Reader Mail seeks to answer life’s sartorial curiosities and other perplexing material issues.
I was wondering if you could recommend some casual shoes for the upcoming colder months. Up until now I’ve been wearing top-siders, and with the weather lately, they’ve left my feet cold. I just need something casual that I can wear with jeans and khakis.
Samuel — New York City
The transition to fall footwear can be an awkward one. You don’t want to rock the snow boots on a sunny September day, but at the same time you need to make sure your warm weather shoes are seamlessly shelved until spring. The good news is, casual fall footwear options abound. So there is no reason you can’t be comfortable, function and stylish come cooler temperatures. My short list of laid back fall classics are are below.
L.L. Bean Blucher Moccasin — $69
The L.L. Bean Blucher Moccasins have officially become the fall / winter replacement for the Sperry Top-Sider. The shoes are timeless and can basically go with any outfit you can throw at it. Still not a believer? GQ endorses them, as does Men.Style.com, not to mention the stylish gents in Vampire Weekend. What else do you really need?
Clarks Originals Desert Boot in Wolf Suede — $90
Versatile, simple, classic and authentic — the Clarks Desert boot pairs perfectly with jeans and khakis for when you want to look casual and smart. You can even wear these with a suit depending on the fabric and cut. At $90 you woul be hard pressed to find a more all-encompassing fall shoe.
Tan Buck Oxfords— $145
Dirty Bucks as they are commonly known in more tradly circles, are my go-to shoe for fall. The suede goes perfect with all sorts of autumn trousers, from fabrics like wool, tweed, denim, khaki, corduroy and fall colors like navy, hunter green and even black. The one drawback to these shoes is wet weather traction. Any sort of precipitation coupled with fallen leaves could easily spell disaster. So as a rule of thumb, only bring out the bucks when the weather man is calling for clear skies.
Quoddy Trail Moccasin Company Blucher Moc — $178
Maine based Quoddy is the thinking man’s L.L. Bean. While the Bean blucher mocs are great and surprisingly affordable, the Quoddy bluchers are the real deal and still made in Maine. Even though the Quoddy mocs are more than twice the cost the Bean variants —you can expect these shoes to get softer and better looking with age —which to me is priceless.
The Quoddy mocs are also available in the UK through Oi Polloi for £90.
Quoddy Tracker Boots — $316
The company also makes fantastic boots with the same quality and softness you would expect from an old school American shoemaker. Like the other Quoddy model these shoes aren’t exactly cheap but when you consider that the materials and domestic production, you know you are paying for quality and materials and not just a crazy mark up.
More Reader Mail can be seen here.