Tag Archives: wingtip

Slide & Swing

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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This tip came to me via a Twitter conversation with @RebeccaBrightly and @jonandcris about dance shoes, where @jonandcris noted that he “spent all last weekend at Paris Swing Workshop wearing @slideandswing & feet/legs/knees not sore at all.” A few clicks later and I was exploring Slide & Swing, a Barcelona-based shoe-maker/retail shop/online store, selling vintage-inspired shoes with a modern twist for dancers and muggles alike.

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The shoes are available in men’s and women’s sizes, focusing on three classic styles – an oxford, a saddle shoe, and a wingtip. What makes these shoes a modern update are the clean lines and the available colors and color combinations. The clean lines are essentially created by the absence of broguing and the smooth, clean look of the leather. The colors update the look even further, with gray as their baseline (in lieu of black) and vivid, distinct colors/combinations like a royal blue and white saddle shoe for women and an oxford in canary yellow for men.

I’d also like to note that these are great flats options for women (which always seem to be in short supply), with construction that will keep these on your feet and some nice color options that are different from our usual standbys. With all leather construction and their fresh take on the classics, Slide and Swing dance shoes look like a viable option for dancers seeking shoe options that are created with dancers in mind.

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Dancestore.com Sale

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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Just got word that Dancestore.com is having a sale – items of note:

Aris Allen wingtip oxfords (in white and two-tone black/white) are $69.95 (marked down from $84.95).

Men’s wide leg trousers in brown for $14.95 (marked down from $39.95).

Brown and tweed/plaid saddle shoe for $34.95 (marked down from $49.95) – I have these and they are adorable and comfortable.

Summer Deals: Men’s and Women’s Aris Allens on eBay

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I haven’t done a post about Aris Allens on eBay in a while, but if you aren’t doing regular searches for these shoes, then here are some great deals for some used, some barely worn, dance shoes on eBay:

Red wedges, size 6, starting bid $10 - the listing says “used only once as I have no sense of rhythm” - my heart goes out to her!

Red wedges, size 6, starting bid $10 – the listing says “used only once as I have no sense of rhythm” – my heart goes out to her!

Brown and white wingtip oxfords, size 10.5, starting bid $40

Brown and white wingtip oxfords, size 10.5, starting bid $40

White mesh oxford heels, size 9.5, starting bed $19.99

White mesh oxford heels, size 9.5, starting bed $19.99

Black and white wingtip oxfords, size 10, starting bid $29

Black and white wingtip oxfords, size 10, starting bid $29

Herringbone Mary Jane wedges, size 9.5, starting bid $5

Herringbone Mary Jane wedges, size 9.5, starting bid $5

The Year of the Oxford at Urban Outfitters

If you’re a dandy, lady dandy, or you just want a pair of really stylish shoes, it looks like this is the year of the oxford (featuring the wingtip) at Urban Outfitters. They are offering an array of styles, price points, and an unparallelled offering of color. Here are my faves (and I’m only scratching the surface here):

Men's J Shoes Foxton Oxford - love the navy canvas and brown leather combo

Men’s J Shoes Foxton Oxford – love the navy canvas and brown leather combo

Women's Sam Edelman Jerome Oxford - these are just screaming at me...available in two other colors, available in peach-coral-silver-ivory combo and...

Women’s Sam Edelman Jerome Oxford – these are just screaming at me…available in two other colors, available in peach-coral-silver-ivory combo and…

...gold, bitches!

…gold, bitches!

Men's Feathers Canvas Stentorian Oxford - this shoe skirts that line between dress shoe and canvas sneaker.  I love the canvas (won't show dirt too terribly) and that the sole is resin - the reviews say that this shoe doesn't have much grip, which means it should be great for dancing. :)

Men’s Feathers Canvas Stentorian Oxford – this shoe skirts that line between dress shoe and canvas sneaker. I love the canvas (won’t show dirt too terribly) and that the sole is resin – the reviews say that this shoe doesn’t have much grip, which means it should be great for dancing. :)

Women's F-Troupe Butterfly Oxford - just...adorable.  I am sad the sole is rubber, but sueding is always an option, no?

Women’s F-Troupe Butterfly Oxford – just…adorable. I am sad the sole is rubber, but sueding is always an option, no?

