Carmina offers in terms of last, patterns and leather selection over C&J. Fit shouldn't be a metric in an objective poll like this one. If fit were to be a metric, then it would be a preference.
 

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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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