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  1. #1
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    Default Affordable "Albert" house slippers: Del Toro Shoes...

    Many of you who have seen my mad ramblings might have seen me talking about the wonders of proper Albert house slippers, you know the ones in velvet with hard leather soles. I maintain the every 'gentleman' should have a pair for padding around the house, especially if you have wooden floors.

    Thus it was with great delight I ran across this company tonight, after seeing a pair of their shoes on eBay. They make a single style of plain velvet Albert house slipper, for men and women. Their price is a ridiculous US$120, so either they're cheap garbage or a great find from a company that has decided to focus on one thing and do it affordably well. I'm hoping it's the latter. The rubber toplifts on the heels are certainly a cost saving measure, but in fact are rather desirable for reducing wear and tear (and are easily replaced).

    Their website is at Del Toro Shoes and has only a page with photos of the shoes and sizes, plus a link to send them an e-mail message.

    Here's some photos from their site:




    Presumably this is the proprietor:



    I've contacted them to find out country of manufacture and shipping issues, and will post info as soon as possible. At the quoted price these are incredibly tempting, especially since getting a similar pair of Albert slippers from the UK will cost upwards of US$170 plus shipping & customs (from Shipton & Heneage).

    DocD

  2. #2
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    They have these listed on 'da Bay as well at the same $120 price. The listing says that they are made in Spain (let us know if they say different in the email).

    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Black-Velvet...QQcmdZViewItem

  3. #3
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    I received a message from them last night at 8:00 PM(!) and they describe their shoes thusly: "Our shoes are hand crafted in Alicante, Spain using only the finest velvet, leather, and wood." (For those of you who are wondering at that, the wood will be used in the heel lifts, capped off with the rubber toplift.) Regarding sizing, they have this to say: "Sizes are US and I would recommend going a size smaller then normally."

    They appear to use UPS for shipping, although they will use USPS to ship internationally (thank Heavens!) so I will telehone them and place an order next week. Their telephone number is (561) 301-0308.

    Although my Church's slippers are undoubtedly superior, they are too delicate to wear to the office or when visiting friends' houses (i.e. anyplace with a risk of damaging them), so I hope these Del Toro's will fill that gap. It's heartening to see a US company selling stuff like this without an absurd markup. In fact, I expect they are doing this purely to undercut Stubbs & Wootton, which sells its plain slippers starting at US$275.

    DocD
    Last edited by Doctor Damage; August 18th, 2007 at 07:25.

  4. #4
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    You can have any colour so long as it is black!

    Where's the burgundy, navy and green?

  5. #5
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    I checked out their website this morning, as I was planning to order a pair of these slippers. They've started to update their site, which is a good thing from a marketing standpoint. Unfortunately, the price jumped from $120 yesterday to $199.99 today...<choke>

    Still a competitive price, but not an "amazing super lucky deal" price.

    DocD

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Damage View Post
    I checked out their website this morning, as I was planning to order a pair of these slippers. They've started to update their site, which is a good thing from a marketing standpoint. Unfortunately, the price jumped from $120 yesterday to $199.99 today...<choke>

    Still a competitive price, but not an "amazing super lucky deal" price.

    DocD
    $200 for a pair of slippers? I just couldn't do it. Seems crazy to me.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck
    $200 for a pair of slippers? I just couldn't do it. Seems crazy to me.
    I wouldn't pay that for the Del Toro slippers, so I won't.

    But handmade Albert slippers from the UK are well worth the price. They are not the crap Isotoner slippers that Americans think of when you say "slippers". The Church's slippers I just got are actually better made than most shoes, including AE and many of Alden's less distinguished products.

    DocD

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Damage View Post
    I wouldn't pay that for the Del Toro slippers, so I won't.

    But handmade Albert slippers from the UK are well worth the price. They are not the crap Isotoner slippers that Americans think of when you say "slippers". The Church's slippers I just got are actually better made than most shoes, including AE and many of Alden's less distinguished products.

    DocD
    I guess that I just don't know the luxurious appeal. Mrs. Duck got me a great pair of LL Bean leather slippers last year for Christmas that suit my needs.

    DoD, what are the differences that I am not seeing? The leather Bean ones are perfect and I am not afraid to walk out and get the paper with them. What am I missing?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck
    DoD, what are the differences that I am not seeing? The leather Bean ones are perfect and I am not afraid to walk out and get the paper with them. What am I missing?
    Putting aside the Del Toro's, in general terms Albert slippers are theoretically wearable anyplace you could wear normal shoes, and indeed many wear them with casual wear or tux's. They are structured and fit like slip-on shoes (think extra-lightweight tassel loafers or Italian loafers), not like slippers. They were originally used by people in old crumbling stone houses in England, who didn't want to wear their brogues in the bedroom or for midnight visits to the loo. I think an "ode to" thread might be a good idea, although I've posted quite a few of these shoes on the EBay thread.

    There are two reasons I harp on about this: (1) I love them, and (2) I think some of the members here who have vast shoe collections would do well to get a pair of Albert slippers instead of their 14th pair of Aldens, or whatever. Until today's price spike, those Del Toro's seemed like a super-cheap point of entry.

