Meermin quality question: do I return?

BigBrother

New Member
I got my first pair of Meermins as I’ve A) been looking to move to all leather as my dancing becomes more and more professional and B) they’re one of the few leather sole-using mfrs who make a patent leather shoe. Plus they’re not that expensive :).

Thing is, after only a single night out, I flipped them over and the soles look like garbage. They look like they’re made of pulp paper. Please have a look at the attached pics and tell me if I’m wrong or am correct. I compared them to a pair of Johnston & Murphy’s I own that I absolutely love and they don’t even look like they were made from the same animal (and I’ve already worn those a fair number of times!)

Have a look. Should I return these on the basis of shoddy quality or do I just not know enough yet about leather-soled shoes to make a correct assessment?

Thanks so much!!
 

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eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
They are certainly not Oak Bark tanned leather soles, but depending on what surfaces you were walking on, how far you walked and your weight and the mechanics of your stride, the wear shown in the pictures does not seem that out of norm. However, you are the customer, do what you think to be necessary! Good luck in your quest. ;)
 

BigBrother

New Member
Perhaps it is the tanning that I am ignorant of. With the other shoes I mentioned, they do basically feel, look, and are wearing like some sort of polished wood. These however feel much more like a fibrous, soft, unfinished suede. Perhaps this is normal then and just a different type (?) Is this considered cheaper?
 
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BigBrother

New Member
Well this was quite interesting and unexpected! I took both pairs of shoes (Johnston and Murphy and these) to my local extremely knowledgeable and highly-rated cobbler to weigh in. Did not expect this: he said that the Meermins were of far superior quality to the Johnston and Murphys and that what they did was basically split out a little bit of the top leather to do the stitching and then fold it back over, thus hiding the stitching for a smooth look (when new). He said he couldn’t even do such work and that it was highly complex, that a local guy he knows can do it but it would cost ~$250, etc. It was this thin folded-over layer that was now flaking off (not an issue). I did not expect him to regard these this highly! I guess Meermin actually are good!
 

drpeter

Super Member
What puzzles me are the lines on your soles in the pictures that you provided. They look as though someone took a knife and scored straight lines randomly across the soles! What surfaces were you walking on (dancing over?) and how did those lines get scored on the soles?
 
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BigBrother

New Member
It is quite weird! But perhaps not entirely so: I was walking on some gravely surfaces and the dance area was actually not smooth but composed of smooth rock. It was an outdoor wedding :). Not entirely unexpected.
 

BigBrother

New Member
Just an update: I wore them out to a full night of dancing on a regular floor, and they now look identical to my J&Ms (see pic)! It was just that thin, top closed leather layer that had to wear off to expose the regular leather underneath. We are good! Thanks so much everyone.

Now I just need to figure out the best strategy for stopping the ankle bone abrasion. I think I will have the cobbler try to cut some as I don’t want to have to use inserts.
 

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drpeter

Super Member
Since you spend a good bit of time on the dance floor, have you considered finding a cordwainer to make a bespoke pair of dancing shoes for you that will conform perfectly to your feet? I think in the long run, the cost might be worth it.
 
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