Men's Florsheim wingtip oxford in this juicy color combo of cream and black.  This shoe is also available in 5 solid colors: gray, maroon, black, berry, and brown.

Men’s Florsheim wingtip oxford in this juicy color combo of cream and black. This shoe is also available in 5 solid colors: gray, maroon, black, berry, and brown.

Women's Dolce Vita Orina Cutout Leather Oxford  - the cutouts are so dreamy and I love the low heel!

Women’s Dolce Vita Orina Cutout Leather Oxford – the cutouts are so dreamy and I love the low heel!

Men's Ben Sherman tweed and leather cap toe of awesomeness

Men’s Ben Sherman tweed and leather cap toe of awesomeness

Aris Allen White Wingtips on eBay, Size 10, $19.99

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

All you need to know is in the title – looking for an inexpensive pair of dance shoes? This is it! Grab these white Aris Allen wingtips, worn once, at this great price!

$T2eC16R,!zcE9s4g3IvWBRPge4nNN!~~60_57

Review: New Aris Allen Shoes for Women (and Notes on New Shoes for Men)

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Saddle shoes, circa 1938.

Saddle shoes, circa 1938.

If you haven’t been to Dancestore.com in a while, you should spend a few minutes checking out their new selection of shoes. I knew Dancestore was working on a pair of mesh and leather Aris Allens, but I did not know they had other men’s styles and new women’s shoes up their sleeve, as well. They were kind enough to invite me to test out a few pairs and I’m happy to share my report with you about the women’s shoes (and direct your attention to some of the men’s shoes I think are worthy of a look-see).

The first pair I decided to try was their new saddle shoe. I personally think saddle shoes are adorable and if you showed up to a dance in a 40′s skirt, blouse, sweater vest, and saddle shoes, I’d think you were completely awesome. And adorable. Very collegiate, no? I think most people associate saddle shoes with the 1950′s and poufy skirts, but they date back to 1906 when Spalding introduced them for tennis and squash players and reached their height as a trend that spanned 20 or so years, from the 1930′s through the 1950′s.

Saddle Shoe - available in brown tweed, black tweed, and classic black and white

Saddle Shoe – available in brown tweed, black tweed, and classic black and white

I have been looking for a pair of saddle shoes for myself for some time, but have failed to find any with leather soles (like the pair from my childhood), only that spongy “crepe” sole which I find not as well-suited for dancing. Dancestore has introduced a great compromise – a saddle shoe with a hard rubber sole that has been sueded. I opted to try the brown tweed version of their saddle shoe, which has a soft tweedy fabric covering most of the shoe with brown faux leather covering the “saddle” part of the shoe. They came with two pairs of laces, a thicker set and a thin set. When I first tried on the shoe it felt a bit stiff, but after only a couple of dances, the stiffness wore off at the points where I needed movement. The shoe itself was very comfortable, the rubber sole flexible, and I didn’t worry about the shoes as I danced in them. I wore them with socks, which was a nice change for me, and they looked great with the collegiate outfit I described above. :) The only criticism I have, which is more of a personal preference item, was that the footbed was not super cushioned – this is not something that bothers me, but some people prefer a cushioned footbed. Given the shape of the shoe, it would be easy to add an insole or inserts for an easy fix. I normally wear a 7 in Aris Allens and needed a half size larger because I wanted to wear socks with them.

Athletic Mary Jane - available in black, white, black & white, and black & leopard print,

Athletic Mary Jane – available in black, white, black & white, and black & leopard print,

The second pair I tried is actually a style that has been out for a while, but since I don’t normally wear flats for dancing, I hadn’t had much incentive to try out the Aris Allen Athletic Mary Janes. I know there is a population of dancers out there who don’t wear heels who are looking for a Keds alternative, so I thought I’d try them out. The biggest pros for me with this shoe were the wide sole and the cushy insole. The shoes themselves felt of regular width, but the width of the sole seemed wider than the sueded Keds I owned, which in turn made my ankles less prone to roll and just gave me more overall security in feeling “grounded.” The insole on these shoes is cushy in all kinds of good ways – giving without being squishy; soft, yet resilient in its mesh design; arch support with good placement of said support. The strap was ample, so they remained on my feet, and the wingtip styling is adorable. I also had to go a half size up with this shoe for it to fit comfortably. I am hopeful that, like the white mesh oxfords, I’ll be able to shine these up with Windex when they get dirty.

