060214_Grenson_Marcel-Tassel-Loafer
As you may recall, we introduced “the buy line” a couple weeks ago with the new breed of $500 suit.

And now we’re moving on to another menswear staple that has become more attainable and readily available lately: benchgrade shoes. While it’s a loosely defined term, depending on which shoemaker you ask, it’s generally accepted that benchgrade means you’re getting welted soles, shoes made in smaller batches and hand-finishing during some if not all stages of construction–while not necessarily made-to-order or custom. And we’ve been noticing that the going rate for a quality budget-conscious pair has settled right around $300.

Naturally, you could spend much more, but here are your best options for about three large ones…

060214_Allen-Edmonds-KenilworthThe Shoes: Allen Edmonds Kenilworth that have gone through a 212-step manufacturing process in their Wisconsin factory.
The Buy Line: $295

060214_Grenson_Marcel-Tassel-LoaferThe Shoes: Grenson Marcel with each shoe made from a single cut of leather.
The Buy Line: $310

060214_Rancourt-Penny-LoaferThe Shoes: Rancourt Beefroll Penny Loafers handmade in Maine by third-generation shoemakers.
The Buy Line: $295

060214_Kent-Wang-BalmoralThe Shoes: Kent Wang Plaintoe Balmoral with Goodyear welting and a full-grain Italian calfskin that can be buffed to a tuxedo-worthy shine.
The Buy Line: $350

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Kempt Staff