A Busy Year
Welcome to a mini 2021 revival of the old, popular Welted Shoe News series.
This was a monthly article discussing all the relevant news from the welted shoe world in 2021.
Join me as we sum up a lot of interesting news and controversies from this year!
The Noble Shoe News
To quickly get this out of the way, I will briefly mention what’s happened at The Noble Shoe.
Other than a fantastic year (thanks to you all!) that saw the launch of the new website, there are mostly upcoming news for next year.
Some might know that from next month I will be in Italy studying Bespoke Shoemaking.
This means that in the next 12-24 months you should expect my own shoe line.
I will have more details in the future of course!
Until that, I will be looking to add a few more good brands in the store in both lower and medium price tiers.
Of course, small quality of life improvements will enhance the already good level of service you get right now.
Paul Sargent Replaces Alfred Sargent
Now, I must the title is a bit of an uncertainty.
Back in the beginning of 2021 Alfred Sargent went into administration.
Alfred Sargent was a popular, underrated and mismanaged legendary English shoemaker.
Luckily, Paul Sargent with a few good and experienced people bought most of the machinery, lasts and certain equipment (I think) and launched their own brand.
So Paul Sargent is pretty much a continuation of Alfred Sargent with similar models and lasts.
I mentioned the word “uncertainty” mostly because if you go to the original Alfred Sargent website it is still active and selling.
In any case, Paul Sargent has a few core models at the moment and a bare-bone, basic website that will improve with time.
Support them because they are really nice, passionate people and make good shoes.
Acme Shoemaker Upcoming Website
Sticking with websites and announcements, ACME Shoemaker is making one.
For those unaware, they are a very high end handmade shoemaker from China with a stellar reputation.
My only gripe with them if I may say is that they lack original designs with a lot of copies from other makers.
Nonetheless, their shoes seem to be superb and they will bolster their online reputation with an e-shop.
Their website will be ready towards the end of 2021.
Crockett & Jones Enters The Future
We all know who Crockett & Jones is.
Legendary British Shoemaker from Northampton and sponsor of Mr. James Bond.
It is quite unusual and rather perplexing how they did not have an e-commerce website until now.
Launched in March 2021, it is a modern, easy to navigate website.
Great imagery of course and every bit of information you ever need.
Their prices are really high however so you might want to consider an overseas retailer.
Hint: I do have some great prices at The Noble Shoe!
Better Go To Church
Yes, better go to church than buy Church’s.
One of the most shocking and laughable Welted Shoe News of 2021 is the brain virus that infected Prada.
Because it seemed to mess with their frontal lobe and they raised the prices of Church’s by 50% overnight.
There’s no difference in the shoes, they are the same junk but now they sell the lifestyle and the brand name.
I have a great solution to poverty by the way.
What we need to do is find the people that buy Prada and Church’s now, compost them and feed the hungry.
There, global famine solved. You are welcome.
On a serious note, don’t support such business practices. Thank you.
Oriental Shoemaker At Yeossal
Yeossal was one of the revelations of the year for me when it comes to shoes.
One of my easiest shoes to match, pick up and wear and incredibly comfortable for me.
If I am not mistaken, Yeossal expanded their shoe offering with Oriental Shoemaker.
Oriental is a Japanese Brand that I honestly don’t know much about but seems to have good reputation.
And every chance we get to have more accessible Japanese shoes even better.
My friend Justin Fitzpatrick reviewed some of them on his YouTube.
As for me, I would be more than happy to Review them as well if I got the chance.
Luxire Affordable Welted Shoes
Luxire is a popular brand making custom clothes in India (I think!).
Actually, a pretty busy thread on Styleforum where they are affiliates too.
What does that have to do with shoes?
Well recently they launched some mind-boggling cheap entry level welted shoes.
Also made in India, you can buy some of them for as low as 110 Euros ($125 USD) which is pretty unreal including closed channel soles.
Now, if you go and get one and expect high quality I will gouge my eyes out with a pitchfork.
Which translates into: temper your expectations.
It might be a great way to get some resolable shoes and gives you no excuse not to buy welted shoes.
Who knows maybe one day I will try them for you.
Vass Cuts Retailers
Just around the summer time, I looked to bring in an established high quality brand in my shop.
I just placed my first order at Vass Budapest and a week later they told me they would stop supplying retailers.
Too bad, since their shoes are one of the best value handmade shoes you can buy (Review Here).
Due to Covid they surely changed their way of operations and their frequent sales made it hard to compete.
In any case, that was the official word so after stock dries out, expect your favorite retailer to not carry them anymore.
Hopefully this will just be temporary. Time will tell.
Gaziano & Girling Optimum Launch
Those that know me well, also know I am not the biggest fan of high end British shoes.
There is one brand though that transcends all others when it comes to the design and that’s Gaziano & Girling.
Around May or so they launched the Optimum Range, which is essentially a Bespoke shoe on a RTW Last.
By Bespoke I mean they make it in the exact same way and fully handmade.
So if their RTW Lasts fit you well and you want a premium shoe, be my guest.
For the 2500-3000$ prices they command though, I would rather have the real Bespoke personal experience.
If you want some nice shoes from them, make sure to check out their End of Line sales for as long as they are up.
Slave To Female Genitalia
Back in June 2020 I reported about the absolutely ludicrous case of the former Alden VP stealing money to pay his “influhoe”.
Well, this 64 year old dingleberry that did not even actually get his tinky winky wet pleaded guilty in court for the 30 million dollar embezzlement.
In fact, he pleaded guilty for: wire fraud, unlawful monetary transactions, and filing a false tax return.
This glorious man faces between 4-6 years in prison and will also forfeit his $679000 home in Duxbury.
Moral of the story, don’t try to steal money to pretend you are someone else.
Especially to impress someone.
Meermin, The EA Games Of Shoes
Would I rather lick a gangrenous wound or recommend purchasing Meermin?
To be honest, their value for a really budget, entry level welted shoe brand is good.
What is not good however is their shocking customer service.
Need to return or prove a defect? In most cases you will be fighting and receiving canned responses.
They really hold you hostage and never take notice until you chargeback them.
In any case, one of the cases that caught my attention was on Reddit where a user shared his experience.
He felt pain in his foot and knew something was wrong, yet Meermin refused it.
So he took matters in his own hands and cut the lining open, where he found broken pieces of sharp plastic from the stiffener.
This is more of a warning rather than news, because it is nothing new.
Every month, a new fake website arises selling fantastic shoes for amazing prices.
They go through Instagram, steal pictures from users and brands, lightly edit most of the logos (sometimes they do not even bother) and then pray on naive buyers.
My warning to you is a serious but friendly one: do not buy from shops that just popped up out of nowhere or if the prices look too good to be true.
Because they are not.
Welted Shoe News 2021 | Recap
Even though we still have 2.5 months left in 2021, it was over a year ago I last made a shoe news article.
The detective work was cool, but the response lukewarm with few comments or feedback.
Is it something you enjoy reading?
In any case, this was a collection of some news I thought were noteworthy.
Of course there are tons more and I couldn’t talk about all the new websites or new releases.
Or even talk about the 23rd postponement of the London Super Trunk hehe!
If I made a glaring omission, let me know and I sure hope you enjoyed the vitriol and caustic humor in some sections.
I will see you next week, probably with my first review of Edward Green Shoes.
Thank you for reading,