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recommend a non-captoe, all-purpose black shoe

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'd like to find some candidates for a reasonably priced, good looking all-around black shoe. I don't particularly want captoes as the intended usage is more of a wedding/funeral/city night usage rather than business wear but there may be a rare occasion when I would wear them for business.

I already have a pair of AE Colton in chestnut and a pair of AE Cortland in chili(both $169 at the AE outlet btw) and will generally wear those unless a black shoe is demanded. Any recommendations on something that could serve as my single all-purpose black shoe or do people feel that a black captoe is still the best choice for this role?
post #2 of 15
black monkstrap, i guess.
post #3 of 15
i actually dont own any black captoes. yet.
an all purpose black shoe should be elegant enough for night outs, and conservative as well for wear at the office.

here are some of my black shoes, yes, i have posted this picture before but as it relates to this question:


left to right: ferragamo bit loafer rubber soled, gucci embossed bit loafer, santoni braden penny loafer, gucci plain toe, santoni brenden moc toe blucher, gucci medallion plain toe, sergio rossi wingtip, gucci monkstrap.


besides the first and last guccis, all the others you can get for sale at good prices, all below 300. santonis i got for 149 and 90 respectively.

also, if you want something more robust, you can get AE Bradley or something like this split toe, got it in E to make it more robust looking



you can get these discontinued AEs sometimes at the Nordstrom Rack.
post #4 of 15
I can't imagine wearing monks to a funeral. For a single pair of black shoes, I have to go with the plain captoes. They can be worn pretty much anywhere.

If that's out, maybe a wholecut?
post #5 of 15
Black wholecut. Maybe this?



From Charles Tyrwhitt
post #6 of 15
I like the Edward Green made RLPL Peering.
post #7 of 15
Black whole cuts
post #8 of 15
I second the Tyrwhitt black wholecuts if price is a factor. 50% off they should be $150.
post #9 of 15
Leather-soled chelsea boots.

Yes, technically not a shoe.
post #10 of 15
Although I like chelsea boots, I wouldn't wear a pair to a funeral (they'd be OK, but not optimal IMO).

I'd suggest black wholecuts as a very versatile substitute for black captoes. I bought a pair of black Grenson Stowe wholecuts for just this purpose, because I wanted a versatile shoe that I could even wear for semi-formal occasions, in a pinch, since I can't justify buying patent leather shoes. IMO, wholecuts can be worn with virtually anything from semi-formal wear, to a business suit, to odd jacket and trousers and some even wear them with blue jeans.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinman
Although I like chelsea boots, I wouldn't wear a pair to a funeral (they'd be OK, but not optimal IMO).

I'd suggest black wholecuts as a very versatile substitute for black captoes. I bought a pair of black Grenson Stowe wholecuts for just this purpose, because I wanted a versatile shoe that I could even wear for semi-formal occasions, in a pinch, since I can't justify buying patent leather shoes. IMO, wholecuts can be worn with virtually anything from semi-formal wear, to a business suit, to odd jacket and trousers and some even wear them with blue jeans.

I agree. Wearing a brown version of those Loake/CT today with jeans...
post #12 of 15
These classic plain-toe John Lobb have the best smooth shoe leather I've seen--even after several years the leather shows almost no creases.

http://whatareyouwearingtoday.blogspot.com/
post #13 of 15
The aforementioned Grenson Masterpiece Stowe:



(although availability may be a problem now).

Or maybe a v-front derby, like the Crockett & Jones Handgrade Aintree:



(or the Dartmouth from C&J's regular line).
post #14 of 15
If you're looking for a black plain-toe for weddings and funerals, among other uses, then you don't, in my opinion, want a monkstrap, Norwegian toe, or blucher (derby) of any kind, but rather a lace-up balmoral (oxford), and one without any toe decoration. Here's my shoe for those occasions--the Crockett & Jones Mayfair, a wholecut. It's a regular-grade C&J and thus less expensive than either a Grenson Masterpiece Stowe (when you can get them) or any Edward Green or John Lobb. This model is available directly from C&J in England for approximately $390 US plus shipping (another $55). (Clicking on the image will enlarge it.)

Incidentally, a few might feel that a wholecut is just a hair too "dandified" (to use a useful continuum that Manton uses in his book) and just a hair too informal. I disagree because others will not see the absence of seams in the shoe, since the vamp and toe are about all that anyone sees below the trousers. (I'd be interested in others' opinions about this point.)

Another, new C&J regular-grade model, the Alex, is very similar (and the same price), differing only in the last shape, being on the new sleek, angular, chiseled 348 last. The Mayfair, on the 318 last, is a little less "dandified" but, in my opinion, still quite sleek, and, in my opinion--for these semi-formal occasions--slightly the more appropriate of the two. You will find a black, plain-toe wholecut from Alfred Sargent (the Pall Mall) too from online sites like Pediwear at a lower price (about $290 plus about $35 in shipping), but, in my opinion, its last is a little less appealing.

You mentioned "reasonably priced," and therefore I haven't mentioned the shoe that would--with expense no impediment--be my absolute favorite for these semi-formal occasions: the Edward Green Ladbroke.
post #15 of 15
Alden has two plain toe balmoral shoes. Pictures are available on the shoe mart website. With the current sale there and the possibility of seconds - who knows what the price might be - have to call them to get the number.
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