Angeland

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
215
United States
Louisiana
New Orleans
I am shopping for a pair of dark brown brogues, heavy construction, and am soliciting opinions. Here is where "I am" and would be interested in any thoughts that would help shape my decisions.

The Ralph Lauren Darlton wingtip is on my watch list, but it looks to me to be built on the Crockett & Jones 341 last, which does not work for me (I prefer the 325).

C&J Cardiff (last 325) is not in play because the brown is too light for my needs, and I have mixed feelings about the rubber sole.

Cheaney (Hythe and Avon) and Barker (Westfield) both make something similar to the C&J Cardiff at a lower cost but with concomitantly lower expectations of quality. I don't own and Cheaneys or Barkers and don't know the lasts; I would, moreover, be less inclined to have them shipped from the UK unless someone offered a strong recommendation.

Robinson Andrew Jackson is interesting, but I am not sure what the color "peat" precisely is. (Anyone own this shoe?)

Trickers Bourton is a strong contender, but I think Trickers are overpriced and a bit parodic.

Hogg's Carnoustie Brogue? Their ad copy says that it was crafted in Northampton, and it looks to me very similar to the C&J Cardiff, but at 170 pounds it seems more likely a Loake product. I just don't know enough about it.

Alden cigar longwings are also under consideration, but one runs into the problem of acquiring them. The Barrie last is okay, but not a favorite.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

Finian McLonergan

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
304
I was surprised that you didn't mention Church's Grafton. I wouldn't be alone in considering it the finest heavy Derby brogue on the market today. This shoe is a legend, and rightly so.
Available in double leather or Dainite soles, in medium and wide fittings. The walnut calf with leather sole, or ebony calf with Dainite sole would be my recommendations. The ebony is a very very dark brown. And I'd buy them from Herring Shoes.
Here is the walnut on a double leather sole:


I have two pair which date from the mid nineties, worn regularly in winter, are my most comfortable shoes especially for long walks, and appear to be virtually indestructible.
 

Angeland

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
215
United States
Louisiana
New Orleans
I did miss this one. Many thanks! I have a pair of Church's chukkas and agree that nothing is more comfortable. I will try on a pair at the New York store!
 

Pliny

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
249
Australia
queensland
brisbane
I am shopping for a pair of dark brown brogues, heavy construction, and am soliciting opinions. Here is where "I am" and would be interested in any thoughts that would help shape my decisions.

The Ralph Lauren Darlton wingtip is on my watch list, but it looks to me to be built on the Crockett & Jones 341 last, which does not work for me (I prefer the 325).

C&J Cardiff (last 325) is not in play because the brown is too light for my needs, and I have mixed feelings about the rubber sole.

Cheaney (Hythe and Avon) and Barker (Westfield) both make something similar to the C&J Cardiff at a lower cost but with concomitantly lower expectations of quality. I don't own and Cheaneys or Barkers and don't know the lasts; I would, moreover, be less inclined to have them shipped from the UK unless someone offered a strong recommendation.

Robinson Andrew Jackson is interesting, but I am not sure what the color "peat" precisely is. (Anyone own this shoe?)

Trickers Bourton is a strong contender, but I think Trickers are overpriced and a bit parodic.

Hogg's Carnoustie Brogue? Their ad copy says that it was crafted in Northampton, and it looks to me very similar to the C&J Cardiff, but at 170 pounds it seems more likely a Loake product. I just don't know enough about it.

Alden cigar longwings are also under consideration, bruns into the problem of acquiring them. The Barrie last is okay, but not a favorite.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Cheaney Tenterden: has a Dainite sole. I don't know of any probs with Cheaney construction- they're robust shoes.

 

omanae

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
358
United States
Massachusetts
Newton Center
As for the RL Cordovan Wingtip I would highly suggest looking at the Alden instead, even if it's not the longwing. Their cordovan wingtip is just as nice if not more so and costs at least $200 less.
 

