Take Care of Your Kicks
Derrick Miller, of Barker Black on how to get the most out of shoes.
When it comes to shoes, you've heard it time and time again—buy quality. Cheap shoes not only hurt your feet but often hurt your prospects as they're one of the first things people notice about a man. But that doesn't mean that quality shoes should have to cost you more than your rent. Ace Marks, a new brand launching on Kickstarter, is offering handsome dress shoes handmade in Italy for about half of what you'd expect to pay.
Griffin cap toe,
$349 / $180
The brand was founded by Paul Farago, who growing up spent a lot of time in Italy's factories with his shoemaking family and was frustrated with the footwear options for men in the sub-$400 range. It took about three years to get Ace Marks off the ground—from sweating all the details and sourcing leathers to using his connections in order to work with the well-known factories that typically only work with major luxury brands. "My focus was to make a truly excellent luxury shoe that stands out with its looks, and feels great on," says Farago. "To me that means using the best full grain leather uppers and linings, as well as paying attention to details like the flexibility of the construction and cushioning of the insole; then having truly amazing craftsmen put it all together."
The shoes themselves are lightweight and flexible. Which means they don't have to be broken in. And they're hand-dyed and burnished in house, which means the colors are rich and luxurious looking. It's top shelf style, but for a whole lot less.