Carmina Vs. Meermin: Which Boots Are Best?

Carmina and Meermin are two popular boot brands known for their high-quality craftsmanship and classic styles. But which one is better?

In this comprehensive article, we’ll compare the pros and cons of Carmina and Meermin boots to help you decide which brand is right for you.

A Brief Comparison Table

Price Range$450-$800$200-$300
Leather QualityExcellent, offers exotic leathers like shell cordovanGood, focuses on calfskin and suede
ConstructionGoodyear welt onlyMostly Goodyear welt, some Blake stitch
CraftsmanshipExtremely high, finer detailsExcellent for the price
Fit and SizingMultiple width and last options for custom fitFewer lasts, but good range of widths
Style SelectionVery diverse including loafersAll the basics covered, lacks loafers
ValueJustifies premium pricing with qualityAmazing value and quality for price
Customer ExperienceLimited to stores or retailersStreamlined online and in-store
SustainabilityNot a priorityMore transparency and initiatives

Overview of Carmina and Meermin

  • Carmina
Carmina Boots

Founded in 1866 in Mallorca, Spain, Carmina is a renowned shoemaker that has been family-owned for five generations.

Using old-world techniques like the Goodyear welt construction, Carmina crafts premium dress shoes and boots made from fine leathers like calfskin and shell cordovan.

Carmina offers a wide selection of boot styles including Chelseas, chukkas, wholecuts, and balmorals.

Customization is a major draw with options for different leathers, lasts, and sole options. Prices typically range from $450-$800.

  • Meermin

Based in Mallorca, Spain, Meermin was founded in 2001 with the goal of delivering high-end shoes at an affordable price point. Meermin uses leathers from French and Italian tanneries to create its collection of oxfords, boots, loafers, and monk straps.

The brand’s boots range from versatile Chelseas to sleek Jodhpurs with a starting price of around $200. Customization is more limited than Carmina but some upgrades are available. Meermin controls costs by selling direct-to-consumer through its website and physical stores.

Also Read: Differences Among Blundstone 500, 550 and 585 Boots.

Key Differences Between Carmina And Meermin Boots

  • Leather Quality

The upper leather has a big impact on the quality, durability, and comfort of boots. Carmina offers a clear edge here over Meermin.

Carmina crafts boots from extremely supple and durable leathers. You can select from calfskin, suede, and exotic options like ostritch or crocodile. However, Carmina is best known for its rich shell cordovan leather made from horsehide. Shell cordovan is revered for its luxurious look and feel as it ages.

Meermin primarily uses calfskin, suede, and cowhide leathers. The calfskin is smooth and durable but can be prone to creasing. Overall, Meermin’s leather quality is very good for the price but a step below Carmina’s selection.

Winner: Carmina

  • Construction and Craftsmanship
Meermin Boots
Meermin Boots

Both Carmina and Meermin boast superb craftsmanship and attention to detail thanks to their Mallorca heritage.

However, there are some differences.

Carmina uses the highly labor-intensive Goodyear welt construction method.

This involves stitching the upper leather to the welt, shaping and stitching the welt to the insole, and finally securing the outsole.

The end result is a flexible and water-resistant sole that can be resoled many times.

Meermin also Goodyear welts the majority of its boots. However, some models use a simpler Blake stitch construction which glues the outsole directly to the upper. This is easier to make but less durable than a Goodyear welt.

In terms of finishing, Carmina edges out Meermin with finer stitching, shaping, and edge painting. But Meermin still impresses at its price point.

Winner: Carmina

  • Fit and Sizing

Finding the right size and fit is crucial with boots. Both brands offer options in this area.

One advantage of Carmina is the choice of many different lasts, which are the forms boots are molded over for their shape. You can select narrow, standard, wide, and extra wide fits along with different toe shapes. Made-to-order boots allow customization of the last and other details.

Meermin has fewer last options but does accommodate standard, wide, and extra wide sizing. The main last used for boots is the Hiro which has an almond toe shape. Overall, Meermin’s fit works well but Carmina has more flexibility.

For sizing, both brands use standard European sizing starting at size 5 US and going up 1 full size for each number (i.e. 6 is 7 US). Meermin fits true-to-size for most people but some find Carmina runs slightly large.

Winner: Carmina

Also Read: Differences Between Cariuma IBI And OCA Sneakers.

  • Style Selection

Carmina and Meermin produce boots across a variety of styles from smart to casual. Here’s how they compare:

Chelsea – Both offer classic Chelsea boots in different leathers, but Carmina has sleeker options with a pointier toe.

