How does one live life? We take it a step at a time and jump in feet first.

Everywhere we go our feet carry us, yet sometimes we for get to treat our feet with the dignity they deserve. We outfit our gifts from God with horrible, cheap shoes. Really, it should be a crime.

I am not saying you need to drop major coin on a pair of Prada or Versace (although they make some damn fine footwear). What we have to understand is that one well-made pair of shoes is worth more than six pairs of rubbish. Quality over quantity is key. You can forego any other accessory and still have a feeling of being complete with a great pair of shoes. They are the ultimate accessory—they can make or break any outfit. Nothing can destroy a stylish ensemble like a pair of beat-up shoes that have out-lived their time. 

Luckily, a great pair of shoes does not have to break the bank. Please believe me when I say an expensive price tag doesn’t guarantee comfort. I know I don't plan on buying a new pair of shoes only to have them hurting my feet. I can’t tell you how many people in the world of fashion sacrifice comfort for style and name. I’m not one of those people. You only get two feet, so I say treat them right and you will be corn- and bunion-free!

The three shoemakers listed below are brands that I always turn to when I need a new pair. They cover everything from the staples to the extravagant (minus the exotic leathers).They encompass everything I stand for when it comes to shoes: quality, comfort and affordability.

Cole Haan

Cole Haan Chukka with new ZeroGrand sole technology, $278

Founded in 1928 by Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan, Cole Haan has made history as an American brand offering style and comfort for almost a century. Nike acquired the company in the 1980s and took the brand to an all-time high by incorporating its award-winning NikeAir technology into the soles of the dress shoes. Though unheard of at the time, the idea has since been mimicked by other brands.

Estimated price range: $100-$500.
Where to buy: Cole Haan stores in Highland Village and the Galleria, or in most major retailors from Macy’s to Neiman Marcus. 

To Boot New York

To Boot New York Duke wingtip, $450

New Yorker Adam Derrick has a gift for creating finely crafted Italian staple shoes that look and feel amazing. He has been around for about 30 years making a name for himself by offering an affordable luxury shoe that can go toe to toe with any other high-end shoemaker. He pays great attention to detail and he's great at predicting what’s trending in men’s shoes. I will say it again: Affordable. Italian-made. Shoes. Need I say more?

Estimated price range: $250-$575. 
Where to buy: Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom to start.

Magnanni

“The pursuit of perfection, with simple, classic designs and attention to detail, has been our family essence for three generations.” —Luis Blanco

This family-owned company has been working its magic for more than 50 years and I must say they have it down to a science over at Magnanni. Hailing all the way from Spain, they craft footwear for the man who understands that the way he dresses is an expression of his personal style and taste. He is a man who is open to new experiences, curious, cultured and dynamic. They basically had me at hello!

Estimated price range: $300-$600
Where to buy: Magnanni.com, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and select Macy’s.

What are you waiting for? Put your best foot forward outfitted in some well-laced shoes. 

 

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