saddle shoe, $485
by Alden for Need Supply Co.
Richmond's Need Supply Co. has established itself as a purveyor of well-designed goods with an eye towards the classics. That's not to say they're strictly dedicated to American heritage, but it's the kind of spot for a guy who appreciates modern brands like A.P.C. and Vanishing Elephant but also has a penchant for well-made footwear. That's why their collaborations with Alden make so much sense. The shop's newest shoe updates another classic model, the saddle shoe, with rugged materials and reinterprets one of men's buyer Chris Green's favorite childhood kicks. We asked him what makes the shoe so special, and how he's wearing in his pair.
The idea of the saddle came about as a need to see something else. Lately, brogues have been everywhere, long wing this and short wing that... The saddle seemed like it was getting a bad rap. It's a shoe that deserves some love.
It's built on Alden's Barrie last. The vamp is Horween's Brown Chromexcel while the saddle and the heel counter are Horween's Natural Chromexcel. They have flat waxed laces and a double waterlock sole. It's a versatile shoe that can be dressed up or dressed down, but the Chromexcel with the waterlock sole allow it to be winter-ready. I like to think of it as the saddle shoe Indiana Jones would wear.
The inspiration really comes down to things in the past. When I was younger, I had the most badass Bass saddle shoes. I wore them everywhere—but the thing was, they just didn't hold up. These are built to last and built to get better over time. The point of using the two Chromexcel leathers was to have a shoe that is rugged and would patina and break in nicely but clean up at the same time.