Last week, I realised I had worn my Belgravia loafers three out of the five working days. 

Ever keen to look after them, I never wear them on consecutive days (the leather will not fully dry out – and wears quicker when damp). 

So I was basically wearing the loafers every day I could. At every opportunity. 

It made me realise that this is probably now my favourite pair of shoes: a title that for a long time was held by my Oundle monk straps. (See my three ‘How great things age’ posts on those shoes here.)

 

 

The monk straps had an emotional significance because they were my first really good pair of shoes. It was the first time I could afford them (thanks to a deep Ralph Lauren sale). 

However, the two pairs also have several things that have made them my favourites over the years. 

First, they are both versatile. Their mid-brown colouring means they go with many things, from flannels to cottons. And their style helps too, neither being a formal whole-cut oxford nor a chunky derby.

The Belgravia loafers are probably even more versatile, and reflect a gradual shift in how I dress. But I’ll get to that later. 

 

 

The second thing is that they’ve worn in beautifully. 

From an aesthetic point of view, the calf leather of the Belgravias has taken a huge number of scratches and scrapes, yet through wear and occasional cream, they’ve simply been embraced, softening and becoming part of the leather’s intricate texture. 

The colour variation is also lovely, with the factory’s original burnishing of the toe and heel – to slightly darken it – made more varied and personal by my own polishing.

And to be clear, I’ve never done patina work, or deliberately used darker polish on certain areas. I’ve simply done good, basic maintenance of a fine shoe. Regular cream and polish. The kind of thing anyone can do. 

[See more advice on shoe polishing in our two videos here.]

 

 

Third, both pairs of shoes are really fricking comfortable. 

The older I get, the less patience I have with shoes that don’t fit. Those that tweak my little toe, or are fine for a few hours but torture by the end of the day. Narrow shoes from Berluti or Corthay have fallen by the wayside for that reason. 

But these two Edward Green lasts (for me) – the 184 on the Belgravia and the 888 on the Oundle – are comfortable yet still look sufficiently slim and elegant to match my tailoring (or as pictured, slim dark denim). 

I don’t think too much emphasis should be placed on comfort. A leather dress shoe is never going to feel the same as a sneaker or an espadrille. It cannot and still look like this. 

And prioritising comfort above all else is a slippery slope: one that men and women today seem not only happy to slide down, but throw themselves on with reckless abandon.

 

 

Still, shoes must be comfortable. How that’s defined is subjective, but I’d suggest you need to be able to put them on and forget about them, all day. 

The reason my Belgravias do that is partly the fit, but also partly the leather. This has worn in, softened with time and cream, and of course adapted to my foot. The footbed bears an impression of my sole; the upper creases where I need it to crease. 

This lesson is worth highlighting because – again – people often want not just comfort, but immediate comfort. They don’t consider that if something is going to adapt to you, it cannot be the same on day 1 and day 50. 

Earlier in the year I bought an identical pair of Belgravias in black cordovan. I know they will take time to wear in – even more so because they are hard horsehide. 

But I also know what the final result is like, so I’m happy to wait. Just wearing a few hours a day to start with; not perfect comfort from the first; regular cream to help them along. 

 

 

Finally, a word on style. These shoes, these great things that have aged, have become so because they suit how I dress today. 

I rarely wear a navy worsted suit, shirt and tie. But I regularly wear a grey flannel suit, a green cotton suit, a tan corduroy suit. Or a jacket with grey fresco, green flannel or beige cotton. I also wear sharp chinos and dark denim. And these loafers go with all of it. 

They’re perhaps a little casual with grey flannel – and a little smart with denim. So not to be worn with flannel that’s structured, dark and double breasted; or with denim that’s old and worn and accompanied by a T-shirt. 

But nonetheless, they do go with that full range of clothes. The only other shoe that could be as versatile is a brown suede loafer. 

Which of course, is why suede Belgravias are next on my wishlist. 

 

 

Other clothing shown:

  • Jeans from Blackhorse Lane – post here
  • Beige cotton chinos from Dalcuore – post here
  • Dark grey Crispaire trousers from The Disguisery – post here
  • Mid-grey Fresco trousers from Gieves & Hawkes – post here
  • Olive chinos from Drake’s

Photography: Denim shots and chinos by James Holborow, all else by Jamie Ferguson

 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
156 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
hugh

Interesting that your favourite pair of shoes are RTW- why do you prefer them to your bespoke shoes? Or would you qualify that they’re your favourite pair of RTWs?

