Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sporting "Shoes"

Real men play sports or a least do athletic things. At the very least real men watch sports or are into cars or motorcycles. I don't trust a man who does like sports or at least has some sort of manly hobby. Today's post highlights the shoes that I use for my athletic hobbies and I would surmise that one would be at an athletic disadvantage if he were not to wear these shoes on his feet.

You will need to size up on some of these shoes such as hiking shoes, ice skates, and ski boots. The reason being for toe comfort. I learned the hard way, that you'll need plenty of room in the toe of your hiking boot when hiking downhill. And speaking of hiking boots, be sure to spring for something waterproof.

Men don't wear figure skates. Until Alden or Mark McNairy make a pair of ice skates, get a pair of hockey skates.

As for golf shoes, they don't make 'em like they used to. Well, they make them better than they used to but they don't look as good. I have a pair of Dryjoys similar to the pair shown below and they are saddle shoes for all intents and purposes, so it will be easy to look good on the links. Don't even get me started on how golfers dress nowadays...atrocious.

I used to always rent skis and ski boots when I went skiing. Then a friend of mine gave me a used pair of skis when he bought new ones and I was forced to buy my own boots to go with my preowned skis. I would recommend to anyone who skis occasionally and rents equipment at the mountain to go ahead and buy their own boots and just rent skis and poles at the mountain. There nothing like have YOUR own boots on your feet, because rental ski boots suck. Period.

I'm the kind of person who is paraniod about putting my foot down in a lake or in the ocean. I especially freak out if I can't see where I'm putting my foot down, like in a murky lake. Nothing is worse than stepping in weeds, dead leaves, and mud in a lake with bare feet. But water shoes make everything alright. They also help at the beach too, because the New England shoreline is quite rocky.

And finally, softball cleats. Playing softball in sneakers just doesn't work that well. You can pick some up cheap and enjoy some summer softball.
Merrell Hiking Shoes

Nice Booooooots!

Water Shoes

Baseball/Softball Cleats

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Athletic Sneaker

There are probably more options for athletic shoes than any other type of shoe. I remember when I was growing up, my friends and I would go to the mall every other weekend. One thing to do there was to obsess over the latest and greatest sneaker styles. Everyone growing up in the late 80's/ early 90's will recall the Air Jordan was the crème de la crème of the footwear universe. Over the years I've worn athletic shoes less and less and big boy shoes more and more. But I've always need a pair of athletic shoes for running/jogging/walking and basketball and whatever else I've done to keep an active lifestyle.

The New Balance US574 is made in the USA, customizable, and a great place to start with athletic sneakers.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Indy Boot or 500 Dollar Shoes

My wife and I have an ongoing debate about 500 dollars shoes (FHDS). Like anyone who hasn't been enlightened about awesome men's shoes, my wife thinks that spending 500 dollars on a pair of shoes is absolutely outrageous, preposterous, and ridiculous. What makes a pair of shoes worth 500 dollars? Great craftsmanship, great materials, love. I've never owned a pair of FHDS, but I know they're fantastic. There are plenty of people out in the menswear blogosphere that will attest the the greatness of Alden shoes (and other nice shoe makers, but where focusing on Alden here).

The Alden factory is located a scant 40 miles from my humble abode. I think it's a lowdown dirty shame that my wife is discouraging me from helping the local economy and a local business. This great country of ours is losing job after job to foreign markets. We've got to keep the jobs in America if this country is ever going to survive. The very fate of the nation rests in my hands. Maybe my wife is a Russian spy working for the Red Menace...

Okay, maybe I'm starting to take this a little too far.

Here is a post from The Silentist about this subject.
All pictures from Leather Soul.


Friday, April 22, 2011


A man needs a good pair of slippers. How the hell else are you gonna walk around the your socks! What the hell is wrong with you, MAN! What you need is a pair of full leather moccasin type slippers, like a real manly man. You can get a good pair from L.L. Bean or Minnetonka or you can go crazy and get a pair of Quoddys. And in the summer time you can grab a pair on espadrilles. If you're a fancy dandy kinda guy I'm sure you already have a pair of Stubbs and Wootten slippers.



Stubbs and Wootten

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Camp and Blucher Moc

Today's shoes are the Camp Moc and Blucher Moc. They are quite a few brands making these and it's not hard to find them made in the U.S.A. These are kinda like a go between of a moccasin and a boat shoe. Personally I'd go for the blucher moc, there a bit more manly. I had a pair of camp mocs a few years ago and I found them to be a bit dainty, it must be something about the bow with no eyelets.

Shown below are L.L. Bean, Minnetonka, and the very high-end Quoddy.

