A Fine Man Once Said:

"Part of the 10 million I spent on gambling, part of it on booze, and part of it on women. The rest I spent foolishly."

- George Raft

Friday, April 1, 2011

"A Fine English Brogue" - Edward Green's Falkirk

There are many different types of shoes - there are loafers, oxfords, derbies, and boots, among others. Beyond the type of shoe, there are also a variety of lasts (the last is the form or shape of the shoe) and a plethora of leather patinas to set the avid shoe collector's heart a-flutter. The serious shoe connoisseur will usually have all of the staples covered, but there is always one type of shoe in his (or her) closet that holds a place in his (or her) heart above all others.

For some, it is crocodile skin loafers. For others, a double-soled wingtip blucher in shell cordovan leather. These are lovely choices. For An Uptown Dandy, though, nothing catches his eye quite like a well-made full brogue oxford dress shoe.

For the uninitiated, the brogue is a style of low-heeled shoe or boot traditionally characterized by multiple-piece, sturdy leather uppers with decorative perforations (or "broguing") and serration along the pieces' visible edges. Modern brogues trace their roots to a rudimentary shoe originating in Scotland and Ireland that was constructed using untanned leather with perforations that allowed water to drain from the shoes when the wearer crossed wet terrain such as a bog. In my previous posts, I provided some examples of an American-made wingtip (or full brogue) shoe:

In my thrifting post, I focused on an example of an English-made captoe (or half brogue or semi brogue) shoe:

Now, these are all quite nice. However, for an example of broguing run elegantly amok, one should look no further than Edward Green's Falkirk.

This particular pair is on the 82 last- a bit of an elongated toe shape but not as narrow or slender as Edward Green's 888 last - and the Chestnut Antique color (Edward Green offers a Made To Order service so last, leather and color can be designed to your exact specifications). Frankly, broguing aside, the leather patina at the toe box and the back quarters is a thing of beauty in and of itself.

The medallion design is in the "thistle" pattern - I have only seen this medallion on the Falkirk (someone please let me know if you've seen it on another Edward Green model).

Essentially what we have here is a wingtip that is very close in appearance to Edward Green's Malvern. But the additional broguing along the back quarters and along the edges behind the wingtips places this shoe in a sartorial realm all its own.

The intricate detailing is truly breathtaking and an absolutely exquisite example of English craftsmanship at its finest.

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