Look around and, on the feet of stylish young men everywhere, there they are: Red Wings. And for good reason. But I was looking for something else. The slim but rough-hewn boots that I'd seen years ago in The Shawshank Redemption. When I recently found them—Frye's Manny Chukka, in maple leather—I did something I never do—bought them online, without trying them on or even seeing them in person. My faith was rewarded, for when they arrived (having heeded the recommendation of commenters to size half a size down) they were perfect. The best hybrid of a leather soled dress shoe and durable city boot, with a slightly pebbled, rich brown leather that will look even better with age. Days later, I received the highest compliment that the sartorially inclined can be paid: "What are those?" asked the well-dressed young man standing in front of the laundromat. "Oh these?" I said, nonchalant but proud. "They're Fryes." He just looked down at his Red Wings. It may've taken me a while to find them but, as Morgan Freeman's character Red says, "That's all it takes really ... pressure, and time." You said it, Red.
The boots also come in dirty suede and a cracked black leather.
Manny Chukka, $248 by Frye