Customer Reviews: Johnston & Murphy Men's Harding Panel Toe Oxford
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on July 23, 2012
Almost 2 years ago I bought this same shoe in brown at a major U.S. department store for $160. These were (and still are) the best shoe I have ever owned. They were made in Brazil, had the highest quality leather in both look and feel, and feel so comfortable it sometimes seems like they aren't even there. They still look great after heavy use for almost 2 years.

Jump forward to now - I bought the same shoe in black because I liked my brown ones so much. I was surprised that the price on Amazon was only 50% of what I paid in the department store. When I received these shoes, I was immediately disappointed. Although the style is the same, the quality of leather obviously is not. They looked cheaper and the leather was much stiffer without the same texture. These shoes are also much heavier than the store bought ones. I looked at the tag and these are made in India. I have been living abroad in India for the past 2 years and I can honestly say that the quality of items made here are lackluster, no matter who the company. These shoes have rubbed my heals raw, and are quite uncomfortable and heavy. Also, the right shoe is slightly smaller than the left shoe, despite both being size 11. I am not surprised; I have seen this before in India. Overall this was not a good purchase. I would recommend paying double price in the department store and getting a higher quality shoe (if it still exists).
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on March 4, 2013
I base this review on my previous purchase of these shoes first, then my experience on my most current purchase. I first bought the Harding panel toe shoes form Johnston and Murphy 3 years ago. They felt comfortable to wear all day, stylish, and didn't need much if any breaking in. Fit was great.. I received many compliemtns on the shoes. After 3 years, I finally had to replace them, which also speaks alot of a shoe that was worn at least 3-4 days per week. The price on Amazon was great, and based on previous experience, I bought them. Upon putting them on, they felt different. the leather was stiffer, they felt bulkier.. it just wasn't what I remembered. I matched the size (10.5), width (D), model number (on inside of shoe tongue): everything matched except that these shoes were made in India and my original pair were made in Romania. Still perplexed, I put the shoes side by side and the new pair looked strangely bigger, wider, bulkier. When I put the shoes together, heel to heel, I found that the new shoe was approx 1/2 size larger, if not slightly more, and they were a bit wider. In the end, I was disappointed with my purchase and sent them back. So the three stars I give is not quite indicative of my recent purchase, but rather a mixed rating between the new and old. Something slipped with J & M over the past couple of years.
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on August 21, 2012
I've heard great things about Johnston and Murphy shoes so I bought my first pair at the end of July. After wearing them only for a few weeks I noticed that the sole is separating from the leather. Really disappointed....
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on May 11, 2012
I bought this very shoe 3+ years ago, from a major department store. The shoe was amazing. Wore it almost daily for three years before they finally started to show their age. Can dress them up or down, and walk in it for hours. Can not say enough about the quality and comfort of the original version of this shoe. I figured I could just order the same make and model online and it would be ok. Boy, was I wrong. It took 3 months of almost daily wear to break them in. The quality of craftsmanship is many, many levels down from the original pair that sold me on this shoe three years ago. The shoelaces are already falling apart and I have not even had these shoes for 6 months. Should have returned them when I had the chance. Never again.
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on March 24, 2011
I have owned a (dark brown) pair of these shoes since 2006 and still wear them today. They are premium quality shoes, comparable to any pair from Allen Edmonds, Cole Hahn, etc. The comfort level of these shoes is beyond any other dress shoe that I have ever worn. I believe that the comfort of this shoe comes from the supple leather that is used in construction, along with a very lightly padded lining that provides cushioning to the top and sides of your foot. They also have a quality sole made with leather and rubber for a classic look, yet comfortable fit and wear. The shoes still look great, maybe even better than when I bought them. These shoes that I bought in 2006 were made in Romania.

Fast forward to today: I recently bought a black pair of these shoes and they arrived today. I have not tried them on yet, but, they were made in China. There was no mention of this in the Amazon description. Now, you can call me a "shoe snob," "elitist," or whatever, but I do not believe that shoes made in China are as good as shoes made in Europe or Brazil. The leather does not feel as good and the shoes don't have that "fine new shoe smell" (those of you who know what I'm talking about are probably the only ones reading this review, anyway). Time will tell and I will update this review accordingly. I hope that these shoes are as good, no, as great as the other shoes that were made in Romania.
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on October 2, 2015
I originally purchased a size 12E brown version of this shoe 2 years ago - the fit is a little tight when putting on the shoe but once on, it is supple and comfortable. Having mostly worn Cole Haan and Ecco, this was my first experience with a cork "click-clack" heel - I was worried it wouldn't have enough cushioning, but this turned out to not be true. Sure, its not like wearing a Nike Air, but it is plenty cushioned for a dress shoe. The leather quality is excellent - despite the tight-ish fit it never feels confining because the leather is soft and pliable.

