Grenson Dylan Review

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So, I’ve been pining for a pair of Grensons for a long, long time, but have never pulled the trigger until recently. My biggest hesitation was that there’s no close retailers to try them on, and I wanted to make damn sure they fit right before ordering from the UK. Seems there’s a retailer in Los Angeles somewhere, but after see how the dollar is pleasantly strong against the euro, I could get a much better deal with not much shipping cost from the UK. ┬áPart of this post is a review, but part of it is to confirm that the sizing conversion is actually excellent for any one else that’s having the same hesitation.

If you’re familiar with quality constructed shoes, you’ve probably heard of Grenson, and you know what it takes to make a solid, Goodyear Welted shoe. Creating a shoe this way through the Grenson assembly line takes about three weeks. Figure your own hourly rate, multiply that by three weeks, then see how that compares to the cost of a pair… they’ll look like a STEAL. Considering a shoe like this will last 10+ years with proper care and resoling, you’re doing yourself a huge favor.

I’ve always loved the styling of Grensons. They use the classic brogue styling, but always seemed a twist more modern than Aldens and the like. I want a classic wing-tip, but I don’t necessarily want to look like a 60 year old banker. I went with the Dylan model with a red brick rubber sole. Seemed more appropriate for summer, even though it’s about over. Having the rubber sole makes these very light, and they are unlined, so they’re much cooler in warm temps too. The leather is just the right about of sturdiness without being too hard for a mean break-in. In fact, they felt perfectly comfortable after only a couple wears. I’ve worn them plenty in the past few weeks and they still look brand new.

photo credits to Lisa Warninger

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Clark’s Wallabees Review

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So, from time to time, I think I’ll throw in a review here and there. These are not sponsored, and completely unpaid. I’ll only talk about products/items I fully like, and they must be relevant to the Wood&Faulk theme. With that said, let’s talk about my new pair of Wallabees.

The current trend of throw-back, mocassin-style, established-company, old-world-thing has brought many classic styles back into popularity, and I’m sure for Clark’s – they are thankful. Even though being in business since 1825 isn’t a really trend, it sure fits what is currently trendy, right? I love the classics… but am I just caught in the current trend? Do I act all pompous and wax poetic about classics and tradition and such bullshit? I like to think I’m a classic fellow, but will I be wearing some TRON-looking outfit in two years? Anyway, I’m way off on a tangent. Let’s just talk about the shoes.

First impressions are great. Clark’s has great attention to detail with the clean box, the fringed tag on the shoes, the little book with their story included. The shoes are simple enough, but well crafted. Not in a “Yuketen well-crafted” way, mind you – but for a factory-made shoe, they are quite well done. I ordered taupe, which turns out is a distressed colorway, and they had just the right amount of distress as to not look all shiny-poindexter. Some clothing distressing tries too hard, and I’m not really a fan of that when it’s faked. Or poorly faked at least. These passed the test.

Upon wearing around the house, I had to get used to the stacked gum-eraser sole, but they were certainly comfortable. Like walking on over-inflated tires. I was a little concerned about wobbling off the gummy edge, but after a little while I didn’t notice it. The suede is very supple and the insole is quite comfortable; although without tons of support. Laces are cloth, and being the same color, don’t detract from the leather in any way. Worrying about suede in a Portland climate, I sprayed them with protector after a couple wears, which thankfully didn’t affect the color at all, and surely helped keep them looking great after a couple rainy days. I’ve had them for a few weeks now and have been wearing them quite often. I really love the style with jeans, and being so comfortable – they might just be your new favorite.

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