Dragan Lazarevski

Starting Member
9
Sweden
Sweden
Stockholm
Hi gentry,

Long time lurker here :)

Before I get on to my main point, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading through the hundreds of threads on this forum ranging from style, cloths and shoes. I used this forum as a platform and guiding light in my quest to reimagine my style.

The style I decided to adopt is Ivy Style (tho I'm afraid that I've started following the guidelines / rules dogmatically).

I purchased high quality OCBDs, polo shirts, chinos, Church's Pembrey penny loafers (my first high quality shoe which I cherries and care for obsessively), a Baracuta Herrington jacket, a RLPL navy blazer and I already had a wool and tweed sport jackets.

Seeing how my wardrobe has started to take shape nicely I have now decided that the time has come for me to invest in some high quality shoes. The shoes that I feel would complement my style are Plain Toe Bluchers. I have experimented with derby brogues too, but I don't feel they work as well as a hefty plain toe.

Bear in mind that I work I'm starting a new job at a bank in the IT department, and even though suits are not the required, a level of sophistication and a "clean" look is desired.

Before I lay down all the different PTBs I am considering, I just want to say that of the lot I like Church's Shannon the best purely for their aesthetic. Also important to note is that I would ideally like to get 2 pairs of PTBs - black and oxblood / burgundy.

---

Alden's PTB - There appears to be a consensus that these are probably the best money could buy, and for a lot of gents something to aspire to. I have researched and gotten familiarsed with the properties of shell Cordovan and I quite like the feel of it. The only flipside for me is the rather steep asking price - 850 euros. This in and of itself is well within my budget, however as I mentioned earlier, ideally I would like to get 2 pairs and I just can't afford to spend 1700 euros on them.

Church's Shannon - In my eyes, aesthetically the winner of the bunch. It's got a nice heft to it, feels like it would fit quite well with the rest of my style, is extremely versatile, etc. However, one can't look past the barrage of hate Polished Binder gets on this forum. I have never owned a Polished Binder shoe so I can't speak about how well they age and patina, whether the Polished Binder is there to conceal an inferior leather or whether Church's uses premium leather that is then treated to conform to the original design of the shoe (jury is still out on this one. I like to believe it's the latter). Furthermore, Shannon's go for 690 euros which is within my budget, but same as with the Alden's, would total 1400 euros for 2 pairs which may be a bit too steep.

C&J Lanark (and other PTBs) - All the PTBs I came across from this brand seemed too pointy for my taste. If you feel I am missing a model, please feel free to add a link in the comments.

Allen Edmonds' Leeds - I love this shoe! In my eyes, it's slightly more sleek than the Shannon's but just as beautifully made. On top of that, it's got the stamp of approval from the aficionados on this forum as it's made using Calf and not PB. The price is also very reasonable and in my eyes, this would be the shoe I'd go for given the built quality, design and price. However, unfortunately, AE is not available in Europe so it would be impossible for me to try these on in real life. Also, if I were to order them, the shipping + import tax would make it not worth my while as they would end up costing close to the Shannon's.

Florsheim Kenmoor - A good looking shoe, but my opinion has heavily been influenced by the comments on this forum. It seems that the quality has gone down tremendously compared to the days of old, and that even at this price point, it's not a good deal, as the leathers used are of inferior quality.

Herring Shoes - I came across a bunch of PTB blucher but they all seemed generic and I could find no reviews on them anywhere online, so I did not really consider them seriously.

---

My intention is to spend my hard-earned money well and get a pair of shoes which will be with me for decades. I have fully bought into the hobby / passion for shoes and shoe care and have no doubt in my mind that, whatever I end up buying, I will take care proper care of the shoes regularly.

So, I am turning to you ladies and gents for advice before I end up making a costly mistake and be ridden with buyers' remorse. Given my style, office setting (smart casual), bang-for-buck and quality, which shoes would you advice me to go for and could you please motivate your answer. Is there a model which suits the my criteria which I have missed? What is your view on the Shannon's?

Looking forward to reading your answers.

P.S. I will be moving to Vienna in a couple of weeks if that helps at all.
---
EDIT: Updated price of Shannon's after calling Church's store in Vienna
 
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eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
30,070
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
Of the shoes on your list, I have three of the paor that you are considering; Allen Edmond's Leeds in #8 shell cordovan, Aldens PTB and I have three pair(s) of shoes purchased from Herring Shoes. I have been enjoying the AE shell cordovan Leeds for 45+ years and they are still going strong, with substantial life left in them. My oldest Alden's have been in my rotation for 12+ years and every purchase I have made through Herring Shoes has been an absolute pleasure...Two pair were Cheaney's and the third a Herring design. Herring is a very reputable and preferred dealer in my opinion.

