Friday, June 7, 2013

On Shoes

Allen Edmonds dress shoes.From time to time I get questions from my friends about shoes of all things. So instead of repeating it every time I decided to make a short post on the topic. There comes a time in every man’s life when one evolves (or should) from a teenager to an adult and clothing is a part of that. Now I’m not an expert on any kind on any of this stuff, so take my opinion for whatever it’s worth.

Ready to be cleaned.I think the three pieces of clothing (or accessories) that stand out the most are shoes, a belt and a watch and I guess out of those three shoes stand out the most. I stopped wearing square-nosed or long dress shoes some time ago and prefer to wear something more classy and bold, if I may say so.

Taking care of your shoes. Cleaning steps.It also makes sense to invest into a couple of pairs of good shoes that can last you for many many years if you take care of them and don’t wear the same pair every day. I really like American made Allen Edmonds shoes. They are high quality shoes that can be had for not an obscene amount of money. They are made of high quality leather and they are sewn to their leather soles, not glued, as proper shoes should be. After a couple of days of wearing the leather molds to your foot and they become very comfortable.

Applying polish.They come in many different styles and colors. Three of my favorites choices at the moment are McAllister Wingtip in walnut — works as cusual as well as a dress shoe, Fifth Avenue Cap-toe in black — goes with pretty my anything and for anything and McTavish Wingtip in gray — simple casual shoe. Allen Edmonds typically has pretty good sales later in the year and that’s when I plan to add Strand Cap-toe in brown — a pair of very class dress shoes.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Cap-Toe Oxfords

 Air Madison Cap Oxford by Cole Haan.We’ve been on the topic of shoes a couple of months ago on here and at about that time we took some more shots of dress shoes as well, but I never got around to posting anything about that. There really isn’t much to say except for the fact that I’ve developed an appreciation for stylish good looking fashionable shoes.

Self.I never used to wear sneakers to begin with and much preferred to wear dress shoes for a long time already. However they never were anything special. This new pair is moderately priced, but was on the edge of my comfort zone. Now after owning it for a while they are not as edge as I thought they were when we bought them and my comfort zone has expanded.

 Air Madison Cap Oxford by Cole Haan.These are called cap-toe because of the broguing separating the toe of the shoe. These are made by Cole Haan, but I seem to be in between the sizes for the shoes that these guys make, so they are not as comfortable as they could be. But I like the way they look. They go with a lot of things — something casual and something formal as well.
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Converse Shoes

Converse ShoesFor a stage two of our simple sporty shoe experiment we ordered a matching pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star shoes in black.

Converse ShoesNever before did I imagine that I would pay for these willingly until a week ago. The thing is that the last time I wore this type of shoes was when I was around 10 for a gym class back in USSR. They were considered to be the cheapest shoe out there and so most kids ended up with them for their physical education classes.

Converse ShoesAll the while on this side of the ocean they have been pretty popular and are still popular to this day. One can put together a nice casual retro look and totally fit in some chic neighborhood of Brooklyn such as Williamsburg.

Converse ShoesI also was quite pleasantly surprised by their hefty weight. I imagined them have a thin rubber sole — just like my USSR pair had, but these are a whole different kind of animal and are much more solid. Although they still are not to be worn during the cold days — even yesterday during our “test drive” the cold earth could be very well felt.

Chuck TaylorsAnd as the last time we added a bit of a personal touch by redoing the lacing on them. This is also how we can easily tell them apart.

Converse ShoesWe decided to keep them. During the summer they should be great for all kinds of picnic type of activities and because they are so cheap I would not be terribly upset if they were to get ruined. But they probably start looking even better with age. As you can see — Arosha approves.
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Shoe Quest

Adidas Originals Dragon shoes and skinny jeans.Since there is nothing really important going on lately I figured I’ll post a little bit about something unimportant. Currently we’re in the process of upgrading our summer shoes to something less formal. Oxfords are nice, but sometimes one does not feel like wearing dress shoes.

