Three men walking on sidewalk

Left to right: Paul Anthony, Charles-Philippe and Michael Oxman

2017/2018 Dainite Sole Shoes By Allen Edmonds

Winter is coming. Almost.

Summer in the northeastern United States has had quite a grip on us well past its end date. We finally got some relief in mid-October, and like any menswear enthusiasts worth their salt, the guys at Bespoke Unit were giddy with the incoming chill. You can only sweat so much for months on end before summer starts losing its luster, you know?

Naturally, we started thinking about shoes.

We took about an hour and a half a few minutes out of our day to take a look at some shoes and we really liked what Allen Edmonds had on offer for Fall 2017. Fall and winter around here get pretty hairy in terms of weather, and we decided to try out three styles of Allen Edmonds shoes for three reasons:

  1. Their styles suit our three distinct sartorial personalities
  2. Each style uses Dainite soles, which are great for the Northeast from October through April, with looming rain and snow
  3. The high-quality look and construction of Allen Edmonds’ shoes is well-known

We’ll review each pair individually in the near future. In this post, we’ll give a quick overview of the three shoe styles we’re reviewing and get into the significance of the common design thread amongst all three: the Dainite sole.

Sullivan Street Boot

black allen edmonds boots on fire escape

[Buy Sullivan Street Boots At]

The Sullivan Street is a cap-toe blucher boot that has a smooth leather upper combined with pebbled leather quarters and tongue. Paul chose black, which paired perfectly with his authentic Basque beret from France.

Addison Loafer

brown allen edmonds penny loafers

[Buy Addison Penny Loafers At]

The Addison loafer is a penny loafer with a moccasin-style upper. A double-sole shoe, it’s quite casual and goes well with Mike’s day-to-day uniform of denim and a sport coat.

Strandmok Brogue

brown allen edmonds brogues

[Buy Allen Edmonds Strandmok Brogue At]

Easily the most peacockish shoe of the bunch, the Strandmok is a semi-brogue with a red Dainite sole. It works beautifully with Charles-Philippe’s vintage style.

What Is A Dainite Sole & What Are The Benefits?

Three dainite sole shoes

Dainite is a British company that makes studded rubber soles and heels and has been doing so since 1894. The proper pronunciation is “day-night,” and this comes from the company’s reputation as a “day and night” mill.

They are the last remaining company in the UK that makes these soles and heels, and they enjoy the business of companies such as Crockett & Jones, Church’s, Cheaney, and yes, Allen Edmonds.

Dainite soles have studs and built-in heel taps, but no grooves like Vibram soles. See an example below:

three shoes with dainite soles

These are relatively easy to maintain because they wipe clean and don’t trap dirt or small pebbles. Being rubber, they provide more shock absorption than the average leather sole, and their look has become so iconic that there’s an inherent smartness to shoes that are made with these soles.

You’ll notice that the Sullivan boot and Addison loafer have a dark grey sole, while the Strandmok brogues have a red one.

3 men modeling shoes on fire escape

They also offer more traction than leather soles, making them great for inclement weather.

An added benefit is that Dainite soles are very easy to use in a Goodyear welt constructed shoe; all three of these are constructed this way, as are the majority of Allen Edmonds’ shoes. Goodyear welt construction is an ideal method for shoe making because it allows the shoe to be resoled and re-heeled many times over, essentially turning a shoe purchase into a long-term investment.

When To Wear Shoes With Dainite Soles

First things first: you can wear these whenever you want. You can see from these photos that we sported ours on an unseasonably warm autumn day that had blue skies and barely any clouds. There was no precipitation to be found.

three men in allen edmonds shoes

Shoes such as these Allen Edmonds numbers that we’re wearing, however, are excellent in the rain. While you’ll want to treat the uppers with a waterproofing spray, rubber Dainite soles aren’t porous like leather soles are. Water simply cannot get into the shoe via the sole, which obviously goes a long way in terms of keeping your feet dry. And while none of the pairs we have are technically snow shoes, they will work in a pinch in case you have to run out for an errand or two with a bit of snow on the ground.

It’s no surprise that Allen Edmonds used Dainite soles and heels on shoes released for autumn. As many of us live in parts of the world that will experience rain and snow in the coming months, shoes with Dainite soles make a lot of sense very quickly. This is very smart design on the company’s part, and it was wise to leverage their relationship with Dainite to craft these shoes.

Three Different Shoes, Three Different Ways

We are three different guys with three different personal styles. Paul is dressed in a Classic way with an Eccentric twist, Charles-Philippe is full-blown Vintage, and Mike is a casual iteration of the Classic persona.

3 men in front of green wall

The cool thing is that any of these shoes could work on any of these personae. Paul could easily pair the penny loafer with his odd jacket and trousers, and Charles-Philippe could do the same thing with his plus-fours.

This is proof positive that while shoes obviously have their own individual styles, the way you style yourself -the persona you show the world- can make a casual shoe dressier and vice-versa.

Allen Edmonds Dainite Sole Shoes
Reviewed by Paul Anthony, on .
"When it comes to combining form and function look no further than Allen Edmonds. The Dainite sole shoes are perfect for handling fall and winter weather conditions while maintaining a classic business casual style."
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

Coming Soon: Individual Allen Edmonds Shoe Reviews

In the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing individual in-depth reviews of each shoe mentioned in this post. Definitely be sure to check them out as we have quite a bit to say about each of them!

About the Author:

Paul Anthony is the founder and creative director at Bespoke Unit. He has had a life long affair with design, watches, fragrance and clothing. Originally from England, he now lives in the USA splitting time between NYC & Philly. Favoring "British Style", but has an overall eclectic taste.


  1. David M June 27, 2019 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Hello Paul, Thanks for the article. I have worn Allen Edmonds shoes four about 30 years, but have not tried the Dainite soles. Is it true these soles are less flexible than than leather soles and therefore, have a longer break-in period? I am considering buying a pair in midnight blue, but want to make sure they are as comfortable as traditional leather soles.

    • Charles-Philippe June 28, 2019 at 4:02 am - Reply

      Hi David,

      Both Paul and I own several pairs of Allen Edmonds shoes and boots with Dainite soles. Indeed, the soles are a little thicker and heavier than leather. As a result, they’re a little stiffer to break in but that’s the Goodyear welt as much as the rubber sole. However, they’re very comfortable and hard-wearing.

      Before I had a decent rotation of shoes, I wore my Allen Edmonds Strandmoks on an almost daily basis. The sole is a little heavy but it’s got a nice bounce to it, which reduces the strain on your feet.

      In fact, I had to wear them right out the box in New York and walked for miles over the following days. They were very comfortable despite not yet being broken in and show very few signs of wear given their heavy duty usage.

      Hope this helps!



  2. David M June 29, 2019 at 11:51 am - Reply


    Thanks for your insights, very helpful.

    David M.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.