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I'm sure this topic has come up before in this forum, but I haven't found a single thread devoted to it, where someone could get a general idea of what brands/lines of ready-to-wear leather shoes offer good (and bad) value-for-money. For example, people on this forum have repeatedly commented on Prada shoes' relatively low quality for the retail price. Others swear by Allen-Edmond's. And so on.

Ideally, more than business-appropriate or formal models would be covered, e.g. weekend shoes, boots, even classic sneakers. After all, this forum's members span a wide range of ages and work environments, live under different climates, etc. Stylistic appeal is of course important, but since it is also subjective, I would recommend people don't forget to comment on quality/durability/versatility etc.

Finally, as I am by no means a shoe/clothing expert, I shall not start this thread by giving my own opinion. I would instead ask the knowledgeable people among us to share their experiences with shoes they would or would not recommend to their friends.
 

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It's a bit of a tricky question because it all depends on ones circumstances in terms of expenditure.

For me Sargents/C&J Benchgrade/Cheaney/Grenson are good value for money and possibly better dependent on discount.

With Kurt Gieger running Edward Green Oxfords at £175 represent amazing value.

Horses for courses imo.
 

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Barkers

*Have more style options then other some Northmapton-based companies - range from business/formal wear like Oxford's and to smart-casual-wear like loafers that would go well with jeans/chinos
*Good quality shoes for the their RRP
*Good sole and heel - After 18 months, there has been little wear on the heels compared to some other shoes that I had for a shorter period of time
*Nice leather
*RRP range from £100 to £210 for anniversary collection; although most of shoes are available for under £150 with a good range at £100. In the sales, their store on Regent Street have started the prices as low as £60 and Oxfords for £85.
 

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Barkers

*Have more style options then other some Northmapton-based companies - range from business/formal wear like Oxford's and to smart-casual-wear like loafers that would go well with jeans/chinos
*Good quality shoes for the their RRP
*Good sole and heel - After 18 months, there has been little wear on the heels compared to some other shoes that I had for a shorter period of time
*Nice leather
*RRP range from £100 to £210 for anniversary collection; although most of shoes are available for under £150 with a good range at £100. In the sales, their store on Regent Street have started the prices as low as £60 and Oxfords for £85.
I have a feeling Chrstc will be along soon...:icon_smile_big:
 

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I have a feeling Chrstc will be along soon...:icon_smile_big:
Hi Groover,
Thanks for the build-up!

Actually I have a confession to make- I now own a pair of Barkers and wear them as part of my main rotation! I wouldn't pay the RRP for them that's for sure but this (discontinued) pair from the handcrafted collection (the Lucerne) are made on a very attractive last (396) and are great for wearing in "everyday" situations. I even own 2 pairs of Loakes now as well!!

Chris.
 

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Hi Groover,
Thanks for the build-up!

Actually I have a confession to make- I now own a pair of Barkers and wear them as part of my main rotation! I wouldn't pay the RRP for them that's for sure but this (discontinued) pair from the handcrafted collection (the Lucerne) are made on a very attractive last (396) and are great for wearing in "everyday" situations. I even own 2 pairs of Loakes now as well!!

Chris.
Hi Chris,

I too have a pair of Barkers, the Chelsea Boot style Johnson, very nice infact, very comfortable, nice shpaed last too - 339. I've not gone back to Loakes, however I have discovered Sargents 99 last fits fantastic. I have Tavistock & Connaught, very impressed with the quality. Still have a weakness for C&J's 337 last though.
 

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Hi Groover,
I still haven't tried any C&J Handgrades.. One day soon!
To answer the OPs question (to the best of my ability anyway!) I only have any experience buying from English brands (using that phrase should avoid repeats of earlier arguments I hope!). Of all of those I would say that, at full RRP, Sanders shoes offer brilliant value for money. The best value shoes I have ever found would be Grenson Rose Collection shoes via Tjackson shoes, though. At full retail (£250 or so) they aren't a bargain but are reasonable value. At £99 from Jacksons, though, they represent the best value I've found I reckon. As Groover says, though, the Kurt Geiger EGs are a hard deal to beat too.

Chris.
 

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Value-for-money is tough to define. Almost by nature, it rules out the upper-most and lowest quality items. As such. I do think AE and Alden provide great value for their relatively high prices.

Although not close to the highest quality, it is hard to beat Cole Haan on sale.

Reef flip-flops provide great value-to-money ration. For ~$20, you get flip flops which will last through years of wear.

For boots, a pair of Justin or Tony Lama boots are hard to beat. My ~$70 Justin rough outs are going strong 10 years later.

My Vasque hiking boots were ~$200 but have served me well for years. As have a pair of $100 Timberland work boots.
 

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AE's on discount and/or from the Shoe Bank
That's what I do. Being in Wisconsin, I have access to plenty of their Shoe Banks, and I can try the shoes on.

In my budget you can't beat them. I have 7 pairs, all under $200, some under $100 (but I have an uncommon shoe size, so I can get the long discontinued shoes).
 

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Starvos:

I see you live in the States and that your post specifically mentioned value. This, IMO, gives you AEs. Not only can you purchase them at over 50% off retail, if you are patient, but many of them can be recrafted. This makes them the best value for people living in the US.
 

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AE and Alden for shoes, Redwing GT and Justin for boots are all great quality...Speaking of shoes though I just got back from Brooks Bros and after trying on several Peal & Co shoes I was not impressed at all. I had a pair of English Brooks Bros wingtips(Cheany?) that were a lot nicer, and it seems all the Peal shoes have more pointy toes and I prefer the rounded style.
 

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I like some of the models offered by Cole Haan, Johnston & Murphy, and Allen Edmonds, but none of them seem like good value at suggested retail prices. AE's top $400 here in Canada, J&M's hover in the $150-$300 range, and CH sits between those two. Out of the three, I find CH shoes are rarely discounted enough to the point where they are a good deal, but J&M (can be found below $100) and AE (in the $150-$200 range through eBay) are great deals. I also like the value of a discounted pair of Florsheim shoes, as some of them have very nice leather and styling.
 

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Wayfarer is correct. CH and J&M shoes are generally not in the same league as AE construction wise. In the long run AE are a much better value, especially since they can be often found on discount via STP, eBay, and other outlets.
 

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I think the Peal shoes from Brooks Brothers represent a fantastic value, given their pedigree.. Ferragamo Tramezza at the right price are also amazing values. In terms of very poor value, I am not the best arbiter of that one..

Here are some Peal I purchased recently:





Both Crockett and Jones..
 
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