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Balmoral Boots

bbshriver

One of the Regulars
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180
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Lexington, NC
There are HUNDREDS of makers that are better than AE. A better list would be. "what is AE better than?"

Do you mind to mention a few? I'm not disputing that there are better available, I'm just curious what some might be.

As far as what is AE better than? Just about any mass market shoe... Aside from cowboy boots, pretty much all the shoes I see are the disposable made in china variety.
 

Papperskatt

Practically Family
Messages
506
Location
Sweden
Do you mind to mention a few? I'm not disputing that there are better available, I'm just curious what some might be.

As far as what is AE better than? Just about any mass market shoe... Aside from cowboy boots, pretty much all the shoes I see are the disposable made in china variety.

A few from the top of my head:

Crockett & Jones, Alfred Sargent, Carmina, Vass, Edward Green, Gaziano & Girling

Allen Edmonds are nice, though, for the price. I'm quite sad that they've discontinued their Fifth Street balmoral boot, I'd like to own one.
 

bbshriver

One of the Regulars
Messages
180
Location
Lexington, NC
A few from the top of my head:

Crockett & Jones, Alfred Sargent, Carmina, Vass, Edward Green, Gaziano & Girling

Allen Edmonds are nice, though, for the price. I'm quite sad that they've discontinued their Fifth Street balmoral boot, I'd like to own one.

Thanks, I've never heard of any of those save Edward Green as mentioned in the first post of this thread. Where would one go to buy such shoes?

And the fifth street isn't discontinued... apparently it's "seasonal" it was not on their website in August, but it is now
http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF7715_1_40000000001_-1

I'm pretty happy for <$130

It's funny, one thing I've learned from the internet is no matter what, there's always someone that has (or offers) better (or at least more expensive) stuff than whatever you have! Pretty much anyone I'd come into contact with on a daily basis thinks I'm bonkers that I'd willingly spend more than about $50 on a pair of shoes, and then I stumble upon a forum where $200 is a "humble" budget...

Just like over at the watch forum, you come in thinking Omega is a pretty nice watch, then you meet the folks who have a collection of $30,000 watches.. and so on.

Based on what I saw of those English shoes I'll probably be sticking with my "humble" Allen Edmonds for a while, since it looks like a plane ticket to New York or London would be in order to try a pair on, or get fitted for bespoke.
 
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Papperskatt

Practically Family
Messages
506
Location
Sweden
mon Dieu! shame about the heel shape but these are very nice. And only 295 euros. Taken me a while to discover the French make good shoes at very reasonable prices.

View attachment 17660

http://www.septiemelargeur.fr/marceau--last-174-in-vocalou-old-brown-p25650-en.html

I've read a lot of good reviews about Septíème Largeur, although I've never seen any in person. Their boots look a lot better than the last time I came across them a few years ago, now I really want a pair.
 

bbshriver

One of the Regulars
Messages
180
Location
Lexington, NC
That was great news, thanks! :D

You're welcome! They had me confused as well, I went online to get more information after I purachased mine and they weren't there, but then week or 2 later I got an e-mail that they were back.

I do wish they'd open up the idea to more colors and patterns. I am REALLY liking them!
 

Patrick Hall

Practically Family
Messages
541
Location
Houston, TX
Do you mind to mention a few? I'm not disputing that there are better available, I'm just curious what some might be.

As far as what is AE better than? Just about any mass market shoe... Aside from cowboy boots, pretty much all the shoes I see are the disposable made in china variety.

From what I understand, and Isshi and Cookie are the true experts in these shoe topics - Allen Edmonds is basically an entry-level decent shoe. So, especially if you are picking up seconds, or used items on ebay, you'll get a much better shoe for your $150.00 dollars than if you bought something from Florsheim, or Cole Hahn, etc.

Alden is another step up in quality, and probably the best made non-vintage American shoe out there (that I know of).

All the shoe companies that Papperskatt named are European. Alfred Sargent, Edward Green, C&J, Grenson, Cheaney, Bodiley's - these makers are in Northampton, and carry on the English tradition of making great shoes. Carmina is Spanish, I think. And Vass is - a Hungarian brand I think? Gaziano and Girling I know nothing about, other than they are favored by the shoe fetishists on tumblr.

But this is a fine list to be getting on with. Of course, all of these makers put a decent amount of handwork into their shoes, and you'll be looking at a serious investment of $$$ however you slice it.

But, no reason to fly overseas - all of these shoes can be had via the Internet, many of the above named makers have retail websites, or special deals with websites like No Man Walks Alone, that make their shoes accessible to all. EG usually makes some shoes every season for Brooks Brothers, AS makes some every season for JCrew, as does Alden. The Armoury carries St. Crispin's and Carmina, and Leffot offers a variety of offerings from top quality makers on their website as well.
 