D'Orsay Sandal - available in black satin, tan satin, and silver sparkle

D’Orsay Sandal – available in black satin, tan satin, and silver sparkle

The final pair I tried is definitely a new style for Aris Allen and was the one I was most excited about – the d’Orsay sandal. I have admired the Aris Allen d’Orsay satin t-strap since they launched a few years ago, but never bought a pair because the 3 inch heels were just too high for me for dancing. I hoped that they would create a similar pair with a lower heel and was elated to see the d’Orsay sandal with a 1 5/8 inch heel.

I selected a black satin pair to try out. Initially I got a size 7, but couldn’t fit my foot in the shoe, so I exchanged them for a 7.5. I got the 7.5 on my foot, but because I have a weird foot* the part of the shoe around where your foot enters the shoe near the ball of the foot was too tight. I enlisted the help of my friend Tiffany Linquist, another size 7 lady, to test the shoes for me, as her foot fit into them without the same problem. Another dancer, Heidi Reule, also tried out the fit of the shoe and did not have the same problem.

After about 5 dances, Tiffany came back over to me – the short end of the strap had broken on the d’Orsay sandal. We were pretty mortified, because we both have Aris Allen shoes that we love and know that they can make quality products. We brainstormed about the shoe and here’s what we came up with:

- The quality of the shoe appeared to be good – the materials used appeared to be quality, the overall aesthetic of the shoe was very good, the cutouts added to the comfort at the ball of the foot, and the insole was soft and comfortable.
- The heel height and width were ideal for Charleston, Balboa, and Lindy Hop.
- While the ball of the foot was very flexible, the arch was not – it was stiff and the shoe itself was very narrow at the arch. Tiffany’s feedback was that the shoe was very comfortable while she was dancing on her toes, but not while she was standing still. The arch, overall, felt and looked very narrow and, when she was wearing the shoes, she said it felt like her arches were dancing off a cliff (i.e. not secure).
- The arch support in the shoe felt like it was too far forward in the shoe.
- We were surprised that the strap broke (the small part with the buckle, not the long part with the holes for the buckle) until we noticed that there was no elastic on the strap. The absence of elastic, combined with the stiff arch appeared to put unnecessary strain on the strap, which likely caused the break. There is only so much thread can hold without some give to that tension.

That said, I hope that Dancestore does not give up on this style – I would still love to own a pair of shoes in this style and heel height – I hope that they take this feedback and make some improvements to this lovely shoe – a little elastic and some love in the arch would help what is, otherwise, a good shoe.

Styles I did not try, but that are also new include a cap toe sneaker – if you’ve been dancing in your Chucks and finding them lacking, maybe an investment in the Aris Allen Cap Toe as a viable alternative. Available in black, brown plaid, and black/white/blue plaid. They have also added a number of colors to their heeled oxford selection, including black/black & white houndstooth, black/blue brocade, black/red brocade, and fuschia velvet.

Lurve these

Lurve these

MEN! If you are still reading, you are dedicated – there are good things for you, including a much anticipated mesh wingtip in brown tones, a sweet white wingtip that looks like it may give Re-Mix’s version a run for its money (at half the price), and dance loafers in black, white, and a “Michael Jackson” edition in black with a special rubber insert in the heel that was specific to a pair of shoes worn by the King of Pop. I notice in the descriptions for the white wingtips and the loafers that they have taken feedback from dancers to heart and made these pairs with a thicker sole than the regular Aris Allen dance shoes – the result is something more like a quality pair of dress shoes and requires a bit of a break-in period. Not a bad thing if you are looking for a more quality pair of shoes. Men, I would take the time to read the descriptions of these shoes, as they have taken the time to describe their qualities in a fairly in-depth way to help you make a decision about what shoe would be right for you.

