The good news is that the leather quality is better than that on the Mercanti Fiorentini. It’s thicker, flexes more naturally, and springs back easier when you bend it around.
For the cognaic pair: The leather is awash with about 9 different colors of brown. Bad lighting isn’t at fault for this pic. It really does move from a tan, to a kinda pink, to a yellow. The difference in the tone of each color is great enough that you can pick out the streaks when standing. Of course some natural color varation is just fine, but these look forced. Almost like an over the top pre-distressed & torn pair of jeans.
For the black pair: The leather is one solid color, but the very gold buckles are pretty feminine looking. Monk straps are already too girly for many guys to feel comfortable in, and the not dulled down at all gold buckles on these give them a Mary-Jane quality.
The overall shape is great and no one will complain about the toe. Despite being made God-knows-where (they might say “London” on them, but there’s no “made in” before that) they feel pretty durable for $150. Plus, since they’re at DSW, if you were to wait around for a sale you could probably get them for $15 – $30 off.
Even with all that said, they just don’t look quite right. Pass. Here’s to hoping the Mercanti Fiorentinis come back.