Sam

Nice! My favourite pair are #8 cordovan tassels from Alden, 9 years old, well worn. I also find they go with nearly anything, and the style never fails to makes me happy. Currently on the lookout for the right pair of brown pennies (calf or suede) to complement them.

Fu Pei

How long have you owned this pair? Resoled or not?

Tim

I would like to believe that suede chukkas, in the right style, would be just as versatile — going with everything from jeans to casual menswear and even flannels given the last is elegant enough.

At least that’s how I wear mine.

Steven

Interesting that you prioritise comfort above all else, but also wax lyrical about your Common Project’s. I’ve got a pair, which I like a lot, but (when new, and being broken in) they must be the most uncomfortable pair of trainers I’ve ever owned. Or do I just have the wrong shaped feet for them?

Steven

Oh, they are definitely beautiful trainers. Just rather oddly shaped, and (for me at least) absolutely lethal on my heel when new. I’m now on to pair three (having inadvertently destroyed the first two pairs), but it’s always the same pain initially.

Anonymous

Simon
The loafers are very nice. But I’m surprised you’ve worn tasseled loafers with jeans. I love loafers and regularly wear penny loafers with dark jeans. I’ve toyed with the idea of a tasseled pair with jeans but somehow, they seem too formal for jeans. This being, seeing the photos has made me reconsider. What are your thoughts in general around this area?

Anonymous

Polo suede penny loafers are my go to shoes with jeans.

Anonymous

Hi Simon,

I, like you, have developed a fondness for the Belgravia loafer. I currently have them in dark oak calf, black calf and mink suede. EG made them in snuff suede this season and they are calling my name, but I have resisted so far. I would like to ask your opinion as a fellow admirer (addict?) of the model. Do you think they are worthwhile considering I already own a mink pair? FWIW, I do have a pair of snuff suede EG loafers but they are unlined and much more casual, really more a no socks in summer thing. Thanks in advance!

Anonymous

Thanks! I get your point. One more question: assuming I didn’t have the unlined snuff suede loafer, would you recommend a Belgravia in snuff suede or in chestnut leather? Thanks

Robert M

I second the comment about loafers and jeans – I see what you mean, but in these photos they look a tad mismatched. It’s not even about the formality, more about certain summery and dandy connotations of loafers versus colder weather and workwear for jeans. But you might be right, Simon, that suede would solve this.

About versatility – I actually find Oundle-style monk straps to be extremely versatile. It might just be me, but I have a bespoke pair modelled after Oundles and I am perfectly happy wearing them with both a suit and a pair of dark, slim jeans.

H

Along the theme of both this and the recent post on the capsule collection: if you had to start again with just five of your existing pairs – which would they be?

Pyc

Hi Simon,

Does the fact that your #1 shoes are RTW place footwear into a different category to tailoring (in terms of fit)?

I’m trying to reconcile this post with your recent post highlighting that fit is the most important benefit of bespoke.

Regards,

Pyc

Nicolas Stromback

“And prioritising comfort above all else is a slippery slope: one that men and women today seem not only happy to slide down, but throw themselves on with reckless abandon.”

Amen to that.

L

They are indeed beautiful Simon.

My favourite shoe all time so far was Piccadilly from EG, they aged well and the patina they get after wear and tear plus the maintenance with just cream and polish was outstanding. Unfortunately i had to let them go because they were half a size to small.

Actually looking into getting the belgravia as a replacement for SS20 but in the meantime, luckily, the dover on 666 in dark oak will play a huge role this autumn instead, even though i would have preferred to shuffle around in the Belgravia.

Best

Anonymous

Simon

Do you think cordovan penny loafers in a brown colour work with dark jeans? Or is cordovan too polished to go with jeans?

Scott

Simon, you’ve had a lot of good things to say about Alden shoes over the years I notice. As an American, I find it really interesting that an Englishman likes an American shoe brand, given the plethora of choices you have with excellent English and Italian shoes for example. What do you like about Alden shoes?

jim

I concur that versatility is key. I find that for business travel and the need or desire for economical packing leads me to go with a suede Crockett loafer (Sidney), a leather Ferragamo (even more casual) or a soft Bontoni loafer in mid brown. Only the bontoni, however, works (even if a bit of a stretch) if Im wearing a dressier suit instead of an odd jacket. With one of these, I find that I only need to pack running shoes.