Chukka – Meermin and Carmina carry understated chukka boots. Carmina has more leather choices.

Jodhpur – Iconic Jodhpurs are available from each brand. Carmina’s have a more refined look.

Wingtip – Meermin has oxford-inspired wingtip boots. Carmina lacks this more casual style.

Buckle Boots – Only Meermin makes buckle boots like the Mallorca. Carmina doesn’t have an equivalent style.

Loafers – Carmina excels at penny loafers while Meermin lacks loafers boots.

Overall, you’ll find more diverse and fashion-forward options from Carmina. But Meermin still covers all the basics at a lower price.

Winner: Carmina

  • Pricing and Value

There is a clear price gap between both brands:

Carmina boots cost $450-$800

Meermin boots run $200-$300

Given the construction, leathers, and design, Carmina offers a strong value at its pricing. The craftsmanship and material quality lives up to the price. Plus Carmina boots can be resoled again and again.

At the same time, Meermin’s pricing is incredibly competitive for Goodyear welted boots made in Spain. The value you get for the sub-$300 price tag is difficult to beat.

While Meermin offers better value for money overall, Carmina justifies its higher prices with premium leathers and details.

Winner: Meermin

  • Customer Experience

From purchasing to returns, customer experience plays a big role in choosing a footwear brand. Here is how the two compare:

Carmina sells through its Mallorca shop along with various retail partners. In-person fitting is only available in Mallorca. Returns must be handled through the original retailer. Carmina offers limited sizing guidance.

Meermin runs physical stores plus its own e-commerce site. You can visit NYC, Madrid or London for fitting help. Meermin has a simple online return process with free returns. The website provides many sizing resources.

For customer service, Meermin generally offers a quicker and smoother experience. However, Carmina provides the opportunity to see boots in person.

Winner: Meermin

  • Sustainability and Ethics
Carmina Boots
Carmina Boots

Consumers increasingly value brands that align with their environmental and social values.

Carmina and Meermin approach sustainability and ethics somewhat differently.

Carmina is not very transparent about its sourcing and manufacturing.

Its premium status relies more on quality craftsmanship than ethics.

However, the extended lifecycle of its resoleable boots is inherently more sustainable.

Meermin openly addresses its supply chain and environmental initiatives like using solar power and recycled shoe boxes. The affordable pricing also increases access to high-quality footwear with longevity.

For consumers focused on sustainability, Meermin likely offers more reassurance. But Carmina’s classic styles are made to last in their own right.

Winner: Meermin

Also Read: Comparison of Frye And Thursday Boots.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Meermin owned by Carmina?

No, Meermin is not owned by Carmina. The two companies are completely independent Spanish boot brands based in Mallorca. They just happen to both specialize in Goodyear welted boots.

Is Carmina better than Allen Edmonds?

Carmina is considered to be a step above Allen Edmonds in terms of quality and construction. Both brands use Goodyear welted construction but Carmina’s craftsmanship, attention to detail, leathers, and finishing are superior overall. However, Allen Edmonds has a much wider selection of styles at more affordable prices.

Are Carmina boots comfortable?

Yes, Carmina boots are praised as being very comfortable right out of the box thanks to the quality leather lining, cushioned insole, and anatomical last shaping. The flexibility of the Goodyear welt sole also enhances comfort. Some break-in is required but Carmina boots should not need a long break-in period.

Is Meermin made in China?

No, Meermin boots are not made in China. All Meermin shoes and boots are manufactured in its own Mallorca, Spain factories using Spanish craftsmen. Meermin controls the whole production from raw materials through finished products in its facilities. The “Made in China” misconception likely stems from Meermin’s competitive pricing.

Final Thoughts

Carmina and Meermin both produce excellent quality boots using traditional Spanish techniques. Choosing between them ultimately depends on your priorities:

Carmina is the choice if you want ultimate quality materials and craftsmanship with an elegant look. The prices match the premium details.

Meermin is ideal if you seek classic boots at an affordable price with a streamlined buying experience. The designs are versatile and well-made.

For many buyers, Meermin represents the overall best value especially for versatile boots like Chelsea and chukka styles. But Carmina deserves its reputation for superior leathers and artisanship that make the higher prices worthwhile if you can invest in them.

You really can’t go wrong with either brand. It just comes down to your budget and desire for luxury details versus great value.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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