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Old Brown Shoe

February 5, 2010

I am a sucker for brown shoes. I think I have 10 or 11 pairs of shoes, and only 4 are not brown. Since my job sometimes entails me getting dirty, most of the brown dress shoes stay in their boxes, awaiting a date night with the wife or when I can’t stand to hear their whimpering any longer. I just loved how brown shoes can look casual or dressed up, with (I think) a little more style and less severity than black shoes.

In late 2007/early 2008, I bought some Chuck Taylor Premieres off the clearance section on Converse’s website. They are great shoes, but they are starting to show some wear, primarily in the soles, which are much thinner than standard Chuck Taylor’s.

So, of course Converse doesn’t make these any more, and I really can’t bring myself to drop $100+ for any of the Varvatos versions, as lovely as they are.

So I am contemplating some PF Flyers like these Bob Cousy waxed canvas ones:

I also am contemplating some bucks instead, as I have other sneakers. I first wore brown bucks way back in college when I had a part-time sales job at Armani Exchange. They were part of our uniform and had a thick Vibram lug sole, which was popular at the time. Initially painful to break in, I wore those suckers for years until they fell apart. After that, I bought some from J. Crew, around ’97 or ’98, back when they still made decently priced shoes in Italy. Those were fantastic, but I had stopped wearing them for a few months and came back to find them spotted inside and out with mold from a closet in our old apartment. Out they went and I forgot about bucks.

Well, with Americana back, so are bucks. However, I’m a guy who grew up in Southern California. We didn’t do the Trad look when I was growing up. Even when “preppy” was in here in the early 80s, white or dirty bucks weren’t part of it.

I found these at LL Bean for $79:

Though yesterday I saw some dirty bucks by Sperry Topsider at Sartorially Inclined. I wondered if there was a brown version, and there is. They’re almost twice the price at $150, but they are a little sleeker and more stylish:

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