The Shoe Snob Blog

January 8, 2018

Written by , Posted in News, RTW Makers, Spanish

Meermin – Museum Calf Taupe GMTOs

This blog post is for all of the haters and trolls out there. You know who you are.

Lately, there has been someone or a group of people on the great big web that claim that since starting my shoe brand, I don’t write about other brands in my price range or of lesser value. So allow me to shed the ludicrousy of this statement.

First and foremost, this blog is called The Shoe Snob. That means that when it comes to shoes I am a great big SNOB. That tends to mean that I will turn my nose up at things that I don’t like. Those things include cheap shoes, designer shoes, shoes that copy other brands, shoes that pretend to be what they are not and the like. I don’t write about things I don’t respect. Full Stop. I won’t write about cheap shoes that just come out making classic models and a lower price than the next guy. This doesn’t interest me nor bring anything to the industry outside of cheap shoes.

With over 1500 posts to date, I must write about things that excite me or are unique. Again, even if my favorite brands are doing anything new or unique then they won’t get space on the blog. This is not about what price they sell at. It’s about actually making things that can say they are different, of good quality, exciting and offer value to the world.

My shoe brand is now almost 5 years old and in that time, I have written about so many “competitors” and lower-priced brands that saying otherwise is simply lying or means that you really don’t read the blog. Also to note, I am 10 times busier than I was when I started the blog and the 3 years that followed until I launched my brand.

Now, as the post is/should be about Meermin, let us get to that. Many of these trolls reference Meermin and my lack of writing about them so allow me to state why I do not talk about them so much. So here is the plain, honest truth. Sorry Meermin. But as they say, any publicity is good publicity.

As a business I respect Meermin. They are smart and came out very strong with a unique business model and managed to flood the industry and create a very strong following in a very short time. But how did they do this? They did so by making shoes that looked like everyone else’s (hardly anything being actually unique) and doing so at a very cheap price through Chinese production. They were honest about their production so I respected that. The fact that all of the shoes in the beginning looked like Crockett & Jones’ was something that I did not respect though. And now I see Corthay models and others. But hey, they give the people what they want: shoes by other brands at a cheaper price. Do I respect it? Not really. Is it smart business? Yes of course.

The problem is that most consumers are price driven and care nothing about quality, loyalty, doing what’s right and the like. They care just about price. That’s why Black Friday is now a worldwide sale. Used to just be in the US. But with cell phones being mobile computers and people being able to buy things at a few clicks away, many retailers have grown scared of their competition and want to hop on board with Black Friday starting two weeks before the day and going until Christmas. Writing about price goes against what I stand for. I am not here to share with you all of the cheap shoes of the world. I am here to share with you things that I respect that have integrity, quality and offer something unique. If a brand doesn’t tick those boxes, they don’t interest me. So deal with it or stop reading. It’s that easy.

But something that is different that Meermin is doing is this new looking shade of Museum Calf and maybe many of you will like it. So have at it as there are only 2 days left on the GMTOs!

  • Matt

    Hi Justin, After reading this article you made me wonder which brands are truly genuine and have their own idendity and which others are copy cats like Meermin?
    Which of these brands Carmina, Bonafe, Carlos Santos, Paulo Scafora, Meccarielo etc have their own identity or copy cats?

    • TheShoeSnob

      i won’t comment on specific brands but if you cannot look at a shoe and know what brand it is, that brand does not have it’s own identity and most likely takes inspiration from everyone else or have taken something from a smaller brand and passed it off as their own. For example Taft boots took a Zonkey boot concept and made it more famous on a worldwide scale (i.e. in the US), whereas hardly anyone knows who Zonkey boot are. But it was evidently a Zonkey boot idea as no one had ever done it like that before them.

  • James C

    It’s funny you should mention this brand, Justin. I was recently asking about it on a well known forum. Nowhere have I seen it mentioned that their shoes are made in China. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Never, never, NEVER! will I buy their products. Thank you.

    • TheShoeSnob

      they are made in China yes, but handwelted, not like chinese child labor or anything. Just naturally cheaper due to the culture.

    • Ikie

      Well James, I did purchase a pair of Meermin’s boots. No I did not know a head of time that they are design in Spain, and made in Shanghai. For the price point, they are fine. At total delivered cost of $290 to my US home, I’m fine. Same concept boots from Allen Edmonds are $445 + 8 tax. BTW while back I did ordered two Meermin’s Nigerien stitched at about $150 more for each. They are hard to break in. A bit two stiff.

