The Shoe Snob Blog

December 13, 2013

Written by , Posted in News

Massimo Ferrari Review

Massimo Ferrari Spectator oxford

It seems that every month a new brand pops up and smacks us all in the face with some cool shoes. Well this month it is Massimo Ferrari and I must say that I am quite impressed overall with what they are capable of doing.  As I wrote a few weeks ago, Massimo Ferrari is yet another brand sprouting-up out of East Asia and is set to show once more that Europe is not the only place that can make well-made benchgrade RTW shoes. Hailing out of Vietnam with a background as a luxury men’s lifestyle brand, encompassing everything from RTW clothes and shoes to bespoke tailoring, it is quite surprising that for a brand that is not necessarily focused on one particular thing that they manage to be at least getting one of those things right. This is not the case for all brands that make everything but specialize in nothing.

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Curious to know more about them (i.e. fit and quality), they were kind enough to send me a shoe to review, and not only just some RTW shoe, but pretty much whatever I wanted (that being, an MTO). Being the semi-dandy that I can be and having covered all of my bases in the shades of black/brown/burgundy, I decided to get something that spoke volumes on my self-proclaimed exuberant character. And what better to represent that than a lovely 2-tone adelaide? Nothing really. So that’s what I went with, combining colors and materials that I have yet to do at any other point in time. And needless to say, I was quite impressed with how they came out and even more in disbelief with how much I liked the color combination of black and brown sitting together in the same shoe.

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Straight out of the box, the shoes looked and felt like a well-made pair of shoes, being supportive, comfortable and elegant without question. The leather and suede was top notch, I imagine being French (the leather) and English (the suede). The stitching of the upper and finishing of the sole was clean and tidy and the presentation of the packaging was that of a £800 shoe, all but missing a shoehorn or something. But for me that is neither here nor there. What was important was the fact that there really was not one detail that was out of place. And all of that for a shoe that ranges between £240-£260 ($395-$425) and a MTO between £288-£312 (20% mark-up). That is quite impressive and that is what these East Asian factories are bringing to the table. And when comparing the shoes quality to that of an English maker, I would honestly put them up there with all the rest of the makers that sell between £300-£350 (at least from what I saw in my pair).

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What I didn’t like in the shoes were 3 things really and were all a matter of preference. First, I was not crazy about the detailing in which they made the sides of the sole, whereby it came to a point instead of being traditionally flush (straight edge). It seemed a bit too Rock N’ Roll for my liking. But hey, that is just an opinion. Secondly, I felt that in the balance something was not completely right. There seemed to be a bit too much toe spring which to me created a sort of seesaw effect under the ball of the foot. I think that this occurred because the sole of the forefoot area was not completely flush and instead had more of a convex shape were the peak of the convex was dead in the center of the forefoot. Spending too much time around bespoke shoes makes you snobby in details like this.

The last thing was the fact that I felt that the mouth of the shoe (where you put your feet in) was too big. This is great for attempting to fit all feet thus allowing people with wide feet to get inside a non-wide shoe. But it is not good for narrow feet whereby the heel then has more chances of popping out.

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Overall, for the price that they sell it is a great value for money shoe and I would buy them all day long. The only downside is that their online website is still under construction and one can only buy the shoes by email or going to Vietnam. But this does not seem too abnormal these days as many of us are attempting to grow our brands and doing a website properly, takes time. That being, if require further information or wish to make a purchase, the person to contact would be Mr. Antonio Torres and his email is: a.torres@massimoferrari.com.vn

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