- Dec 6, 2017
- Reaction score
That's a very brutally honest assessment. I never bothered trying Meermin because I'm not just going to put up with a hard break in on my heels at this point. I find Beckett Simonon at $159 to be excellent in terms of finishing and leather quality. Only bad part is the multi-month wait and the U.S.-only sales.I think this was discussed earlier, but I think the idea of value in clothing is kind of silly. Value just means something has some intrinsic quality. Like, it's better than this other thing, given the price ratios. But it's impossible to talk about how something can be better without talking about measures -- as in, what is the person after, what do they prefer, and so forth. There has to be another value behind the idea of value, and people value different things.
The best measure of value I can think of is corrected grain vs full grain, glued on soles vs stitched on soles. Because most people want their shoes to look good over time. In that regard, I think Meermin offers great value because under their price point, most shoes are made with poor quality materials. That said, if someone didn't care about how something looked after 500 wearings, then maybe that's not important to them.
Above $175, it feels incredibly subjective to me. At that point, you're just saying what gives you the most joy, and who can answer that for anyone else but themselves?
I know this is an enthusiast board, and enthusiasts are going to enthuse. But there's a tendency among enthusiasts to try to make objective what's inherently a very subjective field. This is why I think a lot of the nit picking over quality (above a certain point) and ranking of brands is kind of silly. I mean, people argue over who was the best musician or artist of all time, so I get it. But this is all very subjective stuff and we shouldn't pretend there's any real objectivity here.
I usually recommend Meermin for best value in shoes, but there are a loooootttt of people who buy them and find they don't get that much joy out of them. Then they start eyeing higher end brands like C&J and EG. And they climb up and up the price scale and find the thing that truly works for them. In the end, the Meermins got little wear, so they end up being a poor value. But who could have possibly told that person what high-end brand they'll like in five years?
Personally, the shoe brand that gives a bit of everything (whether it's last shape, leather, finishing, patinas, styles), which would be my definition of most value to most people, is Carlos Santos. Above Carlos Santos, to me the choices are all subjective, echoing Derek's point.
Fit is king, so your perception of value would be heavily colored by which RTW lasts fit your feet the best. For me, Vass and Meccariello are incredibly valuable because their lasts feel so good to me, but they're worthless to people with low instep unless they're going bespoke.