SW100

Starting Member
21
As for the RL Cordovan Wingtip I would highly suggest looking at the Alden instead, even if it's not the longwing. Their cordovan wingtip is just as nice if not more so and costs at least $200 less.
The RL Darlton Wingtip always goes on sale twice a year making it a very good purchase. I got a pair in May this year for something like $520. The shoes are superb and highly recommended. Also, to the OP, I believe they are indeed on the Crockett 325 last so you might want to consider again.
 

mxgreen

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
171
United States
Florida
Hollywood
The RL Darlton Wingtip always goes on sale twice a year making it a very good purchase. I got a pair in May this year for something like $520. The shoes are superb and highly recommended. Also, to the OP, I believe they are indeed on the Crockett 325 last so you might want to consider again.
Yes, the RL Darlton is on the C&J 325 last.
 

TheTallEnglishman

Starting Member
13
UK
Bristol
Bristol
Church's Grafton

Just to add to the debate and to stick up for the much maligned Church's brand can I offer two further opinions on the Grafton.First is the Duke of Wellingtons initial review.http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/...Pleasant-Surprise&highlight=church+graftonThe second is my own humble offeringhttp://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/forum/showthread.php?110239-Church-s-Grafton-Brogue&highlight=church+graftonI love this style of shoe. Indeed I am wearing them now along with my tweed underpants and tattersal nipple tassels.TTFNtTE
 

Angeland

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
215
United States
Louisiana
New Orleans
One more question about the Darlton sizing

Thank you very much for this information. I wrote RL with this question, and they did not answer--which is okay in that I have found that designers are not usually forthcoming about the actual manufacturer of their products. This is good news, as I just cannot get past the over-pricing of Church's shoes. A C&J shoe for $5xx is a good buy and then some.

So here, then, is another question for you and others who have bought the shoe. If the shoe is built on the C&J 325 last, which size did you buy from RL? I wear the C&J size 12 in that last. Would I be correct in assuming the RL Darlton sizing is in US sizes? The reason I ask, obviously, is that the UK 12 translates to a US 12.5Eish, which is very good for me, but a UK 13 (US 13.5Eish) is too big. It may be a moot point, as they don't make a 12.5 in Darlton (and thus RL13=C&J12, etc.), but I would be curious as to your experiences about how RL translates the C&J sizings.

Thanks.

Yes, the RL Darlton is on the C&J 325 last.
 

kev777

New Member
66
Great Britain
West Yorkshire
Pontefract
I was surprised that you didn't mention Church's Grafton. I wouldn't be alone in considering it the finest heavy Derby brogue on the market today. This shoe is a legend, and rightly so.
Available in double leather or Dainite soles, in medium and wide fittings. The walnut calf with leather sole, or ebony calf with Dainite sole would be my recommendations. The ebony is a very very dark brown. And I'd buy them from Herring Shoes.
Here is the walnut on a double leather sole:


I have two pair which date from the mid nineties, worn regularly in winter, are my most comfortable shoes especially for long walks, and appear to be virtually indestructible.
+1 on all of this. My Graftons are one of the best shoes i own.
 

Finian McLonergan

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
304
I just cannot get past the over-pricing of Church's shoes. A C&J shoe for $5xx is a good buy and then some.
After deduction of VAT, the Church Grafton is $490 plus shipping and duties from Herring Shoes every day of the week. Church's Custom Grade sell for about 20% more than C&J benchgrades, and for about 10% less the C&J handgrades in the UK.

If you're looking for the prince of overpricing, look no further than Ralph Lauren.
 

andrel42

New Member
95
Switzerland
CH
Geneva
After deduction of VAT, the Church Grafton is $490 plus shipping and duties from Herring Shoes every day of the week. Church's Custom Grade sell for about 20% more than C&J benchgrades, and for about 10% less the C&J handgrades in the UK.

If you're looking for the prince of overpricing, look no further than Ralph Lauren.
I have a pair of Grafton in Walnut Calf and very happy with them (plus Herringshoes does not charge for shipping worldwide)!
 

Angeland

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
215
United States
Louisiana
New Orleans
RL overpriced, yes, but . . .

After deduction of VAT, the Church Grafton is $490 plus shipping and duties from Herring Shoes every day of the week. Church's Custom Grade sell for about 20% more than C&J benchgrades, and for about 10% less the C&J handgrades in the UK.

