January 6, 2009

Love Interest:

Grenson Sharp
Style No.: 5032
Last No.: 201
Sole: Double Leather
Colour Selector: 
Tan Calf - 02,
Country of Origin: England
Manufactured: Hand Made w/goodyear welt

The past couple years, my love for shoes has definately grown.  I find that I am much more selective with my choice, and that a handsome pair of shoes just doesn't do it.  In purchasing a shoe, I have come up with a rather extensive list of criteria that I run through to hedge my buying habits.  This forces me to be more selective in my choice and curtails any impulse buys.  

The shoe above is no impulse buy.  I did my research, went through my extensive list, and waited for the best time (recession sale).  Luckily, I didn't have to wait too long.  I stumbled on these on a recent trip to Chicago with my wife.  All I have to add is, these are truly worth all $100.00 (marked down from $400.00).  

So here it is, the extensive list I spoke of earlier.  

1. Brand Quality - has the company been around for a long time, do they have a history of fine craftsmanship? will they fix your shoe if you send it back to the factory once your 30 days is up?
2. Shoe Quality - the quality of leather, how detailed is the work, are there any visible flaws in craftsmanship?
3. Manufacturing - hand crafted or factory assembled?
4. Country of Origin - this can tell you a lot about the leather quality of the shoe and the build quality to expect, I only buy English, Italian, French, American made shoes.
5. Factory Origin - Ralph Lauren for instance used "factor" shoes made by Crockett and Jones.  Brands can be deceiving, so make sure to do your research...this curtails any impulsive buying. 
6. Comfort - Are they comfortable, a lot of people make the mistake of choosing looks over comfort. They are both equally important, so choose a pair that is both equally handsome and comfortable. 
7. Reliability - While buying a pair of shoes is nothing like buying a car, a pair of shoes will definitly withstand the test of time, and may outlast your car.  So it is extremely important to find a pair that will.  A good test is to check the sole of the shoe.  Replaceable heel?  Goodyear welted?  
8. Style - Whether you love them, couldn't care less, or are somewhere in between, there's no denying that shoes can make or break an ensemble.  But don't forget the aforementioned.  The best investment you can make is in a style that is classic and timeless, they will last you forever.
9. Price - Ask yourself this, can you justify spending $600.00?  My wife is a buyer for a high end retailer, so knowing the true cost is key to shopping.  A shoe that marked at $600.00 is mostly markup, be cautious, and do your research.
10. Approval - To make it an even 10, since I am now married, the wife must approve.  You will thank me later!  You'll see! 

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