The Shoe Snob Blog

January 2, 2013

Written by , Posted in News

Scarpe Di Bianco – MTO Creation

So a while back, I wrote about having an MTO of Scarpe di Bianco in the process and just a few weeks back, I finally received them and wanted to share with all of you whom might also be curious in the brand. As a little background info, Scarpe Di Bianco was created by a gentleman who used to work for Sutor Mantellassi but decided to branch off and start his own company. That being, you can think of them with respects to the higher end of the Italian shoe industry, much like that of a Sutor, a Bontoni or the high end Santoni’s. As I always like and admired Sutor’s stuff, you can imagine my intrigue when SS first opened up. Their shoe offering was vast, and I liked nearly all of the styles so I had always been quite curious to see what they were like. I had the opportunity to try one out and as they offer some very unique styles, I decided to go for something a bit different, something that you would not really find outside of bespoke. So, I sent in a picture of the model that I wanted but with all of my specifications and this is what I got back!

I believe that most of their shoes come standard as Blake contruction, but since I am an avid fan of Goodyear, I asked for that, along with the color grey. In reality, I did not change the shoe so much, as one might have been able to. There really was not much more that I could do, without going overboard, as this model is quite ornate already. So when I received the shoes, I was immediately impressed by the packaging and presentation. Not that it surprised me, as a shoe of this caliber and cost price should come packaged to the highest standards, but it did look amazingly clean and tidy, which is always a nice site to see. Upon inspection, everything was how it should be. Finishing, stitching, last proportions/shape/balance, coloring and pattern were all tip-top, just as your fine English shoes would be. The waist was nice and bevelled and the sole (which I completely forgot to take a picture of) reminded me of a Crockett & Jones Handgrade sole: clean, simple and tidy without any flaws, and with a nice bit of detailing and definitely close-channeled.

The shoes were really comfortable, broke in immediately, and felt just as good as all of my other well made goodyear welted shoes. For me, they are great and for MTO starting out at $1095, I would say that if you can afford it then they are worth the price, especially if you like their styles on offer. One might argue that you could find the same quality for cheaper but at this price and quality level, it’s just tit for tat really. If you like the styling and the maker, then who cares about saving $100 off of a $1000. I know that this style is probably not the most practical of an example for most people as you really have to have a lot of shoes to want to spend +$1000 on a model like this that might be frowned upon by your average corporate environment. But I think they look great underneath a nice pair of jeans, which in reality is what I am: just a jean guy! The fringe being put on shoes (in these new ways, not like the old man shaped loafers) is growing on me hard, and I think that we will all be seeing a bit more of it in the upcoming years. The shoes were great, as I had expected them to be and if you had been wondering about them too, then allow me to provide my stamp of approval! And as a last detail, I must say that I really like the gimping (jagged cutting) put on the insole sock. That’s a nice touch that you wouldn’t find anywhere else….

I hope that everyone had a good New Years celebration!! And while this might be a little off topic, I just can’t help myself. Most of you may not know, but I do like my beer (and deem myself as an amateur connoisseur). While celebrating New Years, I managed to come across the best beer that I have ever had in my life (no joke). That is saying a lot, especially as I come from a place that specializes in Micro-brews. Since it was so amazingly good, I just wanted to share it with all of you and to tell you that if any of you own a store or a bar/restaurant, I suggest you buy it and if you are in the London area and do so, please let me know, because I will come drink it!

The beer is called Biere de Brie and it is from France. It reminds me of a nice Belgian, but less frothy and more smooth….if you like beer like I do, I promise that you will like this!

All the best,

Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  • paul van der hart

    I can’t possibly fathom how you can in one post rubbish Church’s shoes for their hideous output (and quite rightly so, I might add!), and on the other hand virtually drool over these….

    It may be the light, or other aspects of the photography (trying to give you a way out…), but my god, these are truly horrible shoes.

    Wouldn’t want to be found dead with them!

  • Anonymous

    did you buy these out of your own pocket for that price or were they given to you free to review justin?

    richard pickton

  • Anonymous

    sorry Justin, I’m usually a fan but these shoes are awful. Just wrong.