Anonymous

I own the Edward Green Piccadilly which is, in my opinion the more ‘casual’ and also very versatile version of the Belgravia.

I also own the Loro Piana Open Walk in Brown and I have never and I mean never put a more comfortable, stylish and more versatile shoe on my foot.

What are your thoughts on them Simon?

JB

I’m wearing that very model and color today, it’s grown to be my favourite shoe too. But I agree with Simon it’s not suitable for tailoring.

Hugh

As a tassels admirer, I love how eclectic they are from trousers to casual jeans. I look forward to seeing more pairings with this amazing footwear!

Nick

Several people have mentioned the fact that two of your favourite shoes are RTW, which I think is interesting. I have never had bespoke shoes, but have had bespoke tailoring made and I agree going back to RTW jackets (trousers don’t seem to be as big an issue for me) is tough. Can it be concluded from this, that the there is no such marked contrast between RTW and bespoke shoes? Ie bespoke shoes are good because of the style, leather and aesthetics options but in terms of comfort they are not that much better?

ezequiel

on confort, i follow the words of david coggins: “raise the level of what you are confortable with”

Peter K

I have a pair of suede cap toe oxfords I wear very often in the colder months. They are mid-brown and go with everything less formal than a worsted suit.

Rik

Hi Peter how do you find they handle the rain and cold? I’ve always been put off suede thinking they’d get ruined in the wet

RolleFC

Suede actually handles Rain better than calf leather does. Just use a good repellant spray with some frequency, brush the nap up with a suede brush when they dried up after being wet and they`ll stay great for years.

Rik

Thank you Rollefc

Peter K

I mostly wear them in the office. I cycle commute to work in the summer and wear boots through our snowy winter so these shoes don’t see much use outside.

That said, a good suede protector does help. When they have gotten water on them it hasn’t caused a problem. I also have a pair of Swims overshoes for when it is really wet and I have to wear them outside.

Anonymous

This is very interesting, Simon. Would you mind expanding on why do you prefer these to your “Crompton” G&Gs? I would have thought the hatch grain used on those would have made them even more versatile – a happy medium, if you will, between calfskin and suede.

Anonymous

Hi Simón,

Reviving this discussion to ask whether you would think that the Crompton on oak hatch grain (https://www.google.com/search?q=gaziano+girling+crompton&client=ms-android-verizon&prmd=insv&sxsrf=ACYBGNTpNM4Eu-MO1WkSY78tbh78KZJ6zQ:1578969278151&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi9t733hoLnAhVJMt8KHTXNBhEQ_AUoAXoECA8QAQ&biw=412&bih=724&dpr=2.63#imgrc=zEGjOnVZb9F08M) would achieve the versatility that you find lacking in the chestnut color of your bespoke pair?

Assuming similar color between the Gaziano Crompton and the EG Belgravia, how would you decide between them?

Thanks so much!

Adrian

Hi Simon,
I’m a freelance artist working in the creative industries – building up my sports coat and trousers/jeans wardrobe.

My shoe wardrobe is a bit eclectic, and has a dark brown penny loafer (corno blu), black penny loafer (Crockett and Jones), dark brown Oxford (corno blu), dark brown suede derby (Crockett and Jones), two pairs of RM Williams Chelsea boots in black and brown.

The black and brown penny loafers get the most wear by far each week, followed by the Chelsea boots.

Given that I don’t require anything too formal – would this Edward Green loafer be a good next purchase or would you (or any of your readers, really) suggest something else?
Thank you.

Tony

Interesting.

Brown leather tassel loafers with jeans is not really a good idea. Too formal mixing with informal.

Wear them with any shade of grey you like, worsted or flannel, and you are on much firmer ground.

Loafers, with our without the tassels, with jeans, need to be suede, and can range in colour from snuff to espresso. Somebody referred to Polo suede, but I’m not sure I know what that is.

There may be no rules. but the obvious is pretty simple.

And then add some snap, so the socks linking the suede loafer to the jean adds to the ensemble.