    DocD

  10. #10
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    I actually have a pair of Albert slippers that I picked up (new) off Ebay a while back. I wear them from time to time around the house. Mine are also black, but have a crown embroidered on the vamp. My wife makes fun of me when I wear them...but then she makes fun of me when I don't wear them, so I figure what the hell.

    At $120 I was looking at these fairly hard as a bit more subtle expression of the form, but at $200 I'm completely out on them. If they go back to $120 at some point I might consider them, but at $200 for a second pair...no way.

  11. #11
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    Ordered a pair of these and they shipped on Tuesday, so I will do a full review when I get them.

    DocD

  12. #12
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    Received the shoes late yesterday, but only got to the post office today. These are really great, perfect as lightweight street shoes (which is exactly what I wanted). The fit is excellent and roughly equivalent to the Alden tassel loafers in D width.

    I will do a full review as soon as I get the time but I consider them good value and can happily recommend them to members.

    DocD

  13. #13
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    As you already know, I purchased a pair of the Del Toro shoes, size 11. Del Toro calls them “shoes”, although they are in essence classic Albert slippers. With the success and popularity of Stubbs & Wootton, wearing slippers with casual wear (and sometimes tuxedos) seems to be increasingly common among the stylish rich as shoes, for whatever reason. In any case, they are a nice comfy shoe that can be worn with jeans or reds without socks for an upscale casual look.

    But on to my comments, broken down by category!


    Design: Design of the shoes is as depicted in the first image I posted at the start of this thread. The three-way photograph is 100% accurate: the shoes in real life look just like the shoes in the photos. The style is the classic Albert slipper, a staple of high-end shoe brands in the UK -- good for walking around in old houses with poor heating and wooden floors. The simplicity of the design is clear in the images, I think, and in real life they are very subtle & unobtrusive shoes, although the shape can be nicely highlighted by choosing bright socks for contrast. Obviously, this style of shoe won’t appeal to everyone, but for those who like the style the Del Toro’s are a very good interpretation.

    Uppers: Uppers are made of velvet cloth with a nap. They are solid black but show different textures as the nap gets scuffed in different directions with use. The edges around the foot opening are sewn with a ribbed black ribbon. The only downside is the nap collects bits of lint very easily, so a quick brush with the hand is needed every so often.

    Lining: The lining is made of quilted and padded nylon(?) that covers the entire inside of the shoes, except for a small leather part just under the “tongue” (over the instep). The entire toe box is lined with the quilted lining, as are the heels (the shoes do not have the rough no-slip areas at the heels like in many lined loafers). The quilted lining is incredibly comfortable, especially in bare feet, and it’s even better than unlined penny loafers & boat shoes for comfort. Just great.

    Soles: Soles are leather, embossed with the Del Toro logo, website, and sizing. The soles are very thin, about 1/4” thick maximum. My intention is to wear these shoes on the street and back and forth to the office so I will be getting a thin rubber layer applied to the soles to eliminate wear. For someone padding around in their house, the soles are tough and should last virtually forever (these are much more substantial soles than on my Church’s slippers).

    Heels: Heels are low, about 3/4” at the rear, and are capped with a rubber toplift, like Allen-Edmonds or Bass Weejuns. Although all-leather heels are generally considered more desirable, frankly they are more difficult to replace and I am quite happy with the all-rubber, given I will be wearing these on pavement, etc. The heels are really light, in contrast to my Church’s slippers which are very heel-heavy.

    Construction: Construction is the classic glued sole, like all Albert slippers such as those made in the UK. Although the received wisdom ‘pooh-poohs’ glued soles, the reality is they are sufficiently tough for regular use and make for extremely super-lightweight shoes. These really are featherweight shoes and you don’t notice you’re wearing them. The attachment of the uppers to the soles is done very accurately, so that at no point do the soles extend beyond the uppers unevenly (my Church’s are not so precise, actually...).

    Fit & Last: Fit is always a tricky business, and I was somewhat apprehensive given my error with the Aurland shoes, however everything worked out fine this time. When I spoke to the proprietors of Del Toro, one man said he wears between 10 and 10.5 in American shoes, so he wears a 10 in the Del Toro’s (they stretch a bit in the toes). My feet are somewhere between a 10.5E and 11D in Alden tassels, and given my experience with the Aurland shoes, I decided to made sure they would fit and ordered up to a size 11. Good choice: the fit is perfect and they must have been designed with my feet in mind! I think I can more or less state with confidence that these shoes are shaped very similar to the Alden tassels and the sizing is similar, but keep in mind the Del Toro shoes are D width only.

    Pricing: As I posted before, the Del Toro shoes have recently gone up in price to US$198, apparently due to licensing problems. I still consider these shoes to be worth the price, since they are so darn comfortable and solidly made, although for Canadian customers the new price is not favourable due to Customs Canada’s approach to applying duties & taxes. For Americans, however, I believe these stylish shoes are worth the current (new) price, especially since the US dollar is going down...and down, and down...thereby making slippers from the UK more costly. The only other competitor in the US is Stubbs & Wootton which sells its plain slippers starting at US$275...ouch! (For those of you who are wondering, Del Toro sold me the shoes at a slight discount since I had contacted them before the price increase.)

