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Pimp My Brogues? The Difficulties of Wearing Traditional Men’s Shoes

A solitary brogue. (Usually found in pairs.)

Folk wisdom warns us not to judge a man till you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. But I give you express permission to judge me before you’ve done the full mile. In fact, I’d rather you stayed out of my shoes altogether – I forked out 140 quid for them just the other month and they’re already wearing out fast.

The shoes in question are a pair of suede brogues, in brown, from a very well-known British shoe manufacturer. But it’s not this particular pair, or this particular shoe maker, that have upset me; it’s ALL traditional men’s leather shoes. Much as I hate to admit it, I think trainers get my vote nearly every time for anything other than pairing with suits.

These are not superficial comments, you understand. These reflections are the product of a sartorial experiment. I’d never paid much for footwear in the past and the idea was to pay top dollar and see if investing a bit more was the way forward. (…OK, not exactly top dollar – £140 isn’t actually very much for traditional men’s shoes, but it’s not nothing, and it’s a darn sight more than I paid for my last pair which came from M&S and did sterling service.) Well, I’m sorry to say that the experiment so far is really not looking good.

I knew in advance that a leather sole would wear out eventually, but I didn’t expect it to happen so fast. And I didn’t anticipate the toe and the heel perishing as well. Past experience with less expensive models has introduced me to the magic of the cobbler – rubber pads, rubber soles, metal toe and heel clips are all available. But I object to rushing over to get my shoes pimped out the minute I unbox them! It’s madness! Like buying a brand new car and taking it to the mechanic before you can drive it....

Read the complete article at Menswear Style, an online men's fashion and lifestyle magazine and one of the leading digital publications in the UK.


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