Don Goldstein

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
They have a few styles of men's dress shoes for $350.00. Does anyone have any experience with these? I was wondering how they compare in quality to similarly priced shoes, i.e., Alden, Peal & Co. from Brooks Brothers, etc.
 

Horace

Senior Member
quote:Originally posted by Don Goldstein

They have a few styles of men's dress shoes for $350.00. Does anyone have any experience with these? I was wondering how they compare in quality to similarly priced shoes, i.e., Alden, Peal & Co. from Brooks Brothers, etc.
They are made in the USA, last time I checked -- there are three or maybe four models, right?

I took look at them, but didn't try on or wear them. I wasn't too impressed. The finishing details weren't very good as I recall.
 

BLACKCAT

New Member
I for one would be very interested in hearing from others on this subject. Many forum members criticize J&M shoes. The Aristocrat series seem to be of better quality. Can anyone with more experience shed some light as to what makes the higher end models of the J&M shoes inferior. What is about the stitching and finishing details that bother you?

Smooth as silk...
 

NoVaguy

Super Member
quote:Originally posted by BLACKCAT

I for one would be very interested in hearing from others on this subject. Many forum members criticize J&M shoes. The Aristocrat series seem to be of better quality. Can anyone with more experience shed some light as to what makes the higher end models of the J&M shoes inferior. What is about the stitching and finishing details that bother you?

Smooth as silk...
it is the best quality line for J&M, but based on my inspection, i find AE to be quite a bit better for the same retail price point.

edit:

keep in mind, also, that finding AE's at a significant discout is pretty easy. That skews things a lot more in AE's favor. Aristocrafts don't show up on discount very often.
 

smr

Super Member
quote:Originally posted by BLACKCAT

I for one would be very interested in hearing from others on this subject. Many forum members criticize J&M shoes. The Aristocrat series seem to be of better quality. Can anyone with more experience shed some light as to what makes the higher end models of the J&M shoes inferior. What is about the stitching and finishing details that bother you?

Smooth as silk...
As to the basic Aristocraft, the leather upper is not as good as that used by Allen Edmonds or Alden, and neither is the leather sole. At least some are now made in Mexico (saw a few at Marshalls that were made there). The insole is made of rubber rather than leather. There is nothing at all special about them. You can do much better for the money. Look for AE on Ebay.

The Crown Aristocraft was a nice shoe back in the mid to late 90's, but they have cut back somewhat on the quality of those, too. They eliminated the combination leather/rubber heel, which I liked (not the end of the world, though) and the leather doesn't look quite as nice as it used to. Not many styles, either. I'd go with Alden before these. Alden quality is excellent, and if you go to a store to try them on, you'll find that they make shoes on more than one last, so you're more likely to find a model that actually fits you well.

J&M made nice shoes for the Aristocraft line back in the mid 80's, but since then, they have constantly cut the quality of their shoe components to keep their shoes at approximately the same price point. I have a few pairs of their older model penny loafers and captoes, and I still like them, but I would not buy their basic Aristocraft line shoes now even at a substantial discount (might by the Crowns if really cheap).

Why not go to stores and try on Alden, AE, and J&M? I think that you would see and feel the difference.
 

Gempro

New Member
I recently purchased a pair of cap toe crown aristocrats at the outlet store in Lee, MA. They were made in the U.S. but were of much, much lower quality than the same model I purchased in the early 80's which I still have. Really not even the same shoe as the new pair has no obvious detail work relative to the stitching and finishing. Had I realized this at the store I would have passed but I got caught up in the moment. Incidently, the old Ski Moc that I use to love to wear is now made in Mexico and the leather upper is stiff as a board. It is really a shame how a once great company like J&M in now produces such crap.
 

stuman

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I purchased a pair of J&M Aristocrafts (similar to AE Leeds model) on Ebay. It seems to be an older J&M shoe. Not sure if it's shell cordovan. Does look very well made (original sole and heel with metal v cleat). Much better quality than their contemporary line.
 

bigCat

Honors Member
J&M receives a lot of negative comments because they deropped the quality of their shoes - which Alden and AE never did (at least not on large scale).

I checked out aristocrafts, and I was not impressed. It hard to make a quality shoe in this price range, if it's only an afterthought (Your breda and butter is $100 shoe).
 

NoVaguy

Super Member
quote:Originally posted by stuman

I purchased a pair of J&M Aristocrafts (similar to AE Leeds model) on Ebay. It seems to be an older J&M shoe. Not sure if it's shell cordovan. Does look very well made (original sole and heel with metal v cleat). Much better quality than their contemporary line.
The v-cleat probably marks it as fairly old, and thus probably much better made. Sounds like you got a great deal.
 

