Splurging on a pair of quality handcrafted Italian dress shoes is typically a wise investment for reasons beyond aesthetic: comfort and longevity come to mind. And further reducing the investment side of the equation only makes for a sweeter deal. Each pair of Ace Marks dress shoes are expertly made in Italy by fourth-generation craftsmen — the same people producing other, store-bought luxury brand shoes that retail north of $600 — for a third of what you’d pay, so you can pocket the difference or grab multiple pairs for different occasions. Their sharp-looking wares come in a dizzying array of styles and colorways for settings ranging from the boardroom to business casual gatherings and include the Cap Toe Blucher Stuart (shown), the Wingtip Oxford Luxe (second image), the Full Brogue Kendrik (third image), a chukka boot, and several types of Loafers. And if you wear through your pair or figuratively outgrow it, send it back to Ace Marks and they’ll repurpose and donate it to Career Gear to help men reentering the workplace, with a $60 credit on your next pair for your trouble.
Learn more at Kickstarter – $190+
Presented by Ace Marks.
The human body is capable of some amazing things. But a two-hour marathon is essentially off the table, unless you’ve got a pair of Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite strapped on your feet (and a hell of a lot of training behind you). They’re particularly lightweight at just 7 ounces and boast a thick foam sole that, unlike low profile runners, cushions and also returns some of the energy on impact, in part aided by a unidirectional carbon fiber plate within. All this helps make the runner about 4% faster, a crucial step towards finally breaking that two-hour mark. While pricing isn’t yet announced, the same technologies will permeate Nike’s consumer Vaporfly versions as well including the Vaporfly 4% so everyone ready to drop a couple of hundred bucks for a speed boost can benefit.
Read more at Nike – $TBA
Distinctly a Chuck Taylor but also a couple of notches more upmarket than the classic white and black sneaker, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Modern Lux comes in monochromatic all-white or all-black colorways. Instead of canvas it’s made of supple, molded leather and instead of heavy rubber there’s a lightweight Phylon outsole (think running shoes), boosting comfort while also helping these kicks better blend. The latter which is either a good or bad thing depending on who you’re asking. Still, they’re relatively affordable considering the upgrades and boast the same All Star patch as the classic high top pair, albeit embossed in the leather.
Learn more at Nike – $140
Their fusion of a running shoe-derived outsole and a leather upper gave Cole Haan one of the comfiest dress shoes around. Their Cole Haan Zerogrand Stitchlite Wingtip Oxford kicks it up another couple of notches with a new single-piece of stretch knit material that’s lighter, more breathable, and offers better lateral stability. The shoe’s flex outsole mimics the natural motion of the foot just as well and rubber pods at the forefoot and heel increase traction whether you’re walking across sleek office floors or running a few blocks to catch a bus. Available in Marine Blue (shown), Black, Burnt Orange, Ironstone (grey), and White, all paired with an Ivory-colored outsole.
Check out the full lineup at Cole Haan – $180
The words quality and loafers needn’t be mutually exclusive, and Duke & Dexter’s Loafers are a living example of this. For one, each shoe is both designed in London and handcrafted in Sheffield, the latter in a family run factory that’s been producing footwear for over 80 years. The shoes themselves pair a traditional loafer style with a large selection of colors and patterns — 33 by our count — that sets them apart ad includes a variety of suedes (Tanner Suede shown), several camo patterns, and tweed, amongst many more.
Learn more at Duke & Dexter – $150+
The Nike Mag has been teased for years. You still can’t outright buy the limited-edition 2016 Nike Mag, but this release is still the most widely available to date with a solid 89 released, given away by means of a draw starting tonight, with 10$ entries that benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation to fund Parkinson’s research. The highly sought-after shoes feature Nike’s Adaptive Fit technology that tightens and loosens the laces to conform to the user’s foot, and sport concealed buttons on the inside their topline to loosen or tighten the shoes manually. They’re also fitted with a variety of LED lights and are of course true to the Back to the Future Part II originals in looks.
Learn more at Nike – $10 per ticket
Bare canvas doesn’t hold much heat in cold weather, and a bit of slush and snow only makes the situation worse. The new Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Boot takes care of that while retaining the brand’s spirit and classic silhouette. Made of a mesh-backed leather, the boot naturally repels water and boasts a neoprene inner sleeve for warmth. It may be a little less spartan than their standard canvas-on-rubber shoe — which most die-hard fans appreciate — but more than makes up for it with a Nike Lunarlon insole, beefy and grippy rubber outsole, and the option of wearing these kicks all year round.
Check out the full Counter Climate collection at Nike’s Converse Store – $130
Sometimes, you come across a pair of sneakers so well-made and so rare they’re begging to be snatched up. Such is the case with the Tanner Goods Court Classic Low, a new American-made sneaker produced in conjunction with the legendary footwear purveyors at Rancourt & Co. The sneaker is all class and heritage blended into one stylish package, featuring rich Natural Essex Horween leather and Vibram Honey Strighton sole. The Vibram sole in particular also made an appearance on the Court Classic Mid as put together by Tanner Goods & Rancourt, and the Court Classic Low is just the latest stunning iteration in the partnership. If ever there was the perfect fall sneaker, the Court Classic Low might just be it — it’s a casual option to pair with dark selvedge denim, and it’ll look just as sharp with wool trousers and a herringbone blazer on the first chilly day. A mere 80 pairs were made, so you know you’re getting something that’s, as Tanner Goods says, worth holding onto.
Learn more at Tanner Goods – $290