Wingtip Shoes

5thAve

New Member
I've been meaning to purchase a pair of black dress shoes and couldn't decide if it should be a wingtip. Today on the subway I saw two elderly gentlemen who were impeccably dressed. One was wearing a black captoe, the other a black wingtip. The extra "activity" of the wingtip drew my eyes down to them and gave his overall outfit a balanced looked. I decided there that I'd get wingtipped shoes.

So with that I went into Barney's today to try on some shoes when I suddenly realized wingtips looked hideous on me. I couldn't put my finger on it but something just didn't look right. Is it because I'm 24? I don't know but I've never had such a quick turnaround of opinion

Your thoughts gentlemen.
 

Mr. Knightly

Super Member
Black wingtips are the workhorse shoe for American businessmen. If you work in a profession where you have to wear black shoes every day, it's definately worth having them. Since I can't stand black, I only have one pair (the mandatory cap toe).

I've noticed that younger professionals don't wear the black wings as much as their predecessors, so that might be part of the issue. Another problem might be what you were wearing when you tried them on. Unless you were wearing a dressy suit, I think the impression of black wings could be terrible.
 

cpac

Senior Member
I think saying "wingtips look hideous on me" is like saying "a navy blazer looks hideous on me."

It's all about the color, quality, last, size, and what you wear with it. Bals can be wingtips, bluchers can be wingtips. They can come in shell cordovan or calf. They can come in pretty much every color under the sun.

Personally, I've very tempted by these from Alden of Carmel:
 

Trying

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I wasn't aware that wingips were only for old guys, i.e., those over 24. ;)

Seriously, I see younger men wearing them all the time. Try burgundy or brown. Also, what brand were you trying on? Check out some of the Italian wingtips before you make a final decision.

The bottom line though, is what you like. Don't buy them if you don't like them, because you won't wear them if you don't.
 

JLibourel

Honors Member and King Fop
I wore wingtips with pride when I was a lot younger than 24! I quite like wingtips. Ironically, despite owning about 35 pairs of "decent" quality shoes, I don't own a single pair of wingtips today--primarily because none of A-E's current wingtips fit me well.
 

AlanC

Sartorial Sultan<br> Moderator, Trad Forum
I vote against black wingtips, but very much for brown and burgundy. I love the longwing cordovans from Alden of Carmel that cpac pictured.

If you wear black shoes, try various plays on the captoe, from plain cap to semi-brogue. The black wholecut can also look nice. If you just have one pair of black dress shoes, probably aim for either a plain cap or a punch cap.
 

pendennis

Senior Member
I wore blucher wing-tips as dress shoes for many. Now, I don't own any bluchers. My tastes run to bals, and tassled slip-ons. My wardrobe wouldn't be complete without the A-E McCallisters and Chesters.
 

jeansguy

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Mr. Knightly said:
Black wingtips are the workhorse shoe for American businessmen. If you work in a profession where you have to wear black shoes every day, it's definately worth having them. Since I can't stand black, I only have one pair (the mandatory cap toe).

I've noticed that younger professionals don't wear the black wings as much as their predecessors, so that might be part of the issue. Another problem might be what you were wearing when you tried them on. Unless you were wearing a dressy suit, I think the impression of black wings could be terrible.

I'm 29 years old. I have both a black captoe and black wingtips.

Truthfully, I prefer the captoe as I just feel it looks cleaner. However, I quite enjoy wearing the wingtips. Perhaps it makes me think of old businessmen and wealth :)
 

briiian13

Senior Member
to limit a shoe collection to only balmorals is not taking a look at the beauty of all designs.
i rather prefer derbies, the look in a brown or burgundy wingtip or a semi brogue is such a powerful look, more substantial and solid.
i think of derbies as a man's shoe
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Wingtips are among my favorite shoe designs...I have been wearing them since my college days. I believe I was 19 or 20 when I got my first pair, Hanover longwings in a chestnut color. Since then I have upgraded to Aldens and AEs, always sticking with various shades of tan and cordovan (color). I have never been able to convince myself to get a pair in black...because (I agree with 5th AVE) black wingtips are aging but, it's the color, not the design thats creating the effect.

