All posts in Footwear

Bass Weejuns 2020

Bass Weejun Loafers 2020

I am a fan of Bass Weejuns. I know that they are cheap, disposable, and overall poorly made shoes. I also know that there are a lot of nicer options (Alden, Rancourt, Allen Edmonds) for penny loafers out there. Knowing all of this I was still a fan and recently needed replace some badly worn Weejuns.

Not only do I like cheap Weejuns, but I generally opt for the even cheaper outlet versions currently called Walters. They are virtually identical except for the price and the cut out shape on the strap. I made a trip to my local outlet mall to grab a pair of the brown and a pair of the burgundy. I picked up a pair of the burgundy (see above) and I am happy with them but I was disappointed to learn that they were no longer offering an outlet Weejun in brown. They did have a tan pair. It was an awful color.

I really needed a pair of brown Weejuns a lot more than a pair of burgundy ones. My brown pair are my go to loafers. So upon returning home I hopped online and ordered a pair of the non-outlet Logan Weejuns in brown. They were $110 which is $40-50 more than I paid for the outlet Weejuns. Despite the cost difference I was happy to have a pair on the way.

Then they arrived. First, the sizing was way off. They are between a half and whole size larger than my other pairs. The second issue is the leather. While the burgundy are known for being plasticky (I call them plastic shell cordovan) the brown have always been closer to real leather. However the current version of brown is now as plasticky as the burgundy. I was not thrilled to say the least. Next comes the shape. It may be due to sizing but the toe box looks awfully narrow and long. This narrowness along with the length makes the toe box seem square. Needless to say I was not thrilled and they will go back.

Like I said, I like Weejuns. They have the best shape, fit me well, they are affordable, and they are always accessible (I hate trying to buy shoes online). However the fact that the brown leather is now on par with burgundy leather (if you can call it leather) and the shape is starting to shift I might have to look for an alternative. Before I stray too far I will probably return to the outlet to checkout the beefroll version in brown.

Brown Bass Weejun 2020
Brown Bass Logan Weejun 2020
2020 Bass Weejuns Comparison

2020 Brown Bass Logan Weejuns vs 2020 Outlet Burgundy Bass Walter Weejuns
Brown Bass Weejun Loafers 2020 Toe Box
That toe box looks a little square to me.

New Tretorns Plus…

Tretorn Nylite Plus

I just scored a new pair of Tretorn Nylites. I went with the Nylite Plus’s as they have more padding…and were all I could really find. I also thought that I remembered reading that these were truer to the original than the previous model which you know that a trad loves to hear.
Tretorn NyliteYou might be wondering what happened to my old Nylites. Well let me tell you that not all things survive being washed on hot (aka they shrank), but I do still have them. Below you can see them (old-bottom) compared to the new pair (new-top). The new pair has a lot more padding (meaning some) around the ankle and even more support in the footbed than the old model. For someone like me who needs support in a sneaker this is great. The sole of this shoe does look a little larger (width) and it is by about 1/16 of an inch which I don’t love, but will probably quickly forget. I do think that the larger and more elongated logo on the old navy pair looks better. The old pair is also floppier, but we will see how the new model breaks in.

Tretorn preppySo truer to the original and more comfortable??? I am sold! Truth be told I have only worn them once, but they were comfortable straight out of the box. I have actually never had a pair of truly comfortable minimalist canvas sneakers so lets just say that I am thrilled. I imagine that they will get a lot of use this summer. Before I go I did find where I read about the Nylite Plus’s being truer to the originals. It was over at Sid Mashburn. I have included that below,

It’s the old-school Nylite we know and love — the ultimate icon of Swedish athletica — but better. And by “better,” we really mean “truer to the original.” Tretorn brought back the padding on the sides and footbed for a more comfortable tennis shoe… think more sneaker, less slipper. And the inside is designed specifically with a more sweat-resistant, light-pile, eco-friendly French terry, which is great to wear (you know it) sockless.

Sid Mocs

I have written about my adoration of camp mocs on more than one occasion. I currently own 2 pair, but I still have a gap to fill. While making my rounds on the web last week there was a pair from Sid Mashburn that caught my eye.

