It’s perhaps the plainest most nondescript shoe in the store but I like it. It’s industrial, workman like and no nonsense, an “Ugly Betty” if you will. A shoe to wear with a uniform perhaps but slip in a pair of dress laces and shine these babies up and the goose becomes a swan, well at least a shinier goose.
But that’s the point not all shoes need to be all things. This is a pair to wear casually with traditional khakis, or skinny jeans. It is as blank a canvas as you can imagine. So don’t discount simplicity, and like all shoes they always look best on the foot.
Chelsea boots those timeless boots that bring back memories of the sixties, the Beatles, or the Rolling Stones. Chelsea boots quickly became popular with Mods because it fit in with their sleek, tailored look. Some varieties sported the so-called ‘Cuban heel,’ which was supposedly derived from flamenco footwear. Check out Ray Columbus and the Invaders on “She’s a Mod” not a great song but you get the essence of Mod style. Although the song grows on me and I’m very jealous of the thick heads of hair.
Sixties Chelsea Boots
Today the boot lives on in a more classic style that can be worn with a suit or jeans. We have two styles of Chelsea Boots at Leffot. The more traditional Church’s Amberley with its rounder toe and single pull strap,
Church’s Amberley in Black Calf
And the more contemporary chiseled toe model designed by Michel Perry for J.M. Weston.
Yesterday my wife and I visited the Church’s store, the purpose of the trip was to find her some new shoes for fall. Needless to say she accomplished that task quite successfully and I’ll post the Women’s shoes she bought in the future.
What I was not prepared for was to find a pair of Shannon’s in burgundy Crup (Cordovan). They were the last pair and surprisingly my size. I waffled between the Shannon and the Grafton when I selected the shoes for the store, in the end deciding on the Grafton in black and Sandalwood. I felt the Shannon was to overpowering in Sandalwood and a little to “cop shoe” in black. I think I made the right choice because the Grafton is selling very well in both colors.
Now this Shannon in an antiqued waxy finish appears and I immediately see a place for it (besides on my foot). I really like the coloring and finish, the double leather soles, rolled black leathery laces and the heavy half moon stitching at the bottom of the throat all of which add guts and muscle to this shoe.
Here are a couple of links to cordovan tanneries you might like to visit. Horween Leather Co. in Chicago the last producer of cordovan in the U.S. and Shinki-Hikaku Co. in Japan. Incidentally there is an article about this tannery in “Last” magazine Vol. 11.
Does any shoe express summer more than the spectator? Perhaps a sandal, but for a classic clean look our pick is the two tones. Be it a loafer like the J.M. Weston Penny Loafer or Church’s Wingtip the Sidford these shoes have summer written all over them.