Horn of Plenty
As many will tell you, it is possible to live your entire life without needing a shoe horn. Of course, this is also true of combs, aftershave, and corduroy. In other words, you don’t know what you’re missing. Generally, two hands and some basic motor skills are all the equipment you need to bring your shoe and your foot together, but as you wander into boot territory—or try more adventurous lacing tricks like bar lacing or the legendary checkerboard lace—you’ll need a decent shoe horn to keep the back of your shoes from looking like yesterday’s sheets.
Of course, elegance is simplicity. The best shoe horns are unassuming in design and vaguely mysterious in purpose. The shoe horn above, from Oliver Sweeney, captures all the sleek efficiency of a good shoe horn while at the same time looking a little bit like a silver tongue depressor.
And like most sartorial accoutrements, once you start using a shoe horn, you’ll find it impossible to live without. Your heel and your shoe have never known such perfect harmony, and putting on your shoes will suddenly be easier than putting on socks. More than just an extra gadget, the shoe horn is a show of respect for both your brogue and your foot.