Would you wear it? The Wholecut Oxford

A shoe in its birthday suit. Would you?

Allen Edmonds Hanover Whole-Cut Oxford – $254.93 ($345)

Available at the discounted price in Bourbon via Amazon. Sizes are starting to dry up though.

Stitches and seams? WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ STITCHES AND SEAMS!! (or, accuracy when it comes to quoting cinema and/or literature either).

Wholecuts aren’t for everybody. Like the ship in Flight of the Navigator, the seamless body of a wholecut looks equal parts elegant… and alien. A pair of black wholecuts look incredible with a tuxedo, but what about brown, like this bourbon shade from Allen Edmonds, with everything from suits to jeans and a sportcoat?

Hanover wholes

The wholecut name is pretty self-explanatory. Instead of multiple pieces of leather being stitched together to make the upper, these are cut from just one piece. The result is a hyper-clean look. But plenty of wholecuts still make use of punching and perforations. The now extinct Allen Edmonds Fairfax did this with sweeping wingtip-like perfs and a medallion on the toe. But not the Hanover. These are a total blank slate. Undisturbed pond-surface smooth. They even minimized how many eyelet holes they had to punch. Three instead of the usual five or six.

Built on the 333 last, the Hanover is elongated and has the chisel-like toe of the recently discontinued Neumora Double Monk, the Franciscan Single Monk, and the crazy expensive Rutledge oxford. Some will appreciate the sharper toe since it gives the body of the shoe a little more purpose. It makes them look a little less like a blank canvas of a basic business shoe, and instead more like a “oh, they meant to do this” higher style option. Plenty will disagree there, since chisels are anything but universally enjoyed.

Hanover wholes and soles

Sizing is pretty true, but being that this is a 333 last, the silhouette is real trim. So if you’re a borderline wide foot, you’re going to want to head in that direction. Leather is unusually soft. Even more so than other Allen Edmonds calf shoes. Not sure if they switched a supplier for this shoe, or maybe this batch of leather is just extra flexible. It’s something. Available in black and bourbon with plenty of sizes/widths over at Allen Edmonds, or, at a discount in Bourbon via Amazon.

So would you? Or is this less-is-more approach so “less” that it’s become not just more, but too much? It’s awfully hard to ignore a pair of whole-cuts. Especially when they come in a can’t-miss shade like the new Bourbon calf from Allen Edmonds.

Hanover three quaters and water

Note #1: Allen Edmonds is running an extra 25% off clearance sale through today, 9/17. A few “zombie” (read: grey leather) options in there if that’s your thing.

Note #2: Cue the “square toe” comments about these Hanovers. Look, they ain’t these. But they are a chisel thanks to the 333 last, and they don’t look as angular in person. Blame the limitations of 2D. 

Note #3: While taking this picture, the shoe slipped and landed toe first on the pavement, giving it a solid ding. I tried to clean off the toe with a licked thumb + pressure, but I ended up taking the burnishing clear off (I had been drinking ice water with some lemons + limes in it, maybe it was the acid?). That’s why in this pic, the left toe is noticeably lighter than the right. A little black shoe polish during the Alabama / Texas A&M game got it back to a match.