- Apr 10, 2011
- Reaction score
No experience with Estelles.
FWIW, I've seen a lot of companies in the last ten years come out with GYW shoes, made from full grain leathers, as consumers get wiser to shoe construction. But while they sound great on paper, they're often not that great in person -- maybe it's poor quality control or the leathers aren't as nice. Or the lasts are just ugly.
Meermin's shoes are stiffer than most at first, but I've found they break in after, say, a few days of easier wearing. Maybe you wear them when you know you'll only be out for a few hours instead of a full day. But the quality is genuinely good and the designs are handsome. I don't know if there's really anything more to it than that.
Depending on your location and experience with other brands, I would say stick to a company that not only provides good value, but also can take easy returns. If you're just starting to build a better shoe wardrobe, it can be dicey buying from overseas companies since you may not really know your size (even if you think you do).
I've owned Loake and Meermin. My Loakes eventually developed a loose grain wrinkling issue, but it's hard to say whether maybe that was partly about how I treated them (they were basically beater shoes). Meermin's shoes were stiff, but are fine now. I mostly wear Edward Green and Templeman nowadays, but they're much more expensive. I think they'e provided me the best value in the way Andy describes, but it depends on what you're looking for.