A good businessman should always do at least one of two things (if not both): treat their employees well and listen to the concerns of their customers in regards to the product or service offering. Edwin Neo, taking into account the reputation of his company Ed Et Al, and the shoes that fall under that brand, did just that and has most recently revamped his shoe offerings in order to fix the concerns laid out by those who voiced an opinion with regards to the quality of the product. That being, there were generally two concerns: the attention to detail with regards to the finishing, as well as the quality of the upper and sole leathers. So, Edwin took them both into account, sourced new leather for both the sole and the uppers and then told his workers that the finishing on each pair of shoes needed to be a whole lot tidier. To go along with this new refreshed product, Mr. Neo, also decided to add 10 more styles to accompany the revamped brand, 9 of which to me, all look amazing!
In order to get a truly honest and unbiased opinion, Mr. Neo wanted me to review his newly revamped collection in comparison to his old product. As I am undoubtedly a shoe whore, as well as being curious to see the difference, I gladly accepted the offer. He therefore sent me the Merlion II in what he calls his cognac color. As his shoes come in an F width, he sent me a 6.5, which much like the 40 he recommend last time, fit great. That being, if you are usually an E width, I would recommend sizing down, as they seem to run a bit big. Upon receiving them, I could instantly see the differences in quality between sole, upper and lining leather. It was all upgraded and looked and felt a lot better. The finishing was far superior than the initial pair that I received, as they now added a fiddleback and bevelled waist, with design detail to match. The stitching as well as the line that goes from heel to sole at the forefoot was a lot cleaner and fluid looking. Even the closing on the upper was lot tidier, free from any crooked errors. Overall the shoe looked and felt amazing and was definitely well worth the extra £10 that the new models cost (circa £150).
The only things that slightly concerned me were the fact that the buckles were quite dirty when they arrived, with a bit soot on them. Luckily I had a silver cloth polisher that fixed them right up, but the average person might have been a bit put off by this. The other thing is that while the upper leather seems to be a definite higher grade, it does not take kindly to touch. That being, it shows marks quite easily. It's not something that can't be buffed out with some polish but something worth noting nonetheless. But these two problems, in my opinion, are miniscule compared to the upgrade (and tiny extra cost) that have been to the new collection.
As you can see, I have attached a few pictures of some of the new collection as well as a few MTO/Bepsoke examples. For further viewing of the new models please refer to the lookbook, HERE. They are currently under construction with the new website, but if you wish to make any inquiries or purchases, feel free to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope that you have enjoyed this review and I will say that that with this upgrade in quality and finishing, that Ed Et Al shoes are hands down, the best bang for your buck in the entire shoe industry......
On a side note, I have upgraded my Shoe Snob accessory range offering, whereby I have now added some shoe brushes and shoe trees to purchase. Please view my Shoe Snob Accessories Page to view the entire collection or go straight to my eBay store.
All the best,
Justin, "The Shoe Snob"