You couldn't go wrong with any of the shoes I've mentioned, but in the final analysis, the decision is yours and from your comments I sense the decision is already made. Churche's makes an excellent shoe and their Shannon design has caught your eye...buy them, you won't be wrong! Good luck in your hunt and welcome to the forum. ;)
 

Dragan Lazarevski

Starting Member
9
Sweden
Sweden
Stockholm
Of the shoes on your list, I have three of the paor that you are considering; Allen Edmond's Leeds in #8 shell cordovan, Aldens PTB and I have three pair(s) of shoes purchased from Herring Shoes. I have been enjoying the AE shell cordovan Leeds for 45+ years and they are still going strong, with substantial life left in them. My oldest Alden's have been in my rotation for 12+ years and every purchase I have made through Herring Shoes has been an absolute pleasure...Two pair were Cheaney's and the third a Herring design. Herring is a very reputable and preferred dealer in my opinion.

You couldn't go wrong with any of the shoes I've mentioned, but in the final analysis, the decision is yours and from your comments I sense the decision is already made. Churche's makes an excellent shoe and their Shannon design has caught your eye...buy them, you won't be wrong! Good luck in your hunt and welcome to the forum. ;)
Thanks for replying to my thread! You are an absolute legend on this forum!

AE Leeds look amazing and I've read nothing but positive reviews on them, but as I already stated, it's impossible for me to try them on in Europe :| On the other hand, AE cordovan is more affordable than Church's PB and I feel that, between the two, the Shannons are a bad deal.

What is your experience / opinion of Church's PB?
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
21,578
United States
New Jersey
Flanders
Thanks for replying to my thread! You are an absolute legend on this forum!

AE Leeds look amazing and I've read nothing but positive reviews on them, but as I already stated, it's impossible for me to try them on in Europe :| On the other hand, AE cordovan is more affordable than Church's PB and I feel that, between the two, the Shannons are a bad deal.

What is your experience / opinion of Church's PB?
Heed the august Eagle! :eek: More shoes than Carter has little liver pills, coupled with judicious judgement.

My own experience is far more slender. However, noting your locale, if you're not experienced with American shoe lasts, they tend to differ quite a bit from European, particularly English lasts. I personally find better fits in English lasts. Typically, English lasts will have a heel substantially narrower in relation to the forefoot than American lasts. This comparison is particularly true for Alden lasts, on which I've given up entirely for this and other reasons, convinced that Alden believes men's feet are shaped like a triangle, point forward. And Mr. Eagle can correct me if I'm mistaken, but I believe the PTB is built on the Barrie last, which has enormous volume, to the extent that many/most must size down a 1/2 size when wearing them.

Allen Edmonds' lasts are not quite as egregious, but from a similar philosophy. More serious is recent common QC problems to the extent I wouldn't invest very much if taking a fling with AE.

With Church, I think you may be paying a premium for the name, but they appear to still be generally fine shoes. C&J are fine quality, and if you like their style and are willing to pay the price, they're hard to knock. Florsheim is now an empty name. I.e., someone owns the name and has production sourced wherever they feel like having it at any point in time. Those at issue may be great, but some of their stuff is now junk.

I've got several pair of shoes from Herring, but without knowing which models you're referring to, I can't comment specifically. In general, Herring offers both good quality and good value at their prices. Their shoes that are English, Spanish and Portuguese in origin all appear to be fine quality. And Herring's customer service is the best I've experienced in mail order shoe purchasing.


Edit: I should add that if the Herring shoes you're considering are branded as Herring, there is a coupon code through AAAC that offers a 10% discount off their regular retail price.
 
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Dragan Lazarevski

Starting Member
9
Sweden
Sweden
Stockholm
Heed the august Eagle! :eek: More shoes than Carter has little liver pills, coupled with judicious judgement.

My own experience is far more slender. However, noting your locale, if you're not experienced with American shoe lasts, they tend to differ quite a bit from European, particularly English lasts. I personally find better fits in English lasts. Typically, English lasts will have a heel substantially narrower in relation to the forefoot than American lasts. This comparison is particularly true for Alden lasts, on which I've given up entirely for this and other reasons, convinced that Alden believes men's feet are shaped like a triangle, point forward. And Mr. Eagle can correct me if I'm mistaken, but I believe the PTB is built on the Barrie last, which has enormous volume, to the extent that many/most must size down a 1/2 size when wearing them.

