We're finally feeling warmer temperatures here in New York City. Naturally there's a shift in mood and, of course, time to shop for fresh footwear, an instant way to signal in brighter days.
The understated white sneaker isn't going anywhere and you should definitely have a pair in your rotation. Maintenance is not as bad as you think. A few weekly dabs of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (on leather) will keep your white kicks minty. It's not hyperbolic to say they go with almost every outfit, and most importantly they set off your entire ensemble. We've covered the classics like Stan Smiths and Jack Purcells, so this year our favorite new shoe is Todd Snyder's take on PF Flyer Ramblers, $160. High tops look great with a slightly cropped chino too, which, thankfully, are ready to go out of the box with ours starting at 26" inseams.
And while checkered Vans slip-ons will always be a skate/surf classic, we can't resist the charm of J.Crew's more subdued collaboration with Vans, $70. The subtle suede embossed checker print simply works better for men of a certain age while retaining the rebel spirit of the original.
We can't help but mention our staff's favorite shoe, the desert boot. This year Clarks is offering new bolder colors. We're partial to this Evergreen Suede version, $140, which is enough of a statement without being loud.
Tods has its variation on the suede chukka, $382. These are slimmer and made with a lighter weight material that's ideal as the temperature rises.
While suede bucks are always on our go-to list, we've discovered Allen Edmunds Blucher $395, which is just a bit more refined and slimmer when compared to the prep staple. It's made with the highest quality materials, cork sole and, our must, a Goodyear welted construction, which means they can be resoled and made structurally as good as new by any skilled cobbler.
Minimalist sneakers have gone upscale with the pioneers being Common Projects, $410. While there are many imitators, the originals are the best and unmistakably cool.
The Grenson Pebbled Grained Penny Loafer, $295, is distinctive and yet derived from a classic penny loafer shape. These don't skimp on looks, comfort or durability.
One of the very few areas where it might not be prudent to spend too much money on is driving moccasins, because you can't re-sole them. Nordstrom's in-house brand version at $89 will get you through two seasons in style. Enjoy a more vivid color (such as blue, red, orange or white) and throw caution to the wind.
The suede Chelsea boot is easier to pull off than you'd think. Paired with chinos or slim jeans, these provide a stylish finishing touch. Really, it will elevate whatever else you are wearing and your confidence. The Thursday Boot Co. version in Honey Suede is priced right at $199 with a Goodyear welted sole, so it can be yours for years with proper care.