You say you are developing your style in casualwear Simon, which is great, so be open to the opinions of others who have been doing this for a while and everybody reading your site will benefit.

Tony

Sorry, disagree with what precisely? I made a number of points. Do you disagree with all of them, or one in particular?
Thanks

Tony

Thanks, so it comes down to personal taste in the end, although it seems I am not alone in saying it’s not a good match.

JDV

@Adrian
A suede Chukka-Boot would be next on my list.
Straight after that, Piccadilly would be next. But maybe in Suede.

@Simon
I can see why some disslike them with denim, but I quite like it. In my eyes they work better with dark grey fresco/crispaire rather than lighter grey fresco/crispaire though.

Vince

Are those blue socks with the grey trousers, Simon?

Anonymous

It’s a good article but I agree with Robert – I don’t think they go with the jeans. There is a reason: you wear them with jean turn-ups, I wear in a similar way with suede shoes however as the turn-ups show the inner seaming (unlike tailored trousers which are constructed differently), they detract from the formality and the denim and inner seaming clash with the smooth shininess of the loafers and the jeans therefore look a little over-mannered.
There is, generally, a reluctance to wear tasseled loafers in the UK (they are not widely worn), however, having read more widely on the subject there seems to be a strong US following with an additional acceptance in business circles?
That said it’s a very interesting read with a surprising conclusion re. RTW. I find RTW shoes to be mainly terrible (due to a difficult fit) but can easily find RTW sports jackets that fit extremely well without alteration. I therefore wonder if the essence of good fit from RTW (shoes and clothes) is the person’s form and it’s match to the various silhouettes and fits available (taking construction quality as a constant).

Anonymous

I love the shoes bar the tassels! Just a bit chief-y

Jason

Interesting. I eschewed bespoke after paying a King’s ransom for a pair of ‘Berluti’s’ that proved so uncomfortable they made me want my feet amputating.
So yes, as I’ve always advocated, shoes are different to tailoring and a good pair of RTW are just fine.
That said, for me my most versatile shoe is a Chelsea boot. Outside of summer I wear them with just about everything. They look great with casual suits and flannels whilst being a lot more appropriate with jeans than a tassel loafer.
Loafers do have their place however and certainly every self-respecting flaneur needs a pair in their collection. Personally I favour the ‘Joseph Cheaney’ Hadley Penny loafer which at £365 are less than half the price of EG and are, in my opinion, every bit as good.
Simon, have you tried Cheaney ? It would be good to see them road tested alongside the likes of EG and Lobb because I’m all for buying quality but don’t like spending money like a drunken sailor. My millions were hard earned !

Anonymous

Great write-up. Simon, is there a reason you favour the Belgravia over the Piccadilly?

JDV

Interesting. In my book they’re the perfect pennyloafer.

Which one’s do you prefer?

Jason

Simon,
I would be genuinely interested in your view on this.
About a year ago, I visited EG’s Jermyn Street store with a view of buying a pair of their ‘Camden’ suede Chelsea boots at £1150. It was a considered purchase and I was to be straight in and out. I was put off by some poor service and left.
Having read a review, I thought I’d take a flyer and buy the Cheaney ‘Godfrey’ on line at £365.
They came the next day, fitted like a glove and are really quite beautiful.
In all honesty I really couldn’t see the difference between the two either stylistically or qualatively and the price difference is absolutely huge.
Now, you do this for a living and I have a huge respect for your qualitative eye – so tell me what is the difference ?
I ask this question both to satisfy myself and help others.
EG, Lobb , C&J and the like get a lot of play but I’m forming the opinion that it’s Cheaney that is the diamond in the rough.

Richard T

Interesting. I’ve had a similar experience with regards to service.
I have some nice shoes from Cheaney and I find C&J to be good (particularly the Handgrade). I’d love to upgrade and I’ve tried several times to buy shoes from EG and G&G, but none of their lasts seem to fit me well. Some Cheaney, C&G and, particularly, one or two lasts from Church’s fit me much better. The issue seems to be the slimness of my heel – not any defect in the quality of EG and G&G, of course, just the idiosyncrasies of my anatomy. This also seems to rule out loafers from just about anyone. I’ve yet to find a pair that fit well enough, which is a shame because I’d love to have a pair (though not tasseled ones. I’ve always found them too fussy). Suede chukka boots and monk shoes are my default casual alternatives to Oxfords, though I’m always on the lookout for a pair of loafers that will fit. All suggestions gratefully received!

