22 June 2011

The Case For (semi) Crummy Shoes

I firmly believe that quality should take a back seat to nothing usually. But as with everything, there are some minor exceptions, at least in my book. Rainy days like the one we just had in Boston will get your feet wet, and likely wreck a good pair of shoes. Overshoes, especially expensive ones,  are something I just don't have time for, personally, kinda like overly precious loungewear. Enter the crummy, but acceptable, penny loafer.

In many ways, this pair isn't so bad. An old pair of USA made Sebagos, found at a thrift store for less than ten dollars. The construction and styling are actually pretty good, but the plastic like corrected grain leather, with it's somewhat unearthly permanent sheen is something I could live without. However, on a really rainy day, I don't mind if they get wet. Being rather unbreathing, they actually do a fair job of keeping the water out. Being all slick and plastic like, they wipe clean with a wet paper towel, and being cheap, I won't really care if they get ruined. Stylistically, they blend right in with my general sartorial aesthetic, and paired with the trousers from my poplin suit, which are fairly quick drying, they make a pretty good option in a heavy rain, without sacrificing too much in the way of style. Up top, a Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece navy blazer, pink oxford and repp tie make up for what I feel is, under the circumstances of a heavy rain in June, a forgivable lack of quality down below.

Believe me, I never would have thought I'd find myself singing the unexpected praises of corrected grain leather shoes, but I guess we learn something new every day. A decent pair of crummy shoes is a good to thing to have in a pinch.

21 comments:

NCJack said...

I have a thrifted pair of CG Florsheim bal wings, and a "store bought" pair of Bass Weejuns (with rubber soles to boot) for just that purpose. If the Weejuns are like my last CG pair, they'll last for years

Anonymous said...

Shell.

Giuseppe said...

Not for $10...at least not yet.

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

never wear rubber soles, they make you stink more

Giuseppe said...

These shoes have leather soles. As for not wearing rubber soles, that would eliminate boat shoes, blucher mocs, bucks and even sneakers from your choices. Damn, you' re strict.

2buttonswag said...

Definitely agree with you. It's always great to have a crummy pair on hand. Especially for those mornings when you are ready to leave for work, open the door, and realize it's pouring. Spending additional time trying to figure out which shoes you care about the least can be hard.

maria said...

eliminate them and let god choose the wise.

maria said...

what about doing some vintage ties from the 40's

Anonymous said...

I noticed in the last post that those shoes really needed a good polish. No pro needed. I let go a beautiful pair Gucci Bit loafers because they were not the quality of a pair Walk-Over loafers that I found at a thrift store. To LBF, I am Southern aristoscracy, via my grandmother, who was a deb, and you live in trash, CA. Aristrocracy ENGLAND differs from aristocracy US. You little poser. FYI my cousins kids attended the same school as William, as in King.

2buttonswag said...

@ Fixed Bayonet

That is what foot powder is for. Works wonders.

@ Giuseppe

I agree. Not even sure where I would begin looking if I left rubber soles out of my selection.

@ Maria

I agree, that would be great to see. For some reason, I always look at ties now when I go into thrift stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.). The things people give away still blows my mind.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna have to sit this one out. Seems to me the only thing worse than crummy shoes is wet crummy shoes. With much respect, you're just gonna have to spring for the galoshes, wear Bean boots to work and switch out to an office-worthy pair (granted, a little Melanie Griffith in "Working Girl"), stay home til it stops raining. But what you can't do is allow these crap shoes to infect your closet. I.Just.Can't.With.This.

Giuseppe said...

Forgive me, just can't hang with galoshes. I know it's wrong, but I hate those things. As for Bean boots, they they'r way too heavy for a warm day.

Anonymous said...

Let's talk about the stench when you take them off at the end of a particually wet evening..............

Giuseppe said...

No stench. I just leave them on the porch to dry overnight and clean them up afterwards. Also, I bathe regularly.

Philip said...

There is a time and place for half-decent shoes: it is the time when the weather would turn your decent shoes into indecent shoes. The shoes you have are half-decent, nothing more, but they do the job.

Osbert II said...

King William? Good Lord! The children of Anonymous' cousin were at school in the late 18th Century.

As for beater shoes in rainy weather, I replaced Allen Edmonds Maxfields with Vibram Gumlites. They have served me well.

mpr said...

A couple more rainy days and those kicks will be in serious contention for a nice "authentic" pair of "Somerville cracked" shoes. Once that happens, how on earth is anyone going to be able to tell the Winter Hill crowd frpm the Beacon Hill crowd?

maria said...

whining yankees again, thats all you do =whine fart and cry

y said...

"Kicks"? "Kicks??"

What's wrong with calling them shoes? Besides, this is a blog about classic men's clothes, not teenybopper fashion.

Giuseppe said...

Maria,

So far all you've done here is insult and complain. Cheer up!

mpr said...

@ Y

Not trying to take myself to seriously is all.

I've more or less called shoes, "kicks" my whole life. I also call hats, "lids"; cars, "rides"; beer, "brew"; ad infinitum. I can also use Latin phrases correctly and I wear a suit and tie to work, EVERY DAY. Is that grown up and sophisticated enough for a classic men's fashion blog?