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Why is the “next step” after C&J so expensive?

JFWR

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A bunch of really good Japanese and Italian makers are in the 3-4000 range. Some mid-level (or newer makers who are great but undiscovered) Japanese and Italian stuff can be had under 3k. Some great stuff in Latin America can be had under 3k. If you are looking for entry level stuff you can certainly find things under 1500 - particularly in Asia and Eastern Europe.
I don't know a lot about either the Japanese or Italian bespoke scenes personally. The only Japanese shoe maker I can think of is Fukuda, and I find his stuff a bit too Gaziano-esque for my tastes. Plus, stupid expensive.

Eastern Europe is more doable for me to actually visit in the future to get shoes made, provided we don't launch the nukes anytime soon. Plus, I like the food more than SE Asian cuisine - not a big fan of coconut and peanut.
 

Jmr928

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I don't know a lot about either the Japanese or Italian bespoke scenes personally. The only Japanese shoe maker I can think of is Fukuda, and I find his stuff a bit too Gaziano-esque for my tastes. Plus, stupid expensive.

Eastern Europe is more doable for me to actually visit in the future to get shoes made, provided we don't launch the nukes anytime soon. Plus, I like the food more than SE Asian cuisine - not a big fan of coconut and peanut.
Honestly Eiji Murata (Main D’Or) and Ken Katakoa (Siroeno Yosui) both do stuff that seems like it would be up your alley if you ever make it to Japan - They don’t do trunk shows.

Raz Maftei in Vienna would be an option as well.
 

JFWR

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Honestly Eiji Murata (Main D’Or) and Ken Katakoa (Siroeno Yosui) both do stuff that seems like it would be up your alley if you ever make it to Japan - They don’t do trunk shows.

Raz Maftei in Vienna would be an option as well.
Thank you. I appreciate the recs. Winson was good, just too far outside my likely orbit.
 

Viral

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It seems there is a gradual upswing in prices as you move up the scale… ie Meermin for 200, AE 400, Carmina 500, Alden 600, C&J 600-800. After C&J, the next step up seems to be 1100+. Why is there nothing in between?
which ones are you targeting? Are you gonna buy a pair of shoes after doing all this research?
 

ladislav.jancik

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This thread deviated from its original topic, but since you mentioned bespoke shoemakers in Eastern Europe, here are my tips (2 Czechs, 1 Slovak). Quality is very good and prices are sweet compared to English shoemakers:
Lawart
Zacharias
Pazitny
 

shrink1061

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It’s an interesting question and one that suggests it’s own answer, or at least it’s own conclusion, and that is that in most cases something like a crockett handgrade is about as much as you ever need to spend.

i own gazianos, a pair of lobbs, and a single pair of EG. I would rate handgrade against any of the higher end offerings in all the ways that matter.

crockett leather is always spot on, never creases horribly or suffers from loose grain. It always wears well and ages well.

yea they don’t have the super close waists of gaziano, but I struggle to see why a pair of EG or lobbs are worth more. They don’t benefit from any special construction, the lasts aren’t much more interesting, and the finishing isn't Leagues above either.

I’d also argue in many cases super narrow waists, fiddleback soles and closed channel stitches are largely cosmetic nonsense and have very little to do with how well the shoe fits or how comfortable it is. We just associate them with “better”.

having tried cheaper (with mixed success) and more expensive (ditto), I now Tend to favour crockett mostly. They just get it right.
having tried cheaper (with mixed success) and more expensive (ditto), I now Tend to favour crockett mostly. They just get it right.
 

comrade

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Raz Maftei in Vienna would be an option as well.

" Is "Raz" Maftei the same as Maftei? If so, I would stay away from them.
At least their MTM program. I went to their shop w/ Gerd, the guy who used to post
in SF on Austro-Hungarians, shoes, who speaks idiomatic English. I was measured and
a favorite pair of Ludwig Reiters were also measured. Several months later I received
a pair of shoes that before I tried them I knew would not fit. Not even close. Nor did they
look like the shoes that were supposed to have been copied. A Disaster!. Fortunately,
Herr Maftei is a real gentleman and I received a complete refund. I understand their
bespoke is first rate and a bargain.The shop was full of beautiful shoes.
 

Jmr928

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Raz Maftei in Vienna would be an option as well.

" Is "Raz" Maftei the same as Maftei? If so, I would stay away from them.
At least their MTM program. I went to their shop w/ Gerd, the guy who used to post
in SF on Austro-Hungarians, shoes, who speaks idiomatic English. I was measured and
a favorite pair of Ludwig Reiters were also measured. Several months later I received
a pair of shoes that before I tried them I knew would not fit. Not even close. Nor did they
look like the shoes that were supposed to have been copied. A Disaster!. Fortunately,
Herr Maftei is a real gentleman and I received a complete refund. I understand their
bespoke is first rate and a bargain.The shop was full of beautiful shoes.
Same family I believe but no. Raz has his own brand. Maszschuhe.
 

Panama

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C&J are too narrow for me. I really can't see a reason to go beyond Cheaney. I actually see a reason to drop down a level and buy Loake Export Grade...
 

DB2000

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Personally, I can't think of any reason I'd go outside C&J these days. For the money it's the best. Then again I'm not buying dress shoes for suits anymore.
 

Scuppers

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Trickers does Bespoke for 3000 pound sterling, which is between 2 and 3 times the majority of the English EG models (e.g. excluding their bullshit driving mocs and cement loafers).

There are also people out there that make bespoke for less. There's that Polish maker I can't remember the name of off hand - any help anyone?) as well as Winson who @Jmr928 turned me on to. Can't take advantage of the latter's insanely low pricing because I ain't going to Indonesia anytime soon, or probably ever, but he does bespoke for ~800 bucks minus the airfare you have to eat to get to him?

I wouldn't be surprised if I could convince CNES shoe makers to do some bespoke work for me if I were to actually discuss the issue with them and get to Singapore, which again, I am not intending to visit anytime soon. I don't want my hide tanned on the way to getting....tanned hides.
Had no idea Trickers offered bespoke, granted never looked as it never occurred to me they might (Or I’d want a pair).
 

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