Steve Mendes

Hi Richard,
I have long but narrow feet and heels.
I too have an issue with heel slippage in loafers.
My Alden loafers in American B width with the slim Aberdeen last fit perfectly.
I also have a pair of Edward Green Piccadilly loafers in English C width which are a fairly good fit although the heels aren’t fitted as well as in the Alden’s.
I hope this helps.

Andreas

I‘m sure the craftsmanship on these is exceptional, but to me tassel loafers died at the same time as that whole misguided preppy trend, around 2010. I gave away all the Alden and Crockett & Jones loafers I had, and it felt almost liberating. If nothing else, at least tassel loafers taught me a valuable lesson: Stick to oxfords, derbys and sneakers.

CDBPP

Almost all wool worth its while abides by this adage. Although Budd calls the wool in their dressing gowns “lovely” this is clearly a judgment at 5 to 10 years. At first, it is hard, dry and scratchy. After a number of years it is wonderful.
Most traditional British men’s suitings are in this category. I have a heavy navy hopsack suit ( I think it is 15/16 ounces ) and after about 5 years it is starting to be lovely, soft and really fit to me, while still having the wonderful drape and weight of real cloth.
Conversely, a fused suit can look wonderful and sharp day 1. But soon it behaves badly, or actually, doesn’t behave at all. It is a rigid carapace that soon looks shiny, stiff and odd with lapels curling and doing odd stuff.
Wear is the ultimate guide to quality. Bar one category : cashmere socks. These are just a slightly slower way of spending money than shovelling currency into a blast furnace.

JG

Hi Simon-

I’m a huge fan of these and have wanted to try on a pair for some time but there are no stockists on the U.S. west coast so I’ve been unsure of sizing. Do you wear the same size in your Belgravias as you do in your Alden unlined loafers (but with the one size delta between English/US, i.e. US 11 = UK 10)? Thanks Simon.

John

Hi Simon,
I love loafers! However and strangely enough, I prefer seeing tassel loafers worn by friends! I’ve even succeeded after weeks if not months in goading a good friend to buy these Belgravia! I especially love their raised apron, something that signals to me the craftsmen behind their making. But unfortunately, this kind of feature is disappearing from today’s shoe industry, and I wonder why.
EG’s loafers that really match my expectations were their Pimlico. Apparently, not anymore available as RTW. Where about are we heading?
A question to you, Simon: could an oxfords’ last be easily converted into a loafers’ last?
John

Tony

Just to be clear, C&J lasts 341 and 348 are used both for oxfords and loafers.

Nigel C

It’s hard to believe these are four years old and have been resoled too – they look great. It’s not only about how things age but that a little love and care keeps them looking so good for ages. It’s also quite therapeutic doing it!
Best wishes N

JB

I love these articles showing how things age. Also refreshing (and a bit surprising perhaps) reading an article on tassel loafers that are not the C&J Cavendish.

Anonymous

Hi Simon,

Since you often write about suede loafers, why haven’t you worn your plain G&G bespoke suede loafer as much as the Belgravias? Are they less versatile for some reason? I’ve noticed they get less wear.

Anonymous

1. That’s quite interesting. I would think the plain front would make it even more versatile, and look very nice with knitwear. So you tend to wear the G&G bespoke loafers more with suits?

2. Stylistically what do you the butterfly loafer by Yuigo Hayano: (https://shoesavante.com/2018/09/20/underrated-shoes-the-butterfly-loafer/)? Would the formality sit to the equivalence of a penny or tassel loafer, and just look a bit different? Would it be as versatile a look? I appreciate the style and was thinking of commissioning it as a first suede of calf loafer.

3. You previously mentioned disliking loafers with elastic in-steps — how come?

Anonymous

Thanks. For point #3, do you have an link to an example of elastic on instep shoes that is more visible for me to understand what it is? I think maybe I’m misunderstanding what they are. I emailed Hayano and he says that these are butterfly loafers are actually elastic on instep shoes, so it isn’t a used loafer last. He says it’s called “inlock shoes”. I’m a bit confused…

Luke Adams

Hi Simon,

I just purchased my first pair of EGs (Berkeley – Dark Brown on the 202 last). I’ve been wearing them around the house, but have yet to take them out owing, primarily, to not having had flush toe plates put on yet. Do you think them necessarily? Or do you think I can venture out in them safely without? I’m hopeing that through good care, my EGs can age as well as yours have! Thanks!

