A couple of months ago Ian from the very informative blog From Squalor to Baller http://fromsqualortoballer.com/
posted The Quest for the Most Versatile Shoe, his election was the Ralph Lauren “Marlow”. My election is very close, Church’s Grafton in cordovan or an Alden LWB in colour 8. But then my brain begun to chew this idea: which is the most versatile shoe for travelling? Then I realise that I had to reduce the scope to vacation travelling, because business travelling or crossing the pond for a wedding or attending a specific event is a different kind of beast.
These shoes should feel at home in a bar, in a sports event, in a dancing party, allowing 5 hours of continuous walking in a museum and (very importantly) they should allow me to walk in a very nice shoe store without feeling weird (imagine stepping in Leffot wearing flip flops).
So I began my quest, following this criteria :
- They should look great with jeans, cords and chinos so I can increase or decrease the level of formality.
- They should be in a light brown shade (cognac, whiskey or bourbon to keep the vacation’s vibe), but dark enough to hide blemishes.
- Had to be on Dainite of some kind of rubber so it’s suitable for rainy days,
My options where two :
- Longwing bluchers in Dainite and was considering: Alfred Sargent Stepney (I bought a pair from A Fine Pair of Shoes a couple of years ago), Alden LWB, Herring’s Grassmere, Cobbler Union's Alex and Cheaney's Victor.
- The second option was a pair of double monks, but unfortunately this model is not sold with rubber soles, except for the Cheaney Edmund but the colour is too dark for my taste.
- I didn’t consider the short wing derby with rubber sole like the Herring’s Canning, the Church’s Grafton or the Loake Chester, all of them excellent shoes in their own right, because I like the gunboat heft of the longwing.
Since I already own the AS Stepney and I am a shoe freak, I decided that I needed the double monks but they should be MTO.
I contacted Daniel Porcelli from Cobbler Union and as always he was very helpful and flexible. I already own of 3 pairs of shoes from CU, one of them from their MTO program, so I was sure that I was in good hands. My first Cobbler Union shoes where also double monks, and we agree to use the same model but with a wider last (to be used with thicker socks), in cognac, racing green lining, with rubber sole (Vibram) and in the Chelsea last.
Yesterday my shoes where delivered and I couldn’t be happier, the shoes are beautiful, and as usual with CU no break in period. I have applied dubbing and brown cream so they can deal better with stains and blemishes. You can see them in their maiden voyage. I wonder if I should have requested a 360 welt, maybe next time. Beautiful shoes, excellent service, outsanding quality.
By the way, I am not related in anyway with Cobber Union, I am just a happy customer that wants to share.Edited by JUAN MANUEL - 5/13/15 at 9:19am