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What's the deal with "sleek" shoes?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

In every single shoe-oriented thread, people praise or deride a shoe's last based on it's "sleekness." Does anybody else have trouble comparing two shoes and deciding if one is "sleeker" than the other? Unless there is an obvious distinction, like an oxford vs. Doc Martens, then I am completely incapable of making that comparison.

post #2 of 5
What you're asking about is subjective, but look at the two shoes below:

Can you discern a difference in the sleekness of the two? Generally, sleek shoes can hint at a higher level of craftsmanship, especially at the waist of the shoe. But it comes down to personal preference, and some looks aren't for everyone.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Yes, I definitely notice a difference there. To me, the bottom pair is noticeably sleeker, but they also look pointy enough to be used as a weapon in a pinch. I think the part that turns me off the most is the sharp transition from the laces to the toe box.

When referring to the waist of the shoe, is that the mid point all the way around the entire shoe, bisecting it horizontally?
post #4 of 5
What you called a weapon, most of SF would call chisel toe wink.gif The transition from the laces is the way it is because the shoe is a wholecut. A captoe or wingtip may be less severe.

The waist is the area under the arch of the foot, where the sole narrows to the heel. Many higher end shoemakers have a very close fitting waist and pay extra attention to the sole in this area.
post #5 of 5
Shawl's doing a great job here explaining the many factors that go into making a shoe look sleek or otherwise. These pictures might help

Alden's 908 on the Hampton last.

Alden's other lasts:

Some Edward Green lasts:
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