Another, seconary question: what measures can one take in order to prepare dress shoes with leather soles for a sudden downpour? I have applied sole oil, but past this, I’m not sure what else I can do.

Luke

Thanks a lot, Simon. I appreciate it, and so do the shoes, who have just been treated to their first stroll.

BespokeNYC

On the subject of how things age (slightly tenuous segue, but it’s the best I can do!) do you have any tips on what to do with jackets when the elbows start to wear thin? I have two lovely cashmere jackets on which I’m starting to see the threads. Is there any way to have them brushed to bring the nap back, or are patches (tweedy professor style) the only option? In both cases the rest of the jacket is in perfect condition, so it seems a shame to retire them.

BespokeNYC

Thanks, yes, I feared as much. Have you ever done anything like this? Would be curious to know how it turned out if so…

Shem Teo

Hey Simon I’m wondering what are your views on cordovan loafers from alden?

I’m thinking of getting a pair but am debating between a color 8 cordovan or a dark brown calf loafer. Which in your opinion is more versatile? I currently own dark brown suede and black calf loafers

Shem Teo

Hi simon i have two dark brown calf suede loafers and a black calf loafer. Looking to either add a dark brown calf or a cordovan color 8 loafer. Would one pair be more versatile than the other? I’m swaying more towards the cordovan pair for novelty as I have never owned cordovan shoes before and I like how it looks with a workwear type aesthetic. How would it look with more traditional office wear? Eg blue Oxford shirt and grey high twist etc.

Henry

Mr.Crompton,

I take opportunity of the most recent article on EG to bring you a doubt I have.
I’m bit skeptical in wearing high end shoes (EG) with leather sole when the weather is humid or even wet…I look after my shoes with all the needed attentions but still, I almost suffer when a leather sole hit a non perfectly leveled and dry cement 🙂

Do you think that an added thin layer of rubber (added by my shoemaker) would be that negative for the sole transpiration?

Thanks and best regards
Henry

David

I absolutely love these shoes and they are next on my list. How did you size them compared to your other shoes? I bought C&J penny loafers a few years back and was advised to go smaller than my usual size, because they would stretch and become comfortable. Unfortunately they’ve never stretched quite enough, so I wear them sporadically for short periods.

I’m also interested to know what you think of horse-bit loafers, as I remember my grandfather (who was always a man of style) often wearing them when I was a younger, but I am struggling to find a nice pair that’s Goodyear welted (an hopefully long lasting). Would love to hear your thoughts.

Justin

Hi Simon-

I hoped to get your opinion. I am deciding between the EG Greenwich in black cordovan and the Alden tassel in the same, the latter I think of as slightly more casual (I have the Alden tassel in brown suede and wear them all the time). Obviously a decent price difference between those two but I’d rather stretch it a bit if the EGs are a better choice.

My day-to-day is similar to what you reference above- grey trousers and odd jackets, with the occasional navy or grey fresco suit (I’m in LA). My question is, now that you have the EG in black shell, have you found them to be as useful as you describe above in integrating them into a semi-formal wardrobe? Thanks Simon

Anonymous

Why don’t you wear any butterfly loafers that you like them so much Simon?

Raphael

Hi Simon,

I have been wearing a pair of black C&J Sydney Loafers but found the leather to be a bit too stiff and dull. Since I want to upgrade to a higher quality leather now, I am thinking about Carmina cordovan or Bontoni. What is your thought on a good upgrade from a C&J standard line black calf leather loafer? Most importantly the leather should be softer and the color should have more depth and shine.

Thanks!

Raphael

Thank you.
Still have not made up my mind.
Have you had the opportunity to look at the collaboration between the Armoury and Yohei Fukuda? I like aesthetics of the Jiro-Last Duane Penny loafer- reminds me of Green’s Piccadilly loafers.

augustuspenn

When one has shoes like this resoled, what kind of sole does one hope for and what kind(s) should one not settle for? I ask because you mention oak-tanned soles in connection with these, and I would imagine that cobblers might well not have those in stock, at least not in the northern Midwest of the USA where I live. Thanks.