I’d be interested in hearing how the new Aris Allen shoes fare as compared to the shoes from December’s men’s footwear discussion

I love where Dancestore is going with their men’s shoe line – I think the aesthetic is spot on and the focus on quality materials and listening to user feedback is a step in a great direction. I think there are some improvements that could be made with the women’s shoes – aside from the aforementioned satin sandal, I would also like to see more leather shoes in the women’s shoe line and would like to continue to be able to buy leather wedges, which are a staple of my dance shoe wardrobe. I see that my staple wedges are being phased out, which is a shame because there are no viable alternatives, in my experience, that have the same wonderful, flexible sole as my Aris Allens. I am on my second pair of tan Rugcutters (since purchasing my first pair circa 2003/4?), and would still be on my first pair if they hadn’t smelled so terrible after 5 or 6 years that I had to throw them out. I wore them to death, almost every night, until I could afford to expand my shoe wardrobe and buy more wedges. I love them, please don’t get rid of them! *grovels and clings to your leg*

I would like to thank Dancestore for involving me in a review of their products. I am a staunch supporter of their shoes because I believe that they are a great entry point for dancers to buy dance shoes at more affordable prices and are one of the few places offering viable social dance shoes in flats. I hope they continue to make shoes that I love and experiment with new styles and adjustments to make the shoes that they have even better for dancing.

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*I have weird feet, so not every shoe works. I am the genetic product of a father with narrow feet and mother with tiny feet, a high arch, and Haglund’s deformity – the result (in me) is a narrow heel, a disproportionately wide ball of the foot, and the Haglund’s knob on the back of my heels. I also have a Tailor’s bunion and have had two surgeries to repair a toe I mutilated in my youth by falling down the stairs, breaking my toe, and then stuffing the broken toe into toe shoes before it healed. Needless to say, I must have very comfortable footwear and my health insurance has labeled me as having a pre-existing condition.

Brown and White Aris Allen Wingtips on eBay, Size 12

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Because men’s dance shoes so rarely appear on eBay, I’m passing along this gently used pair of men’s brown and white Aris Allen wingtips, size 12. Starting bid is $25, but you could buy them now for $32 (plus a very reasonable $4.50 shipping).

$T2eC16RHJG8E9nyfnU,+BQ6yVOliPQ~~60_57

DIY Wingtip Keds

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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One of the first things on my Facebook feed this morning was a photo of a pair of red and a pair of green wingtip Keds, made by St. Louis dancers Beccy Aldrich and Kayce Maureen. I love a DIY project and the shoes were so adorable I couldn’t resist posting them here.

They got the idea from Pinterest, which linked to this site in a language unknown to me. However, the photographs take you step by step through the process so you can make a pair of your own! Beccy adds that they used fabric pens to create all the patterns on the shoe, and supplemented with white fabric paint to highlight the dots in the brogueing. We’re not sure what the turquoise pen is in the photo.

If you’re going to Lindy Focus, you’ll get to see the green pair and red pair in person – nice job, ladies!

Men’s Wingtip Tennis Shoes at Aldo

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

On those rare occasions that I set foot in our local mall, I sometimes see things that catch my eye, like these wingtip and tweed tennis shoes in the Aldo window display. For those who may be hesitant to give up their sueded sneaks for a pair of hard soled shoes, perhaps these could be a dressier alternative? $70.00, available in black and brown.

Lady Dandy: Etienne Aigner’s Kimber Oxford

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Veteran elegant-lady-shoe-and-handbag producer Etienne Aigner has a great women’s wingtip oxford out right now that they are calling Kimber (Jem and the Holograms?) – it’s a solid looking wingtip that comes in four color combinations: black, a reddish brown, two tone caramel and brown, and two tone olive green and dark brown. This is exactly the kind of shoe I would pick up if I actually wore pants on a regular basis. It also appears to have that half rubber, half fabric sole that the Payless shoes have, which means this shoe has a high dance potential. The price isn’t bad at $78.99, but if you register for Zulily, they are on special for $54.99 through August 18.

Newsflash: Aris Allen Mesh and Leather Oxford

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Since I didn't snap a photo of the Aris Allen prototype, here's a version by Allen Edmunds, their "Strawfut," to give you an idea of the mesh and leather combo, but with a $300+ price point.

This past weekend at DCLX, amidst discussions of trumpet skirts, Dancestore.com owner Gay Santelmann showed me
her prototype of an Aris Allen
mesh and leather oxford, set
to go into production and be available for purchase in, approximately, 4 to 6 months. Excited! I’ve been looking for
a vintage pair for my husband and it’s just not happening…
but now it is!

