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The only thing that slightly bothers me is, that I much prefer hooks over eyelets with boots this high; for now I lace them this way. http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/overunderlacing.htm
Since bar lacing, while better looking, is too time consuming when putting on or taking off the boot.
I never knew that there were so many variants to lacing a shoe or boot. Truly, it is a science. (Something to do when stuck in the house during a blizzard?)
Until our english blog will be ready, i use Styleforum for our fresh articles about shoes. Hope you like it.
Saddle Shoes -‐ An American Classic
The classic American collegiate look put their name on the map. Squealing, white tennis sock-‐wearing bobby soxers brought them fame overnight. Here, we take a look back at the history of an American success story—the (in)famous ‘saddle shoes’.
The End of the Depression and the Rise of the Saddle Shoe
The ‘Roaring Twenties’ began with a massive economic boom. After a period of post-‐ war dejection the construction industry exploded, and factories were back to going full steam ahead. This success and the renewed sense of optimism it entailed brought with them shifts in fashion, including a relaxation of strict, pragmatic dress codes: skirt hemlines rose, as did women’s heels, and in general clothing became more bright and colourful. American college students and professors developed their own unique look. While tweed jackets and chinos curried favour in the academic workplace, on the weekends students reached for their beloved polo shirts and jeans. They wouldn’t swap out their so-‐called ‘saddle shoes’, though—these were an indispensable part of the typical college look.
Then, as now, these comfortable oxford-‐style half-‐shoes were identifiable by a piece of leather running diagonally to the instep; the two leather components coming up from the base of the shoe met to form a so-‐called bridge, which also touched the closed lacing. This special decorative panel, which usually differed in colour from the rest of the leather upper, was evocative of a horse saddle: hence the name ‘saddle shoes’ (still in common use today). From the 1920s to the 1950s saddle shoes were a firm collegiate favourite. The ‘saddle’ look wasn’t a new invention, however; it hearkened back to an established tradition.
Frank Sinatra and the Bobby Soxers
At the beginning of the 20th Century it was already common practice to adorn light sport shoes with half-‐spats or shorter spats. This addition not only served to protect the foot and leg from potential injury, but also preserved clothing from soiling and grime. And thus, the famous ‘saddle’ look was born. After being incorporated into classic men´s shoe design, so-‐called ‘saddle-‐oxfords’ enjoyed growing popularity and were worn more and more frequently off of the sporting field. Interestingly, these eye-‐catching half-‐ shoes didn’t gain worldwide attention until the 40s, when they rose to prominence on the feet of bobby soxers.
The 40s were the era of icons such as Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and (early) Sinatra; the latter had already landed his first Number One hit with I’ll never smile again. Sinatra’s unmistakeable melancholy voice (he was nicknamed ‘The Voice’) attracted a great deal of attention, as did his overwhelmingly female fanbase. Not only did they faint in droves as soon as their favourite entertainer stepped onto the stage, the bobby soxers were also known for their choice in footwear. You could spot Sinatra fans at a distance thanks to their white socks and eye-‐catching saddle shoes. All around the world, rows upon rows of saddle shoes were a familiar sight as bobby soxers clamoured to get the best view of their idol onstage.
Speaking of popularity: in order to satisfy high demand, some shoe manufacturers transitioned into producing only saddle shoes. In 1930 a pair of brand-‐new saddle shoes with crepe soles cost between seven and ten US dollars, whereas by 1938 pairs were available for 1.98 USD. However, after penny loafers and boat shoes came onto the scene, saddle shoes faded into the background, and didn’t return as a popular weekend shoe until the 70s. In Europe, they remain an insider tip to this day.
Properly Styling Saddle Shoes
Saddle shoes are perfect sporty/elegant leisure shoes, and are best combined with lighter-‐fabric suits, chinos, or jeans. Thanks to their closed lacing, saddle shoes are a touch more formal than classic loafers or sporty boat shoes. A good option for less-‐ conservative offices, these eye-‐catching lace-‐up shoes pose a wonderful alternative to classic monochrome footwear; they’re indispensable to our collection of classic, welted men´s shoes. We offer them in black/brown or in two shades of brown. However, when it comes to important business meetings or extremely formal events, one should still opt for their monochrome counterparts.
»The quality is clearly higher compared to other pairs of RTW shoes made in Spain. The work is extremely carefully done – and it is very clear that the quality inspection is done in Germany.«
A review of our Scotchgrain Captoe Oxford (No. 555), written by our highly esteemed Mr. Mircea Cioponea of Claymoor´s List.
@MSchapiro: Sure, once we know your fitting size we could add a vibram sole to every shoe in our collection. Also a protection sole from Rendenbach is possible.
Some nice shoe fotos:
Polish style expert Michał Kędziora aka Mr. Vintage did a great job with our shoes, i think. Please have a look: