By way of a fellow blogger and friend, I came across a new American shoe brand, Austen Heller, selling their take on a driving loafer. Because I am always in the market for a good version at a good price, I was immediately intrigued when my friend was telling me about them and how they differentiated themselves from the rest of the market. I then went to the website and really liked pretty much everything that I saw, and knew that I needed to try one out! I was surprised that I had not come across them before, but was grateful that I had now. I was quite torn when deciding which one that I wanted to get as like I said before, I liked them all. At the end it boiled down to the pair that I obviously got and the blue suede one with red accents. But since I already have a blue suede one, I went for the brown suede number. After all, I will probably order the other one within a few month’s time anyway!
What probably intrigued me the most about the shoes, were the fact that they had a proper sole on them, that still maintained a very sleek yet more supportive and practical look with regards to your average driving loafer with all of those little rubber bumps. I mean, rubber bumps are cozy and all, but once their gone, they are gone and they don’t really give you the best balance either. So the fact that these had a proper type sole on them already gave them a one up in my book. The next thing that I was quite pleased with too, is that they actually had a nice cushioned (with small added arch support) insole, something that you also really don’t find too often in your typical driving loafer. Two positives down, now the wear-testing to go. I wore them around with a nice casual outfit and not only were they nice and smart, but also very comfy and cushy. Overall, a great loafer for the money. At $175 (£108, 131) you can’t really go wrong. The only difficult bit will be choosing what model to go with. But the next on my list is the blue with red accents!!
The only thing that I will advise on is attesting to their recommendation of sizing down, as they only come in whole sizes and run quite big. Another thing is that I spilled a few drops of water on the suede and it took awhile to dry. Had I spilled anything else, I am afraid of what might have happened, so best to protect them with the suede spray first! Other than that, great find and a great deal!
first time I actually post something here π basically is because everyone seem to know so much more than me regarding shoes in general that i simply read and take notes to learn something!
regarding driving loafters I’ve quite of an experience , I’m 27 and i’ve used them very much as smart shoes from 15 to 25 (please keep in mind I’m italian and in Italy we do love those shoes very much π ).
Nowdays I’m using them only with jeans or kinos in free time\business casual look, but I still remain of the idea that the only brand you can’t go wrong with is Carshoe; I know it belongs to Prada and I know they are way overpriced for what they’re actually worth.. but I can find them on sale in a friend shop for 80\90euro and I think for those money there is notthing better!
Is true the down part can get broken easilly (altough i’ve had a suede brown pair since 3 years , I wear them litterally all the time in free time in spring and summer and they still look awesome) but they look just so much nicer than anything else in the market (expecially tod’s , here in Italy is sort of a war between tod’s and carshoes driving shoes afficionados !).
Those ones you posted don’t look bad at all just are not the real deal for me,I know to most people outside of italy the way we use them must look idiotic but I love them π
Hi, I agree with the above comment ( I’m Italian too). I find also very comfortable the ones made by Arfango, but as said before very overpriced (300 range).
Keep up the good work with your shoe line…maybe you can make a suede loafer fit into it
This is teetering on the very brink of where gentlemanly attire meets the gaping cultural chasm of “leisurewear”. Chinos and driving moccasins barely have their fingernails in the cliff edge, but OK.
I instinctively dislike the moulded plastic soles. Why not leather?! But as these things go, I’m impressed they have a proper insole, are at least (blake?) stitched rather than glued, and have a little shape to them.
Alas, no half sizes means game over for me. But I do like the blue ones too.
Where is your tie from?
Fantastic tie! Can we have any hints as regards maker or material?
#alex b ,
I realize the way we do get dress in Italy may seem idiotic to most of people out of italy, (expecially young people that don’t wear shitty things like sneakers and swet pants to go around on weekends :D); https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-OYT1ZscW3qQ/UIANMUn8q8I/AAAAAAAAB6U/CM1ARoF69Bc/s640/blogger-image-288874958.jpg if you take the guy in the middle of this pic and you take away the tie is exactly how I get dressed like 80% of my days (maybe less jeans more kinos but still skinny like that). For us the suits you find in savile row for ex may be nice looking but we’d never wear them (at least young pleople again) because they look too “rigid”.
Same goes with shoes , I agree with Justin when he says in Italy we tend to buy and produce too fashon foreward shoes , actually the terrible things Church’s is doing lately are having a great success in italy… I wear english shoes (i LOVE edward green ,I’ve one pair that i “stole” to my uncle that i treat religiously) with suits but to me smart shoes with jeans or kinos simply seem idiotic I can’t help it (some suede are ok but just that) ; that’s why I and many others love carshoes,tod’s ,arfango or those brands , because for us are classics.
I’m not saying you are doing it wrong or vice versa, it’s just a different way of getting dressed IMHO ; english look is elegant in a way, Italian in another π
I mean we are not germans wearing socks with sandals!!!! π
Totolino – I’m just having a bit of fun; I’m glad you responded the same way.
At least you’re on the edge and not over it, and whether it’s plastic-soled loafers or pink bookbinder Church’s derbys, at least they indicate some thought and interest. Never mind the poor Germans and their Falke/Birkenstock infamies…most of my (English) counterparts are wearing plastic sportswear from head to toe.
The end of the world is nigh! Only shoe snobbery can save our self respect! π
Justin FitzPatrick, "The Shoe Snob"
Vittorio – Thanks for sharing my friend!! Carshoes are expensive, but they sure are lovely!! I wish that I had a pair, only that I would not buy them! Thanks for reading….
Ruggero – Thanks Ruggero….most likely won’t do something of this nature…not anytime soon at least….but I guess, never say never!!
Alex B – I think that you would do well sizing up, as you have a wide foot, actually….you have to get over your fear of rubber!!
Matt – It is E.G. Capelli from the Linkson Jack site that you can find as a banner on the right side of my blog…
Rhys Tadhg – See above for maker…material is wool. Thanks!