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Shoes, glorious shoes

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm on the hunt for some black dress oxfords. I don't want the usual cap toe or boring wing tip. I'm looking for something interesting that's not too out there in terms of styling. Anyone have any suggestions?
post #2 of 5
Take a look at the Bally Capim model.  (It was #25 on the "25 things to get for Spring" from the GQ issue with Guy Pearce on the cover from last year.)  It has four eyelets and a long vamp with slightly pointed plain toe that give it somewhat of an "elf shoe" look.  It is the only dress shoe on which I have ever received compliments -- although to be fair, I was in L.A. at the time, where people notice these things.  Bally seems to be going through some financial difficulties at this time, so you may find a pair at deep discount -- I got mine for under $200.
post #3 of 5
The problem with men's shoes is the fact that there have been no significant changes in the last hundred years. You only have three design choices for the vamp: straight cap, wing cap or plain toe. They come in either blucher or balmoral version (open or closed lacing). They also can be decorated in a more or less flamboyant manner with stitching and punched holes (brouging). A plain toe shoe can look very puritanical, particular in the blucher version. Millions of work shoes (with integrated steel cup) have been made to that design. Alternatively you can go for a Norwegian style, a shoe with a split toe and an apron or lake across the vamp. Norwegians were once sport shoes; therefore in France this style is still called "chasse " (hunt). Even in its most elegant versions like John Lobb. Edward Green or J.M. Weston it is still a more casual style. Probably nobody has worked more with plain toe stiles and ways of decorating them then Olga Berluti. But here we are taking about serious money, and, as far as I know, the shoes are not available in the US. Have a look at their website (unfortunately only in Japanese): A number of Italian manufacturers like Testoni or Lattanzi play with the established iconography of shoes, (but again it's a major investment time). I believe a well fitting, plain toe balmoral oxford should be the backbone of every man's shoe collection. I would not dismiss them so easily.
post #4 of 5
I'd give Allen Edmonds a try.  You can see a lot of their styles online at their website.  A few have woven leather (there's one with a center panel of woven leather that goes to the toe - reminds me of the Nike Air Woven craze), and I think there's one in sharkskin as well.  Kind of out there, but regular enough in shape. Nice price-point as well, most styles are under $300. Bengal Stripe: what do Berlutis start at, 2000 pounds sterling or so?
post #5 of 5
Bengal Stripe: what do Berlutis start at, 2000 pounds sterling or so?
Not quite. Starting price in London is just under GBP 400.00, this puts them price wise into the same ballpark as John Lobb (Paris) and Edward Green. This price would correspond with approx. EURO 600.00. I don't know if they are cheaper in Paris or Milan. These prices are of course for ready-to-wear factory produced shoes. When you go to Rue Marbeuf in Paris, have your feet measured by Mme. Berluti and have them handmade in the Paris workshop you will pay considerably more. I don't know if the cost is higher or lower than at John Lobb (London); but at any rate we are talking about second mortgage.
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