Silly young self trying to hike down the Grand Canyon in dress shoes.I’m also not a huge fan of sneakers, although sneakers are irreplaceable while hiking in the mountains and doing other non-city-bound activities — dress shoes do not work well for that, trust me — so we wanted something a bit more trendy — something in between hardcore sneakers and no less hardcore dress shoes.

Same shoes, different pants.We started out with a pair of Adidas Originals Dragon1 shoes, but didn’t end up liking the style and the quality, so they are going back to Zappos. Next on the list is a pair of good old Chuck Taylors. We’ll see how we will like those in person somewhere next week.

Younger self wearing dress shoes at Natural Bridges National Monument.

  1. Lacing style is my personal touch. []
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Friday, May 20, 2011

First Shoes

First shoes.Today Arosha has gotten his first pair of shoes. All this time to this point he was doing fine with his super warm winter socks, but as the time went one he turned from somebody whose only skill was laying still, eating and pooping into a small human who wants to explore everything.

Arosha in a local park.These are nothing special. Just a pair of summer shoes that we could pick out at a local Payless. With the rate he’s growing he’ll grow out of them in a short amount of time — 3-4 months maybe? It still is a memorable event. Maybe it will be fun for him to go back in time and see his first pair of shoes.

One shoe is already gone. Luckily we saw this maneuver this time.Next trick is to teach him that shoes are good. He seems to be pretty good at kicking them off along with his socks.

Testing out a local bench.I’m so glad I took a picture of his foot against my hand when he was only one week old. It’s much bigger now.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hiking Shoes Update

The North Face Hedgehog GTX XCR.Just received a new pair of hiking shoes, just in time for our Yellowstone trip. Yellow shoes for Yellowstone. Nice. )

Experience shows that the last pair I ordered turned out to be 2 sizes too small. I tried ordering a different model, but I didn’t like neither the fit nor the look. So I got1 exactly the same model as the one I currently have, only the right size this time.

  1. Ordered from Zappos.com. $105 and free shipping. []
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Cycling Shoes

A couple of words about cycling shoes and clipless pedals for those wondering.

Cannondale cycling shoes.There are advantages to using clipless pedals over normal square platforms or those with toe clips. The name might be confusing since it was originally used to differentiate these from the older pedals with nylon straps that would clip your toe in. In reality you actually get your foot locked into the pedal, and you get out of it by twisting your foot outwards.

Shimano SPD clipless pedal.The benefits are the fact that your foot is safely attached to the pedal and will not get loose during gear shifts, bad patches of road, and so on. Also it allows you to transfer the power to the bike more efficiently. In addition the shoes have very hard soles with no flex, which means you don’t waste energy on compressing your shoes. These special shoes have cleats attached to the bottom and these cleats allow you to lock into the pedal.

SPD cleat.Of course the biggest problem for me is that you have to get used to them and remember that you’re attached to your bike and you can’t just jump off. So generally you end up paying for minor mistakes with blood and bruises, which I know, oh, too well. At least I come with a self-healing features, which can’t be said of my bike.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hiking Shoes

The North Face hiking shoes box.I don’t get excited about shoes. I also hate shoe shopping with passion. That’s the reason I have 2 pairs of shoes total including a pair of sleepers. ) Lately, however, I started to realize that probably I should wear something more comfortable than my dress shoes for times when we go hiking, be it either long walks around the city or exploring the trails of some national park. We decided to buy me a pair of sneakers, something that I didn’t have since high school.

The North Face Men's Hedgehog GTX XCR hiking shoes.That’s where Zappos.com makes its entrance. The selection is huge, the shipping is free, including return shipping and they have all the sizes and a bunch of reviews. We settled on two pairs of hiking shoes near the top of the list when sorted by popularity. Turns out Eldar has ones of those, so that’s what we ordered1 based on his recommendation — The North Face Hedgehog GTX XCR.

We got two pairs still, since I wasn’t sure on the size, and looks like one of the two pairs is a good fit. First real life test of these will be the upcoming weekend in Pocono Mountains. Either way it’s going to be better then running around the mountains in dress shoes.

P.S. Shipping was extra fast too. Zappos upgraded us to the next level (they probably do this for everyone), so we basically got them 1 day after we ordered.

  1. $109 per pair. []
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