The Latest Samples & Getting Prior Version Shoes Now

The Latest Samples & Getting Prior Version Shoes Now

June 22, 2017 0 Comments

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chronology carets fer zetone black oxblood

Dear Primal Professional,

In my last update, I talked about sample progress, and getting production equipment ready to go in Mexico.

In this newsletter, I'll go into:
#1 The Samples
#2 What's Next
#3 Getting Version 3.2 Shoes Now

#1 The Samples

The Bad:

1) The cap wasn't shortened like I asked.

I had requested that they shorten the cap (and lengthen the vamp) by 9mm. They missed this.

2) The oxblood stitching and laces are color-matched.

This was my own fault, as I didn't specify this, nor catch it when they sent me photos. I prefer black details: black stitching, black laces, black outsole. Most oxblood shoes use black details. I think this makes for a dressier shoe. An oxblood shoe with oxblood details looks a bit more country than city.

3) The leather has slight imperfections.

The black leather they used for these samples were leftovers from another production. Being a natural material, all leather has slight imperfections, but this sample had more than what we would accept in production. We will use better leather in production.

I was hoping we could finalize the designs with this round of samples, and that I could take photos of these to update our product listings. But with the pattern possibly changing one more time, the oxblood getting black details, and the leather with more imperfections than I'd like, I'll have to wait until the next round for new product pics.

As you could tell from my "Everything's Better in Mexico!" newsletter, I was pretty blown away by the work I saw down there. In the last 2 months, I've learned that they're not perfect, they're human and still make mistakes. But they are still pretty awesome.

The Good:

1) Oxblood leather looks great

I love the depth of color in this oxblood leather. 

2) Round elastic laces > flat elastic laces

I definitely prefer round laces over flat laces. They move through eyelets better. They also tend to be more durable. Think about the durability of round rope versus flat fabric. I'm glad they found these and I look forward to seeing them in black.

3) Gold insole stamp is beautiful

You'll be seeing a bit more gold around here ;)

4) Lowered topline completely avoids ankle bones

No break-in necessary.

 chronology carets fer zetone oxblood black cap toe plain toe


#2 What's Next?

I have production estimates available for all parts of our product now. Shoes take around 45 days to produce. The longest lead time is 60 days for shoe trees. Who would have thought shoe trees would take the longest?

The open question for me is when I'll get the next round of samples, in order to finalize the pattern. And we can't start shoe production until we finalize the pattern. I still think that cap should be shortened. I'll find out how long this will take and decide from there.

In the meantime, it would be best to revise our delivery estimate to September.

#3 Getting Version 3.2 Shoes Now

If you have an outstanding order, and you'd prefer the prior version 3.2 shoes now rather than wait for version 4 shoes later, I may be able to send you something.

Whenever a SKU sells out, I change the product description and pricing to pre-order. When I get a return, I don't list this back in the store. I keep it on hand to take care of existing customers first.

Since we're getting closer to our restock, I'm looking to clean out my warehouse. I have a few pairs in the following SKU's:


These are in brand new brand new condition. They're covered under our 365-day return and exchange policy. So if there’s anything you don’t like about this pair, or there’s something you prefer in our new version 4, just reach out and I’ll have you taken care of.

If you'd like a pair, reply with your order #. If you have a new shipping address, please include that too.

I'll be collecting your responses until next Tuesday, then fulfill based on how early your pre-order was placed.

That's it for now. Thank you for your support and patience!

Best Regards,

Mountain Evan Chang

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Sizing, Fit, & Feel

I. Sizing

  1. Let's start by asking: What shoe size (US Men's) normally fits you best? To convert from other sizing standards, see this chart.
  2. Is that a Narrow width? Go one size down for our shoes.
  3. Is that a Medium width? Depending on how roomy you like the toebox, go one size down OR order the same size.
  4. Is that a Wide width? Order the same size for our shoes.
  5. Don’t know the width of your shoes? They’re most likely Medium. 

II. Fit & Feel

This image shows roughly how/where your feet should sit inside a pair of Carets, at right. 

At left is a typical dress shoe, same size and same Wide width. You can see that it is still 1 or 2 cm longer than ours. Most sleeker dress shoes have a fair amount of unoccupied space in the front. We took advantage of that and used it to give you a wide toebox without looking like it. Dress shoes get even longer if we start looking at chisel-toe and pointy-toe styles. But even though these conventional dress shoes are longer, you still feel cramped because of the heel lift and the fact that their shoes are widest at the ball of the foot. Ours are widest at the toes, as a foot naturally is.

If the widest part of your feet (i.e. your toes) occupies the widest part of our shoes, then you are wearing the right size.

Regarding groundfeel, Carets' outsole is 4mm thick, with another 4mm of leather and cork between that and your feet. The polyurethane we use for the outsole was selected for durability, which is more important than groundfeel in a shoe like this. The 2-part (polyurethane + leather/cork) design allows for the shoes to be resoled like good dress shoes and unlike most minimalist shoes.

Expect Carets to feel less like FiveFingers and more like flat-bottomed skate shoes with the insoles removed.

In the end, what matters most is that you are happy with your shoes! We will gladly take them back (365-day free returns and exchanges, click for details) and I am honored that you gave us a shot.