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Shoe News November 2019 | Shell Cordovan Price Hike, Scams & More

the noble shoe - carlos santos 9156 Handgrade

Merry Shoemas!

Finally the Black Friday Madness is behind us! Not only that, we are finally in December and fast approaching the Christmas season around the world. As customary it is also time to do a recap of the most important Shoe News from November 2019.

Black Friday Sales and discounts dominated the previous month, however there are a few more news worth discussing. The most important for me is the recent price changes of the Horween Tannery and a very hot potato of some shoe site. I am very curious to hear your thoughts after reading this.

With temperatures below zero in many parts of the world, I suggest you get under your blanket and have a nice cozy read.

Horween Shell Prices Increase 30-50%

This is the big one. Apparently the famous Chicago Tannery of Horween decided to increase the prices of Shell Cordovan from 30-50%. This is one updated Price list which might not mean much to most of you, so let me explain.

Horween Price Increase

To make a good Shell Cordovan Boot you need about 1.7 XXL Shells. That is about 580€ and if you include the rest of the labor and little details the final price is around 720 Euros. All these price examples are from my friend who makes such shoes.

So the price hike is at least around 30% which is massive. There are a lot of companies that use these. Carmina, Crockett & Jones, Alden and Heinrich Dinkelacker to name a few which means the prices will most certainly go up.

Of course this is not some news that are public, so do not be surprised to see prices going up on your favorite shoes.

Ike Bahar’s Gold Madness

What would be the November 2019 Shoe News article without some controversy. I never heard of Ike Bahar before, but it seems to be some kind of heritage American Clothing Store. Well you will now too.

So let’s start from the beginning. There is a Spanish Factory that makes shoes of all kinds called Bespoke Factory. From Goodyear Welted Shoes, to Patinas, Exotics and Leather Goods for every brand, even under their own name.

Pretty much anyone interested can have access to their (actually) pretty good platform with 3D models. Even I have one to explore the possibilities for the future. Once you browse a bit there you tend to be able to recognize rather easily shops that make their shoes there. They are currently sprouting up left and right and even use the stock photos from the platform. Kicks For Gents, Animas Code and of course today’s cultprit: Ike Bahar.

Now most of the shoes cost wholesale from 120-200 Euros give or take, depending on the kind, patina and construction. The former two shops have some pretty acceptable competitive prices. Ike Bahar however takes it to a whole new level of greed.

They have 2 tiers of footwear products:

  • Black Label: A regular Line
  • Gold Label: An absurdly priced expensive Line

The Gold Label Is A SCAM

So all this is about the Gold Label. The 3 models there cost a colossal 895$. The Torino is some kind of flat sole wholecut, the Regal is a Patina Double Monk but the worst of them all is the Modus.

Modus by Ike Bahar Scam
Stay Away From Such Companies!

First of all, the design and the price make me physically sick. Some kind of sneaker-derby hybrid with multiple colors and crepe soles. Secondly, let me read you a small part of the opening description:

“Leather cognac crust patina in an oxford wholecut design. Often considered the most formal men’s shoe available, the wholecut features closed channel lacing and is made from a single cut of leather.”

Now, if you look at the actual picture description it says Denim Patina yet this is advertised as a cognac oxford. It even goes as far to say it is a wholecut with closed channel lacing. This is a DERBY with open lacing and definitely not a wholecut!! They just copied the whole description from the Torino!!! They did not even bother to change the title!

Now let’s get to the real why this is disgusting. The price is 895$. Why don’t we find out what is the wholesale price for this shoe?

Bespoke Factory Wholecut Price
Looks Familiar?

That’s right, they take a 200$ Shoe and give it a 4.5 times Mark-Up when the industry standard is around 2.5. Now a quote from them is that they are using old and stock photos and testing the waters. Testing or not, charging 895$ for this and not even bothering with the description is appalling.

Please, do not support such shady practices.

The Noble Shoe News – GMTOs & Restocking

I had a very successful Black Friday Sale which left me low on stock on many popular Boots and models. I am currently restocking things like the Field Boots, the Handgrade Adelaide and more. Don’t forget to check out the Entire Collection here!

What is more exciting is that the Hiking Boot is going to actually go through as I feel it is a beautiful model. Not only that, there is a new GMTO Crowdfunder in town!

The Noble Shoe Handcrafted Adelaide Oxford
Shoe News November 2019 – The Carlos Santos Handcrafted GMTO is live.

After the colossal success of the Handgrade Oxford I decided to test the interest on a Handcrafted version in Guimaraes Patina. It comes with a double stitched shank, mostly manual labor and a super tight beveled waist and fiddleback sole. According to Hugo Jacomet it is up to par with C&J Handgrade and that is high praise. You can back the project here until December 31.

Example of the Carlos Santos Handcrafted Sole
How the Sole looks like

Last but not least, you can see how the Handgrade Field Boot looks like in the intro picture! Absolutely stunning! Let me know your thoughts.

Justin Fitzpatrick – New Exciting Balmoral Boots

I already talked about them in the last article, but man these new Black Suede/Calf Balmorals by Justin are a treat. In fact, I thought of making such a model for my own shop. They are gorgeous and I think will come in more colors down the line.

Shoe News November 2019 - David Balmoral Boot by Justin Fitzpatrick
The David Boot by Justin Fitzpatrick in Black Suede/Calf

You can buy it here.

The Shoemaking World Championship 2020 Contest Is Open!

One of the most exciting shoe events of the year is of course the annual Shoegazing London Super Trunk Show. In that event you have not only the chance to see, try and buy shoes from the best shoemakers in the world, but also to witness amazing events.

The most prestigious is the World Championship in Shoemaking. Shoemakers that wish to enter have the challenge to make a specific type of shoe with certain specifications in order to qualify for the final event.

Daniel Wegan's winning shoe
Daniel Wegan’s winning shoe from the World Shoemaking Championship 2019

In the end, the judges look at details, construction, complexity and finish to declare the winner. The winner gets a prize of 3000 GBP (2000/1000 for second and third place) and their shoes travel around the world on display.

For the full set of rules and the Call of Competition please refer to the Article of Justin. See you in April!

Shoe News For November 2019 – Short But Bittersweet

Well this is it for this week. I am really not sure how to feel about this one however. On one hand we have some nice new releases and exciting competitions but on the other hand controversy. I feel the prices of Shell Cordovan might go up significantly sooner or later. And I really pray that nobody will buy any of those overpriced Ike Bahar Shoes. Don’t try to take advantage of people, they are not dumb.

Anyways we can now wrap the Shoe News of November 2019 right here. I will be back next week with the most incredible ties I had the chance to wear by Granqvist Sweden. I never believed I would be so excited to write about ties! But I would really like to hear your opinion if you stumbled upon this article. You can Subscribe and support this little passion project and not miss the news. See you next week.

Thank you for reading,

Kostas Mandilaris,
Misiu Academy

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