Dear Mountain Evan Chang,
today, after clearing customs and after the holiday rush of the Post Office
(and after getting back from the holidays myself), I finally received my pair
of FER Cap-Toe Oxfords.
They were perfect - almost. There were two small details in the heel of the
right foot shoe, of which I have attached photos. There was a sharpish bend in
the upper heel (bend.jpg). And there was a small curved scratch (or maybe a
cut) in the outside heel (cut.jpg).
Otherwise, I don't have any complaints about the esthetics of the shoes - they
look great. Neither detail will probably be noticable or problematic, and
wearing the shoes, there's eventually going to be scratches, however good care
I try to take of them - and the heel is going to take the shape of my heels.
But I thought I'd notify you, anyway.
I still haven't tried the shoes on - it is my policy, after buying a pair of
shoes of fine leather, to treat and polish them at least twice with good
quality shoe cream before wearing them, and to let the cream work its way into
the leather before polishing it. After the shoes have been in transit for many
weeks, and in who knows what temperature & humidity conditions, the leather
probably isn't at its softest. So I'll rather be safe than sorry, even with
brand new shoes.
Got around to trying the shoes on. They fit perfectly, almost as if made to
measure, and are very comfortable to wear. After many years of wearing
minimalist shoes for everyday use but having to squeeze my feet into classic
shoes when wanting to dress up, these are - well, just what I'd hoped for. I
really appreciate your dedication to producing shoes like this. Thank you!
Funny thing though, the design with the (good-looking) pointed toe and the fact
that my own toes are actually quite a bit backward from the shoe tip mean that
I'm going to have to purchase new overshoes - these Oxfords are about 1 cm too
long to fit inside my existing ones :D Oh well, I can always use winter shoes
outdoors and change into the Carets once indoors, until I get my new overshoes.
I did ponder buying the shoes for quite a while, for a couple reasons.
Ordering a pair of shoes online is always a bit risky, what if they don't fit?
Sending stuff over the Atlantic and back again is always a bit of a hassle. But
in the end, your excellent returns policy made that a non-issue.
Another thing that made me hesitate was the price; I wouldn't have trouble
affording the shoes, but at this price category I could also get something like
a pair of Crockett & Jones made in England. But your resoling & restoring
service convinced me that, in the end, I would be able to get as much use from
these shoes as from English-made leather-soled ones. With the added benefit of
being much more healthy for my feet and body. And yes, the price is higher than
the price of the other barefoot style men's dress shoes available - but these
look much better. And are created with much more dedication, attention to
detail. And nobody else has your resoling services :)
The shoes are every bit as comfortable and good looking as I hoped they'd
be. Of course, I've only used them for one day yet, so they're still in the
breaking-in stage, but the first impression of wearing them was so great that
I've no doubt they'll serve me well for a long time.
I've also found your communication excellent, it's been a pleasure doing
business with you :)
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.
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.