With spring footwear on our minds, we’re liking this update on the typical preppy saddle shoe—which is usually a highly contrasting white-and-black or navy affair—because this pair from Leffot and the venerable New England shoemakers at Alden finds the contrast in material instead.
You’ve got an impossibly sheen, cognac-esque shell cordovan #8 against a similarly brown pebble grain—which makes for a more understated version of the old prepster standby (also removing the worry of whether you can wear them after Labor Day). The collaboration with Leffot is on preorder right now, so you’ll have to exercise some patience once you’ve made your 20% down payment.
The saddle shoe used to be the typical back-to-school shoe for preps the nation over—and just in time, Alden, the venerable New England shoemakers, have unveiled a new pair, injecting a timely navy suede into the classic. They’re part of an exclusive collaboration with Leffot on preorder right now, so you’ll have to exercise some patience once you’ve put your 20% down payment. Consider it being in escrow.
On the heels of our boot roundup, here’s a tip on keeping your boots in condition through the winter.
The gents at Leffot turned us on to a leather dressing from Montana Pitch-Blend that’s been conditioning rugged boots for 25 years. It’s a simple blend of pine pitch and mink oil—10 bucks will buy you a year’s supply and then some—but it’s enough to let you stomp through snowdrifts with a clear conscience. The oil is best if you’re ready to spread it on with a cloth, but there’s also a beeswax-based paste if you’d rather use your hands.
It’s also the closest most Red Wings get to a shoe shine, so they’ll come away with a darker, “glowing” color you usually only see in a polished wingtip. Think of it as a well-earned bonus.
We stopped by the Alfred Sargent trunk show at Leffot this afternoon and, as you might expect, we saw some pretty spectacular shoes. But rather than go on about welting, lasts and skin stitching, we’ll just let you see it for yourself. Behold, some of the best British cobbling has to offer.
Anyone in New York should take heed: Alfred Sargent’s going to be stopping through town on September 22nd for a trunk show at Leffot, and the goods we’ve seen are looking extremely tempting. Specifically, this half-polished longwing-monkstrap-brogue concoction known as the Benson. It’s one of the stranger shoes we’ve seen out of the tradsphere all year. Well played, Mr. Sargent.
The master cobblers at Leffot have finally succumbed to the pull of summer sale season and started discounting their stock. That means, among other things, you can get these navy suede chukkas for under $400, and a pair of white deerskin captoes for $325. Gentlemen, commence perusing.
Shoemakers know leather better than just about anyone…so it stands to reason they’d make a damn good belt. This one comes from Leffot and Horween leathers—the same collaboration that produced those handsome watchbands way back when. We give extra points for the smoky shadows along the edges. Now, to find an equally smoky pair of oxfords…
The menswear crowd has been pretty excited about preppefied ribbon straps lately, but it’s worth remembering: nothing feels quite like leather against your wrist. To that end, the master cobblers at Leffot have commissioned a set of watch straps out of Horween’s unlined shell cordovan, some of the best leather money can buy. And while the price tag might seem hefty, it's not much compared to what you dropped on the watch itself.
Your current footwear choices probably lean towards the functional (read: the largest, most impermeable stompers known to man) but that’s not to say there aren’t more delicate options. This pair of custom plain-toes from Leffot was cobbled together from python skin—resulting in the lovely serpentine grain and the aura of vaguely outré sleekness radiating from the whole thing. It would be a fearless move for a rock star, but word has it they were commissioned by a doctor and French cobbling enthusiast upstate. Our hat is off.
This one comes from New York’s Leffot, who have been known to work wonders with blue cordovan. They’re usually known for their hard bottoms, so they needed a little help from Vibram to make these snow-ready, but the result is some of the most elegant snow gear there is—and the only ones we’d consider wearing with a suit.
Alden has turned out quite a lot of boutique collaborations in the past year, but this might be our favorite—and the first shoe we’ve considered dropping more than $400 on in quite some time.
It’s called the Greenwich Boot, and it’s the result of some spectacular taste on the part of the West Village cobbler Leffot. It combines just about all of our favorite dress-casual moves: ornate wingtipping, a navy wash, and waterproofed nubuc in place of the usual impenetrable cordovan. And, of course, it’s got the Barrie welting that means, with regular resoleing and the occasional boost to the waterproofing, it’ll last just about forever.
And with only 20 pairs kicking around, we'd call it an extremely limited edition.
Edward Green has been plying their wares out of a Northampton shop for upwards of a century now, which is enough to impress us. They also work on an admirably small scale, churning out around 65 pairs of shoes a month.
And if you happen to be in the Northeast tomorrow or a few weeks from now, you can catch a trunk show, see the samples up close, and get a few pairs made-to-order.