For my money there’s no better way to round out a Sunday evening than with a stiff drink, a tin of polish, and couple pairs of broken-in Goodyear welted shoes. In my case Allen Edmonds.
There’s something extremely satisfying about brushing off the nicks and soot from the previous week’s travels, and then buffing them back up to their previous lustre. Well patinated shoes aren’t something you can buy off the shelf; it’s a character in the leather that’s slowly acquired over months and years of wear, and layers of creams, waxes, and polishes.
With the exception of shoes reserved for the most formal of occasions, all leather shoes look better after they’ve seen a few miles.
Buy good shoes. Take good care of them. They’ll last forever. They’ll look awesome.
Yes, that’s the siren song of the #menswear blogosphere, but it’s also true. Wear nice shoes, and no one notice’s your shitty suit. Wear shitty shoes, and no one notices that crispy Kiton you picked up in Naples during Yacht Week.
Nothing says “I don’t get it” like wearing rubber-soled, bonded leather, bluchers. Extra points if they’re square-toed.
I don’t care if you are on a student’s budget. Take your clothing budget. Cut it in half. Now take one of those halves, and buy some decent shoes.
Allen Edmonds, Meermin, and Loake to name a few are well made, use full-grain leathers, and can be had on a budget. Buying new still too much? Go on eBay - buy shoes off dead guys. I do. And stick to oxfords for the workplace, broguing optional.
Oxford v. Blucher? Don’t know the difference? Get yourself sorted. Start with Wikipedia.
There is no excuse to be the guy in the elevator with the shitty department store slip-ons. Yah, the sexy assistant who got off two floors ago noticed - but more importantly the dude who sits in the corner office you covet noticed. And judged accordingly.
A further thought on maintenance: leather soles need to be treated with respect.
Wear them every other day at the most, and keep cedar shoe trees in them between wears. Shoe trees are great for odour control, maintaining shape, and wicking up moisture. Wet leather soles unfortunately break down rather quickly. If your shoes ever get really wet, which will happen, let them dry on their sides, naturally - don’t rush them with heat. This is fundamental.
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