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If you like your dress shoes sleek, leaning modern, and don’t wear them every single day, then keep on reading.
If your prefer a more conservative look, shun even slightly elongated toes, and your idea of sexing it up is to set aside your 360 welt Park Avenues for an evening in favor of a slightly trimmer 270 welt Lombard, then go ahead and skip this one.
There’s a huge void in the men’s shoe market. You just can’t find a non clunky, simple, closed lacing leather-sole dress shoe for under $150. Everything is either a fat Bostonian or some ridiculously over embellished Steve Madden. These true oxfords from DSW’s house brand Mercanti Fiorentini might be one of the only options that actually fills that void.
They’ll get a solid A in the looks department from those that prefer a trim European silhouette, but they’re more like a B or B- when it comes to construction. Despite the always welcome “Made in Italy” stamp, the leather isn’t top notch (might be bicast?) but it looks plenty good from a few feet up. The soles are leather, but they appear to be glued and not sewn to the uppers. That’s pretty standard for a shoe that costs around $120, but DSW’s “compare at $250″ is way too generous.
They look clean and Italian, because they are clean and Italian. No superfluous lines or embellishments, and the slim shape is more than able to carry the style load. Although they wrinkled a bit across the toe after the first wear, it’s really not that noticeable.
The fit seems true to size and they’re decently comfortable. They’ve also been added to the long term test pile so we’ll see how they hold up, but the first impression is a good one. These might be about as good as it gets for those who lace up dress shoes 5-10 times a month or less, and don’t want to take out a second mortgage to land a pair of streamlined eye catching dress shoes.