Another day another Kickstarter ra... oh, these are shoes ...

Sxot

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Nice looking shoes but unlike my shaving equipment, I decided long ago to spend big on one pair and that's it for life. I only bought them 12months ago but the things are going to plan so far.
 

Mark1966

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Nice looking shoes but unlike my shaving equipment, I decided long ago to spend big on one pair and that's it for life. I only bought them 12months ago but the things are going to plan so far.
What did you get?
 

Sxot

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Well not Italian hand made to measure if that is what you are thinking.
I ended up with a pair of R.M. Williams Comfort Craftsman with composite sole - yearling chestnut. I like boots and these are very versatile and come in a wide range of fits. Dressed up or down they look good I rekcon taking in everything from a suit to a pair of jeans, even a pair of stubbies shorts & a singlet if that is your inclination. Australian made with runs on the board. One piece upper which can be repaired or even completely rebuilt if necessary - although I hear it's not cheap. Lifetime warranty, just keep putting their leather condition on them monthly or so and should be good.

Actually, the belief of "buy it right first time, buy it for life" does in fact apply to my shaving equipment - I didn't go and buy a cheap equipment (beyond my started kit) with, I went straight to something that would carry me through. What doesn't apply to shaving that does to shoes is "buy the absolute minimum required"!
 

Mark1966

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Great choice @Sxot!

As mentioned in this thread - http://paste-and-cut.com.au/community/threads/boots.970/ - I've for the Comfort Craftsman in the Chestnut Kangaroo from Nungar a couple of years back. I also picked up a pair of first quality Comfort Craftsman in Black Yearling at seconds pricing.

Great boots!
 

Sxot

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Yeah I agonised over the getting the roo. In the end, decided the yearling was going to last longer...
 

Mark1966

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Yeah I agonised over the getting the roo. In the end, decided the yearling was going to last longer...
Really? I've heard that the 'roo is soft and stronger? Possibly a matter of 117 years versus 119 so probably not really an issue!
 

Sxot

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Well I didn't actually put any research into that...
Meh... we can meet again to compare how they have faired in the next century then.
 

Mark1966

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Well I didn't actually put any research into that...
Meh... we can meet again to compare how they have faired in the next century then.
Sure, so 24 March 2119, or would you prefer the 25th with is a Saturday?

Here you are, this is a link to my address - https://goo.gl/maps/8vEeZcyqBLF2
 
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A bit late but...

Typically, good shoes like Loake 1880s are made of full grain leather and have goodyear welted soles. They don't include any information on their leather or the kind of sole stitching they use except on their factory page (weird place to put it, they don't even have a description page per product), but they seem to be using full grain leather and blake stitchd soles. The price of $250 USD for a pre-order is not impressive...Loake 1880s go for roughly the same price when they aren't on sale, and brands like John Doe go for less. I certaintly wouldn't pay $350 for a completely unknown brand when I can get well known brands for roughly the same price that are made in the UK.

They don't mention anything about how it's "hand crafted" either. Keep in mind that terms like that are vauge on purpose...legally speaking, "hand made" typically means only some level of handwork, not the full product being hand made. There are usually industry regulations on just how much needs to be "hand made" to qualify for the legal use of the term, but I'm not familiar with the regulations for America. For reference, there is at least one Swiss watch brand that buy mechanical movements from China, and then assemble and "hand finish" it in a Swiss factory to legally gain the use of the term "Made in Switzerland".

Off the top of my head, I was lucky enough to get Loake 1880s (made in the UK) for about $100, but those were a factory damaged pair (it had scratches on the soles, no big deal though). Unfortunately, that brand no longer ships to Australia from Herring Shoes (which is where I got them from) because the same brand is sold in stores here for a MASSIVE markup ($350 shoes becomes $500+ thanks to the Australian economy) and the local companies probably complained to Loake....

While "Italian made" is generally considered high quality, shoes made in the UK are traditionally considered some of the best. I don't know anything about their factory though, so they may or may not be good quality. It's a pretty common strategy to find a small factory to partner up with...the small factory typically doesn't ask for a high price for their goods, which leaves a healthy profit margin for the partners (who are typically just marketers who create a brand and story to market the goods). Nothing wrong with that, but I recognize their strategy the moment they started talking about going to another country to find the perfect shoe and found it in a small family owned factory. Looking at the pictures and presentation, I'm guessing that a pretty sizable portion of the cost is in marketing costs (which isn't good for the consumer).

In short, at that price, it's too much of a gamble (given the unknown brand and lack of information available). There are plenty of affordable shoe brands made with full grain leather and either goodyear welt or blake stitched soles, but the problem is most of them aren't available in Australia, and return shipping (if it doesn't fit) costs a ridiciulous amount of money. You can't buy locally either due to massive mark ups on the few good shoes here. It's a pretty sad situation...when I was looking for good shoes a few years back, everyone just told me not to bother looking locally and to get them from the UK.

If anyone is looking for decent shoes though, Pediwear and Herring Shoes are the two most commonly recommended sites I've seen. They both have great customer service but sadly, no free return shipping for Australia. There's also a reddit that I've found to be pretty helpful with advice (https://www.reddit.com/r/goodyearwelt).

Now, you know what would be interesting? If we had an Australian kickstarter like that was affordable.
 
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Sxot

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The quality of the canvas in the last few years is absolute c***. Dear price & cheap materials. Used to be the go-to shoe. Back in my day son ... ... ...
Agreed. I bought a pair a year or so ago for yard shoes but found the same. I won't be buying again. Either they make them cheaper to make the lower quality worth while, or the bring the quality back up to make the price worth while.
 
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