Given my US sojourn last week I thought it might be worthwhile focussing on some US style in the next few posts.
One of the things I like about US style is their shoes. Don’t get me wrong English shoes are great. However, it seems to me that Americans appreciate shoes more that their British counterparts. If seemed to me that men’s shoes in the US were typically more well cared for the in the UK. Shoes were more likely to polished and there were more shoe shine stalls in airports and shopping malls than is the case in the UK.
Indeed, I couldn’t help but notice that the only man I saw using the shoe shine stall when I passed through Heathrow T5 spoke with an American accent.
There are some great American shoe brands, Allen Edmonds and Cole Haan are my two favourites, and I blogged about them both after my last US trip, around this time last year. Today I’d like to introduce a third American shoe brand, Mercanti Fiorentini.
For the shoe snob Mercanti Fiorentini will not be on their list. They are probably not the last word in quality. MFs do not have stitched soles. They apparently use glue! Shock horror…. Moreover, they are not a brand in their own right. Mercanti Fiorentini are an in house brand of DSW (Discount Shoe Warehouse) who sell mid range shoes. MF is their in house upmarket brand.
However, if you can look past those things them MF have a great range of beautifully lasted shoes which make use of supple leathers and fabulous styles. Because they are a DSW brand you won’t find them widely on the high street. You’ll have to find your local DSW or use their online shop.
I visited in a local DSW store and was really taken by two or three of the MF range. First off are the MF Double Monks. A great looking pair of shoes from a couple of seasons ago. For a great pair of monks for under £100 (around US$150) they are difficult to beat.
Next up are a pair of wing tips in tan with contrasting navy laces. The shoes also come with an additional pair pair of laces in tan for those who prefer to avid the navy/ tan contrasting laces look. A great looking pair of shoes. I did come very close to buying a pair of these myself. They are slightly more expensive than the monks at US$160.
A similar look may be found in the MF cap toe, available in cognac. It’s also a great looking shoe. Even better it is slightly less expensive at $140.
However, the best looking shoe in the range IMO is a pair of cap toe double monk boots, a pretty unusual style, but one that looks absolutely gorgeous. These are a bit more expensive at $200 (around £125). I think they are stunning
All these shoes have leather uppers, lining and sole. They won’t quite have the quality of manufacturing of a Barker or Loake. But neither will they have their price. If you are in the market for a mid range pair for shoes, which are beautiful then Mercanti Fiorentini might be for you. And if you are a fan of US shoemakers, though MF claim to be made in Italy, that only makes them better.
Check out the DSW website for the rest of the MF range.