The New Dress Shoe – Paul Parkman
The world of shoes and what men wear has drastically changed in recent times. It actually started like 10-15 years ago but has recently taken full on effect in the past few years and today is miles different to what once was. Sometimes I ask myself if I was apart of this? The Shoe Snob Blog is/was the largest dress shoe blog in the world at one point. It might just still be but people have started reading less and swiping more thanks to Instagram. But even so, with as big as I once was, this is next level major scale change and then tell myself, ‘naw, not that many people know you!’. And especially when it comes to the subject at hand, which I never supported previously.
For me it all started with Nike back when they bought Cole Haan in 1998. In doing so it would appear that they were trying to see how they could revolutionize dress shoes by making one as comfortable as a sneaker and paired their ‘Nike Air’ soles with dress-like shoes. And I used to hate them. For me they were an abomination. A desecration of the very idea of what dress shoes stood for. The idea that men needed to feel like a sneaker in their smart shoes was appaling for me. Still to this day I hate when I see men wearing sneakers under their suits on their commute. But that very idea gave rise to this new trend and to the point in where we are today. And now I look at them differently. Sometimes intrigued, sometimes still disgusted.
Fast forward to today and the world we live in is different. I have and most likely always will be a tradionalist when it comes to my dress shoes. But as a business owner now, I can no longer be closed minded like The Shoe Snob blogger once was. I have to keep up with the times or simply get left behind. And funny enough my employee keeps telling me we need to make a hybrid dress shoe, most likely like the one featured by Paul Parkman. Yet I fight it.
This one here though has actually been one of the few that I have seen and really liked. Paul Parkman nailed it on the head with the last, model, patina coloring and choice of sole design with that sleek blue line (top of post version). Without that line and it might have been simply too much white. A subtle detail that others most likely would have overlooked, even including myself (i.e. if I was designing one). Going through Parkman’s collection of photos on IG it would that this is a new model as I dont see too many others like it but I am sure that it won’t be there last.
As men are wearing more and more mix and match trouser/jackets/jeans etc I see the top pair getting a lot of use in the modern day of dress wear. Picture it: Unlined Navy jacket with patch pockets, white oxford/jersey shirt, denim jeans and that tan patina shoe with white casual sole. Bang! Thats the modern man right there. Question is: Do you all like and support this look?