  • Anonymous

    those are truly terrible sorry mate

  • Paul van der Hart – thanks for the way out, but I will take full responsibility and say that I like these, no matter what others think! Apples & Oranges…I don’t like the Church’s not for design reasons (which is why most won’t like these, aka the fringe) but because what Prada has done to a great company, using shit materials and fashion type orientation…..

    Richard – Neither…the owner had written me up telling me that he enjoyed the blog and I said that I had always admired the shoes and was curious about them but had to stay at curiosity as I could not afford to purchase a pair. He offered to send me a pair as a nice gesture I guess and because I know that readers will want to know about them, I wrote about them. But it was not for review or anything. He was just truly being kind. I picked this model because I wanted something different that I would not design in my own collection…

    Anon1 & 2 – no worries my friends…I don’t wear to please others…I wear what I like no matter what others think…to each his own! You can’t like everything I do…

    -Justin

  • Anonymous

    ok understood, just that for a thousand bucks if you didnt get them free would you really choose to buy them over the more established competition ie the lobbs & EGs who are in a similar price bracket?

    not surprised at the reaction as most people tend to hate fringes on shoes .. the fringe on these looks huge covering almost the whole vamp .. cant say i find them asthetically pleasing & to be honest agree with some of the above comments re churches vs these .. churches charge ~350 for a classic looking english shoe .. these look fugly for double that .. so even if the materials on churches has gone down who would not rather choose them?

    rich pickton

  • avi

    Justin, they look very cool with the jeans, but on their own a little iffy, overall with the jeans very cool. Also you wont bump into anyone in the street with the same pair of shoes.

  • Anonymous

    Not my cuppa tea, but then again if everyone had the same taste the world would be a boring place.

    Would love the skirt to be shorter, but lovely colour.

    Marco

  • Anonymous

    I can see why people hate theese shoes, fringes are not for everyone. I personally would love to have them but with a bit shorter fringes like a Corthay bespoke model I have seen.

    About SdB, after checking their site, I think that they have a lot wonderfull styles(I especially dig the ones with reverse stiches), many of them you couldn’t get outside bespoke, so if the quality is there the 1095 price tag is ok in my opinion

  • Whilst not my cup of tea. I love the last and can look beyond the fringe to what looks like a well constructed shoe. Grey is fast becoming my favourite colour and I’ve bought two double breasted suits this year in it in fact. If you like your micro brewery and aren’t a lager fan but rather real beer I can never recommend badger enough as a brewery. For gin I’m a Hendricks man and whiskey I like dalwhinnie to balance the picture

  • Rich – an MTO by Lobb or Green would actually cost me a lot more….RTW Lobb is nearly $1400….but if I am going to be honest, the quality is not that far off….too often people forget that Italy can make a very very good shoe, only that they have become accustomed to making a lot of the designer trash that you see out there and this has apparently made people forget their abilities. Stefano Bemer’s RTW line (which was goodyear welted) was just as good as the best shoemakers in England, yes, the best of them and his shoes were made in the same factory that makes Berluti’s, in Italy….

    you see, people are comparing apples to oranges in this post assuming that I was trying to show the brand for the style I chose and forgetting that I review a shoe for it’s quality. The quality is double that of a Church’s. It just so happened that I picked a model that no one liked. If I had wrote everything that I did, showing a plain black full brogue, all of you would be singing a different tune, guaranteed!

    Avi – thanks my friend

    Marco – I see that you read the post the way that I intended for people to see it…showing off a brand that can make a good shoes and has capabilities in many different styles, even one with a mega long fringe that nobody would want!

    Adam – Thanks for the recommendation, I will check it out for sure!!

    -Justin

  • Alex B

    Even more silly than your kiltie chukkas, but you’re a peculiar little fellow and entitled to your individuality!

    The main point really is the quality you mentioned, for an MTO product at that price. For an American company, and an Italian-made shoe, if the quality’s as good as you say then the price seems realistic.

    My only concern is whether they’re acceptable to your Albanian mafia backers. Careful, Justin, careful.

  • Justin, personally I like this style and have been thin king about adding them to my DB collection. I am a HUGE fan of Bill White and his passion and vision for shoemaking. They look good on you.

  • Alex B – 🙂

    MarkLA – Thanks Mark. Yea Bill is a great guy and I wish him all the best!

    -Justin