First let’s cover why I love camp mocs. You can wear them year-round while their cousins the boat shoe are generally relegated to warmer months (Not that I always adhere to this. See Boat shoes with socks). They are also a little more rugged than their cousin. I would call boat shoes the blue blazer with gold buttons with a little more prep connotation while camp mocs are the slightly more trad tweed jacket. Also, they look cool. Real cool.
Sid Mashburn Camp MocWhy do I need another pair? As I said, I have 2 pair. One pair are Sperry gold cup 1-eye boat shoes. The other are L.L. Bean Signature camp mocs. The Sperry’s are great without socks, but a little too tight with socks while the Bean mocs run big one me and I can only wear them with heavy duty wool socks. You see where I am going. I something in between. Here is where the Sid mocs enter the scene.
Sid MocsSince I don’t have any experience with this shoe I will let Sid tell it,

Somewhere between Native Americana and New England… and handsewn in Portugal? Go figure. A higher vamp and a slimmer shape make these a little more polished than your average camp moc. They’ve still got the traditional leather lacing and rubber sole. The harder you wear them, the better they get. (Especially sans socks.)

Overall I think the Sid mocs ($150 – see here) look like contenders. Like the shape. I like color. What I also like about them is that the price is high enough that I will expect decent quality, but does not venture into Rancourt or Quoddy territory. Not that I don’t eventually want to head that way.

When to Say When

This week I put my old Weejuns out to pasture. This is not easy for me as I don’t always know when to say when. I mean almost never. I am pretty sure that a lot of you out there can relate. There is a fine line between well-worn and over-due, but I seem to miss it quite often.
Old Weejuns I have been wearing my current pair of Weejuns for right around 3 years (see above). To some of you this may sound like no time at all and others an eternity. For the most part I am desk jockey so they don’t see much action outside of the walk from the parking lot to the office and back. I will be honest. While I don’t walk in them a ton I am very hard on my shoes. Monday through Thursday I rotate between two pair of Weejuns, but I end up wearing my brown pair 75% of the time. I also do not use shoe trees. I told you that I was going to be honest.
New WeejunsAfter reading the paragraph above I am sure it is clear to you that I needed new loafers (and better shoe-care habits!). It was clear to me that I probably needed new shoes, but if I had not found a new pair of Weejuns in my closet I doubt I would have made the leap.

This is actually where I could use some advice. What measurement if any do you use to know when a clothing item needs to be moved out of the starting line-up? This does not have to be limited to shoes. It could be for shirts, sweaters, trousers, sport coats, suits, etc. Please help a trad out!

It’s Your Thing

I found Christian Chensvold from Ivy Style’s post on Beatnik Prep refreshing. It’s not so much that I loved the style, but that I liked seeing someone inject their own point of view, interests, and style into the look whether that look be Ivy League Style, Prep, or Trad. One way that I do this is with my sneakers.
Polo Shirt & Sneakers
patagonia and sneakersI love running sneakers. I especially love running sneakers from the late 80’s-90’s. Even though I have weaned myself off of sneakers over the years they are still a part of my life. I primarily wear these sneakers for errands (especially when too cold or rainy for no-socks), neighborhood walks, hiking, canoeing, urban exploring, and the most casual of social events. Like Christian I even have a name for this style which I call 90’s hip-hop cross country team prep. Not a real thing or very catchy I know. I take a pair of khaki chino shorts and a polo shirt or chinos and a blue OCBD add my sneaks and there you have it.
Nike Icarus
OCBD Sneaker CollectionThis style is clearly not for everyone, because it is extremely tailored to me. This is in fact my point. This inclusion of running sneakers speaks to my personal interests and experiences. It makes my style my own and not just rules from a book, but still keeps the Trad vibe or at least I think it does. It also speaks to a great comment that a reader Fred left on the Modern Trad blog post,

I’m glad to see that you are looking at a modern take on trad. Trad was in its hey day around fifty years ago. Trad has evolved and I don’t want to dress like it’s 1966. I want to take the trad ideas and evolve them into today. That’s the intellectual challenge. What is the modern equivalent of trad. What does it mean to be trad in 2017?

While I may disagree with Fred about Trad existing in 1966 I think that his underlying point is spot on or at least the point I took away is. This point is that you cannot stop growing and changing which I truly believe. My other point is that it is okay to incorporate non-trad articles of clothing that you like into you Trad wardrobe. It does not make you less Trad. Just don’t try to convince others that these items are the Traddest and everything will be fine.