The Suggestion: Embrace The Plain Brown Lace Up

Before you go nuts with medallions and wingtips, start simple.<div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url='http://dappered.com/2012/08/the-suggestion-embrace-the-plain-brown-lace-up/' addthis:title='The Suggestion:  Embrace The Plain Brown Lace Up ' ><a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a><a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a><a class="addthis_button_email"></a><a class="addthis_button_pinterest_share"></a><a class="addthis_button_compact"></a><a class="addthis_counter addthis_bubble_style"></a></div>
The Splurge:  Allen Edmonds Kenilworth – $187.81 – $236.00* ($295)

*Prices just dropped on these and there are plenty of normal sizes that are marked down and will get an extra 20% off.  To get the 20% off price, you’ll need to sign up for Amazon’s shoe store email list over here.  Once you do that, they’ll send you a one time use code for 20% off.  During a test run the code showed up immediately upon signing up.

Allen Edmonds excels at making shoes with class and a little extra style – wingtips, medallions, and the like – but sometimes a little simplicity is called for.  When just starting to upgrade your shoe collection, something like their Strand probably isn’t the best place to start.  Instead, take a look at the simple, versatile Kenilworth.

The Kenilworth after some decent wear.  Holding up extremely well, as expected.

The Kenilworth is made on the 5 last, the same used for many of their other traditional dress shoes, such as the Park Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and Strand, but the Kenilworth is a three eyelet, blucher style shoe.  This, combined with the burnished plain toe and zero perforations, makes for a slightly more casual looking shoe that can still be easily dressed up.  They pair equally well with jeans and a button up and dress slacks and a blazer.  As already stated, they’ve got open lacing like all bluchers, but they’re sharp enough to wear with a suit.

With long, narrow feet I can usually size down a bit when buying shoes.  I have another pair of size 11 Allen Edmonds made on a different last (the Hale, made on the 8 last) that fit like a second skin right out of the box, but the Kenilworth in the same size took a bit of breaking in.  I found that they pinched my toes when new (the fact that I was hoofing it around the city on a day pushing 100F may have been a factor as well).  After a few wears they fit just fine.

Made on the 5 Last, the Kenilworth has that classic dress shoe shape.  Not elongated, but not stumpy.

Pounding the pavement, walking to work in them once or twice a week over a few months, and the Goodyear welted sole is holding up very well, which is only expected coming from Allen Edmonds.  This is highly a recommended shoe for someone looking for something that can smoothly transition from the work week to the weekend.

Thoughts from you guys?  Many of us like a wingtip or a cap toe with brogueing or even a solo medallion.  But has too much attention been paid to those busy, attention getting shoes?  Should subtle be what most men purchase first?