Allen Edmonds' lasts are not quite as egregious, but from a similar philosophy. More serious is recent common QC problems to the extent I wouldn't invest very much if taking a fling with AE.

With Church, I think you may be paying a premium for the name, but they appear to still be generally fine shoes. C&J are fine quality, and if you like their style and are willing to pay the price, they're hard to knock. Florsheim is now an empty name. I.e., someone owns the name and has production sourced wherever they feel like having it at any point in time. Those at issue may be great, but some of their stuff is now junk.

I've got several pair of shoes from Herring, but without knowing which models you're referring to, I can't comment specifically. In general, Herring offers both good quality and good value at their prices. Their shoes that are English, Spanish and Portuguese in origin all appear to be fine quality. And Herring's customer service is the best I've experienced in mail order shoe purchasing.


Edit: I should add that if the Herring shoes you're considering are branded as Herring, there is a coupon code through AAAC that offers a 10% discount off their regular retail price.
Thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply.

Re Alden's I've heard that complaint before, namely, that the heel to forefoot ratio is a bit off for most men. I've not had the chance to try them on yet, but I will be doing so shortly after moving to Vienna. However, I have sort of made up my mind and decided not to go for the grail shoe just yet, and instead get something mid-tier, wear it and care for it so that I can appreciate Alden's cordovan plain toes when I do end up getting a pair down the line.

I spoke to Chris from Herring today who referred me to a Herring branded shoe which is basically a homage to Church's Shannon. As nice as they are, I feel that I would like to get a nicer pair since I can afford it, and to also mark a new beginning in my life (moving to a new country).

After an extensive research I stumbled upon a pair of shoes which meet all my criteria:
- quality built
- PTB with a rather round toe
- fits my style
- won't have to sell a liver to get 2 pairs of it

Meet Tricker's Robert Plain Toe Derby:
https://www.trickers.com/uk/robert-10540.html

I kept hearing Tricker's mentioned in the same breath as Church's and CJs, tho I knew nothing of the brand itself. Connoisseurs kept mentioning that it's very much in the same tier as CJ and Church's albeit their designs tend to be more chunky (country style), which is precisely what I want!

The Robert looks to me like an excellent shoe well worth the money (this is my uneducated observation).

I am considering getting the black in Polished Binder (linked above), and one of the following two in burgundy:
- https://www.trickers.com/uk/robert-10554.html - Polished Binder Monochromatic Burgundy
- https://www.trickers.com/uk/robert-10526.html - Museum Calf Burgundy (if not familiar with Museum Calf read: https://www.theshoesnobblog.com/2014/06/the-new-trend-museum-calf.html). I actually like this one maybe slightly better because of the effect of the finish, and the variety - one calf and one Polished Binder.

Being an active member on this forum, I was wondering what your opinion of Tricker's as a brand was. Is my assessment correct in assuming that they're a mid/mid-high end shoe manufacturer and a good value proposition (no additional 200 euros for the brand name as is the case with Church's).

Looking forward to reading your response!
 

Woofa

Super Member
1,095
United States
Texas
Fort Worth
I am not sure what will qualify as more ivy, but allow me to suggest that my own preference is to limit black shoes to the black captoe Oxford. The one black shoe I believe every man should own. With what seems like a more casual wardrobe, ie. not mainly suits, why not think about a burgundy and a brown PTB. With the price of trickers how about trying a shoemaker like Vass?

https://nomanwalksalone.com//three-eyelet-derby-cognac-calf.html

This is a beautiful example sold by No Man Walks Alone, a seller I have bought from before. If you can wait, they run some 20% off sales which brings a pair of vass with lasted shoe trees under $600. One of our shoe experts Roger will surely chime in as he also owns numerous pairs.
 

TKI67

Super Member
1,218
United States
Texas
Austin
All excellent shoes. Most Ivy? Alden, IMHO. In shell #8 they ought to be great for a very, very long time.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
21,578
United States
New Jersey
Flanders
Thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive reply.

Re Alden's I've heard that complaint before, namely, that the heel to forefoot ratio is a bit off for most men. I've not had the chance to try them on yet, but I will be doing so shortly after moving to Vienna. However, I have sort of made up my mind and decided not to go for the grail shoe just yet, and instead get something mid-tier, wear it and care for it so that I can appreciate Alden's cordovan plain toes when I do end up getting a pair down the line.

I spoke to Chris from Herring today who referred me to a Herring branded shoe which is basically a homage to Church's Shannon. As nice as they are, I feel that I would like to get a nicer pair since I can afford it, and to also mark a new beginning in my life (moving to a new country).

