If you have read my blog for more than a year you probably know that I am not a huge fan of derby shoes. Something about them just doesn’t really appeal to me in the same way that oxfords and other dress styles do. But I say this as a dress shoe. I like them as more “casual” styles. But always found it weird when guys wore casual derbies with suits. It never sat right with me. A contradiction of sorts.
For me, they always sat in this ‘no man’s land’ in terms of dress shoe style. I like a casual derby with a double sole, stormwelt, plain toe, in suede and worn with jeans or chinos. That is a great shoe. Even without the stormwelt. Or even a well cut longwing brogue derby, again worn with more casual trousers. Completely fine. But that same idea of shoe worn as a dress shoe? No thank you.
Over the years, you have had shoemakers attempt to ‘dress up’ the derby model and some have done a tremendous job at that. The cult classic, by Edward Green, known as the Dover has been a tremendous success to shoe geeks across the world. But even that shoe I do not find as fitting into the category of ‘dressy.’ That sits in the style of the above paragraph.
The Corthay’s, the Norman Vilalta’s, and now the Acme Shoemaker’s have done a good job at dressing it up. Making so.ething sharp and elegant. Something more accetable to be worn with a suit and less accetable to be worn with jeans/chinos. But this one here, for me, takes the cake. Not only for the elegance of it but really for the blending of an oxford design onto a derby shoe. The front part is without mistake a derby only type of style with an apron. But the back half of the shoe is often a design feature of an oxford and the way they pulled that apron line to seamlessly “connect” to the line on the quarter, was nothing shy of brilliant pattern making. Adding a counter, for me, also dresses it up a bit.