The Shoe Snob Blog

July 22, 2013

Written by , Posted in News

Duggers of London – The New Best Cost vs. Value

A few months back, I was emailed by a gentleman who was wanting to introduce me to his new English shoe brand, Duggers of London. He told me a bit about it, sent me pictures and offered to send me a shoe for trial/testing. Considering the low price point and the fact that I have way too many shoes, I was a bit skeptical about going forward with it, as there really is no point for me to write about a shoe that I think that I might not like and there was nothing that really grabbed my attention when I looked at the site. However, we decided to meet for a coffee so that they could show me the shoes in person and to discuss a bit about the brand and how it came to be. As it is always my pleasure to meet people in the industry, I was happy to do so. When we met, they just so happened to have brought with them this tan full brogue, called the Dickie in a UK7 (not a coincidence as they did not know my size at that point – also something I managed to miss when looking at the site). I tried it on, felt its good fit and comfort and decided to take their offer up as it then became quite intriguing after understanding their feel/quality vs. retail price ratio.

So, Duggers of London is an English brand, in the sense that the gentlemen who founded the company are both English from just outside of London and the company was founded here. Their idea was to create well-made yet affordable footwear that had a cross between an English look and feel but that was made in Spain. Like me, they knew that if they wanted to create a good retail price in ratio for their quality they had to look outside of England because unfortunately the great land of shoemakers is just too costly for designers who don’t own the factory. That being they went to Spain and found a factory that churned out a good product. After sending me the pair, I went through the usual rounds of quality investigation, assessing the leather, the pattern, the fit and the feel. If I am going to be honest, at £140 I don’t really expect much out of a shoe as good materials cost money and to get a good margin means that one has to add to their cost price by 2.5. But for £140 this shoe was phenomenal. Granted you have your blemishes here and there, but one has to be practical. You cannot expect to get perfection. I am even learning that in my own shoes I cannot expect constant perfection as in reality it simply does not exist, even though I wish it did. But the blemishes in this shoe, i.e. leather spots, belly leather used on certain parts of the pattern and what looks to be non-veg. tanned lining etc. don’t take away from the value of the shoe, not at that price-point at least.

I wore the shoes out in about, got lots of compliments on them and felt great in them. If I was a person that chose his shoe purchases wisely, I can tell you that I would have been extremely pleased with this purchase, as I truly feel that at this price, I am getting at least a £200-£250 value (and they are currently on sale for a whopping £109, believe it or not!!). Now the only thing that concerns me is the idea of their price and you, the customers, not understanding that the way that they somehow got this price was through a partnership with the factory as well as the idea of never being able to wholesale the shoe as there simply is no margin for it. This is theoretically the price that the factory would sell it at if they had their own store and brand and to get that is a great deal for both the brand, Duggers, and you the end consumer. But don’t think that just because they are able to charge these prices for this quality that this is what all designers who use Spanish factories should be able to charge, because that would just be foolish thinking. Having said that, for all of you whom appreciate fine footwear but might not be able to venture into that +£300 pricepoint, let me tell you that I would recommend Duggers over all other English brands that retail sub £250.

  • Jumbo Jaffas

    Anne loves Duggers shoes!!!

    Recently, Duggers of London partnered with Shortlist/Mr Hyde for an online competition to win three pairs of shoes. I entered, not expecting to win, but just imagine my surprise when I got an email saying I’d won. I was ecstatic and I eagerly awaited delivery of my prize. I have to say, I was not disappointed. Within a few days the shoes arrived at my door and I eagerly opened the boxes. My face lit up with each box I opened. The shoes were as described on Duggers website, top quality, new and shiny ….. I just wanted to hug them. But of course they were men’s shoes and being a woman I couldn’t wear them, but when my son came home from work that night he was overjoyed trying them on and prancing around the room with obvious delight. He particularly liked the Athol boots and now he is the proud owner of the best quality shoes he has ever had with both Athol and Monty taking pride of place in his shoe rack.

    To Duggers I say ‘THANK YOU’ for a brilliant competition, but more so for top quality products that are sure to please any recipient.

  • Draqll

    HI,
    Thank you for this post. The brand seems to be interesting. Mentioning that how would you compare Duggers to Meermin – your other one of the best price vs quality ratio brand? Is it by the accident the same factory that makes those shoes?

    • TheShoeSnob

      Can’t say that I know the quality of Meermin’s lower end range, which is probably what these would be compared to. So it is hard to answer…. Meermin’s Linea Maestro line is definitely a better shoe but also a bit more expensive. They are not made in the same factory. As far as I know Meermin has yet to start making for private labeling…..

  • Johnny

    Hi justin,

    I just ordered a pair of the Dickie in tan. I’m a US size 8, can I ask you what size are you in US? You mentioned Duggars brought you a size UK 7. I would assume that the UK 8 I ordered would be close to a US 8.5. I hope it doesn’t end up being too loose.

    • TheShoeSnob

      sorry for the late reply…how did they turn up? I think that you should be fine…

  • Matthew Nichols

    Have you kept these in your rotation at all? I’m wondering how they hold up with time. I’m looking for an affordable brogue and a black captoe with Dainite soles to wear to work or wet evenings out.

    • TheShoeSnob

      no i have not unfortunately…but as they were a decent shoe i am sure that they are holding up well for the person that now has them…especially as they have the Dainite sole…

  • Imtiaze Shamim

    Hello Justin,
    Just inspired to give a try after reading your article. I have choiced the ‘Monty’ model but kinda confused as its upper made of ‘Aniline Leather’. I don’t have any idea regarding Aniline Leather, is it good quality leather?