Dear Readers,

If you are reading this text, that means that you are on the old version of my blog. I have changed platforms and am now using Wordpress. You can find the updated version of my site at:

www.theshoesnobblog.com

Sincerely,

Justin, "The Shoe Snob"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Herring + Alfred Sargent = 1966 Collection


I had never really been too keen on Herring shoes. Not because I did not like the designs and all, but rather because a lot of their shoes just seemed to be poorly made (not constructed but leather quality/last shapes etc), with the likes of Loake and Cheaney making them (doing their bottom end work to maintain those low prices). But lately they have started to step up their game and have offered more unique and higher quality products. This brings us to their new venture into the world of handgrade shoes with their new collaboration with Alfred Sargent. Having fiddleback & bevelled waists, nice last shapes and what looks like good grade leather, Herring has finally stepped into the arena of quality and can now get my blessing of approval. What's even better is the price is at £395, which is just below that £400 mark of which most English handgrade shoes usually start from. The only thing that I am not too pleased with is the fact that I believe that each model is simply an Alfred Sargent style but in a colorway that AS does not offer and on Herring's last. For me this is not so imaginative. It would have been nice to see some unique models altogether, but I guess that maybe they are testing the water before plunging into it.....




11 comments:

  1. I've no problem with Herring shoes. They were my introduction to quality footwear after years of Doc Martens.
    In fact I just ordered a pair of their Reading suede cap toes this morning.

    My only problem with these new, more expensive designs from them is that they've spelt Shackleton's name wrong.

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  2. Why would AS cannibalize their own market for their Exclusive line? It makes little sense.

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    1. money.....thus is the nature of private labeling...everyone does it, including G&G, C&J, EG etc....

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  3. Thanks for a great blog! Even if I don't share your love for sometimes extravagant shoes the posts are always interesting and your knowledge impressive.

    Have to ask you about your judgement that Herring shoes are poorly made. I own two pairs from their premier line, mady by Cheaney. Great shoes that look really good, and have a nice last that fit my feet amazingly. Are there really that big of a difference in quality compared to, let's say, Church's or C&J? I would like to hear you explore the subject further, especially if you have had bad (or good) experiences of Herring's premier line by Cheaney!

    (And a comment about your remark: "Loake and Cheaney making them (doing their bottom end work to maintain those low prices)". I know that Adrian Herring claim that the Herring Classic line that is made by Loake holds equal quality as the Loake 1880 series, their own top line.)

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    1. I would be interested in reading his reply too.

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    2. Frank, the words 'Herring shoes are poorly made' were never written. What I said is that Herring's low end lines, the ones that are £100-£195 and made in England (somewhat) are from makers like Loake and Cheaney (more so Loake) who are using bottom end materials and the uppers stitched in India (at least in the case of Loake) in order to maintain those low prices. I am not a fan of that, period. The premier line is definitely using better materials, but I am still not a fan of the last, it's proportions and how they turn up at the toe. I have tried on Cheaney's shoes at the £295 mark and did not find the last well-fitting nor comfortable. This is my take on it. As per Adrian's comment, well irregardless of what he says, I am simply not a fan of Loake altogether. Sure I have seen the odd shoe that looked nice and well made, but the majority of what I see is not nice. Cheaney's are better and can make a good shoe, but I am more a fan of their handgrade work, not so much their benchgrade work. The leather is good on the benchgrade stuff, but the last and proportions/shapes of them is what throws me off. This is my opinion, plain and simple. I am not in the mind frame that just because a shoe is made in England that it is good. There is a lot of rubbish that comes out of this country. Read this to understand what I am talking about: http://htl.li/l7H4G .....And yes, there is a big difference between Herring's Premier line by Cheaney and C&J benchgrade line.....which is why C&J as a whole is generally regarded as the best maker in that price range...Church's is a different story...not so much a fan of them since the Prada takeover...... Hope that this helps clarify things...

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  4. I'm also willing to mount a partial defence of Herring. I can understand why you aren't keen on their shoes - the styles are indeed often rather more conservative and less interesting than those you favour. That said, I think there's a degree to which it's matter of comparing apples and oranges.

    Many of the shoes that feature on this website start at somewhere around the £400 mark, whereas Herring's wares tend to top out somewhere in the £250-280 range, with only a handful of their designs going over £300. Quality-wise, I don't think their Premier range is any worse than standard-issue Cheaney shoes. All in all I think they do a pretty good, conservative shoe at prices that range from reasonable to excellent.

    On a personal note, as somebody who takes a G fitting, Herring are also one of the few companies who seems willing to produce a halfway decent range for people whose feet are wider than average of who have a high instep. I like many of the shoes you showcase on this site but in many cases I have to resign myself to the fact that I haven't got a cat in hell's chance of getting them to fit me. Even on that basis alone I'm willing to cut Herring some slack!

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    1. I feel like everyone here is arguing an opinion. I simply don't like Loake or Cheaney's mid range stuff (which is what most of Herring's shoes are). I am not comparing them to anyone nor saying that they are crap, but am simply not a fan of them. Loake's quality I don't like, for all of their use of bookbinder and the shapes of lasts as well as proportions from last shape to pattern. Cheaney on the other hand can make a good shoe but am just not a fan of the lasts as well as the proportions to the patterns vs. last shapes and how they sit on them. Their Imperial line on the other hand is excellent.

      That being, there are many makers sub £400 that I put on the blog. To name a few: C&J benchgrade line, Ed Et Al (which is sub £200), Berwick (again sub £200), Meermin, Septieme Largeur, Carmina etc....not to mention my own line which is also sub £400. I feel that people are simply overly proud to represent shoemakers from their country and argue for their quality simply based on that fact. For £275, there are a lot more makers that I would prefer to buy over Herring, Cheaney, Loake and the like, that are making better shoes, just not made in England. Price is not a requirement for entry on my blog, quality is. Ed Et Al's shoes to me are just as good as C&J benchgrade, if not better and their prices are below £250....

      Now for the fact that you have a hard to fit foot, I can appreciate that you like Herring for this reason. And I am not to say that this is wrong as not once did I say that their shoes are bad, simply that I don't like their low end stuff. And I stand by that... the blog is called The Shoe Snob, not the 'democratic shoe lover.' That's just my take.....and for all those that appreciate Herring, that's great. I heard that they are a good company that has great service and that I can appreciate that, but that does not mean that I have to like their shoes in the lower price ranges....

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  5. Hi Justin,
    I have read your replies to the comments with great interest!
    In respect to Cheaney's lasts, I would like to draw your attention to one: the 11028. To me, it is not surprising that it has become really popular over the years. Please, do not miss an opportunity to take a close look. For sure in London, at John Rushton's for instance you will find at least one style made on this last.
    John

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    1. Thanks for your input John. If I get a chance to check it out, I will...been intending to go to Rushton's as I still have not yet done so...

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