I had hoped Amazon would offer a size 12E black version but alas it was never to be. So I purchased a size 13 and it fits about the same as my first version. Comfortable from day 1. I can't speak for other Johnston and Murphy models, but this one is a winner in my book, and I was a die hard Cole Haan and Ecco fan.
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VINE VOICEon September 25, 2013
If the shoe fits, wear it...right? Ah, but that is indeed the question when buying shoes online versus buying them at the local store. Ya just gotta hope that the size of your old shoe matches the new shoes shown here.

Now I had a bit of a head start: I was just looking to replace my 4 year old pair of J&M Panel Toed Oxfords, so I knew that a pair of the same model shoes in the same size should be a good if not perfect fit, no? Well, I think I got lucky. Turns out that the shoes here that I thought were the exact same model are almost the same model.

On the tongue of my old pair it reads "20-7505 9M F8 Made in Brazil." On the tongue of new pair from this page that arrived from Amazon it reads "20 6461 Mens 9 M E11 Made in India." And as it turns out, just like the mismatched model numbers, the old pair and new pair have some slight differences in look and feel. Let me start by saying the new pair looks (as) sharp (as the old pair when they were new). The fit of the new pair might be a bit more snug on the width, but the size 9 was perfect. The new and old pair are almost identical; the main difference being the sole of the shoe.

The sole of the OLD pair had a completely rubber heel with a 3" rubber patch between the toe and the arch; the sole of the toe (apx 1") and the arch are leather. The sole of the NEW pair has a heel that is both leather (apx 1 ½") and rubber (apx 1"), the arch has a 2" leather patch and is rubber from the end of the leather at the arch to the tip of the toe. That 2/3 leather portion of the heel might make a slippery difference in stability during inclement weather or wet floors.

The old pair has a ½" leather padding strip that goes around the inside of the top of the heel (do they call that the collar?). The new pair has no such padding; there is a small but definite decrease in comfort at the heel in the Achilles area of the new shoe as a result.

Finally the old pair has a seam that runs down the sidewall of both sides and connects across the top of the toe. On the new pair there is a double seam running down the side walls that connects to the sole of the toe about an inch apart on both sides. I think I actually like the side wall / toe design of the new shoe better than the old one.

So all in all...I like the new shoe. I am most concerned about the lack of padding on the Achilles after a full days wear, along with the traction that a partial leather heel is going to give me. Other than that, it's a good looking shoe for a smart, business casual look.

(EDIT: For reference and comparison, after writing this review I did find my old shoe available at Amazon here: Johnston & Murphy Men's Dobson Cap Oxford. I did not return the new shoes; I am giving them a fair shot.)
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on July 1, 2013
My first pair were without a doubt the most comfortable shoes i have ever worn. These are my second and are living up to the name. they are snug where they need to be and cushy where they should be. I have officially made these my leave at office for meetings and office events shoes i dont want to ruin them in trains and parking lot puddles.I bought a second pair for home :)

Things to note. when you buy them new do not expect to wear them consecutively right away and they should be purchased with a shoe tongue for me the sizes run exact. Once you break them in and get them used to your feet you should have quite a pleasant walking experience.
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on March 29, 2014
These shoes have a stitch on the instep near where the laces panel starts that makes it very tight on your big metatarsal. After hoping they'd break in, I had to give up once I went to an podiatrist and was diagnosed with a cyst and bone spur. Doctor said it was undoubtedly due to the shoes (I was wearing 8hrs/day, 3-4 days/week.) I contacted J&M regarding the construction, and they said they would replace them, however since I purchased from Amazon, I would need to go through their warehouse and be without shoes for at least a few weeks, probably a month or more. Doctor gave me a special pad which helped with my cyst and I have avoided surgery, but if I put these shoes back on, the fluid (and pain) starts to form again within hours.

J&M are good shoes - however this model is NOT. From reading other reviews, perhaps it depends on where your particular one is made. I don't know about that. I am open to J&M again, but probably NOT through Amazon (pay more to get them at a J&M retail store), and definitely not this model.

Also - as other reviewers have stated, they are SLIPPERY. The bottoms have very little grip - and once they wear even a little bit, good luck.
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on January 22, 2015
I keep coming back to these shoes, I am on my third pair. I love the look and price. The quality of them has been a bit disappointing on the first two pair. The soles on the first pair began to separate from the shoes after about 9 months. The second pair had the soles crack after about a year. I wore those first two pairs almost every work day, all day.

This third pair has been holding up a lot better after 6 months. I put a shoe tree inside of them after wearing them.
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