The Best of Brown Dress Shoes – Spring 2011
Black shoes are the safe play. They’re preferred by most of us (my hand is raised) but brown really does go with just about everything aside from black pants and suits. Not convinced? See this chart of ideal pairings from our friends over at The Effortless Gent. Nifty huh.
Even if you’re hooked on your black laceups, have a great looking brown pair on standby. Note that many of these are 20% off thanks to an Endless.com dress shoes over $150 sale. No word on when that sale expires. You’ll see the new and improved price here if applicable and once you put them in your cart on Endless as well.
From Wisconsin to Italy and from Spain to China, here are ten solid pairs that’ll fit into almost any budget.
Aldo Simes Lace Up – $55.99 (reg. $100)
From the leader in inexpensive slim shoes, this Aldo is… Brown. And it’s… $55. Look, it’s difficult to complain about it due to the price and the plain appearance. Rubber sole. Clearance. Only available through Amazon.
When shopping for shoes under $100 it’s best to have a sense of humor at the ready. For example, the description of these on Topman.com clearly state that they’re made of: “100% OTHER.” Awesome. Don’t you just hate those terrible “OTHER” blends? Mucks it all up. Cheap, basic.
Aldo Girt Wingtip – $69.98 – $100
Another rubber sole lace up from Aldo. Just under $70 if you’re a size 7,8, or 9. $100 via Zappos if you’ve got a larger foot. $100 seems a little expensive. Especially since they might not look quite right with a suit. Jeans though?
Robert Cameron Shooter Cap Toe – $123.96 (reg. $154.95)
Seems to be some sort of house brand from Endless. Not necessarily a bad thing, but don’t expect to be blown away with the quality. Part of the 20% off sale. Free two day shipping as is almost always the case. Nice shape and the toe cap is created with modern laser etched lines instead of the traditional stitching.
Mercanti Fiorentini Dress Detailed Lace Up – $129.95
DSW’s house brand. Still made in Italy and for a decent price. Leather outsole, great looking shape, cap toe and brogue details. Not bad for $130. If you prefer your shoes a little more on the smooth and subtle side, their closed lacing dress shoe is just $120. Limited sizes though.
Florsheim Whitworth Oxford – $140.00 (reg. $175)
Plain with a capital P. If you like your shoes with a rounded toe, decently well made, and able to blend in, here’s the shoe for you. Part of Florsheim’s higher up Imperial line. Leather and craftsmanship will be a step up from say, their now $80 Vinton lace up.
Gordon Rush Montgomery Penny Loafer – $180.00 (reg. $225)
The best thing about Gordon Rush shoes is their no nonsense shape. Not too stubby, not too pointy, but the right balance. The not so best thing is their price. Even the on sale price of $180 is a little steep for made in China. Yes it’s a loafer and not a lace-up. Still looks great though.
John Fluevog Brandenburg Oxford – $199.16 (reg. $248.95)
Yep, that John Fluevog. The same designer who created the chosen footwear of the grunge movement and the guy whose shoes sometimes carry a claim of “Satan-Resistant.” Devil repellent aside, these have one hell of a good looking shape. Closed lacing, nice silhouette, great sweep on the side. A major, MAJOR Warning here. His signature is stamped, albeit in tonal fashion, on the outer back corner. (You can see it more easily over here)
Allen Edmonds Strand Oxford – $235.96 (reg. $294.95)
The top of the line. Proudly made in the USA, incredible craftsmanship and design, and now marked down to an attainable for many $236. If Allen Edmonds would just elongate the toe a touch, just a little more… then I think all the men out there who prefer European slim silhouettes would jump on board the AE train. Want to see how good the chestnut color can look with a suit? Check out this post from our friends at Primer Magazine.
Magnanni Bruno Lace Up – $236.00 (reg. $295)
Burnishing, Spanish made, and a little more trim through the body than the Allen Edmonds. Traditional wingtip details and a leather sole. Which you better damn well be getting if you’re spending over $200 on a shoe.
Who makes your favorite pair of brown dress shoes? And where’d you buy them? Leave your answers plus any other feedback in the comments section below…