I’m a big fan of the Dancestore.com mesh and leather heeled oxford for its comfort, flexibility, and breatheability. I can imagine that the same concept will translate well into an oxford for men. Kudos to Dancestore.com for picking up on this functionality.

Did I think to take a photo of the prototype? No, of course not, but the shoe I saw was two tone, with dark brown leather and tan mesh, and was copied from a 1940′s pair of the same coloring. Gay said they would also be available in black leather/white mesh, and possibly a black and navy combo.

Aris Allen Black Wingtips

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

On the heels of their white wingtip, Dancestore.com has introduced a black wingtip oxford to their line of Aris Allen dance shoes. This is most certainly a welcome addition and one that, I believe, may be picked up by people outside of the dance community. At $74.95, this pair of basic black dress shoes is less than half the retail cost of most new pairs of black wingtips with leather soles.

Aris Allen White Wingtip Oxford

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Aris Allen is on a roll this week, this time with the debut of a new men’s shoe (a rare occurrence, indeed) – a lovely white wingtip oxford with classic broguing detail along the seams and on the toe. Aris Allen has been the go-to for affordable men’s swing dance shoes and I’m happy to see this welcome addition to their men’s footwear line. Now, you just have to decide if you are a white wingtip man or a white cap toe man…

Johnson Shoes

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

"A Brogue" oxford in brown and snake

I’ll keep the shoe theme going for another post…I stumbled upon Johnson Shoes in one of those lists of vintage clothing and shoe resources where most of the links are no longer working. Fortunately, the Johnson Shoes link still worked and I discovered a wonderful resource for 1930′s through 1950′s shoes for men and women. Based in the UK, Johnson Shoes has been selling hand crafted shoes since 1983.

From the website: “We always carry black, brown and white dance shoes, but all our ranges come in all colours. Different soles are available according to your needs. Whilst some styles and colours are in stock due to the fact we offer high quality handmade footwear so it can take a number of weeks to produce your shoes. We offer quality not speed.

Whether you want to dance all night or be comfortable all day we make quality footwear that caters for your needs. Whether you choose from one of the many designs you see on our site or design what you want it’s all in with the price.

Johnson shoes are dance orientated. We have jazz, rock and roll, swing, balboa and lindy-hop shoes, ballroom, and latin shoes, 40s jive, ceroc, leroc, salsa and jive shoes.

You can choose from a wide range of materials including, leather, suede, nubuck, patent, pony, non-leather and a choice of soles, leather, eva, suede , crepe and non-leather. We do all the above footwear from size 3 including half sizes to a ladies size 9 in selected styles and up to mens size 13″

You had me at Balboa…

In addition to custom footwear, Johnson Shoes carries some styles in stock, which are sold through the Rock and Roll Products website. The styles available in stock are also the styles you can customize.

Here’s what I’m loving from the site (there are no individual links, for some reason – sorry!):

Penny Loafer in black and white (I remember someone bemoaning Aris Allen discontinuing their white loafers...)

"Telephone" heels in gold and silver - I can't even begin to tell you how much I am in love with this pair of shoes

White bucks to go with your seersucker suit

"Spanish" shoe in purple with teardrop cutouts

Saddle shoe in brown and beige

"Clio" heels in brown croc

Delia*s Makes Me Wish For Summer

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

As most of the United States is blanketed with snow and ice, the Delia*s catalog arrives in my mailbox, bearing good tidings of warm weather that we won’t see for a few more months. I see cork soled wedges and sundresses and I want the temperature to go up 40 degrees so the sheet of ice covering my driveway will evaporate and I can emerge from the cocoon of winter coats into the warm glow of a summer sun. Is that too much to ask for?

Delia*s is one of those stores/catalogs that I think most people associate with teenagers, but every year I find something in the Delia*s catalog that becomes that thing that everyone asks, “Where did you get that? It’s so cute!” It’s definitely worth a look. Here’s a preview of some good things to come from Delia*s:

Polka dot dress, only $44.50

Nautical stripe knit dress

Polka dot short

Yellow polka dot bikini - hehe

Two tone oxford, also in black and white

Peep toe espadrille flats, also in navy

Yang wedge, in 4 colors...not danceable, but we still need arrival shoes, right?

A more danceable option, Keds Champion Oxford in silver, also available in metallic blue