After an extensive research I stumbled upon a pair of shoes which meet all my criteria:
- quality built
- PTB with a rather round toe
- fits my style
- won't have to sell a liver to get 2 pairs of it

Meet Tricker's Robert Plain Toe Derby:
https://www.trickers.com/uk/robert-10540.html

I kept hearing Tricker's mentioned in the same breath as Church's and CJs, tho I knew nothing of the brand itself. Connoisseurs kept mentioning that it's very much in the same tier as CJ and Church's albeit their designs tend to be more chunky (country style), which is precisely what I want!

The Robert looks to me like an excellent shoe well worth the money (this is my uneducated observation).

I am considering getting the black in Polished Binder (linked above), and one of the following two in burgundy:
- https://www.trickers.com/uk/robert-10554.html - Polished Binder Monochromatic Burgundy
- https://www.trickers.com/uk/robert-10526.html - Museum Calf Burgundy (if not familiar with Museum Calf read: https://www.theshoesnobblog.com/2014/06/the-new-trend-museum-calf.html). I actually like this one maybe slightly better because of the effect of the finish, and the variety - one calf and one Polished Binder.

Being an active member on this forum, I was wondering what your opinion of Tricker's as a brand was. Is my assessment correct in assuming that they're a mid/mid-high end shoe manufacturer and a good value proposition (no additional 200 euros for the brand name as is the case with Church's).

Looking forward to reading your response!
I am not sure what will qualify as more ivy, but allow me to suggest that my own preference is to limit black shoes to the black captoe Oxford. The one black shoe I believe every man should own. With what seems like a more casual wardrobe, ie. not mainly suits, why not think about a burgundy and a brown PTB. With the price of trickers how about trying a shoemaker like Vass?

https://nomanwalksalone.com//three-eyelet-derby-cognac-calf.html

This is a beautiful example sold by No Man Walks Alone, a seller I have bought from before. If you can wait, they run some 20% off sales which brings a pair of vass with lasted shoe trees under $600. One of our shoe experts Roger will surely chime in as he also owns numerous pairs.
Alden makes a rather wide variety of lasts, each with a different fit and sizing peculiarities. Being able to try them in a store should allow you to learn if any of them will fit you well.

I've not had a pair of Trickers, but I've heard nothing but good things about them, and they appear to be a fine quality maker who does rather broad fitting country shoes best. But in frankness, I think their reputation, and pricing, is a bit inflated in relation to other quality makers of country shoes that are as good, but just don't have the cachet. Alfred Sargent makes very fine shoes every bit as good if not better than Trickers, and includes a fair number of country models. Sanders and Sanders makes a number of incredibly robust country shoes, though at a modest price. Are other shoes better? Define better.

Note that "binder" finishes are corrected grain, and often not that well thought of, though some prefer the high gloss and ease of care. And as member Woofa mentions, black shoes are rather limited in their use as more casual country wear. And Vass is a premium maker that slots well above the others we've discussed.

And don't forget that Vienna is home to the Budapester style shoe if you have an interest in a middle European country shoe. For example, Vass makes this last in a variety of styles. The one below is obviously a brogue, but they also make a PTB if this type or robustness appeals to you.


32458
 

blue suede shoes

Super Member
1,046
United States
maryland
towson
Of all of the shoes mentioned so far in this thread, there are only four that I would seriously consider for a trad/Ivy wardrobe, Alden, Church, Vass, and Trickers. Pick any of those four and you can't go wrong as all are well made and worth the money. The others are of lesser quality, while Allen Edmonds and Florsheim have slid way downhill.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
30,070
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
Thanks for replying to my thread! You are an absolute legend on this forum!

AE Leeds look amazing and I've read nothing but positive reviews on them, but as I already stated, it's impossible for me to try them on in Europe :| On the other hand, AE cordovan is more affordable than Church's PB and I feel that, between the two, the Shannons are a bad deal.

What is your experience / opinion of Church's PB?
You will hear a lot of negative comments regarding corrected grain leathers/binders leather. However, I don't agree with much of it. Corrected grain leathers are just like any other hides, in that you can find both good and bad examples. I have no direct experience with Church's Binders Leather, but given the stellar reputation of the company, I suspect the Church's binders leather would be one of the better corrected grain hides and that you would be pleased with it. I am obviously thrilled with my shell cordovan Leeds mentioned in an earlier post, but must tell you the finish on Aldens shell cordovan's and on shell cordovans sold by some of the better English and European shoe makers is better than that on my more recently purchased AE shell cordovans.
 
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