Review: John Doe Shoes Bonucci Oxford
John Doe Shoes is a fairly new company based in Mexico that produces high quality full-grain leather goodyear welted footwear. I received the Bonucci Oxford for review. The shoes’ silhouettes are modern & the shape of the last is sleek and feels quite contemporary. The quality of the leather and construction are superb as well. John Doe Shoes currently offers a wide range of models from Double Monk, Boot to the classic Wingtip. All of the models are great looking and feature goodyear welted. Goodyear welted dress shoes can be resoled, so they tend to last a long time with proper care.
Overall, they are very comfortable, and I’ve worn them for long work days without any soreness. I love the rich brown color of the Bonucci Oxford. I’m a huge fan of brown dress shoes because they tend to develop beautiful patinas over time and simply age better than black shoes do. You can easily dress them up with a navy suit or dress them down with sport coat and dark denim. I am so impressed with the quality and price of their shoes. I highly recommended John Doe Shoe to anyone in the market for a nice dress shoe. Plus ever model is less than $155 and offer free shipping and return on all USA orders.
John Doe Shoes is providing 10% discount to all Hello Vancity readers; just use promo code hellovancity at checkout. http://www.johndoeshoes.com
Check out our interview with Cuitlahuac Ortiz, founder of John Doe Shoes
1. Can you tell us about the origins of John Doe Shoes?
I’ll try to make a long story short. A year ago my brother and I were walking around Mexico City’s downtown. We came into a shoe store, where my brother would pick a pair of nice looking longwings. After a few seconds of looking at them we noticed that the shoeswere goodyear welted. Something that came as a surprise to us as we have never seen goodyear welted shoes at such an affordable price. So we bought them. On our way back home I couldn’t stop thinking about who made those shoes and why we have never seen that brand anywhere else before. What started as plain curiosity, quickly became an idea to start a shoe business. So after finding out who made the shoes, we went to visit the workshop. The owner is the third generation of a family of shoemakers, they have been making goodyear welted shoes for 60 years. Unfortunately it turns out the owner was not interested in making goodyear welted shoesanymore, sales were decreasing every year and the market was asking for cheap almost disposable shoes nowadays, so he was making that kind of shoes. So our first challenge was to get him into our idea that there was indeed a huge market for quality shoes at affordable prices outside of Mexico. After many calls and emails we finally got him into doing it; however he was only going to do so if we were going to buy hundreds of shoes. To raise that amount of capital we used all of our savings, I sold my motorbike and we had to borrow some more. Once we had the money we were almost good to go. But first we made some changes to the shoes; we used better leather and different colors. Finally after months of work we had the shoes. By then we had run out of money, so we couldn’t hire a web site designer, nor advertising. All we had was mountains of shoes stacked on our parents’ house. So we started bootstrapping all the way to where we are now. I made the website, my brother had a friend who took the pictures in exchange for a pair of shoes. As for the advertising I remember buying a magazine just to get free credit on Google ad words, however it didn’t work out so well. So my brother contacted some fashion style bloggers, he would tell them about our shoes and our story. Some of them asked for samples. We send them and a few days later positive reviews came out, and we got thousands of visits to the website, that later became sales. And so that’s more or less how it all started. I must say it hasn’t been an easy road; it has been full of trips, sleepless nights, sacrifices, risks (I had to quit a very good job in order to keep up with the company) and worries. But it has all been worth it.
2. What is the inspiration behind the brand?
The inspiration of our brand comes from our customers. Usually every brand related to fashion and apparel tries to define who you are and many times how much you are worth. So brands will get us into thinking that in order to be really fast or the best in the court, your only chance is by buying the latest sneakers, if you want to look as handsome as a model you have to buy an $800 jacket and so on. We don’t agree with that, and so we have taken away any importance or any sense of pretension by naming the brand John Doe Shoes. It’s our customers the ones who are going to run the show, it’s up to them to step up and get whatever they’re looking for. Of course we will try to help in that mission by making a great quality shoe with a timeless style and saving them some money on the way. A final word on this, though it might seem as I took a shot at high end brands, I don’t meant to. I’m pretty aware that expensive brands many times use the best materials and craftsmanship and some of them possess a heritage of dozens of years making their products, and that’s definitely something to take into account.
3. Who is the John Doe Shoes customer?
Anyone who wants to pay for a great product and not for a brand. Since I take all the orders and most of the questions we get from our customers or people interested in our shoes. I have the great chance to get to know many of them. There are some guys with whom I have exchanged 10 or 15 emails, from questions like how to take care of their shoes, how they fit, up to stories like how people have been complimenting their shoes. I can say there’s not a specific group of people among our customers, there are young, seniors, lawyers, doctors, Americans, Canadians, Australians, Asians. I think the only thing in common is that they were looking for good looking high quality shoes for a fair price.
4. What is the significance of goodyear welted footwear?
Goodyear welt is one type of shoe construction, which is made by stitching a strip of leather, to the insole and upper of the shoe, as an attach-point for the sole. Then the space enclosed by the welt is filled with cork, and then the outsole is both cemented and stitched to the welt.
It provides an extremely comfortable shoe after a short break in period in which the footbed of the shoes will mold to the shape of your feet, as opposed to other welting methods it is water resistant so you won’t get water or snow into your feet as it would happen with Blake welt shoes. Also Goodyear welt machines are the most common ones to find among shoe repair shops and cobblers, so Goodyear welt shoes offer a great value as they can be easily resoled many times. Instead of buying a pair of shoes every year, you just have to resole your shoes for a fraction of the cost of a pair of new ones, giving you a shoe that with proper care should last many years.
5. What can we expect from John Doe Shoes in the future?
We will be releasing 3 new styles in the coming weeks, all of them with the new made in USA leather and we have planned a surprise for December. I can’t say much about it but it’s going to be a different way of buying shoes.