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Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by Dcr5468, Jan 6, 2018.
"WOW" is the typical difference between AE and any decent English make.
Well, I've looked at some few C&J Benchgrades, and I never could see how they were worth any kind of significant premium over A-Es. However, nearly all my A-Es were acquired over a decade ago, so things may be different now. When you get up to Edward Green or JLP, yeah, there's a noticeable difference (as well there should be at such a price differential), but it won't be noticeable at more than five or six feet and even then only to an educated eye.
I recall once, while wearing a pair of A-E seconds I had purchased for $129, calling a co-worker over and showing him a similar pair of shoes from John Lobb St. James on my computer screen. I asked him how much more he thought they cost than the shoes I was wearing. He guessed, "Oh maybe $75." I informed him the Lobbs cost about $5,000. He was dumbfounded and said he had made a rather high estimate (he thought) because otherwise I wouldn't have asked him.
I stopped wearing AE's roughly 35 years ago after purchasing my first pair of English (Church's) shoes. Not wishing to engage in any superfluous AE bashing, I subjectively find the quality of make as generally apparent in the precision of finishing notably better. But equally important, the fits tend to suit me better, the materials are better and I prefer the styling. I have C&J via Peal, Church's, Alfred Sargent, Cheaney and Sanders and Sanders, as well as a couple older pair of Brooks' English Shoes, as distinct from Peal, and made by an unidentified UK maker. I've handled EG, but never purchased any.
And while certainly differences exist among these English makes, the virtues I describe are in large measure resident in all of them. Sanders is a particularly good value among English makers. And the four pair I have continue to garner unsolicited complements, as in "Grandpa, where'd you get those shoes!?" And this at a price markedly lower than AE's.
I've never bought John Lobb, but appreciate they are very fine shoes. I wouldn't be able to afford them if I wanted any. But no sour-grapes intended, they are, depending upon one's perspective, either among the most discreet or unprepossessing of English shoes.
I have very tall arches. Apparently AE fits those with flat feet. I can’t lace any balmoral very well - the 4 pairs of AE that I have. The C&Js however fit like a glove in that particular last, I believe a 341. It appears that many of the European shoemakers have lasts that will fit better.
That said I enjoy the approximately 10 pairs of Allen Edmonds that I have and will continue to rotate them regularly but just a few months ago would not have considered a foreign maker. Just another step in a 4 year progression for myself.
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That was one of the problems that I too had with AE's lasts.
And I agree that many European shoemakers tend to make their shoes with higher insteps. And I've found Alfred Sargent particularly generous in that regard.
Not to hijack but for a peal branded CJ coniston would you resole by CJ nyc or b Nelson. Thanks
Purchased a pair of Peal labeled Scotch grained boots from Brooks some years ago in one of their sales, I'm certain they are C&J Conistons. Can't speak to who makes for them these days. As foe A&E, they are either loved, hated or just don't like, put me in the latter category.
C&J NYC sends the shoes back to England. Unless I have unimpeachable confidence (hard to establish) in a cobbler, I want the shoemaker to do the work. It is perhaps slightly more bother to send them home, but you live with the results for years.
I say this knowing that B Nelson has a great reputation.