Anonymous

Simon, what do you make of Foster and Sons new RTW range made in-house? Competitor to EG/GG as to quality?

Jan

Hi Simon, I am slowly building a nice and versatile collection of quality shoes and I recently bought my first EGs. The Fulham in burgundy. Very happy with them so far but I am a bit disappointed about the following. The optional EG shoe trees available in the shop where I bought the shoes were not specific to the last – totally different shape actually. The EG shoe care guidance note enclosed with the shoes literally recommends using shoe tree with the exact shape of the last. Contacted EG to see if I could order those and they told me that ordering lasted shoe trees would costs £245.00. For a ready to wear pair of shoes on one of their standard lasts… I don’t understand why one would stress the importance of having trees in the right shape and then make it prohibitively difficult and expensive to get them. Makes me wonder how rational their other decisions are.

Would you just use trees that are sort of the right shape and size or would you go for lasted ones? I am doing the former and seems to be OK but just wondering if you have any thoughts on this. Many thanks

Jan

Many thanks for your response, Simon. I guess pushing out all round the vamp and flattening those creases is not entirely possible with a shoe tree that has a different shape but it works OK and I will stop whining now.

Anonymous

Hi Simon,

I have a question regarding the durability and value for money of suede vs leather.
I am considering purchasing penny loafers (EG Piccadilly, depending on whether they please me in the flesh).
Preferrably I would purchase brown suede, but can imagine that brown leather would be more durable, less prone to stretching, and more value for money. What is your view on this?

Furthermore, do you have any preference on a leather vs a rubber sole for loafers (suede is rubber, calf is leather)?

For some perspective: This is part of my yearly splurge, and not a purchase to be made without consideration for me.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions and have a great day!

Yassin

Hey Simon,

What kind of sole would you prefer?

Classic leather sole or the R1 slim rubber sole?

Be

Luke

Hi Simon,

They really are gorgeous things. I actually just inherited a pair of EG loafers made for Ralph Lauren Purple label on the 909 last. They look very much like the Belgravia, but the tassle strings (?) are flat rather than woven.

They are very comfortable, and I can comfortably walk on the flat without heel slippage, but when walking up stairs, for example, I do get a bit of slippage. I personally do not like to keep shoes and other items like this that I am likely to wear for decades if the fit is not ideal; I would rather pass them on to somebody for whom they would be perfect.

Other than these, I only own oxfords (Chelsea and Berkeley) and one pair of derbies (dover) from EG. I wonder if I am simply expecting too close a fit from a loafer.

I notice in a couple of the photographs of your Belgravias that there is a bit of room at the heel. Do you experience any slippage at all? Would appreciate your thoughts!

Enry

I think that loafers should be bought snug.
I find EG leather awesome in modelling around my feet , that’s why for EG loafers I always preferred a snug fit (snug, not short).
First time I’ve worn my EG loafer i was tempted to say “ouch…I bought the wrong size” but after wearing for 3/4 times (even for just few hours) they became my go-to loafer (formal or informal) – I even wear them with shorts without socks.
My foot never sleeps out of the shoe.

…while with laced shoes I prefer to size up 1/2 number(or wear my “real shoe size”), laces do their job and the shoe gives more room to allow heavier/ticker socks.
(I must admit that my EG loafers all have leather sole which I tend to use only in warmer months without or with lightweight socks.)

p.s. I always wondered if my foot is just lucky to have the EG 6.5/7 perfectly fitting my shoe shape 🙂

Luke

Thank you so much, both! It must also be said that I have been breaking them in around the house, being as I am in lockdown still. I think that once I am wearing them out and about, my feet will probably swell a little more also, which should help.

Three further questions if you don’t mind my asking: will resoling have any effect on the snugness? And Simon, typically how long does it take to have shoes resoled by EG? Finally, I agree with you, Enry, that EGs leather molds beautifully to the foot. I wonder though, having no experience with secondhand EGs, will the leather moulded to the previous wearer’s foot remould still further to accommodate my idiosyncrasies?

Luke

Thanks again, Simon. And thank you for the series. I wonder whether you are thinking of perhaps covering an old suit and how it has aged? A real workhorse? It would be interesting to see how some details, such as elbows and buttonholes, wear over time.

