Reading through Alexander Kraft’s “9 Rules for Living Elegantly” for The Gentleman’s Journal, I have to say Rule #5, “Never Wear Sandals” certainly rang true. (well, to be honest, the whole article resonates with me, which will come as a shock to no one.) A gentleman shouldn’t thrust his exposed toes onto the scene unless he is on the beach, and there are many more suitable and interesting choices in summer footwear.
Now, I’ve long been a fan of espadrilles, loafers, Belgians, slip-ons of any kind, really.
And, as I sit at my desk in a pair of leather TQT Reef flip-flops (they don’t make it past the front door), I wonder why I don’t rely on my trusty staples-of-summers-past.
For one thing, espadrilles used to be cheap. Paying anywhere north of $20 seems like highway robbery to me (save for the suede versions, but still…) Especially for shoes that get thrown away after you walk though them.
For another, my permanently busted-up feet need arch support. And most soft shoes don’t afford any degree of support. Some, if they are made of heavier materials, can take insoles. Most can’t.
Enter the above pair of woven slip-on shoes by H. London purchased a year or two ago, on-line, through Asos.com. (They don’t carry them anymore, but they can be found … here.)
It took me a season or two to work up to wearing them, perhaps because of the design? But, having worn them, let me say that these are the perfect hybrid of espadrille and leather-soled loafer. They are supremely comfortable, stretchy because of the weave, have a bit of arch support, and are sturdy enough to take some in soles. Pair them with linen trousers, shorts, jeans and khakis.