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Reviews (1)

Pediwear Shoe Centre

You get what you pay for, but great service is the true added value.

I bought some cheap (around £100) Loake 202DS suede brogues from Pediwear about five weeks ago. The shoes themselves are pretty decent - a Goodyear welted shoe on a nice classic English last, the like of which is often very expensive. To be honest, the welt is uneven, the stitching that retains the (insufficiently lined) tongue broke immediately on one shoe, and there's some touching up of imperfections here and there. Also, there's not much depth to the cork filler so they wear more like a blake stitched pair in feel. But they're made in India, for around half the price of their UK-made equivalents, they feel fine, and if you're not under the scrutiny of a picky shoe lover, they look very nice!

There are cheaper Indian-made brogues - at half the price from one UK company I just discovered. But the fact that these are made by Loake, a credible entry level for "proper" English shoes, and that the lasts are the same as some of their more expensive shoes, means that the 202DS looks far superior to some of the cheaper offerings in the market - and a few of the more expensive for that matter.

So, more or less, you get what you pay for in terms of the shoes themselves. They're not as good as my old English-made Loakes, and not close to the other English brands I wear. But they're worth the money, especially as they came with a perfectly decent free tie ("Soprano"), and some trees. Actually, I'd have paid extra to have my "free" trees one model up with a shaped heel, but I've similar ones from Allen Edmonds at three times the price so can't look this gift horse in the mouth!

The main point about this, though, is not the shoes: this review is about Pediwear Ltd as a company. This is my first dealing with them, and despite some (my fault) confusion over delivery addresses, I got my shoes and freebies in good time, to the door, and with absolute courtesy. My enquiries were always answered in less than 24 hours, staff were clear and helpful both by email and on the telephone, and I had a firm impression of a company for which customer service is a genuine commitment, rather than just a recorded message.

I bought these particular shoes because I tend to mess up suede too quickly and didn't want to pay for a better brand. These fit the bill, and especially with the free gifts and reasonable postage, make a good value deal. But in general, I'd say always buy the best shoes you can afford. Now, in addition to that, I'd say go ahead and buy them from Pediwear, whatever your budget. They were great to deal with, have a nice selection of brands, and a website that's easy to search by size and fitting. I'm happy to recommend them without any reservation - especially if like me, you're an international customer.

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Mr B
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