Best Affordable Style of 2013 – The Shoes

A curtain call for a deserving shoe.

The end of the year means it’s time to hand out some awards.  No, there’s no little statues to pass along, but over the next few days we’ll still highlight some of the best in affordable men’s style from this past year.  And it was a good one. Feel free to send in additional nominations here.

This was a tough one. The new Allen Edmonds Mora 2.0 is outstanding, but expensive (and not everyone likes double monks). Meanwhile, the Wolverine 1000 mile 2nds that dipped to the mid $100s on Sierra Trading Post earlier this year were a fantastic deal, but not everyone is into substantial boots. Jack Erwin? A fantastic launch for that new brand. But maybe they get the Dappy next year.

JC Penney Claiborne Gaylord Suede Wingtip – $31.99 – $60.00

Claiborne Suede WingtipsNo longer available online, and most likely clearanced out in store.

So there’s your winner. The dark brown, suede, Claiborne wingtips have sailed into the sunset, but they were incredible while still on the shelves at JC Penney. Dirt cheap (at one point they were thirty bucks), strangely solid quality, and incredibly versatile. They embodied why so many of us stepped back into a JC Penney for the first time in decades.

Yet, if you believe some of what you hear, styles like this at JC Penney won’t be around much longer. Sadly, these are most likely a swan song in suede shoe form. As SolefulStrut put it over here, “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly, JCP.”

Also Receiving Votes: Zara’s Spanish Made Suede Single Monk, Jack Erwin’s new line, The Red Wing Beckman during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, Allen Edmonds returning to a rounded toe Double Monk with the Mora 2.0.

claiborne dappy 2013