And just like that, my last Review of the year will be my second pair from Septieme Largeur.
Specifically the Joffre Adelaide Oxford in a gorgeous handpainted Brown Marble Patina.
Last time Septieme Largeur proved to be great value in the entry level segment.
So to make sure that this was not just a one time wonder I got a second pair!
And in today’s article I will do yet another exhaustive in-depth Review!
A Year To Make Great Friends
I should begin by saying Merry Christmas to everyone in the world with happiness, health and love for you and your families.
And also be transparent by saying that Septieme Largeur was kind enough to offer me this pair to review for the blog.
This year (2021) was a challenging one in many aspects, but also a great one because it brought a lot of people together.
I am grateful for the amazing friendships that I developed over the course of the year, including Mathieu Preiss, co-founder of Septieme Largeur.
A true gentleman and passionate shoemaker and creator, Mathieu has a special love for shoes.
I do recommend to you to read more about him and the story of Septieme Largeur in our interview article.
So thanks to Mathieu and everyone involved in Septieme Largeur for providing this pair of shoes.
You will get my honest opinion as always and there are no commissions or paid partnerships involved.
A little background about septieme largeur
But for those that are new to the Blog or Channel, I will make a quick reintroduction.
Septieme Largeur is a French shoemaker that makes Goodyear Welted shoes in Spain.
They specialize in patina work but also interesting innovative designs and experiments.
Design wise you can see a blend of English base and Italian flamboyance topped with some French style.
There are unique benchmark models such as the wonderful Tobar Triple Monk Boot which spawned countless copies (Cie Shoes Review).
Quite recently we see a trend of using sharper lasts with commando soles for a more aggressive urban design.
Hard to pull off with the possibility of going really wrong, but most of the models are tasteful and have great real world applications.
On top of that, you get a unique wood-pegged waist construction and a closed channel sole.
Ranging from $260 to $375 for non Europeans that is an excellent price for what you get.
Tip: For EU Customers you are looking at €275 up to €395.
As is customary, let’s begin with an overview of the Joffre Adelaide Oxford which I chose this time.
Last time I chose an extremely bold patina so I thought I would pick a more conservative one this time around.
Which ended up being a blatant lie and I am totally ok with that.
Looking at what gaps I have in my collection, I needed more split-toe derbies, Chelsea boots and Derbies.
However the options available were on a last I already have (174) and I did not have any Adelaide Oxford right now.
So here we are:
- Brand: Septieme Largeur
- Model: Joffre
- Style: Adelaide Oxford
- Color: Brown Marble Patina
- Patina Code: M098
- Leather: Full Grain Calfskin (Crust) from Tannerie du Puy
- Construction: Goodyear Welted
- Eyelets: 6
- Sole: Closed Channel Leather (Wood Pegged Waist)
- Lining: Genuine Leather
- Last: 199
- Width: Regular/Narrow (D)
- Size: UK 8.5/US 9.5D
- Extras: Beech Shoe Trees
- Origin: Spain
- Price: $375 (Excl. VAT)
As you can see it’s a pretty competitive make up with a custom patina on it.
The last is a little more narrow than usual, so make sure to read the fitting and sizing section.
If you wish a more standard conservative version there is also the classic Joffre in black or brown for $260.
Trivia: Joffre (pronounced “zofr”) was the name of Mathieu’s grandfather, as well as his own middle name.
By the time my shoes were ready, I forgot which patina I chose.
Which if I am completely honest is part of the charm and ups the excitement during unboxing.
I actually met my good friend Maria in the charming Santo Spirito square in Florence where I picked up my package.
We had some espresso in a little bar called Volume (I recommend it!) and she encouraged me to open the box.
A smaller box than before but the same grey colors with a sliding mechanism and a helpful hole on the side.
Maroon tinted shoe bags and a cloth separator and an extra pair of shoelaces.
The shoes themselves were quite striking to look at with heavy burnishing and a lighter marble patina in between.
Quite a unique pair, more eyelets than I am used to and a pretty chiseled toe shape.