"5th AVE," give the wingtips a second look...this time in a merlot or burgandy color. I think your reaction will be quite different.
 

cpac

Senior Member
AlanC said:
I love the longwing cordovans from Alden of Carmel that cpac pictured.

Ack! The thred inspired me to email Alden of Carmel and ask whether they were available or could be ordered in my size (13C or D).

I am dismayed to report that not only do they not have them, they cannot order them, and in fact never stock and will not order ANY of their shoes in size 13.

Very disappointing.
 

Teacher

Honors Member
cpac said:
Ack! The thred inspired me to email Alden of Carmel and ask whether they were available or could be ordered in my size (13C or D).

I am dismayed to report that not only do they not have them, they cannot order them, and in fact never stock and will not order ANY of their shoes in size 13.

Very disappointing.

You HAVE to be kidding! Yeah, I know these are very limited-run shoes, but no 13D? Ridiculous. Too bad, too, because they're gorgeous (and whiskey shell is my favorite). Unfortunately, despite my being a pretty normal 9D, they're out of my price range.:(
 

AlanC

Sartorial Sultan<br> Moderator, Trad Forum
You might try LeatherSoul Hawaii and Shoe Mart to see if they have anything similar.

It's too bad that Alden of Carmel chose to refuse to ever allow you to be a customer. An odd choice for a custom order retailer who one would think could use all the business they could get.
 

pkincy

Super Member
I started wearing wingtips in the regular rotation when I was 18.....over 40 years ago. But I have never owned a black wingtip. Cordovan yes, brown or black, not yet. Maybe in another 40 years.

As much as I like the neutral/chile/chestnut colored shoes, I don't see it on me in a wingtip. I have the chili AE colton dressed up captoe.

One of the problems with current younger dressing style is that they have lost brown and cordovan as a shoe color.

Perry
 

spinlps

Super Member
In Alden of Carmel's defense, they aren't really a "custom" order outfit... think the Trad fora's Alden bulk buy on the cream & clear. Adam, the proprietor "designs" a shoe, orders in high volume, then sells these as "in stock" custom designs, but certainly not a one off custom shoe order.

I ordered a pair of brown bluchers in calf two months ago and Adam's customer service was impeccable. Talked through sizing & fit issues before and after delivery. He offered different options for better fit since I was between sizes on the Plaza last. And never did he pressure me to keep the shoes. In fact, more than once he suggested sending them back.

On a note, he mentioned some "customers" who order the AofC designs only to see them in person, try them on, take pics for the web and send them back with no intention of ever buying them!

AlanC said:
It's too bad that Alden of Carmel chose to refuse to ever allow you to be a customer. An odd choice for a custom order retailer who one would think could use all the business they could get.
 

joeyzaza

Senior Member
Love the wing tip. Started out with bluchers. Then wore bals for years. Now I am back to Bluchers. I favor black, but brown looks nice as well.
 

spinlps

Super Member
re: wingtips...

Count me in the "Yes, but not black" group. In the past year, I've purchased four pairs in various shades of brown (J&M Handgrades, Alden Shell's, and a pair of Royal Tweed Church's). The AE Fairfax in black, however, may dissuade me.
 

DocHolliday

Honors Member
Add me to the "no black wingtips" camp as well. I rarely wear black shoes, and when I do, it's a captoe. But brown wingtips can be a thing of beauty. I have a pair of brown wingtip bluchers I wear quite often, and I'd love a good pair of austerity brogues. Now if I could just find the right ones...
 

Siggy

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I like black wingtips, but not all wingtips. You might want to try some with less broguing and "wing" to them. For instance, I do not like a long wing, that goes all around the perimeter of the shoe but a short wing up front looks snazzy!
 
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