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Papperskatt

Practically Family
Messages
506
Location
Sweden

bbshriver

One of the Regulars
Messages
180
Location
Lexington, NC
From what I understand, and Isshi and Cookie are the true experts in these shoe topics - Allen Edmonds is basically an entry-level decent shoe. So, especially if you are picking up seconds, or used items on ebay, you'll get a much better shoe for your $150.00 dollars than if you bought something from Florsheim, or Cole Hahn, etc.

Alden is another step up in quality, and probably the best made non-vintage American shoe out there (that I know of).

All the shoe companies that Papperskatt named are European. Alfred Sargent, Edward Green, C&J, Grenson, Cheaney, Bodiley's - these makers are in Northampton, and carry on the English tradition of making great shoes. Carmina is Spanish, I think. And Vass is - a Hungarian brand I think? Gaziano and Girling I know nothing about, other than they are favored by the shoe fetishists on tumblr.

But this is a fine list to be getting on with. Of course, all of these makers put a decent amount of handwork into their shoes, and you'll be looking at a serious investment of $$$ however you slice it.

But, no reason to fly overseas - all of these shoes can be had via the Internet, many of the above named makers have retail websites, or special deals with websites like No Man Walks Alone, that make their shoes accessible to all. EG usually makes some shoes every season for Brooks Brothers, AS makes some every season for JCrew, as does Alden. The Armoury carries St. Crispin's and Carmina, and Leffot offers a variety of offerings from top quality makers on their website as well.

Thanks for the rundown... so at least as far as US made shoes, Alden and Allen-Edmonds are about it? Many of those European shoes from what I saw looked a little too.... European for me i.e. long and slender. As well, certainly at this point in my life I can scarcely imagine spending $1,000 + on shoes, unless they were truly bespoke.

In line with my original question here, what is "better" about some of the more expensive shoes (excepting bespoke)? I justify spending the $ on AE shoes by
1) recraftable/should last a lifetime
2) all-day comfortable
3) look like a proper dress shoe.

Primarily 1 and 2.

Also, I've always had a challenge with the whole online order thing especially as it comes to "made to order" stuff... Are these returnable? I have 5 pairs of dress shoes, in 4 different sizes, and one of the pair of the 2 that are the same size don't fit as I'd prefer (a bit too long). Even my 3 allen edmonds are all different sizes!

In one of those metal measuring things both feet measure 9.5D.

Allen Edmonds 5th Ave- 8.5 E (PERFECT fit)
Allen Edmonds Parliament (9D, fit well but not so well as the 5th Ave)
Allen Edmonds 5th street- 8EEE (interestingly same last as the 5th ave, fit is quite good)
Pronto-Uomo (Mens Wearhouse house-brand, but made in Italy) - 9.5D outstanding fit probably close to the 8EEE 5th street
Johnston-Murphy - 9.5D good width, about an inch too long.
Towncraft ($5 from a goodwill) 9.5EEE - a good bit short (shorter than the 5th street in 8) a bit wider than neccessary.

so if I were to order from an online vendor what the heck do I order?!
 

LuvMyMan

I’ll Lock Up.
Messages
4,560
Location
Michigan
Thanks for the rundown... so at least as far as US made shoes, Alden and Allen-Edmonds are about it? Many of those European shoes from what I saw looked a little too.... European for me i.e. long and slender. As well, certainly at this point in my life I can scarcely imagine spending $1,000 + on shoes, unless they were truly bespoke.

In line with my original question here, what is "better" about some of the more expensive shoes (excepting bespoke)? I justify spending the $ on AE shoes by
1) recraftable/should last a lifetime
2) all-day comfortable
3) look like a proper dress shoe.

Primarily 1 and 2.

Also, I've always had a challenge with the whole online order thing especially as it comes to "made to order" stuff... Are these returnable? I have 5 pairs of dress shoes, in 4 different sizes, and one of the pair of the 2 that are the same size don't fit as I'd prefer (a bit too long). Even my 3 allen edmonds are all different sizes!

In one of those metal measuring things both feet measure 9.5D.

Allen Edmonds 5th Ave- 8.5 E (PERFECT fit)
Allen Edmonds Parliament (9D, fit well but not so well as the 5th Ave)
Allen Edmonds 5th street- 8EEE (interestingly same last as the 5th ave, fit is quite good)
Pronto-Uomo (Mens Wearhouse house-brand, but made in Italy) - 9.5D outstanding fit probably close to the 8EEE 5th street
Johnston-Murphy - 9.5D good width, about an inch too long.
Towncraft ($5 from a goodwill) 9.5EEE - a good bit short (shorter than the 5th street in 8) a bit wider than neccessary.

so if I were to order from an online vendor what the heck do I order?!



What you should do is measure your inside of the shoe that fits you and then the outside. Length and width. That will to some degree, help you determine what will fit you properly.

Also, pair of shoes that are a bit too tight, can be stretched a bit to help make them fit much better. Shoes that are a bit large can work better than a pair that are far too tight. If you have a pair of shoes that are slilghtly large, you can use a insole insert that will help "tighten" the shoe when you lace it...(not going to work well on a slip on/loafer shoe).