Noel

Hi Simon,

I have a pair of this but on the Utah leader. To be honest, I’m scared to use them much outside because I feel they will have to be resoled quite frequently (not the cheapest if the closed channel is to be maintained). Given that you use them quite often, I wondered how often do you tend to resole them? Do you walk long distances outside with them?

Anonymous

I saw you trying on EG’s Cranleigh boots on IG. How did you like them??

WK

Thanks Simon for great write up! I have been following your Permanent Style pretty much from the beginning and I remember you were not so fond of tassel loafer in the beginning. Am I mistaken or it was just a change of preference during your sartorial journey. Do you wear the same width on your black cordovan and brown calf Belgravia? Do you notice any difference? As I was told people usually go one width smaller for cordovan as the cordovan does not stretch as much as calf in the making so the fit will be looser when the show is made. Thanks for your reply in advance.

Jonathan

I’m curious: What cultural associations did tassels convey?

Henry

What brand are those ribbed socks? I really like that style but don’t know what to search for or how to find them.

Michael

Hi Simon,

Great write up and the article Made me look into tassel loafers as my next purchase. I came across the c&j studridge Made for angloitalian. Have you seen these in person and how do they compare to the belgravia’s in terms of style?

It looks like the c&j’s have a lower vamp and a rounder toeshape looking at the pictures.

Sam

Do you think the braiding in the EG and the AI models makes them a tad more formal? I have a pair of tassels from Alden (in #8 shell) that I wear with everything from jeans to flannels. I’m considering the AI model in black to wear in a similarly wide range of outfits, but I wonder if the braiding would look out of place in casual outfits.

Freddy

Hi Simon, would you say that you can spend a good few hours comfortably walking in these? Which shoes would you recommend for going out for a long walk in the city without reverting to sneakers?

Rob

Hi – I just wondered what colour these are? Dark oak? Presumably it is partly the mid brown colour which makes them so versatile?

Also are standard EG shoe trees ok for this model – I vaguely remember reading somewhere that the standard trees are just for the 202/606s but I am probably mistaken.

Best wishes

Noel

Hi Simon,

What shoe tree do you use for these? EG own in the same size as the shoe? I didn’t get a pair of their shoe trees when I got my Belgravia pair(they seemed pricy). I’ve found the shoe trees that I have too big for the size, so I’ve been using a travel pair which isn’t ideal. I wonder which trees I should get that will fit well and not stretch them.

Noel

Yes of course. It’s just that none seem to fit well (with the exception of a travel one). It’s somewhat odd, but perhaps the loafer’s last is slightly unusual. Before buying another one online I can’t try in advance, I wondered if you had the EG trees. Perhaps those are guaranteed to fit.

Anonymous

Hey Simon. I´d be very grateful if you could opine on EG´s “Rochester” loafer, as sold by Gentlemen´s Footwear: https://gentlemensfootwear.com/collections/edward-green/products/edward-green-rochester-full-strap-loafer-in-mink-suede

What do you think of the styling?

Thanks.

Bill Foster

Hi Simon- you refer to your Belgravia shoes as being mid-brown. I can only find them in dark oak. That’s the shoe shown when following the link in your posting. Do you think we’re talking about the same color shoe?
Thank you,
Bill

Vincent

Hi Simon, thanks to you, I am inspired and looking to purchase my first pair of loafers, and was wondering if you had any advice for me. From what I see here, you often wear and claim that the EG belgravia is your favourite pair of shoes, but I also do see you wear a lot of the Baudoin & Lange Sagans. You also end off the article saying that a brown suede loafer might be even more versatile than a leather one. I know they are not in the same price bracket, but was wondering if you had advice on which loafer (or any others) that I should go for as my very first loafer, and maybe the variation (tassel?), leather choice and colour that i should get. Thanks!

Steve

If just one pair of loafers, ever, would it be brown penny/tassle? Leather?

shem

Hi simon, do you find yourself sizing half size down for loafers off the shelf? I find loafers that are comfortable off the shelf seem to expand by almost half a size within a years wear (I can almost insert a whole finger into the heel when i’m wearing the loafers) However trying a shoe a half size down off the shelf seem to hurt terribly as well. Is that conundrum you have too?