The Shoe Snob Blog

August 8, 2013

Written by , Posted in News

Wildsmith Back in Action and Now Live!

grovesnor-blue-wildsmith

Wildsmith, the name that for some reason makes me think of cowboy boots and that was once associated with some of the finest shoes around, has come back into the shoe industry, ready to take it by storm! While they used to be made by Edward Green before their closure some 30-40 years back, the current owners decided to change things up a bit by creating a more competitive and affordable price-point, ranging between 335-365 and thus taking the production to Alfred Sargent. With what looks to be a handgrade construction, I would venture to say that the price is highly advantageous in the customer’s ability to get good price vs. quality.

While the collection is new and thus still quite small, I really look forward to seeing what they can come up with design-wise in the future, and how they will set themselves apart from the likes of C&J and thus live up to the ever-strong name known as Wildsmith…… Only time will tell…but so far, so good!

grovesnor-blue-wildsmith 1 trinity-oak-Wildsmith saddle loafer covent-derby-brown-Wildsmith-brogue covent-mahogany-Wildsmith

  • Jesper Ingevaldsson

    The collection looks great, and I hope they will do well! A couple of minor corrections, the Wildsmith brand was up and running until about 10 years ago, it wasn’t 30-40 years back. At the end they did just sell rebranded C&J-shoes which were quite overpriced.
    And I don’t think that they are made to handgrade standard, AS handgrade cost about 650-700, these are more likely around the As Exclusive in standard, although they are also a bit cheaper than that series as well.

    http://www.shoegazing.se

    • TheShoeSnob

      Thanks Jesper!! I appreciate the correction on the years. I always think that Wildsmith ended in the 80’s for some reason…don’t know where I got that…maybe because once Green started doing them, I see that as ending…. On the HG vs BG, yea you are probably right there too….but I must say that they are at least semi-handgrade, as they do have some of the HG features such as a slight beveled waist and a closed channel sole….lining even looks the part too…definitely cleaner looking than the benchgrade C&J at 345…

      • Jesper Ingevaldsson

        Yeah, the “real” Wildsmith one could say ended back then.
        I think you are confusing things between Alfred Sargent and Crockett & Jones now. C&J:s BG-shoes have the open channel and regular waist, but AS Exclusives (which many rate almost as high as C&J handgrade) do have a quite extreme beveled waist, closed channeled soles which are oak bark tanned. They cost around 400. Sargent a Handgrades are only MTO and are in the range of Edward Green and the other premium brands in the UK.

        By the way, love the new look of the site, really nice! Keep up your as always great work!

        • TheShoeSnob

          i think that there is a bit of miscommunication here…what I was saying is that the features on this Wildsmith have “Handgrade” qualities, like closed channels and slight bevelled waists. Not necessarily that they are truly a handgrade shoe. Then I was saying that at 335, you are getting nicer features than the C&J BG for 345, which have straight waists and open channel soles….I presume that we are actually in agreement but you felt that I was saying something else?….

          Thanks for kind words re the blog, I do appreciate that!! Thanks for your support too!!

          • Jesper Ingevaldsson

            Sorry, yes was a misunderstanding. Since Alfred Sargents top line is called Handgrade I was assuming that you referred to that.

          • TheShoeSnob

            no worries my friend, thought as much….words and how they trip us up! 🙂

  • Adam Jones

    Interesting that you say “how will they compare to C&J?” Because I am a big fan of C&J once you have a couple of pairs I tend to find you run out of choice. Looking at the website there are some good looking pieces including a very nice dark oak brogue, which is much nicer than the equivalent C&J Finsbury. Which you cannot even get in dark brown unless you buy cordovan. I have always thought of C&J as on their own in that price bracket in terms of quality and product (especially when you compare to supposed rivals cheaney, barker, church etc) these seem to be a real alternative. Of course if you do want to go a bit more interesting design wise there is a gentleman in Gieves and Hawkes who sells some nice shoes!

    • TheShoeSnob

      another contender in the lower to mid 300 pricepoint….the more the merrier!! Thanks as always for the kind words and hope that you are enjoying your Wallingfords!

  • William Bailey

    Edward Green actually has a long history association with Wildsmith dating back to the 1950’s. The offer from this new brand looks good but reminds me a little too much of the AS “exclusive/handgrade” collection, of which I own a few pairs ; )

    • TheShoeSnob

      yea I was more referring to when they stopped making with Green….but yes there definitely are a lot of similarities between these and AS…they don’t hold the same look that old Wildsmith’s did, but without the patterns or original lasts it would be hard to do….