On The Topic Of Shoes

I’ve had some pretty good luck finding shoes in thrift stores over the past year (since I actually started looking at shoes with more understanding of what I was actually looking for and at!). I’ve found shoes to sell, and a few to keep. My best flip on a pair of shoes was a pair of Crockett & Jones shoes that I bought for $20 and sold for $135. My sentimental favorite was the pair of Teva Terradactyl sandals I found for $5. But nothing prepared me for what I’ve found these past two days…

In the pantheon of American shoe companies, Allen Edmonds isn’t the “best” or the “flashiest” shoe out there; but they are a well-respected maker of good mid-range shoes. At retail prices, they range in price from $250 to $400 or so, though you can usually find them for much less at outlets and other discount stores. But at thrift stores, finding them in good condition and in desirable (by the purists, at least) designs is rather tricky. Purists don’t like black shoes -they are generally too formal looking for most outfits. You could have a pair of brown shoes and a pair of black shoes that were identical in every other way and the brown shoe will sell for a higher price. Brown (“not black”, in general) can be worn with anything…

I was perusing the selection at a newly remodeled Goodwill store a few miles from home when a pair caught my eye. A pair of beautiful wingtips in chestnut brown. These had to be good shoes. I saw the Allen Edmonds logo inside the heel, and knew these were a fine example. Then I looked at the size… My heart just about skipped a beat when I saw that they were my size! Needless to say, I gladly forked over that $15 for my “new” nearly new $300+ shoes! They are a discontinued model called the Lombard. I’ve given them a couple of coats of leather conditioner and will have to order some polish in the proper color from Allen Edmonds. And I wore them today… So far, so good!

The second story comes from a Savers store a bit of a drive away from home. This is the same Savers I found the Crockett and Jones, Fratelli, Cheaney’s, and Church’s shoes (for those paying attention, that’s over $300 worth of flip sales); so finding another pair marked “Made in England” wasn’t really a surprise. But I couldn’t read the markings inside the heel (inside the store at least). But I could tell that they were of superior construction. So I paid the $12 for them and headed off to other errands.

After another stop, I was sitting in my car looking at the shoes. I could just barely make out more lettering on the insole. First was the line “Shoemaker Northhampton, England”. Then I deciphered the last part of the first line, “Green”. Then I started googling to figure out the manufacturer. Once I found Edward Green’s logo, I’d found my answer. Most people have probably never heard of this company, but it is one of the highest regarded shoe manufacturers in the world. Their prices START at over $1000. So sure, the shoes are a bit worn, but it’s nothing that some TLC with the leather conditioner and some polish won’t help. Apparently, it is also possible to send shoes to the factory to get them refinished. This might be an option should I choose to keep the shoes. Did I mention that they are ALSO my size?? The idea of wearing a shoe like that does have its appeal. I might not wear black wingtips everyday, but when I do, they will be among the best shoes in the world!

of course, I can’t post about finding $1300+ worth of shoes without some pictures. Enjoy the pics, including a picture from my errands this afternoon of my legs (in Worn Brand jeans) and the Allen Edmonds shoes.

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