No two shoe makers will make a size exactly as labeled. I was just comparing some shoes I have for sale here, and they are marked a 11D...they are actually larger than that by almost one full size inside the shoe, and longer that a 12D on the outside. There are reviews you can do a google search on most brands of shoes, and you can see at times someone will mention if the shoes fit true to size, or not.

In time, you will pick up on what fits and what does not. Most of the higher end vintage shoes made in the USA are fairly close to the label size, but even then some are a bit small. To some degree it seems the older vintage (1930-1940) have had a tendency to be a bit snug. Perhaps that may be due to the leather shrinking over the years, not sure, but it is all what you learn and find out.

I would advise that any time you desire to own a pair of shoes, ask as many questions to the seller of the shoes as you can, before you decide to spend your money. There have been times we have purchased shoes that say they have leather soles....and they are not leather....some people are clueless.....some shoes get listed as one size, but the measurements prove otherwise. The more you ask, the more you learn. Oh yes...bottom line no matter who you find that can help you with the shoes in your life....two things you shoud always have and always use...Shoe trees, and a decent thin lotion like leather conditioner. Brand new shoes need conditioner on them way before you wear them even one time. Shoes can suck up a entire 8 ounce bottle of shoe/leather conditioner even new shoes. If you condition the shoes...you have added a lot of life to them. They will tend to not crease up as much, will not "rot" from being worn and wet, they are easier to maintain and far easier to keep clean and polished.

If you order shoes online, you can ask the vendor/website/seller for input on sizes. You also can post here, see what someone here can tell you. Hope I have helped you some.....enjoy shoes!
 
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Papperskatt

Practically Family
Messages
506
Location
Sweden
Ok, so I just came home from the shoe show in Stockholm. I spoke with the guys from Meermin, and good news! They said that they could reproduce this russian boot, including the curved heel*. As I understood it, the price would be the same as for all their boots, i.e. €220.

1926_russian_zps856b6e1d.jpg


And the minimum order is only 10 pairs! I met Himmelsblau there, and he said that he might be interested in a pair, so I reckon that we're at least 3 people so far (me, HBK and Himmelsblau). Anyone interested, feel free to contact me, and as soon as we're 10 or more, I'll contact Meermin.

I tried on a few of their shoes, and I think that they are very hard to beat for the price (€160 for shoes and €220 for boots). I was very happy to discover that the Hiro last was indeed true to size, I ordered my black boot in UK 7 and it fit perfectly.

They only had one pair of balmoral boots on display (as it's not a part of their main line). I'm pleasantly surprised by the heel shape.

Photo 2014-09-20 12 25 03.jpg

* "Like on old fashioned boots", he said, so he definitely understand what we want. :)

I also met a bespoke shoemaker, that live in my part of Sweden and sometimes teach shoemaking (including lastmaking). I would love to be able to make my own shoes so I'm definitely gonna contact him once I can afford it.
 

herringbonekid

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,016
Location
East Sussex, England
Papperskatt, thanks.... if they can do that Russian boot i will definitely place an order.

i'm not so keen on the height of a lot of their other Balmorals.... they look a bit high to me. would it be the same height as the original boot ?
 

Papperskatt

Practically Family
Messages
506
Location
Sweden
would it be the same height as the original boot ?

Yes, we can get it however we want.

EDIT: I went through my photo archive and found at least two more pair of boots that I'd like to try and have reproduced in the future, if this becomes successful. But the focus right now is on the russian boot posted above.

ebay23_zps7d45f01e.jpgchevron-toe-cap_zps09845f72.jpg
 
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herringbonekid

I'll Lock Up
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6,016
Location
East Sussex, England
Yes, we can get it however we want.

if we shoot for that boot i think we'll get something good !

(i wouldn't expect it to be exactly the same, especially if they use lasts that they already have in stock rather than creating a new one from scratch, but for the price - and with expectations adjusted accordingly - it should still be a good boot) :eusa_clap

...


EDIT: I went through my photo archive and found at least two more pair of boots that I'd like to try and have reproduced in the future, if this becomes successful. But the focus right now is on the russian boot posted above.

both great boots.
 
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Rudie

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,042
Location
Berlin
I am not so crazy about Balmorals, especially the more dressy ones or two-tones. What I would really go for are these generic derby boots:

derby-1.jpg


IMG_1380.JPG


I am a real sucker for those and would certainly order one.
 

herringbonekid

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,016
Location
East Sussex, England
I am not so crazy about Balmorals, especially the more dressy ones or two-tones.

you don't ever wear the narrow and shorter teens-early 20s trouser do you ?

if not, it would make sense as i don't think Balmorals go very well with wide legged trousers.

the black derbies can work though with wide legged trousers, especially in more of a 'work' outfit IMHO.
 
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