Saturday, July 24, 2010

Breathable Leather Shoes: Allen-Edmonds Strawfut

If this blog from Slevehead is true, then heritage American shoe brand Allen-Edmonds is bringing back a version of the Strawfut design back for Spring 2011.

According to the Sleevehead post, the Strawfut will be a “combination linen (or mesh) and leather” shoe. In the original shoe, the upper was partially constructed out of nylon mesh.

Information on this shoe is scarce and what can be found is only on blogs and men’s style forums. So, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that these could be my ideal Spring/Summer dress shoe and possibly my ideal dance shoe. The soles are constructed out of leather, which are hard wearing, repairable and will conform to shape of your foot. The upper is partially constructed out of a highly breathable nylon mesh, which is a godsend of a design feature in warm months (and especially on the dance floor). I would really appreciate the breathability, my feet get really hot when I dance.

This is a correspondent wingtip, also known as a spectator, where mesh has replaced the part of the upper that would normally be leather, linen, suede or canvas. I think these would look killer under a seersucker, cotton or linen suit, but I’d even wear them with rolled chinos or jeans (sans socks, of course).


This photo is from the blog of Allen-Edmonds' CEO.

The shoes in the image above were repaired by Allen-Edmonds for blogger, Fedora Lounge moderator and menswear designer, Matt Deckard.

Matt recounts the repair of his shoes in this post. It’s a neat story that highlights great customer service and the importance of leadership that has personal interest in their products. (According to the story, AE’s CEO frequented the forum where Matt first posted about these shoes, where were in dire need of repair at the time).

My friend, Bradley, has a pair of nylon mesh dress shoes that I’ve always found interesting and I’ve been looking for a pair ever since. If these are really coming out next Spring, count me in for multiple pairs in whatever colors they’re providing.

You see vintage pieces on eBaby, occasionally, but they’re never in my size. Actually, there’s a black pair of 8E’s on sale at the moment.

Well, if anybody ever wants to give me a pair to review, I wear an 8.5E.


This is an image of an 8E pair in black on sale on eBay.

Here’s a link to the most recent forum thread on the A-E Strawfut on the Fedora Lounge.


  1. J. Peterman has a similar design available, Italian Spectator Shoes:

  2. I do like the design of those shoes, but the point of the ones I'm pointing out here is their breathability. Leather and linen (or cotton, in this case) is a great combination for summer shoes.

  3. Problem is, most companies line their shoes in leather regardless of whether or no they put linen on the outside. The new Strawfut that Allen Edmonds is releasing will be like the originals, breathing straight to the outside... yet they linen version will be fully leather lined.

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