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.
I think we would all agree that the purchase a quality pair of shoes is an "investment" in our feet as well as our wardrobe. And like any investment it needs protecting. Thankfully this is not a difficult task. Perhaps the single most important and easiest step we can take is to insert wooden shoetrees into the shoes when they’re removed.
Why? During the day our feet perspire, a natural fact. The trees draw the perspiration away from the leather lining and hold the shoes in place as they dry. If you have ever seen a pair of shoes that are cracked at the "break" there is a good chance it is due to "tree negligence". Left empty the leather contracts while drying. Once the shoes are worn again the leather must expand, over time, as this process repeats the leather begins to breakdown and crack.
It is also important that the trees fit the shoes properly. If the trees are too large the shoes will be stretched out of shape and if too small they will not maximize their intended purpose. We sell trees made by the manufacturers that are "last and size specific". These are the best trees for the shoes because the shoe is put back on its last to regain its shape. If you have your own trees try and find a shape and size that is closest to the last of the shoe. Using similar trees is better than not using trees at all.
Gaziano & Girling
This is a follow up to the recent “Special Occasions” post. This being the season for weddings, Mark purchased these Grafton’s for his wedding in the South of France later this month.
He informed me that he rarely wears dress shoes so I think this choice was well done. It’s timeless, traditional, always in style, and looks great as a dress casual as well.
Church’s Grafton in Black Binder Calf
Congratulations Mark, and all the best to you and your bride. By the way Mark is the first groom to choose black shoes for his special day, once again well done.
I’ve written recently about men buying shoes for their birthdays, well there is another occasion that ranks right up there and that of course is the wedding. Here is a list of shoes that were purchased to be worn to weddings either by the grooms or the guests.
Artioli – 06M090 in Black Calf & Lama
Gaziano & Girling – Westbury in Dark Oak
J.M. Weston-436 in Black Calf
Edward Green – Perth in Burnt Pine
Gaziano & Girling – Mitchell in Black Calf
Church’s – Diplomat in Brown Nevada Calf
Church’s – Consul in Black Calf
While I’m on the subject it’s interesting that in every case the grooms chose the brown shoes and the guests chose the black shoes. This suggests to me that men do not want to appear under dressed at another’s important social event (which is a good thing) and that more men are taking a fresh and less formal approach to their own weddings (also a good thing). And isn’t brown the new black anyway?
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.