The Shoe Snob Blog

November 23, 2012

Written by , Posted in News

Shoes Of The Week – Bally Scribe

I can’t say that I know a lot about Bally shoes, particularly because I know that within the last 10 years there has been some rocky roads with all of the ownership changes but what I can say is that I have always liked their higher-end line, what is now called (or possibly always) Scribe. Traditionally made in Switzerland (and I think brought back to there), the Scribe shoe has always been built on the tradition of craftsmanship and quality, with goodyear welting construction and high grade leathers. While I have never had the pleasure of actually wearing one or knowing anyone who has, I can say that in person they seem nice, and you can’t find too many people with a bad thing to say about Bally. Therefore, they must be good! 🙂 Nevertheless, I like some of the things that I see in these pictures, particularly the highlighted double monk wingtips…..Should I ever make it to Switzerland, you can bet that I will pit stop at the Bally store!

  • Alex B

    “Scribe” is their MTO range I think. I looked at some in a Bally shop recently and they’re pretty nice. Pretty traditional lasts, solid and heavy, steel-shanked, goodyear welted, professional-looking.

    Considering the limitations of the MTO options, I’d say their problem really was the price of the competition – for instance it’s cheaper to get MTO from Vass or Carmina, with more options and flexibility. But they certainly look like quality if you come across a good deal.

  • I am sure Bally are probably very well made, but whatever I have seen of them, their shoes are not elegant looking, a bit clunky and soles protruding too much! Considering that they start at around 450 range, there are other much nicer looking makes (C&J handgrade, Alfred Sargent exclusives, Cheaney imperial etc.)which are equally well made.

  • Alex B

    I agree with Omar: they look great, but make a selection online of a normal calf shoe in a pretty generic design, and they will charge you over 1,000. They look great, but a little conservative and with a lot of serious competition in that price range – and below.

  • Alex B – It will always be hard to compare with the lowest prices in the shoe industry….even harder to compare with Meermin or Ed Et Al…but you get something different that the other makers might not provide….like an aesthetic…

    Omar – yea, it seems that they pride themselves on a heavier type of style…

    -Justin

  • Alex B

    OK smart-ass: are they really three or four times as good as yours? 😉

  • Alex B – :-0 Can’t say for sure…but don’t think so…..

    -Justin

  • necessities123.wordpress.com

    Probably some of the best shoes money can buy!

    Yes, they are expensive, but…

    These wonderful BALLY SCRIBE ‘MTO shoes’ look as nice as Berluti, St Crispin, Corthay or John Lobb (to name a few of the greatest) and even slightly nicer according to my taste because they have some sort of elegance and finesse, which is unique for BALLY.
    These shoes are elegant and contemporary, although the style of the collection is somewhat ‘retro’, but I feel like wearing the shoes from my epoch unlike some other formal shoes, which make me feel like wearing my grandfather’s vintage shoes from 1950s.

    I prefer BALLY SCRIBE, because, en general, I find their models to be perfectly comfortable to my feet and ever-since I was a young man, I liked their mocs, sandals, sneakers, boots etc. so I am used to Bally.

    Vive the very special SCRIBE collection for the very special occasions!!!

    I like the tradition of this house, to which my family has been attracted for four generations (throughout the 20th century !) and I have always been attracted to the wonderful BALLY store (Scribe) in Paris, particularly the view from the first floor and the architectural solution: the way the space was organized and the game of lights in the morning, especially on the first floor!

    My favorite magazine ‘Robb Report’ brought a nice article, if I may recommend, with “my shoes” as the first and second pic: http://robbreport.com/Fashion/Bally-Revisits-Its-Roots

    • TheShoeSnob

      you really are the advocate of them..

  • Pingback: BALLY BESPOKE SERVICE: SCRIBE MADE-TO-ORDER SHOES | Necessities()

  • Randall Hunter House Jr.

    I have only had one pair of bally’s. just some loafers. I got them a little over a year ago and have abused the hell out of them. I even run in them and run through the woods. they were around 400 but try as I may I can’t seem to destroy them. plus they are really comfortable and don’t change shape

    • TheShoeSnob

      thanks for sharing Randall…

    • BrownmannBrian

      I have own many pairs of Bally’s throughout my 58 years, and I believe they are as good as the bigger money shoes, ie. Alden, AE, oder Lobbs, but at a much lower price. I have the Monk Schribes and Seltis Boot, to name a few, which both have the Goodyear Welting. The leathers are very well treated and after breaking them in they feel like you have no shoes on at all. Although in the 70’s-80’s they did venture into the “Shoes for every Man” Market and the quality went South. The shoes were sprayed with wax or something to give them that elegent shine, but it only made them look cheaper. I have bought them in the US as well as Germany, and I must say the German Bally’s are in my opinion of a better quality. I have also been to the Bally Factory Outlet in Switzerland, where I was amazed to find the leftovers, but not much cheaper as those in the stores!! I am very pleased with them. I have just counted my shoes and I have 6 pair, and one pair I have had from the 70’s!! It was my first shoe I bought for over 100 bucks. If you want a very good shoe with class and quality, buy Bally. Also a quality shoe will last almost forever with regular polishing, and cleaning. Never use liquid polish. I swear by Kiwi. Although I am still saving up for my dream shoe, a pair of AE Cambridge Cordovan Oxfords, the Bally will hold me over just fine. Peace