If you're looking for the prince of overpricing, look no further than Ralph Lauren.
I don't disagree, but the RL Darlton is shell and the Grafton is calf. I am familiar with their bookbinder calf and am impressed by it, but--and I pose this question as a question and not a rebuttal--if a shell brogue blucher from C&J could be had on sale for about $600, does that not seem a fair price? My Alden bluchers in shell cost me that much, and Church's bookbinder, however processed, is still calf.
 

Petrus

New Member
35
If you live in New Orleans why would you be buying these heavy uncomfortable and ugly looking gunboat type shoes?
You need one of the lighter weight AE slipons or something like Gucci loafer.
 

Bjorn

Moderator
4,849
Sweden
Sweden
Balsta
If you live in New Orleans why would you be buying these heavy uncomfortable and ugly looking gunboat type shoes?
You need one of the lighter weight AE slipons or something like Gucci loafer.
They are really very comfortable and match a lot of clothes really well.

A loafer or slipon is a very different animal altogether.

I personally don't like the connotations of Gucci loafers, and would prefer Tod's, or another European (Italian or French) brand of loafer.

Neither the Church's nor the other options are ugly IMO.
 

Finian McLonergan

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
304
if a shell brogue blucher from C&J could be had on sale for about $600, does that not seem a fair price? My Alden bluchers in shell cost me that much, and Church's bookbinder, however processed, is still calf.
Of course a pair of Ralph Lauren-badged C&J's discounted in a sale to the level you mention is a fair price. But comparing discounted RL with full price Aldens or Church's is hardly reasonable is it?
I can get Church's for significantly less than the retail price if I frequent the right outlets at the right time of year. And I know where to get Alden shell at 33% off in Europe if I have a mind to.
Personally, if I was looking for shell cordovan I would buy Alden or, if looking for a boot, possibly Rider. That's because there is an authentic tradition associated with the American manufacture of cordovan shoes and boots and the foregoing are considered as among the finest exponents of that tradition, whereas cordovan is something of an alien leather to the English shoemaking tradition - even English bespoke makers are reluctant to use it.
That's not to say that C&J don't make a good fist of using it, but they are essentially responding to a demand from American consumers, transmitted via Ralph Lauren.
To me, it just lacks the necessary authenticity that, even with the many changes mass production has brought to fine shoemaking, I still try to find and incorporate into my personal style.
 

Bjorn

Moderator
4,849
Sweden
Sweden
Balsta
Of course a pair of Ralph Lauren-badged C&J's discounted in a sale to the level you mention is a fair price. But comparing discounted RL with full price Aldens or Church's is hardly reasonable is it?
I can get Church's for significantly less than the retail price if I frequent the right outlets at the right time of year. And I know where to get Alden shell at 33% off in Europe if I have a mind to.
Personally, if I was looking for shell cordovan I would buy Alden or, if looking for a boot, possibly Rider. That's because there is an authentic tradition associated with the American manufacture of cordovan shoes and boots and the foregoing are considered as among the finest exponents of that tradition, whereas cordovan is something of an alien leather to the English shoemaking tradition - even English bespoke makers are reluctant to use it.
That's not to say that C&J don't make a good fist of using it, but they are essentially responding to a demand from American consumers, transmitted via Ralph Lauren.
To me, it just lacks the necessary authenticity that, even with the many changes mass production has brought to fine shoemaking, I still try to find and incorporate into my personal style.
+1

Calf from Britain and cordovan from the US.
 

Angeland

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
215
United States
Louisiana
New Orleans
"Of course a pair of Ralph Lauren-badged C&J's discounted in a sale to the level you mention is a fair price. But comparing discounted RL with full price Aldens or Church's is hardly reasonable is it?"

I wasn't comparing the RL sale price to the the full price of Aldens philosophically but materially, for, as you suggest, an Alden on sale at the same rate comes in a hundred dollars less than the RL. I wouldn't pay $800 for an RTW shoe in any case, for the reasons you have named. My question was simply whether we, on this forum, agree that if a shell cordovan C&J brogue could be had for $600, would that tip the decision-making balance. To my mind it would.

Your point about the material is well taken, however. I am not sure shell cordovan works as well in a hefty brown brogue as it does in the plain blucher or chukka, the backbone of Alden's collection.

I have fairly much decided that the Grafton is the answer and I will wait until I am back in England this summer to buy them. Do you know anything about Robinson's shoes beyond what the webpage says?