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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 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 March 23, 2014
I bought these shoes in both brown and black when Amazon had a sale on them in early 2012. One pair cost $89; the other cost about $95. They are now about $40 per pair more expensive than they were in 2012. It is debatable whether they were worth the lower price; they are certainly not worth the higher one.

The shoes fit as expected. The sole is much cheaper than I expected -- it is essentially made out of cardboard and plastic, with very little leather. I wore each pair once a week or so for about eighteen to twenty months, and they only needed minor repairs -- a new heel every now and again. However, within a couple of months of each other, the soles on both shoes broke. They didn't wear out, so that they can be replaced; rather, they broke all of the way through to the upper. Both the outer and inner soles cracked, which I have never seen before in a pair of Johnston & Murphys. Also, if you buy these through Amazon, you cannot bring them into a J & M store to be repaired or returned; you need to mail them back to the company, which costs about $10.

I have had very good luck with Johnston & Murphy in the past, particularly their higher-end models, which wear like iron -- my father still refers to one particular pair as his "new" pair, and he bought them in 2004, and they still look terrific. But Johnston & Murphy's lower-tier shoes are probably not much higher quality than the similarly priced Bostonians, etc., all of which fall apart in a couple of years. If you need an inexpensive dress shoe, you can do worse than these, but do no expect longevity out of them.
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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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on September 1, 2017
Ignore the haters!!!!
These shoes are the best of the best. I have purchased them before in the retail sore. They fit like a glove. I am so happy to get them again through Amazon. They look great and feel as though I am walking on a cloud. Don't delay get them now!!! I hope they come in a chocolate brown. If so, I am buying them tonight.
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on May 21, 2013
I would say I love this pair of shoes, but for some minor defects in craftsmanship.
First off, the good: This pair of shoes fit great. A little snug, but my feet are wide. That said, once I broke them in they fit very well and gave me no foot pain or even the slightest discomfort. The cushioning is amazing - easily the most comfortable dress/work shoes I've ever owned. I've worn these for 12+ hours at a time and felt just like I was wearing a pair of rubber-soled athletic shoes.

The bad: These shoes were not built to last. I have only had these shoes for about 5 months and already am experiencing a lot of wear on the bottom of the shoe. Recently, a part of the midsole started to come unglued from the rest of the shoe, and I am unable to wear these shoes until I get it repaired. Hopefully this is just a minor inconvenience and not something that bodes poorly for the rest of the life of these shoes - I bought them hoping they would last for several years.

Update 8/30/2014: Sorry to say that these shoes have become unsoled. I took them to a shoe repairman today who took one look and told me that the uppers were glued to the sole, not stitched. Because of that, there is no way to repair the shoe. He could try to re-glue, but that was going to be risky and he advised that I save my money and just apply it to a new pair of shoes. LESSON LEARNED: J&M sold me a cheap, poorly-constructed shoe that lasted all of 18 months. After some internet searching, it seems that J&M will often manufacture inferior shoes to sell at a lower price-point. While they can still make a quality pair of shoes, apparently there is no way to tell whether the J&M shoe you are considering is stitched sole or glued.
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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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on May 8, 2014
So I'm a bit of an outlyer in shoe sizes; I wear a 17 athletic but I have narrow feet. So when it comes to dress shoes, I typically have to go one size smaller (i.e. 16) to compensate a bit. Typically even then the shoes pucker a bit because they're too wide when I get a Medium width. I've worn Florsheim Curtis and Cortlands for the past 3 years and needed to replace my everyday black dress shoe.

These looked great and I trust Johnston and Murphy for a quality dress shoe since I have a pair of J&M Meltons I wear for "dressier" occasions. So when I got these, I was just a tad surprise that these shoes were a bit on the tighter side than what I'm used to....not uncomfortably tight, but a bit snug. On the bright side, there is absolutely no puckering in the middle of the shoe like I normally have. My toes aren't hitting the front of the shoe, but they're packed in a bit more than what I'm used to. I feel that if I give them some time, these sharp looking, every work day shoe will break in and become some of the best fitting dress shoes I've ever worn. Also, the insole is very comfortable and provides a decent amount of support on its own. The leather lining is soft and there is a bit of fabric padding on the inside fo the shoe that for some may cause the shoe to be too tight; for me it works out well though.

As far as quality of leather, they look exactly in person as they do in the pictures. They need a few coats of polish to really give them a brilliantshine and protect them, but otherwise the shoes can stand alone with the shine they come with. The leather is very soft and flexible, which will hopefully keep the leather from showing too much creasing (in combination with regular fittings with shoe trees).

The heel unfortunately is cheap. I've had this type of heel before in my previous dress shoes. Its made of a hard plastic that will inevitably crack and break when the rubber in the heel wears down to it. With this in mind, I will help stave off the wear and get heel protectors tapped on.

I can't give any good insight into the sole of the shoe other than it will probably last 6-8 months of wearing 3-4 times a week to work and then need to be replaced. I've never been able to go any longer than this with any hard rubber soled dress shoes that I wear to work everyday.

I recommend these shoes to anyone that is looking for a good pair of dress shoes to wear to work everyday.
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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 December 4, 2014
As other reviewers have noted, the quality of these shoes is obviously not tip-top. My other pair of J&Ms is much better built. These serve the first purpose of dress shoes; to look nice. However, they fail at the second purpose; to be comfortable. The problem is that the "leather" seems not to be leather at all, but instead some manner of hardened leather-like material. It looks quite nice, but is very inflexible, making the shoes quite uncomfortable. I have worn them all day several times per week for several weeks now, and I keep thinking they will break-in, but they are just as hard today as the first day I wore them. I'm not unhappy with the purchase, because I paid under $100, but I hoped for better from J&M.

Hard and inflexible. Look good, but uncomfortable.
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