TLB Mallorca Vs. Carmina Shoes: A Detailed Comparison

TLB Mallorca and Carmina are two of Spain’s most renowned shoemakers, each with a long history and reputation for top-quality craftsmanship. But which brand is right for you?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at TLB Mallorca and Carmina, comparing construction methods, leathers, styles, sizing, and more. Whether you’re looking to invest in your first pair of high-end Spanish shoes or are simply curious to learn more, read on for the full breakdown.

A Brief Comparison Table

CategoryTLB MallorcaCarmina
Founding Year19461866
ConstructionHandsewn moccasin stitchingGoodyear welted
Leathers UsedTuscan calfskin, French box calf, Swedish moose leatherCalfskin, suede, shell cordovan, exotics
Style FocusCasual loafers, monks, espadrillesDiverse range from oxfords to boots
SizingRuns true-to-size, slightly narrowRuns true-to-size, offer half sizes
Pricing$350 – $500$450 to $1000+ for exotics/shell
OverallArtisanal Mallorcan comfort and craftMeticulous construction and customization

Overview of TLB Mallorca

TLB Mallorca Shoes

Founded in 1946 in Inca, Mallorca, TLB Mallorca is a family-owned company spanning three generations. They take pride in their Mallorcan heritage, handcrafting each pair of shoes in their Inca workshop using traditional techniques.

The brand puts sustainability first, utilizing vegetal tanning processes and natural materials whenever possible.

TLB Mallorca offers a varied selection of styles, including loafers, monks, oxfords, boots, and espadrilles. Signature design features include handsewn moccasin stitching and crepe rubber soles, delivering optimal comfort and versatility.

The leathers are full-grain and sourced from all over Europe, notably Tuscan calfskin and French box calf.

While the classic Mallorcan essence remains at the core, TLB also produces more modern, urban styles. This blend of timeless craft with contemporary elegance has garnered the brand a loyal international following.

Also Read: Differences Between Carmina And Meermin Boots.

Overview of Carmina

Carmina was established in 1866 in Mallorca and is currently run by the 4th generation of the founding family. Every pair continues to be handcrafted at their workshop in Mallorca using meticulous Goodyear welt construction.

Carmina is renowned for their diverse collection of styles, from business oxfords to casual derbies and wholecut designs. They utilize premium leathers like calfskin, suede, and shell cordovan. Customization services allow clients to personalize designs with different leathers, soles, and detailing.

While Carmina produces timeless classics, they also stay current with the latest trends and techniques. Their expertise across shoemaking disciplines is unmatched – from elegant dress shoes to rugged boots and sporty sneakers.

The combination of tradition, innovation, and customization has earned Carmina global acclaim.

Key Differences Between TLB Mallorca And Carmina Shoes

  • Construction Methods

One key difference between TLB Mallorca and Carmina lies in the construction methods:

Carmina Shoes
Carmina Shoes

TLB Mallorca uses artisanal Mallorcan techniques passed down through generations.

The uppers are handsewn using a traditional moccasin construction method, which allows natural flex and comfort.

The soles are then meticulously stitched to the upper by hand.

Interestingly, crepe rubber outsoles are a signature of the brand, providing excellent traction and stability.

Carmina, on the other hand, is renowned for their flawless Goodyear welted construction. This involves affixing a welt strip of leather between the upper and sole. The welt seam is then stitched together for a clean, durable finish.

Carmina also employs storm welting on select models, seamlessly stitching the upper directly to the sole. Both methods guarantee weatherproofing and enable sole replacements down the road.

So TLB delivers casual, flexible comfort, while Carmina excels at formal welted craftsmanship. But both brands prioritize quality construction and premium materials above all else.

  • Leather Quality and Sources

When it comes to leather, both TLB Mallorca and Carmina go above and beyond.

TLB Mallorca curates hides from esteemed European tanneries like Tuscan calfskin, French box calf, and Swedish moose leather. Vegetal tanning techniques ensure each skin develops naturally for optimal suppleness.

Unique finishes like waxes and oils lend depth. The resulting leathers take on a beautiful patina over time.

Carmina has access to an incredible diversity of high-end leathers, from rich calfskins to exquisite shell cordovan. Calf leather options range from Corinto grain to museum calf to soft vitello calf.

More rustic leathers include French steerhide and Scottish grain. Exotics like ostrich leg and kudu antelope are also available. Each skin is carefully examined and sorted to match uniformity and quality.

Both brands pride themselves on selecting only the finest raw materials from the most reputable tanneries. The range of leathers and specialty finishes available is truly unparalleled.

