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I can still remember the utter confusion. My wife—the member of our little domestic duo who does not have deeply embedded fashion brain worms—was absolutely fixated on getting a “day glove” from Everlane. I had no freakin’ clue what she was talking about. But women around the world did, and to them, my ignorance probably would have been some cause for concern. Because I was picturing something that has spots for your fingers and goes on your hands, and she was talking about a shoe—the ballet flat-inspired Day Glove—that has a devoted-bordering-on-cultish following.
This was ages ago, and I can recall wondering in that moment, “If this is how good Everlane’s shoes are, why are they holding out on us guys?” And then, because of the aforementioned brain worms, I wondered that very same thing every few weeks until Everlane dropped some men’s sneakers on the world. “Nice move!” I thought. I even wrote about those new sneakers. But there was, right around my brain stem, still a gnawing sensation: If sneakers are doable, where are the actual shoes? I figured the answer would come with time. And that time is now, because the brand has finally (finally!) released a couple pairs of proper shoes for dudes. They’re extremely well-calibrated for this moment. Here’s why you need them on your radar.
Usually, in the Endorsement, we focus on a singular item. One style of chinos. One sneaker. One sweatshirt. The whole idea is letting you, dear reader, in on that one thing we here at Esquire are digging at the moment. This installment is a little different. We’re going to talk about two shoes instead of one (please don’t clutch your pearls too emphatically; everything’s going to be okay). There’s a desert boot-ish chukka aptly named the “desert boot” and a wallabee-ish low-top called a “desert shoe,” which fits with the theme but doesn’t actually make much sense. Oh, well. I’m gonna let Everlane have this one just because both shoes are executed well, and because they’re executed well, we’re going to talk about why both of them can factor quite capably into your footwear rotation.
They’re Based on Bona Fide Classics.
Are you catching a little whiff of Clarks Originals inspiration? You should be. But even though it’s not (at all) difficult to trace their lineage, Everlane’s new shoes aren’t just an exercise in facsimile. The desert boot is streamlined, with a low-profile, three-eyelet upper that sits nicely under wider jeans or slimmer chinos alike. The desert shoe is even more low-slung, with a silhouette that’s less dissimilar from something like a Fear of God or Loro Piana loafer than you might expect. Crucially, both (like FoG and LP) sit on a sneaker-y sole that knocks out the formality while separating them aesthetically from the classic, crepe-soled shoes from which they take a few cues. We’re all still easing, at least a bit, out of a sneaker-dominated landscape. These are the shoes to wear to walk over that new horizon.
They’re (Very) Comfortable and (Very) Versatile.
Is it particularly shocking to learn that a desert boot and a wallee are impressively adept chameleons of the footwear world, able to blend in seamlessly with a wide range of vibes and proportions? It is not (or at least it shouldn’t be). But it’s well worth repeating, because if you’re in the market for some new shoes, getting something that’ll work with everything that’s already in your closet just plain makes life easier. And, sure, a brand that’s been doing shoes for a few years now should know how to make a couple of styles that feel nice underfoot. But I was sincerely impressed when I first tried on the desert shoes (aka wallees) and found myself bereft of complaints. Remember those brain worms? They sometimes make even the slightest inconvenience imposed by a not-quite-right shoe feel like an insurmountable obstacle to wear. But Everlane’s new shoes pass muster. They’re damn wearable, and they look good, too. Maybe I finally (mostly) understand my wife’s obsessive take on the Day Glove all those years ago—even if the name still confounds me utterly.
Photography by Timothy Mulcare. Prop styling John Olson for Halley Resources.
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