The end of one year and a start of another means it’s time to hand out some awards. No there aren’t any 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. Feel free to send in additional nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full review here, where they got a rare 5/5 on
Adam’s Review Scale of Excellence (the hallowed A.R.S.E.)
Once upon a time the website you’re reading right now used to do an annual Best Dress Shoes under $200 list. But then the acceleration of our culture dressing more casually went exponential, the pricing/quality middle ground of men’s style retail got squeezed even more (doesn’t it feel like 80% of men’s retail is either cheap trash or stupidly expensive designer nonsense?), the pandemic hit, and then inflation finished that particular #content idea off.
Blake stitched. Soles equipped with a bit of grip.
They hit the undeniable sweet spot for those who simply don’t wear dress shoes daily, yet when they need (or want) a pair of dress shoes, they want them to look really good and feel way better than some big box bargain store junk.
Made from soft and supple full grain leather. Blake stitched in China, so they should be able to be re-soled by a local and knowledgeable cobbler. Lined in leather. Subtle, studded rubber sole so you don’t slip and eat-it on the sidewalk outside of your big interview/meeting/date. The shape and style leans more modern, with a European look and two-line stitched cap toe which drapes over a tapered toe box. They’re elegant, they’re simple, they stand out from the crowd without shouting.
And if it’s your first purchase of a pair of shoes or sport coat/suit with Spier, then a return or exchange will be totally free. They want to lower that barrier to people trying out their stuff.
They’d be that “best shoes under $200” list. The entire list.
Well done by Spier, once again.
Also Receiving Votes:
- Allen Edmonds Mahogany Park Avenues or Strands
- Allen Edmonds Weatherproof Higgins Mill
- Grant Stone’s LWBs
- Pretty much anything that’s not final sale in Grant Stone’s recently resurrected sale section (which there’s oddly plenty of lately)
- Nordstrom’s $99 medallion toe oxfords
- Any of Huckberry’s made in Leon Mexico Rhodes Boots, but especially the Caliber collection Blake Chelseas and Tyler Chukkas
- J. Crew’s Goodyear welted Kenton line (when on sale)
- Nordstrom’s $99 “Dane” Cap Toe Dress Shoes
- Nike’s Air Max Pre-Day LX
- Greys Outdoor Slipper Boots
- The UK Made Sanders Hi-Top chukkas… especially when they dipped under $200 over the summer.