  • Sebastian

    Go Strong Mr. Fitzpatrick!
    You are respected in the shoe world, and people in the industry know what you stand for.
    I have great respect for what you write, and haven’t doubted anything (maybe once or twice) you’ve been writing since I started reading your blog 6 years ago. That was in the beginning when I did not know as much about neither the shoe industry nor what you are about.

    You have my deepest respect and trust in what you write on your blog Justin.

    Keep at it!

    • TheShoeSnob

      thank you for the kind words and long term support, I do very much appreciate it

  • Gerardo Conde

    Hi Justin , could you tell us wich are the British brands that manufacture their shoes is Spain or in Portugal?

    • TheShoeSnob

      none of the major ones do except maybe Oliver Sweeney. The rest have factories of their own

  • JUAN MANUEL

    Hello Justin

    I don’t understand the so call trolls. Since your blog this is not a service I belive you are free to write what you want and they are free to read if they want.

    I am avid reader of your blog for the last 5 or 6 years and eventhough I don’t share your opinions about Church’s (I own a couple of Custom Grade and love them), I am sure that you have plenty of reasons for disliking that brand.

    Anyway I will continue reading your blog and buying your shoes.

    Good luck.

    • TheShoeSnob

      Thanks JM!!

  • Chan Tommy

    The above MTO model is very ugly. The shoe profile -most importantly. Then the huge gap in the toe with the welt, the whole shoes seems “float up” from the welt, the big heel, the huge heel “protruding”, the wide waist. The whole shape is just not right – ugly, IMO.

  • Robert Eskapa

    This negative info regarding Justin only featuring brands in his own shoes price category or above is absolutely hogwash. We just typed in Meermin into the search engine on the site and came up with the loads of positive and some extremely beneficial articles about Meermin:

    Here are just a tiny few. Have a look:

    1. March 1, 2013 regarding 7 pictures relating to 6 different styles, Justin wrote: “I am leaving you with some MTO greatness done by Meermin Mallorca…..the depth of their abilities as you will see in these pictures is quite astonishing….simply lovely are all of these models!!”

    2. September 26, 2013 regarding Green Cordovan Monks, Justin wrote: ” Meermin, getting more and more known for their ability to make some crazy-colored MTO’s in Cordovan (as shown here)”.

    3. December 12, 2013 regarding Blue Rubber Soled boots, Justin Wrote: ” This one here by Meermin is especially interesting as the blue that they use is quite vibrant, not one that would ever be mistaken for black as you might find with a dark navy leather.”

    4. May 21, 2014, regarding Spring boots, Justin Wrote: “Just because the sun is out does not mean that we should only wear loafers. That’s silly to me. A pair of nice, tan boots such as these Meermin’s would look great on a nice summer day underneath a pair of jeans. Why wouldn’t they? As long as something is fully leather lined, your feet will breath and after all, your feet are going to sweat just as much in those loafers anyway! So, don’t follow the silly rules of packing your boots away come Spring, instead get a pair of boots that you can wear when you are bored of your “summer” shoes!”

    5. January 8, 2018 regarding an interesting colour of Meermin Museum Calf, Justin wrote: “But something that is different that Meermin is doing is this new looking shade of Museum Calf and maybe many of you will like it. So have at it as there are only 2 days left on the GMTOs!”

    Actually, Justin has written far many more articles, ALL on Meermin, but I just don’t have time to sit here and spend my time doing what is so much simpler for you folks to do and that is to type Meermin in the search box of TheShoeSnobblog and you will see tons more POSITIVE references to the Meermin brand. If it were not for Justin’s blog I would have no idea about Meermin and I can tell you for a fact that I have bought Meermin because of TheShoeSnobblog. So whoever is bad mouthing Justin must be doing it out of their own inadequacies. Very sad when you have to resort to criticising a really useful and unique blog that is written with a lot of love for our benefit. Shame on you.

  • TheShoeSnob

    couldn’t care less what Meermin do. If I did, I would never market them freely on my blog. You are mistaken. I am glad that they exist as a stepping stone for people to get into welted shoes at a great price. But that doesn’t mean that I like their shoes as for me there is nothing special about them. And many companies are far more successful than mine making very original stuff. You sound like the trolls.

  • TheShoeSnob

    thanks Sam, I appreciate that and yes they were very good at making a great money making model.