These aren’t gonna satisfy the shoe snobs. But hardly anything does. The Shoe Snob lives his life to feel like he’s been done wrong. Any sign of loose grain, a scratched welt, or a nicked sole, would be a direct attack on the worthiness and deserved celebration of his personal existence (and he is worthy of celebration, just scroll through his instagram).
His idea of what a dollar is worth, of what raw materials cost, and the price of manufacturing, hasn’t changed since 1994.
Any sort of adjustment to pricing, styles, or construction methods is a challenge to the Snob’s obvious, inalienable right to be served with what he deems to be flawless manufactured goods.
If he DOES choose to grace the footwear economy with an order, expectations will be exospheric. If upon arrival said goods are somehow UP to the snob’s absurd expectations of perfection (expectations he has never and will never achieve in his own personal line of employment), in a way he will be disappointed. Because without flaw, he cannot berate the manufacturer on the internet, which happens to be a favorite hobby from which the snob derives significant self worth.
But alas, at least his presence on this earth has been honored. Yes, finally tribute has been delivered, by way of a pair of consumer goods so flawless, that their birth necessitated a labor of billions of years of cosmic combat between the absurdity of entropy, and its patient disciplinarian co-parent, natural selection.
After a triumphant sigh and a mental self congratulation on his ability to purchase high quality products, he will then secure said impeccable goods to his ugly-ass feet, and proceed to walk through dirt and grease and a palette of shit that spans the metazoa.
These sixty dollar shoes from Target are not going to satisfy those types.
A rounded chisel. Not overly aggressive. Nice buckle placement. Not too shabby for $60.
Target’s Goodfellow & Co’s first run at shoes last year weren’t that well received. But these are a BIG improvement. I’d put them on par with DSW’s in-house Aston Grey Brand. The “genuine leather” uppers aren’t awful or glaringly shiny. They don’t smell like gasoline. They don’t feel like some cheap, flimsy, H&M product (note that this critique excludes the H&M premium quality line… those shoes are usually worth a shot). And they’re pretty comfortable right out of the box. Fit seems true. A 10.5D fit my normally 10.5D feet decently well. Perhaps a touch narrow, but I’m a borderline wide foot.
Looks pretty good from above. Nice shape.
The shade does lean noticeably more red in person than displayed on the Target website. Think more Allen Edmonds chili and less Allen Edmonds bourbon. And while there are a couple of odd styling choices (the two stitched Xs / unnecessary extra leather swoops on the sides), at least those choices are subtle. Look, for sixty bucks, you’re gonna have to make some concessions.
There’s a pair of threaded Xs on each shoe. Odd design detail, but not a dealbreaker.
Buckle placement is high and tight. The metal they use, thankfully, isn’t a chrome, but instead an aged looking brassy material. The toes are a rounded chisel. Nothing too severe or blocky there. Soles are synthetic with a bit of texture for traction. Great for not slipping on shit, no matter the species. Interior appears to be at least partially lined in leather. The insole is probably synthetic. No surprise there.
Nice traction. That stitching is almost certainly just for looks.
These shoes could be great for someone looking for a nice set of beaters, or perhaps for someone who is a bit curious about single monks but doesn’t want to spend a ton of cash. But the snobs or any aspiring snobs? Forget it. But for those on a serious budget, know that Target runs sales too. Often. Don’t be surprised if these dip to around $50 in the not too distant future.