There was a glossier finish and feel to the leather which I needed to delve into later at home.
Overall a beautiful result and what looks to be a very solid shoe for my crazy wardrobe.
Leather quality & Patina
I found very perplexing how “plasticky” the leather felt on the sides in the beginning.
But then I sat down and thought about it, about how it would be a layer of wax and multiple dyes.
You see this is a more complex patina involving a lot of colors and layers.
Multiple dyes will saturate the leather which will develop over time.
So I reached out to Mathieu and he confirmed my thoughts.
In any case, judging by how the Jodhpur leather developed, I am excited for this pair as well.
Gentle creasing and I think due to the nature of this patina color it will mask it even more.
Speaking about the Patina, it is pretty spectacular.
For those of you interested, the code for this color is M098 (sounds like a sniper rifle).
It is a mid/dark brown mix with a mottled look, reminiscent of a galaxy or museum calf patina.
The burnishing is really heavy alongside the seams and might be milder in a more plain shoe.
I always say that you can get a conservative solid color or a mild patina, but I have everything already.
So seeing what’s possible and still having unique shoes is important to me.
And the care and passion that goes into these shoes at this price level is phenomenal.
Compared to Carlos Santos, if you look for more unique types of Patinas this is an excellent choice.
Stitching & Welt
Long gone are the days of “Stitches per Inch” and extreme details of comparison for me.
Can you imagine two people discussing and the topic is “My shoe has 9 SPI which is 1 SPI more than X Brand?”.
I am not sure it would be interesting to spend time with them either.
With this weird intro, I want to say that such features are great but also slightly irrelevant.
What I see when I look at a shoe such as this is the overall form, attention to detail and consistency.
I cannot buy a $300 shoe and request perfection.
The shoes from Septieme Largeur do everything right.
There are no misaligned cap-toes, loose threads or anything that looks like it will rip after a few wears.
The welt and outsole in particular is not the thinnest or highest density I’ve seen but it matches the profile of this shoe perfectly.
Consistent form everywhere, with a blinder part around the waist and a matching toe shape.
I think the shoes are exceptional for the price.
Everything I said last time about the soles of Septieme Largeur is still true.
A quite remarkable result at this price point honestly.
Handfinished with a brown striped sort of wooden patina which reminds me of the Norman Vilalta one.
Some nails at the front make it aesthetically more pleasing, though I am unsure how it would work with installing metal toe tips afterwards.
There’s a few smudges on the front of one pair, but nothing you would care about.
A beveled waist with a slightly pronounced back and the very distinctive look that wood pegging gives.
They hammer them in the waist and is a very traditional old-school form of construction.
While it doesn’t make any difference, it’s certainly a differentiator and a unique future for this price point.
I must add that the leather soles are extremely slippery until you walk a bit in them.
So be careful and avoid slippery wet surfaces during the first wear!
The heel stack is nothing to rave about, but it is quite tidy.
Overall a very satisfactory experience.
Lining & Shoe Trees
Just before we wrap things up let’s have a short talk about the remaining details.
The lining is trimmed nicely at the top and is very satisfactory inside.
There’s a half branded insole and the usual extra details on the side (model, size etc.).
A thing that I mentioned during the last review was that certain not visible areas had some smudges of dye.
You can spot the same here albeit on a lesser degree in the lining, but you would be crazy to complain about this.
I am a person with extreme OCD and it does not bother me, because it is not a defect, but rather a reminder that a pair of hands painted this.
Such little nuances are extremely welcome for me and I get all these images in my head of someone painting a pair of shoes in a small workshop.
Lastly, to touch upon the shoe trees which came with my shoes.
Good, simple and functional is a good description I’d say.
They are certainly better than the regular cheap ones from Amazon with an excellent silver double spring mechanism.
They are quite heavy, so not travel light by any means but extremely easy to get them inside and out of the shoes.
For just $30 it is a no brainer to get a pair for your shoes.
