Shoes

„Rinse shoes with water, before salt stains occur“

 

December 15, 2015

  

Interview with bespoke shoemaker Matthias Vickermann of Vickermann & Stoya, Baden-Baden, about shoe care during winter, tips and tricks and which shoes can be worn the whole year.

 

Read the interview...

 

 

All-round shoe: Suede

Suede shoe. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion.
Suede shoe. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion.

 

 

August 11, 2015

 

The suede shoe is an all-round shoe for the feet. A Swedish friend of mine was in need for an comfortable shoe for his office job which has a rather casual dress code. We discussed some shoes and shoe companies. Finally he said, pushing me to write this article: „A suede shoe is so care intensive“. The suede shoe has a hard time. Which is unfair.

 

To the contrary, the suede shoe is maybe the less care intensive shoe. The roughened leather does not need and does not like shoe creme. The shoes shall be treated with an impregnation spray once in a while which helps protecting it against wetness. Dirty can be removed with a brush and which a special cleaning stone, (kind of a rubber). For severe dirt the shoes can be even washed with a mild shampoo. Even more than other shoes (limited only to heavy damage) it is undestroyable and above all very pleasant. I stood with one of my pairs on the Chinese Wall and it still looks very good. Nicholas Lobb wore a pair of John Lobb bespoke suede shoes during our workshop visit there, which might be different only by quality.

Suede shoes in different colours. Photo copyright: Crockett & Jones.
Suede shoes in different colours. Photo copyright: Crockett & Jones.

To the contrary, the suede shoe is maybe the less care intensive shoe. The roughened leather does not need and does not like shoe creme. The shoes shall be treated with an impregnation spray once in a while which helps protecting it against wetness. Dirty can be removed with a brush and which a special cleaning stone, (kind of a rubber). For severe dirt the shoes can be even washed with a mild shampoo. Even more than other shoes (limited only to heavy damage) it is undestroyable and above all very pleasant. I stood with one of my pairs on the Chinese Wall and it still looks very good. Nicholas Lobb wore a pair of John Lobb bespoke suede shoes during our workshop visit, which might be different only by quality.

 

There is a broad range of occasion where you can wear a suede shoe. I use it for traveling days and occasions which does not require formal dress code. For job interviews, receptions and business appointments plain leather works far better. Suede shoes are perfect for pleasure time activities and apart from very formal occasions never inappropriate. Just for extreme weather such as heavy rain or winter it is too cold due to the leather features. Thus an ankle boot is adviseable.

 

 

I appreciate my suedes shoes for their nearly every situation fit, their ability to stand even travelling (if you take care of them generally) and always make a good impression. You get them in many colours, for example at Crockett & Jones where I learnt in the Northampton headquarter’s showroom that they offer them in a broad variety of colours. A youthful blue can smooth a rather conservative look if you don’t want to look like a British Lord on the hunt. Just pull the suede on and get started. 

Photo: Men's Individual Fashion
Photo: Men's Individual Fashion

 

Benefits of decent shoes: Saving money

 

February 27, 2015

 

Decent shoes save mid-term a lot of money. Why? Higher prices and care costs are lower than buying a third class shoe every few years. It is that simple. There is no argument against decent shoes, but lacking knowledge.


 

Decent shoes cost more than third-class shoes (but surprisingly not too much more). Shoes of every notch need care. Decent shoes can be repaired more easily and more often, for example by changing the sole (not restricted to Goodyear welted shoes, my repairman changed the rubber sole of my Camper shoes as well). 

Photo: Men's Individual Fashion
Photo: Men's Individual Fashion

 

Shoelaces they are, not sporty devices, stupid!


 

February 23, 2015

 

My four year old godchild received baptism in Munich, Bavaria. Reason enough to visit the traditional business shirt manufacturer Eterna nearby in Passau. After an exciting day, I arrived exhausted in my room, then my shoelaces broke.