LL Bean Camp Moc

LL Bean Blucher Moc

Quoddy Blucher Moc

Minnetonka Camp Moc

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I gotta tell ya, I'm fading a bit here. But I'm going to stay the course and keep posting for the Month of Shoes. Today's shoes are another Clark's Original, the Wallabee. I think it's funny that I live less than five minutes away from the Clark's USA headquarters in Newton Upper Falls, MA.

"Inspired by a moccasin that caught the attention of Lance Clark in the mid 1960's, the Clarks Wallabee is styled around Clarks' original nature form last. So, it's sublimely comfortable, fitting the contours of the foot exactly. But at first sight it's the Wallabee's distinctive design that people fall in love with. Simple and uncluttered, with its trademark crepe sole, it's an enduring icon in the Clarks Originals collection."

Here's an old Clark's Ad (obviously). I should have included this in the Desert Boot post.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

White Bucks

The bucks are back this year if you hadn't noticed. The white buck isn't for people who are concerned with what other poeple think of them. It will take thick skin and an air of confidence to pull off these bad larrys. You'll also may have to wear light colored socks like green, light blue, or a bright argyle. However, the white buck can also be worn sans socks. Save the brown desert boots and Wallabees for your other seude shoes. And go ahead, get 'em dirty.

There are a few different price points. Bass $65, Florsheim $90, and Johnston + Murphy $130.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Adidas Samba

A great alternative to canvas sneakers. Always get black before you get white. Looks good with jeans or corduroys, and sometimes with broken in chinos but I think the darker shade pant you've got the better they look.

From Wiki:
"It has been among Adidas' most popular, best selling shoes in recent times, the second best sold Adidas shoe ever with over 35 million sold pairs worldwide, behind the legendary Adidas Stan Smith. It is produced in a variety of color schemes, yet the classic black with three white stripes is the most popular. The shoe features a tan gumsole that distinguishes it from other Adidas shoes. The shoe was first produced in 1950 to enable association football players to train on icy hard ground (hence the suction on the gumsole)."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Shoe Horn

You're gonna nead a shoe horn to help you put on all you great new shoes.

I saw these in Jack Spade (Boston) a few weeks ago and they look great, but I think Leffot has a much better price on 'em.

Picture and video from ACL, read the full story here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

L.L. Bean Boot

The L.L. Bean boot is THE classic wet weather footwear. They range from low to high and are available unlinned or with shearling or thisulate lining. I own a pair of the unlined gumshoes and I'm happy with them, although I do wish the heel was more comfortable. Getting the size right is kind of tricky. You must size down, way down. I wear a size 12 shoe and my gumshoes are a size 10; big difference.

Some other points about the Bean boot is they're quite affordable. They are also unique. And they are made in the USA.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Work Boot

You've gotta have a good leather work boot. I'm sorry, but you just do. So don't be a loser; get a pair.

Irish Setter

Wolverine 1000 Mile

Red Wing

Red Wing


Dr. Martens

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Canvas Sneakers

The canvas sneaker is another favorite of mine and there are many options, all of which are relativly inexpensive, classic, and simple. You really should have two pairs; one white and one color. And they are washable, so you can get the stink out...and that's a good thing. Let's cut to the chase.

Chuck Taylor All Star

Vans Authentic

Jack Purcell

Sperry Top-sider



Chuck Taylor CVO (I've never seen these before but I think I like them)


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chukka Boot

The chukka boot, like the desert boot, is versatile. It's a boot, which gives it a bit more of a casual look, but it's also a plain toe shoe. Having versatile footwear, and clothes for that matter, can make a relatively small and inexpensinsive wardrobe go a long way. I own a pair of black chukkas from Johnston & Murphy that I've had for about 5 years now, but I would go for either black or burgundy as shown below.

All pictures from Leather Soul

Monday, April 11, 2011

Desert Boots

It's week two of "The Month of Shoes" and I'll continue with the more essential shoes of a man's wardrobe this week.

The desert boot is a great option for a suede shoe. It's a plain toe shoe but it's so much more; It's a chukka boot, it's suede, it has a comfortable crepe sole. The only down side to the desert boot is that it's not good in cold weather. My feet get frozen in these things, but then maybe that's just me. You should go for brown, dark or light, but enough to avoid monochroming with your chinos.

This is from the Clark's website, the original makers of the desert boot:

"It's 60 years since Nathan Clark sparked a revolution. Not with a bang but with a shoe. Or a boot to be precise. Modeled on a style made in the bazaars of Cairo and favored by off-duty British army officers, the Desert Boot instantly stood out from the crowd and set a trend for casual footwear that lives on to this day. Often imitated but never matched, the versatility of the Desert Boot has seen it through six decades of ever-changing fashion."