    OVERALL VERDICT? These shoes have an excellent fit and are of good quality. Overall, I consider them “the Allen-Edmonds of slippers”, if that makes sense. I know forum members aren’t used to paying shoe prices for slippers, but that’s not a negative on Del Toro, as there definitely is a market for this sort of shoe. Wear these around your house for hosting special events, or sockless with jeans or reds in the summer for casual outings.


    So there we go. The two partners running Del Toro, Nathaniel and James, are very friendly and helpful, and I encourage members to contact them if you have any questions. I did not ask their motivations for this venture, but I suspect they are trying to undercut Stubbs & Wootton, or perhaps just have some fun. Whatever the case, I wish them well and I shall be considering a second pair when they start to offer embroidered designs.

    DocD

  14. #14
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    They look rock solid...that's for sure. A couple ofweeks ago I broke out my monogramed S&H slippers and wore them with JPress tartan bermuda shorts and a white polo untucked. More as a joke since I was visiting a very conservative couple who live on the upper west side. My girl and I left our apartment in midtown and walked a couple of blocks before getting a taxi. Got a couple looks but nothing was said nor was I called a rude name...much to my surprise.

    They are a hoot to wear on the street. I picked up another pr, on sale, from Paul Stuart a year and half ago. Black with a Stag on the toe and running dogs along the side of the shoe. $90 bucks or so. They're also some on the Brooks web site under clearence for $95 and they're probably S&H.

  15. #15
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    Del Toro ran a couple of Ebay auctions on these (choose your size) with a minimum bid of $90 + $10 flat shipping in the US. I believe that the auctions ended with no bidders. They seem to have chosen not to re-list.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA:IT&ih=004

  16. #16
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    There are three house slippers on the clearance section of Brooks Bros.com right now.
    ---------------------
    Hidden Content

  17. #17
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    These guys have updated their website with more photos and info.
    Check out the "about us" and "media" sections.

    DocD

  18. #18
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    Default I gave 'em the slip


    Tuttle- $124.50


    Erculino (means the little hercules)
    Without embroidery $475.00
    With special monogram/crest $975.00
    Last edited by dpihl; October 1st, 2007 at 10:38.
    There's no such thing as a designer of menswear. It's only history.
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  19. #19
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    Gentlemen: I present for your consideration the following, although I have no experience or connection to the sellers, the price and sizing are worth a look.

    http://www.emperorselegancy.com/
    Rational objectivity is not the default position of the human mind- Roy Blount Jr.


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toad View Post
    Gentlemen: I present for your consideration the following, although I have no experience or connection to the sellers, the price and sizing are worth a look.

    http://www.emperorselegancy.com/
    English stuff; the slippers made in East Anglia and I can't remember where the smoking jackets are from but I recognise them as English.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougNZ
    English stuff; the slippers made in East Anglia and I can't remember where the smoking jackets are from but I recognise them as English.
    The slipper manufacturer is Bowhill & Elliot, who make slippers for almost everyone including Shipton, Harrod's, and (probably) Crockett & Jones. I suspect only Church's makes their own slippers, although obviously the Spaniards do too.

    DocD

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toad View Post
    Gentlemen: I present for your consideration the following, although I have no experience or connection to the sellers, the price and sizing are worth a look.

    http://www.emperorselegancy.com/

    This seems like a terrific price for custom monogrammed slippers.

    Does anyone have any experience with this company? There is no phone number or address listed. I am hesitant to give my credit card number to such a scant website.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Buchanan
    This seems like a terrific price for custom monogrammed slippers.

    Does anyone have any experience with this company? There is no phone number or address listed. I am hesitant to give my credit card number to such a scant website.
    Almost too good a price. Considering the US/UK exchange rate.

    DocD

  24. #24
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    Do you know where in Alicante these are made?

    Leon
    McNulty: You know what they call a guy who pays that much attention to his clothes, don't you?

    Bunk: Um hm. A grown-up.

  25. #25
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    Default Message from the Founders

    Hello Ask Andy Members-

    We would like to thank everyone that continues to support Del Toro with your complements and critiques. We view the message boards regularly to stay in tune with the needs and opinions of our customers. We have received a number of orders from Ask Andy members and are happy to offer the AAAC discount. We appreciate your business and look forward to providing quality shoes at the right price. We are currently updating our production process to provide custom embroidery and new products. We removed the embroidery features from our website but should have them back up within a couple of months.


    The "Classic" is still available and ships out within a few days. To obtain the Ask Andy Member discount just enter in "AAAC" in the coupon code section.
    There will be a lot of new and exciting developments for Del Toro, we are excited to share each one with you and are grateful for every customer.

    We will continue to keep Ask Andy members updated each step of the way. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us anytime at info@deltoroshoes.com.

    All the best,
    James & Nathanial
    Founders of Del Toro
    www.DelToroShoes.com

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