Horace

Senior Member
quote:Originally posted by hreljan

J&M receives a lot of negative comments because they deropped the quality of their shoes - which Alden and AE never did (at least not on large scale).

I checked out aristocrafts, and I was not impressed. It hard to make a quality shoe in this price range, if it's only an afterthought (Your breda and butter is $100 shoe).
But you would figure that $350 (more than the base price for a decent AE or Alden), that they'd make a good shoe eh?

Sad to see what happened to J&M.

I want to know how that German guy on Ebay gets all those old stock Floresheim wingtips.
 

smr

Super Member
They made nice Crown Aristocrafts in the mid-90's, too, for just over $300. As Horace indicated, at $350, they should still be able to make a nice shoe, but they don't. The only way I'd buy the Crowns now is if I could find some of the older stock at the J&M outlets. The regular Aristocrafts are a complete joke. $265 for cardboard-like leather and a rubber "trampoline" insole, and all the recent ones that I have seen are made in Mexico.
 

BLACKCAT

New Member
Well, I guess the old addage "be careful what you ask for, you might just get it," is true. I appreciate all the input. I have a pair of the AE Park Avenues, but I don't particularly care for the last. I think the cap is too small for the shoe.

I do like the Aldens but they too are dificult to find on sale, and at over 3 bills just a bit expensive for me. I would however buy the Aldens before the Peals offered by Brooks Brothers.

I have a co-worker who has been able to get me a discount through a fiend on the J&M. I will most likely get a pair of Byrons by AE for my next purchase. Through the outlet they can be had at $228.00.

Smooth as silk...
 
G

Guest-902909

Guest
J&M abandoned the American worker and pushed production offshore. It closed its repair facility. There is simply no pride in its product Anymore.

The opposite is true for A&E, by example, the company web page offers explanations about many topics, such as its manufacturing processes and how it repairs it’s shoes: here in the USA at its facilities.

I have 5 pair of J&M Crown purchased in late 90 and prior to 2006. These shoes are from another world compared to the ones you find at J&M now. Why? No pride in making good shoes. Fortunately I now buy from A&E and gladly pay the extra $200 for a great pair of USA made dress shoes.

Aside from receiving a truly great shoe, I feel connected to the company since it has honored its American workers by keeping manufacturing here in America. And I own a few of this proud company’s product. The way of the future: less is more - less low quality cheap products in exchange for high quality American made!
 
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Flanderian

Connoisseur
J&M abandoned the American worker and pushed production offshore. It closed its repair facility. There is simply no pride in its product Anymore.

The opposite is true for A&E, by example, the company web page offers explanations about many topics, such as its manufacturing processes and how it repairs it’s shoes: here in the USA at its facilities.

I have 5 pair of J&M Crown purchased in late 90 and prior to 2006. These shoes are from another world compared to the ones you find at J&M now. Why? No pride in making good shoes. Fortunately I now buy from A&E and gladly pay the extra $200 for a great pair of USA made dress shoes.

Aside from receiving a truly great shoe, I feel connected to the company since it has honored its American workers by keeping manufacturing here in America. And I own a few of this proud company’s product. The way of the future: less is more - less low quality cheap products in exchange for high quality American made!
They off-shore some shoes, no?

When Caleres bought Allen Edmonds a few years ago, they subsequently announced their intention to also manufacture elsewhere. And even prior to that, since 2006, the uppers of most shoes are cut and sewn in Allen Edmonds factory in the Dominican Republic then shipped to the U.S. to complete construction. And some Allen Edmonds shoes are made entirely in the Dominican factory.

Is that not correct?
 
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SG_67

Connoisseur
A 14 year old thread on a topic that is all but irrelevant.
By the way, it’s Allen Edmonds, not Allen & Edmonds.

If one is going to extol the virtues of the brand, one should at least know the brands name.
 

Color 8

Senior Member
I hate when I read halfway through a thread, scratching my head at the pricing or something, and then realize the information is wrong because it is 14 years old.
 

StephenRG

Honors Member
I hate when I read halfway through a thread, scratching my head at the pricing or something, and then realize the information is wrong because it is 14 years old.
FWIW the general CPI has gone up by about 30% in 14 years. It seems to me that American-made shoe prices have risen by somewhat more than that.
 

paxonus

Senior Member
I have this one I picked up on Ebay, new in the box for $60.00.

Crown Aristocraft

They say Made in the USA on the shoe, and the leather is quite nice. My only complaint is that they are very stiff. I expect they will break in eventually, but it is taking more than about 6 wears to do so. Otherwise, they are just was I was looking for in a black tassel loafer.
 
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