Septieme Largeur 199 last
So last time I checked out the Septieme Largeur 174 Last.
The 199 which I am reviewing today seems to have more of a chisel, bordering a very soft square shape.
I like it, but I can see a few people wondering if it might look too long on their feet.
It’s a rather low profile last with structured sides which always caters to my taste.
By that I mean that the cap-toe seam is not too high up for example or that the last is still pointy but not too pointy.
Also the fact that as a shape, it does not look flat, which was my biggest complaint about the CNES Shoes.
Overall, a nice shape that fits this particular model well.
I might sound like a broken record by repeating my sizing each time, but surely someone new to the Blog might be reading this.
My size is usually UK 8 (US 9D) and I have just slightly wider feet. You could say between D and E width.
For larger lasts I size down half, while for narrower ones I go half a size up.
My last Septieme Largeur was size UK 8 (Last 174) which fits me rather well.
When consulting with Mathieu over the 199, we decided to take a UK 8.5 since it runs more narrow.
The choice was definitely correct for this oxford model.
It fits pretty well and spacious enough without any heel slip and was quite comfortable to wear from the get go.
I think I wore them twice already to make sure I have more data for the review.
I could see that if I took my regular size I would have some issues with the toe box.
It does look a bit narrow and especially my little toes would suffer after prolonged wear.
For a quick reference, here are a few sizes I wear in some popular brands:
- Carlos Santos 401: UK 7.5
- Paolo Scafora R/DOOR/VOLA: UK 7.5
- Carmina Rain: UK 8
- Saint Crispin’s Classic: UK 8
- Norman Vilalta: UK 8
- Allen Edmonds 65: UK 8 (US 9D)
- Antonio Meccariello: UK 8.5
- Stefano Bemer S: UK 8.5
So my advice is to take half a size up from your regular UK, or size down just half from your US conversion.
As always, it is advisable to reach out to the retailer or shoemaker for expert advise.
choosing a patina
During the leather section I already discussed how it looks and why I chose this.
If you visit their Patina Examples Page, you can see the countless options that exist.
I have yet to confirm, but I am pretty certain that if you request a special color or milder burnishing for example they will do it.
For example, if I wanted a more conservative version I would take the M094 or the M097.
I suppose the key to this is thinking about your wardrobe and how you want to compliment it.
Do you wear darker, lighter or more contrasting clothes?
If your wardrobe is complete with a capsule, minimalist collection and 5-10 great classic pairs of shoes, then you can go crazy.
I have over 25 pairs right now and wanted something that will stand out, yet will be easy to match.
Most of my wardrobe consists of navy, lighter gray and certain pastel colors.
This model and color will match very well and easily then.
I look forward to wearing these probably in Pitti Uomo!
As always, here is the Video Review that I just released!
Value & Competition
Is it right to compare a brand to another judging quality, price point or both?
I take a step back and think that if I did not have such easy access to Carlos Santos, these would be right up my alley.
Great designs, easy MTO process, great quality, enjoyable fit (for me) and excellent service.
All of that for a supremely satisfying price point and a very competitive price segment.
Septieme Largeur is certainly one of them and I believe punch way above their weight.
I also like very much that each season they try to push the boundaries with some designs and elements that few others do.
For example, the recent collections feature chiseled toes and commando soles.
It is something mostly them and Norman Vilalta experiment with and that I must admit I copied in my latest GMTO.
My only tip is to probably choose DHL as your shipping option, as local post can be a nightmare.
The bottom line is a pair from Septieme Largeur will satisfy you as much as a Neapolitan Pizza.
This brings us to the end of the Septieme Largeur Joffre Review.
A very good piece of footwear with great patina work, a friendly, knowledgeable owner and an unbeatable price point.
I hope you liked the review and the commentary, as well as the new look that the blog has!
Don’t hesitate to voice your thoughts via comments (whether good or bad) or reach out to me!
In the meantime, make sure to checkout Septieme Largeur’s Website and let me know if you find something!
Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and I will see you in 2022!
Thank you for reading,