Alden® for J.Crew limited-edition suede shortwing bluchers $525

Every season I tell myself  I have everything I need, and I don’t need to buy anything new.  Who the f*ck am I kidding?  I always find something that maybe I don’t necessarily need, but that I certainly want.  On this Ground Hog Day I’m thinking about the light tan suede wingtip.  In my mind it’s the shoe style I have to have for Spring/Summer.  A shoe like this would go nicely with navy or grey cotton pants, and perhaps even some shades of khaki.  It can be worn casually with blue or white jeans, or dressier for work.  It’s a more versatile upgrade from the more casual desert boots I currently own.  But the dilemma I have is in the choices.  At present I have found only three viable options – three similar, but different shoes that range in price from extremely affordable to investment (or in my wife’s eyes, money I shouldn’t be spending right now.)

The first, and most expensive option clocking in at $525 is the Alden® for J.Crew limited-edition suede shortwing bluchers (above.)  This is a handsome shoe with a casual, short wing/blucher style, leather soles, and natural laces.  It is a rich shade of sand suede (not too dark, nor too light).  It is as dressy as it is casual.  It’s probably the perfect option that, if cared for properly will last for years and years.

 Allen Edmonds Neumok Tan Suede $250

The next option at about half the price is the Allen Edmonds Neumok Tan Suede for $250.  This shoe is also a short wing, but is more dressy thanks to the more traditional oxford styling (the lace section, also known as the vamp is closed off over the tongue.)  The color is a little bit lighter, and it comes with (easily replaceable) red laces.  The major bonus on this version is the price.  AE shoes are just as comfortable and well made (in the USA) as the Aldens, and can also be sent back to be cleaned up and re-soled when needed.  But let’s be honest; they’re not nearly as nice.

Bass Barret Taupe Suede $69.22 on Zappos

The third, and certainly most affordable option at $69.22 is the Taupe Suede Barret by Bass.  This shoe is a bit chunkier than the other two.  It’s a longwing with white stiching around the welt, and has a heavy red rubber sole.  While the color is more appealing than the Allen Edmonds version, the chunkiness is a bit off-putting.  If you watch the video on the Zappos page they show the shoes being worn with jeans, and there was just something about the look of the shoes that just didn’t sit right with me.  While I’d feel very little in terms of credit card pain, I think that buying these shoes over the others would actually be the biggest waste of money.  I don’t think I would be as happy with the look, quality, or durability as I would be with one of the other two.

UPDATED Feb 2, 3.45PM

 Cole Haan Air Franklin Wing Tip Oxford $198

Found another option for $198 from Cole Haan.  These are most similar in style and price to the Allen Edmonds, but with a bit more heft.  Still think I prefer the Aldens.

 Johnston & Murphy McPherson Wingtip $175

OR…there is this one from Johnston & Murphy for an easy $175.  The styling on this one is probably closest to the Aldens, but the price is even lower than the Cole Haans.  Sure, they’re likely not Made in the USA, but I’m not that picky.  If I decide to pull any trigger, this may be the one.  Worth a try, at least.  Worse comes to worse, they suck and I send them back.

Like I said, I don’t need these shoes right now, but it does give me something to think about.  Please feel free to share your thoughts.

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