 

It is odd, they always break before important appointments when I am in a hurry and my shoe polish kit is far away. I recall my repairman’s words: Shoelaces they are, not sporty devices, stupid! So I had to see the next shoeshop and think of developing a habit having a spare pair with me on travels. 

How is a decent shoe made?

February 12, 2015

www.crockettandjones.com

Copyright: Crockett & Jones Ltd., Northampton, England

 

Men's Individual Fashion uprightly thanks Crockett & Jones, Northampton, for the kind permission to embed this video into the homepage.


"Who is unable to stick, still uses the Goodyear welted method" or the question what makes a decent shoe

 

February 8, 2015

 

I confess. I was at a shoe shop which nearly exclusively sells sticked shoes. However, I am glad, that my friends were not with me. Otherwise I would have got a joke like "we would have never expected you to do this". 

 

It was a challenge for me, but I made it. Driven by curiosity, at least one time going in without a mate, whom I explain why I believe it is a bad deal. Without a man, doing his first steps into the light. Without holding a decent pair of Goodyear welted shoes with an expected life period of a decade next to a sticked one. Entirely without the message, that Goodyear welted shoes are in the long run cheaper, more comfortable and even better looking. Just like that. 

  

Some of my shoes, and a few which were at my place for a visit.
Some of my shoes, and a few which were at my place for a visit.

 

The sales lady asked me, whether she can be of help. I am polite. I refuse kindly and look at the shoes. No, here they will not be able to help me. At least not to sell shoes which last probably only a few years. Shoes you can see they are made of imitation leather and which do have a sticked sole.

 

A guy in suit whose choice for a shining blue tie is not the best, shopped excitedly a sticked, in my opinion completely overpriced pair of shoes. I suffered nearly physical pain. Decent business shoes you will not find for 150 Euros. He will have to buy more of these shoes in the next decade. 


I tried to get a better attitude. I asked the sales man whether they offer Goodyear welted shoes. They do have two models, but they are very special. I wanted to withdraw in dignity. But the sales man had a different agenda. He tried to discuss with me about shoe quality. He told me about a boss whose paradigm is „who is unable to stick still sews“. I try to overhear that a sales man said this to a potential customer looking for decent pair of goodyear welted shoes. He continued arguing. A decent shoemaker they claim to have, I could bring my Goodyear welted shoes. I had to swallow. But, you know, these Goodyear welted shoes, they are so expensive! I stayed calm, this is not the battlefield to wage on war for decent Goodyear welted shoes. 

 

I did not tell him how many pairs of decent shoes I own. I hide that every man I led to the lighting path of Goodyear welted shoes, has been deeply grateful for that. Men, who where complimented by their colleagues the first day with their new shoes, whose wives were excited about this fashion development. I got calls from mates standing in the shop asking whether the brand is shoppable or send pictures via Whatsapp. I discussed decent shoes with executive guys and even a DAX board member.

 

The sales man makes fun of my cardetui. A birthday present by a dear Chinese female friend. With compassion I gave him my card and left the shop without a single evil word. I am damn proud that he still has his head. But the crusade has begun. On www.mensindividualfashion.de


The lack of choice issue

 

February 3, 2015

 

There are plenty of reasons to go for decent shoes. A main reason is, that the decision for decent shoes puts an end to the lack of choice on the feet and indirect on the whole man. Sticked imitation leather shoes have a limited wear expectance of a few years. Who invests a little more, chooses better. By constrast, who knows that he just wears the shoes for a couple of years tend to buy anything, which reversely affects the overall appearance.

 

It is a legendary sentence, that I allegedly labeled the shoes of an aquantance as „sticked bullshit“ after having a short small talk conversation on the street in Brussels. It was a big blast for my friends. Although  I of course deny this kind of language and distance myself from it, I strongly recommend to invest in Goodyear welted office shoes. 

 

The shoes defines the man!

 

Due to the outstanding role of fine shoe selection and conscientious care for man's wardrobe Men's Individual Fashion publishes an extraordinary solitary category dealing with man's shoes.