They say “never wear brown in town” but my recent Allen Edmonds experience in New York has proved otherwise. Last week was my first ever trip to the United States for Bespoke Unit. What better way to walk on American soil than to do it wearing American shoes?
Before this, I had never worn Allen Edmonds shoes. However, I had heard of them as exemplary American footwear with European roots. In fact, I usually stuck to vintage shoes and the occasional mid-range pair for special occasions.
Therefore, it was an overwhelming pleasure to experience the Strandmok brogues. I was even able to enjoy them for an entire week in every situation. In this following review, you will discover the Allen Edmonds Strandmok brogues as I did and learn why they are indeed exceptional footwear.
Note: Visit our complete Allen Edmonds Guide to see all of our Allen Edmonds reviews and learn more about the brand.
Diverse Shoe Requirements
Firstly, know that I love shoes. However, they’re often something of an afterthought in my wardrobe. Instead, I like to plough my budget into other garments but stick to a core capsule wardrobe of reliable shoes.
Overall, I tend to cycle through two or three relatively flexible pairs that go with my various styles. However, I’m generally a big fan of brogues for their detailed verve.
As a vintage enthusiast living in the French Brie countryside near Champagne, my tastes are relatively particular. Therefore, I’m always in need of robust footwear that still allows me to stay loyal to my preferred style. Furthermore, I often head to Paris on Bespoke Unit business and my limited collection requires something versatile for every setting.
Finally, I like to stay casual when working from home but retain that vintage flair when heading out on errands. In short, my capsule wardrobe shoe requirements range from a certain rustic formality that can be dressed down to vintage casual.
A Shoe Fit For Every Occasion
I have owned few shoes that can seamlessly function between these needs. However, the Allen Edmonds Strandmok brogues were everything I could hope for from a shoe. In fact, it seemed too good to be true.
Splashes of colour were met with traditional styling ranging from a tan welt and stitching to dark brown leather. The latent two-tone design allows the shoes to be worn in less-conventional formal settings as well as casual wear.
For instance, I mentioned earlier how you usually shouldn’t wear brown in town. Nevertheless, I arrived in Manhattan wearing a three-piece tweed suit with plus fours, which was nicely topped off the Strandmoks. Throughout my stay, I received nothing but enthusiastic compliments from strangers and people I met.
With tweed, the shoes surely added a touch of confidence with a streak of authenticity. However, they also paired incredibly well with casual styles. In fact, they never felt out of place with any degree of dressing down.
From chinos to jeans, the Strandmoks added a layer of panache to every ensemble. These were shoes that said that you’re devoted to tradition but love to have fun.
Dainite Rubber Soles With Flair
As you may have read in our previous Allen Edmonds reviews, the shoes come with Dainite rubber soles. However, unlike the Addison loafers and Sullivan Street boots, the Strandmok brogues’ soles are a daring rust red.
This added level of detail emphasises the soles and provides an eye-catching contrast with the tan welt. The two breakaway colours frame the dark brown shoes. The result is an entirely new visual harmony that can be toyed with through complementary and contrasting colours in your attire.
In order to maximise its potential, the brogues are supplied with both tan and red laces to match either the stitching or soles. Personally, I went straight for the red laces and thoroughly enjoyed playing with various colour palates.
As an example, they framed my tweed suit perfectly and matched the red in my Argyle socks. However, they also looked particularly flashy with a pair of terracotta Old Navy chinos. In addition, the tan stitching perfectly complements those found on jeans such as those worn above.
These Shoes Are Made For Walking
However, the Dainite soles serve a practical role too. As mentioned earlier, I live in the French countryside and need durable shoes. As much as I love to go on long walks along the Marne river, I’ll often find myself cutting through muddy fields in the rain.
Most shoes just don’t cut it and will suffer through these hardships. Meanwhile, shoes made for wet Champagne autumns tend to look pretty unsightly. However, the Strandmoks can take a beating and keep on going. They still look fantastic when you’re peacefully sipping on a sloe gin by the fireplace.
Whilst the Strandmoks are indeed stylish, they’re also effortless for walking and not just posturing. In their first week of use, we traversed half of Manhattan and downtown Philadelphia. There no incidents of breaking the shoes in and every step felt like walking on clouds.
The soles seem to come with extra cushion and the rubber just makes them feel like slippers. Even after a long day walking or standing up during various events, I felt no discomfort whatsoever. On the contrary, I often forgot to remove my shoes because they were just so comfortable.
I’ve never owned such premium shoes as the Allen Edmonds Strandmoks and I never really considered it until I wore them. In fact, a week wearing these and I was fully converted. From comfort to construction, I feel like I have found the perfect shoe.
In addition, the style fits my persona to such an extent that it’s almost like the very expression of my personal style in the form of footwear. Whether you’re a serious vintage enthusiast, nature lover or see yourself as a something of a swashbuckling peacock, consider the Allen Edmonds Strandmoks.