I like traditional formal men’s shoes – brogues, oxfords, long-wing tips, loafers etc. It’s been said that the most important item of clothing, for a man, is his shoes. Clearly shoes are an important part of any outfit and they certainly say something about the wearer, but I’m not sure that shoes are THE most important thing. However, they are a statement. Men wear a wide variety of formal and casual shoes to dress-up or down depending on the desired effect. Converse with a suit; brogues with jeans etc.
I enjoy wearing “smart” shoes. Yes I wear them in different guises, with smart trousers, with jeans and chino’s. I wear shoes of reasonable quality – Church’s, Gucci, Cheaney, Grenson, Loakes for more formal shoes; Sebago, Timberland for loafers and boat shoes and of course Clarkes for desert boots. I’d like to have some Bass Weejuns but I can never get a pair to fit – they’re either slightly too big or marginally too tight.
However if I could get a pair of formal looking shoes with say, the quality of Church’s or Grenson, but that was light to wear like a trainer or sneaker wouldn’t that be good. There are shoes out there that could fit this description but I haven’t been convinced before about the quality or the brand.
Recently I saw an email from Allen Edmonds for their new “Road Warriors” range.
“Dress shoes that feel like running shoes”. Ignore the “comfort technology” which automatically gives me mind-chatter. “Comfortable shoes” – never seems to be a compliment. But light weight shoes, made by a quality manufacturer. Allen Edmonds say that Road Warriors are 30% lighter than traditional dress shoes! Similar to some trainers and sneakers the Road Warriors have a breathable, removable padded insole. Room at the toe for foot expansion and one piece sole for “additional shock absorption”. Priced on their website at $295 which means they cost around £190-200.
Here’s the detail about Road Warriors from the Allen Edmonds website:
When Allen Edmonds road tested the Road Warriors in the USA they were a great success.
Allen Edmonds were started making shoes in 1922. From the outset they set themselves up as a “new kind of shoe company” – meaning use of innovative manufacturing techniques, relying on Goodyear welting to make nail-less shoes. They attribute much of their longevity to ground breaking ideas, as well as family values. It helps that a number of US presidents have been customers too.