I’ll never forget the line from Shawshank Redemption when Tim Robbins was walking to his cell the night of his escape, wearing the warden’s buffed shoes, and he says “How often do you really look at a man’s shoes?”
This line always baffles me because I’m a shoe guy. In fact, shoes are usually the first thing I notice, and to me they make or break the man wearing them.
But at the end of the day I’m still a guy--I don’t like shopping for shoes, I don’t like having to choose between a lot of shoe options, and I especially hate maintaining shoes.
Instead, I like having a few staples I can mindlessly slip on that work for almost any occasion, whether going to a dive bar with buddies or out to a Chicago steakhouse with family.
For this week’s post, I'm covering the two shoes I wear 90% of the time. Enjoy.
First up is a low-top, leather oxford, and my favorite pair is made by Frye Boots.
These shoes feel indestructible: The leather is thick, the wooden sole is sturdy, even the laces are substantial.
I’ll put it this way: If there’s ever nuclear fallout and by some miracle my emaciated ass survives, I’ll be eating Twinkies, befriending cockroaches, and wearing my Frye oxfords.
What’s best about the Frye’s is they come out of the box looking scuffed up.
This is an essential component of any casual shoe for me, because that means you don't have to worry about wearing the hell out of them. Instead, they only look better and better the more you beat them up.
Frye’s aren't cheap though, mine cost around $300. That might be a tough pill to swallow, but consider that your Frye’s are likely to outlast you; let's just say that when you're writing your Last Will & Testament, your Frye’s will be item number one listed.
If the Frye’s are too pricey for you, I prefer Aldo for cheaper alternatives.
Next up is the desert Chukka boot. I love these things because they're so versatile; you can pretty much mix and match them with any casual outfit.
I’ve tried a lot of Chukka’s out there but the Clarks remain my favorite: the leather is thick and smooth, the rubber soles are light and supportive, and the laces come short so they’re easy to slip on and off.
What makes Clark's the best though is the way they age; the leather softens and transforms into a dark sandy brown color with an almost imperceptible sheen to it.
And like the Frye's, they look better and better with time.
Unlike Frye’s, though, the Clark Chukka’s are much more affordable. I picked mine up at Nordstrom Rack for just $60!
So you can easily replace them every few years if you prefer a cleaner look.
That's all I got for you folks!
Have A Mugsy Day,
Founder @ Mugsy Jeans