The Best of Black Dress Shoes – Spring 2011
Now that the brown lace-ups have been covered, it’s time to move onto the shoes which most of us reach for first. Brown might be considered more stylish, but black… is black. It’s crisp. Clean. Unforgiving and all business. Brown can be warm, inviting, almost fun. Black is pretty no-nonsense and rightfully the first pair of dress shoes most men buy.
Like the suit you’d wear with your black dress shoes, you want the lines on your footwear to be slim. And much like suits, there’s a lot of good, and not so good black dress shoes out there. From cheap to check book crushing expensive, these all show plenty of potential in their respective price ranges:
Florsheim Tolland – $54.32 w/code spring2011 (reg. $90)
Here’s a great example of what camera positioning can do for a shoe. From the angle you see here, you don’t see the somewhat stubby toe, or, the rubber sole. Closed lacing though, nice cap toe detail, and… well they’re $55. Got 3 stars from “Luke the Bartender” who said it was stiff. Code expires today, 3/7.
Nordstrom Hampton Lace-up – $84.90 (reg. $149.00)
A house brand with a slim chassis (might be too narrow for some, read the reviews) and simple styling. Under $100, double stitch cap toe, all around solid.
Robert Cameron Simple Laceup – $116.25 (reg. $155)
One of the few plain, slightly elongated, black dress shoes on the market for a reasonable price. No wild stitching, none of the laser etching Robert Cameron shoes usually end up having, nothing. Just a black dress shoe.
Magli by Bruno Magli Zendo Oxford – $139.90 (reg. $295)
One of those step down “By” brands from a big time designer. Closed lacing, great shape, simple non stitched to death cap toe. Right in the price wheelhouse for a lot of us..
Hugo Boss “Crest” Loafer – $159.90 (reg. $245)
I’m not usually a big fan of shoe jewelry, but when it’s minimal and not too chromed up it can work. Sometimes. Great shape, fair enough on sale price… but what about that bit? Leave your take in the comments below.
Bruno Magli Tavvo Cap toe – $191.21 w/code ALMARCH1 (reg. $395)
Sierra Trading Post is one hell of a great haystack to find some terrific needles. Already marked down to $254, these Italian made cap-toes are modern but still subtle. Unique stitching at the side. That code, ALMARCH1 is good clear through April 6th and will take 25% off anything over $125. 20% off anything under that.
Hugo Boss “Ryans” Lace-up – $135.00, $195.00, or $225.00
The round toe purists won’t like the slight chisel toe, and the full price of $225 is up there for a shoe that’s made in China… but to a lot of us? These look incredible. $135 through Bloomingdale’s if you’re a 7, 8, or 8.5. $195 through Endless if you’re 9.5, 11.5, or 12. Full priced Via Nordstrom otherwise.
Kenneth Cole Mr. Man Lace-ups – $255.00
Not a darn thing wrong with these, except for the price. One of the few pairs of Kenneth Cole’s made in Italy. Leather sole. Slightly elongated, slightly pointed, rounded off toe. That should please just about everyone (especially those killing the made in China chisel toe Regal Kings). Tough to find these on sale, but every so often Kenneth Cole’s entire site will go on sale for a random reason. That’s when if you’re interested, you make your move on these. .
To Boot New York Aaron Oxford – $295.00
Expensive. Has all the right details and is made in Italy. A touch more expensive than the Allen Edmonds Van Ness. And although the Van Ness isn’t as portly as other AE’s (thanks to the 270 not 360 welt), these should be even more slim. Interesting leather/rubber grip sole.
Got a favorite from the above? And what’s your current go-to black dress shoes? Leave it all in the comments section below.