  • Range of Styles Offered

TLB Mallorca and Carmina each offer an expansive range of styles and designs:

TLB Mallorca is best known for their casual, Mediterranean-inspired offerings like penny loafers, monk straps, and handsewn espadrilles. Classics like oxfords and boots make up their collection as well, offered in sleek silhouettes.

Signature detailing like crepe soles, toe punching, and handsewn stitches add artisanal flair.

Carmina excels across both formal and casual spheres. Their brogueing, medallion designs, and sleek lasts make for refined business and formal styles. Meanwhile, derbies, loafers, and boots cater to relaxed weekends.

Customization allows unique color combinations, leathers, and sole options. From classic wingtips to dapper wholecuts, Carmina’s range is virtually endless.

The extensive collections of both brands ensure you can find suitable options for work, leisure, and everything in between. TLB brings Mallorcan craft to casual staples, while Carmina covers all bases with diverse customization.

Also Read: Santoni Shoes Reviews.

  • Sizing and Fit

Fit and sizing differs slightly between the two brands:

TLB Mallorca Shoes
TLB Mallorca Shoes

TLB Mallorca shoes tend to run true-to-size for most foot shapes.

Length is generally accurate to the marked size, while the width skews slightly narrow.

The last shapes are rounded with a tailored profile.

Those with wider feet may want to size up or request a wider fitting. TLB only offers whole sizes.

Carmina also runs mostly true-to-size, but many lasts are available in half sizes for a precision fit.

Widths come in standard D or slightly wider E sizing.

The Carmina website has detailed last comparisons to aid in selection.

Some models with thicker linings may fit small. Trying on in person is recommended to find your ideal fit.

Both TLB Mallorca and Carmina advise customers to have their feet properly measured on a Brannock device. This ensures you select the closest size and fit right from the start.

Contacting the brands for personalized sizing advice is also recommended. Proper sizing is key to maximizing the comfort and longevity of these quality shoes.

  • Pricing and Value Comparison

Pricing plays a key role when investing in luxury footwear. Here’s how TLB Mallorca and Carmina compare:

TLB Mallorca positions itself accessibly within the luxury market, with most models ranging from $350 – $500.

Opting for unique leathers or custom designs incurs added cost. The pricing matches the shoes’ premium craftsmanship and all-natural materials.

Given the full artisanal production, TLB offers tremendous value.

Carmina shoes start around $450 and go up incrementally based on leather selection and customization. Unique finishes like shell cordovan or exotics climb into the $1000+ range. Given Carmina’s flawless reputation and incredible material quality, most agree the investment is well worth it. Their shoes deliver outstanding longevity when properly cared for.

While both brands command justifiably higher price points, the quality, heritage, and craftsmanship shine through in each pair. Proper rotation and care will maximize your return on investment. For some, TLB provides a more affordable entrypoint into Mallorcan shoemaking.

Also Read: Comparison of Loro Piana And Aurélien Shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is TLB Mallorca good?

Yes, TLB Mallorca is highly regarded for their quality, comfort, and artisanal Mallorcan craftsmanship. The natural materials, traditional construction, and attention to detail make them an excellent choice.

Is Carmina better than Allen Edmonds?

Carmina is considered superior in terms of quality leather, construction method, and attention to detail. While Allen Edmonds delivers great value, Carmina’s handwelted craftsmanship and incredible leather selection edge them out. However, personal preference should also guide your decision.

Where are TLB Mallorca shoes made?

TLB Mallorca continues to handcraft all their shoes locally at their workshop in Inca, Mallorca. This allows close oversight and continuity of generations-old Mallorcan techniques.

Are TLB Mallorca shoes true to size?

TLB Mallorca shoes generally fit true-to-size in length, while running slightly narrow in width. Sizing up or requesting a wider fit is recommended for broader feet. Consulting TLB’s sizing guides or customer service can help find your ideal fit.

The Verdict

In the end, TLB Mallorca and Carmina both exemplify incredible Spanish craftsmanship and quality, using centuries-old Mallorcan shoemaking traditions.

TLB Mallorca brings artisanal details and relaxed Mediterranean style to their casual staples. The natural materials and comfort make them perfect for leisure.

Carmina exceeds expectations across both casual and formal styles thanks to their meticulous welted construction and unparalleled leather selection. Their customization takes refinement to the next level.

While aesthetic preferences may vary, you can rest assured that both TLB Mallorca and Carmina represent the pinnacle of Mallorcan shoemaking excellence. Investing in either brand means decades of both stylish comfort and connoisseur-worthy artisanship.

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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