Sockless Summer

Here in Wisconsin summer is all about ease.  It’s the time of year when we vacate, loosen up, and enjoy as much sunshine as we can.  We’ve been cooped up indoors during the frigid months, and battling the incessant rains of spring, but now that Mother Nature is finally on our side, it’s time to go sockless. I took these suede penny loafers to the beach and around town, and when I got home I almost wanted to have a socks-burning marathon.

What is a sea island to you? For some, it brings to mind thoughts of the beautiful destination city in Georgia.  However, if you asked me to define a Sea Island, I would probably say it looks something like the Caribbean or south Pacific.  But like the coastal city in Georgia, it’s sunny, easy-going, stress-free, and maybe has some island music and cold drinks nearby.  When I slipped on these suede slip-ons, it was if I had taken my feet on a Chill-cation somewhere down to paradise.

Alright, so back to reality… If you’re an experienced sockless shoe guy, you definitely will recall the inevitable blistering and callousing that accompanies the dreaded break-in period.  For most of us, this is a seasonal time frame usually between early May and late June when you put your feet through living Hell so that you can rock your kicks sockless for the next two months.  Ankle blisters, heel blisters, pinky toe blisters, trust me, I’ve been there…    Well, I have some GREAT news to share.  These foot Ferraris will give your dogs that desirable summer look.  It’s sockless season…starting the moment you slip into a pair of these. break-in period required.

No blistering on a shoe I’ll wear sockless? What?  YES.  These slip-ons are made from the finest suede in the world by CF Stead of the UK.  Why are they so soft? Because they’re completely unlined, and unstructured.  Look at that flexibility.  Unstructured flexibility =virtually no break-in.

Flexing the Unstructured Upper

Flexing the unstructured upper

Flexible Butyl Outsole

Flexible butyl outsole

About the materials: Janus calf suede.  What’s that? Read about it here. It’s so fine that it doesn’t nap or pill over time.

Details count.  Admiring the handsewn beefroll penny and authentic leather stacked heel

Details count. Admiring the handsewn beefroll penny and leather stacked heel

It’s also buttery smooth on the inside.  Buttery…  I mean smothered in the creamiest farm-to-table, just-out-of-the-churner, butter.  Butter so good, it makes a “fully-loaded” Texas Roadhouse potato look slim. This stuff is simply the best there is.  lining of sea island

So, if you want to go sockless this summer but dread the callousing that seem to precede the sockless-state, pick up a pair of the Sea Islands.  They’ll prime your feet for going sockless in your other, stiffer shoes. Though, fair warning–you might become so accustomed to this level of comfort that you won’t want to accept anything less.  At first you’ll feel mischievous wearing these out and about because it will feel like you’re wearing those cozy slippers you’ve had in your closet for years, but these on the other hand will appear to be acceptable and appropriate to the public eye.  5 beautiful shades that play off earthy elements, means you can’t choose the wrong color.  Although I wore mine with jeans and a sweatshirt on that early June, cloudy, 60-degree day, you can bet I’ll be rocking these all summer long—well past the point when I retire my  long  sleeves and jeans for the season.

(The Allen Edmonds Sea Island, $295)