The Shoe Snob Blog

August 8, 2016

Written by , Posted in News

Herring + Alfred Sargent = 1966 Collection

Herring-Herring Shackelton-Cherry Calf and Pin Grain-6721-3522-1
Herring shoes has come a long way in the last few years. When I first started out as a blogger, I won’t lie, I was not a fan of what they were selling as it appeared to be predominantly the lower end shoes made by the likes of Loake and Cheaney (doing what looked liked their bottom end work to maintain those low prices). And it was overly English in my eyes. But in the last few years, they have drastically changed their direction by offering more unique and higher quality products and bringing on makers that are non-English, such as Carlos Santos, to produce ranges of shoes for them.

And I think that they have done well at this as their first ‘high end’ line, the 1966 (which you see here) has been tremendously successful for them. While I am sure that having £99 shoes helped them get successful as a business having shoes with fiddleback/bevelled waists, nice last shapes and what looks like good grade leather, Herring was able to finally step into the arena of quality and become a major player in the upper realm of quality shoes.

And to top it off, as this original post was quite old, they have since gone a step further by really playing with the boundaries of bold with their Carlos Santos line, coming in all sorts of colors and models. Well done Herring. Keep it up!

Herring-Herring Drake-Antique Chestnut-6730-3529-1 Herring-Herring Fiennes-Chestnut Calf-6922-3678-1 Herring-Herring Raleigh-Black Calf-6726-3526-1 Herring-Herring Scott-Antique Oxblood-6724-3525-1

  • Laurence

    I’ve no problem with Herring shoes. They were my introduction to quality footwear after years of Doc Martens.
    In fact I just ordered a pair of their Reading suede cap toes this morning.

    My only problem with these new, more expensive designs from them is that they’ve spelt Shackleton’s name wrong.

  • Why would AS cannibalize their own market for their Exclusive line? It makes little sense.

  • Frank

    Thanks for a great blog! Even if I don’t share your love for sometimes extravagant shoes the posts are always interesting and your knowledge impressive.

    Have to ask you about your judgement that Herring shoes are poorly made. I own two pairs from their premier line, mady by Cheaney. Great shoes that look really good, and have a nice last that fit my feet amazingly. Are there really that big of a difference in quality compared to, let’s say, Church’s or C&J? I would like to hear you explore the subject further, especially if you have had bad (or good) experiences of Herring’s premier line by Cheaney!

    (And a comment about your remark: “Loake and Cheaney making them (doing their bottom end work to maintain those low prices)”. I know that Adrian Herring claim that the Herring Classic line that is made by Loake holds equal quality as the Loake 1880 series, their own top line.)

    • Anonymous

      I would be interested in reading his reply too.

    • Frank, the words ‘Herring shoes are poorly made’ were never written. What I said is that Herring’s low end lines, the ones that are 100-195 and made in England (somewhat) are from makers like Loake and Cheaney (more so Loake) who are using bottom end materials and the uppers stitched in India (at least in the case of Loake) in order to maintain those low prices. I am not a fan of that, period. The premier line is definitely using better materials, but I am still not a fan of the last, it’s proportions and how they turn up at the toe. I have tried on Cheaney’s shoes at the 295 mark and did not find the last well-fitting nor comfortable. This is my take on it. As per Adrian’s comment, well irregardless of what he says, I am simply not a fan of Loake altogether. Sure I have seen the odd shoe that looked nice and well made, but the majority of what I see is not nice. Cheaney’s are better and can make a good shoe, but I am more a fan of their handgrade work, not so much their benchgrade work. The leather is good on the benchgrade stuff, but the last and proportions/shapes of them is what throws me off. This is my opinion, plain and simple. I am not in the mind frame that just because a shoe is made in England that it is good. There is a lot of rubbish that comes out of this country. Read this to understand what I am talking about: http://htl.li/l7H4G …..And yes, there is a big difference between Herring’s Premier line by Cheaney and C&J benchgrade line…..which is why C&J as a whole is generally regarded as the best maker in that price range…Church’s is a different story…not so much a fan of them since the Prada takeover…… Hope that this helps clarify things…

  • Anthony

    I’m also willing to mount a partial defence of Herring. I can understand why you aren’t keen on their shoes – the styles are indeed often rather more conservative and less interesting than those you favour. That said, I think there’s a degree to which it’s matter of comparing apples and oranges.

    Many of the shoes that feature on this website start at somewhere around the 400 mark, whereas Herring’s wares tend to top out somewhere in the 250-280 range, with only a handful of their designs going over 300. Quality-wise, I don’t think their Premier range is any worse than standard-issue Cheaney shoes. All in all I think they do a pretty good, conservative shoe at prices that range from reasonable to excellent.

    On a personal note, as somebody who takes a G fitting, Herring are also one of the few companies who seems willing to produce a halfway decent range for people whose feet are wider than average of who have a high instep. I like many of the shoes you showcase on this site but in many cases I have to resign myself to the fact that I haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance of getting them to fit me. Even on that basis alone I’m willing to cut Herring some slack!

    • I feel like everyone here is arguing an opinion. I simply don’t like Loake or Cheaney’s mid range stuff (which is what most of Herring’s shoes are). I am not comparing them to anyone nor saying that they are crap, but am simply not a fan of them. Loake’s quality I don’t like, for all of their use of bookbinder and the shapes of lasts as well as proportions from last shape to pattern. Cheaney on the other hand can make a good shoe but am just not a fan of the lasts as well as the proportions to the patterns vs. last shapes and how they sit on them. Their Imperial line on the other hand is excellent.

      That being, there are many makers sub 400 that I put on the blog. To name a few: C&J benchgrade line, Ed Et Al (which is sub 200), Berwick (again sub 200), Meermin, Septieme Largeur, Carmina etc….not to mention my own line which is also sub 400. I feel that people are simply overly proud to represent shoemakers from their country and argue for their quality simply based on that fact. For 275, there are a lot more makers that I would prefer to buy over Herring, Cheaney, Loake and the like, that are making better shoes, just not made in England. Price is not a requirement for entry on my blog, quality is. Ed Et Al’s shoes to me are just as good as C&J benchgrade, if not better and their prices are below 250….

      Now for the fact that you have a hard to fit foot, I can appreciate that you like Herring for this reason. And I am not to say that this is wrong as not once did I say that their shoes are bad, simply that I don’t like their low end stuff. And I stand by that… the blog is called The Shoe Snob, not the ‘democratic shoe lover.’ That’s just my take…..and for all those that appreciate Herring, that’s great. I heard that they are a good company that has great service and that I can appreciate that, but that does not mean that I have to like their shoes in the lower price ranges….

  • Anonymous

    Hi Justin,
    I have read your replies to the comments with great interest!
    In respect to Cheaney’s lasts, I would like to draw your attention to one: the 11028. To me, it is not surprising that it has become really popular over the years. Please, do not miss an opportunity to take a close look. For sure in London, at John Rushton’s for instance you will find at least one style made on this last.
    John

    • Thanks for your input John. If I get a chance to check it out, I will…been intending to go to Rushton’s as I still have not yet done so…

  • Colin Ross

    The Herring Drake looks quite similar to the AS Handgrade Pendle.