Guys, Why You Need To Up The Ante In The Shoe Game
Even the sweet taste of the nectar of Zeus pure mortals call Marsala wine that I was sipping on a terrace in the middle of the Piazza del Duomo in Syracuse, Sicily, and even the sensational view of that grandiose rococo church in front of me could not erase the horrible image in my mind.
Caressing my arm, Mrs. What Makes Me Tick was doing her best to shake me out of my shock by trying to persuade me that it wasn’t all that bad and that things could have been worse.
How “could things be worse” when my greatest desire was to have my eyeballs removed from their sockets with white-hot knives so as not to have seen what I saw.
The reason for my horror? A picture on Instagram of a man wearing a stunning MB&F Horological Machine 6. In the background, you could see him wearing flip-flops with horrendously untended toenails . . . and jeans!
Yes, your ears are not deceiving you – just like my eyes unfortunately did not deceive me.
Flip-flops + ugly feet + jeans. How could he?
This leads me into even more somber waters when I think of the most fabulous watches I have ever seen paired with some of the most horrible foot protection (calling them shoes would be giving them too much credit) I have had the displeasure of setting my eyes on.
This obviously does not apply to two of Quill & Pad’s greats: GaryG, the always dapper, Italian-clad jetsetter, and Ian Skellern, to whom everything is forgiven as he is Australian (and his Quill & Pad Converse rock)!
If you’re wearing George Cleverly bespoke Oxfords as you read this, then you can stop and go work on your glaçage. But don’t forget to add a dab of champagne on the toes for a perfect shine.
For the rest of you: please keep reading.
Okay, c’mon, gents, seriously, you need to up the ante in the shoe game. How can you spend the annual income of your whole neighborhood on a tourbillon and then spend less than you would for a watch strap on your shoes?
According to Mrs. What Makes Me Tick, a woman particularly looks at two things in a man: his shoes and his watch. (She also mentioned a full head of hair and a muscular body, but I prefer to ignore her on those.)
So if you just have the watch, you’re halfway there . . . but that’s not necessarily the best half.
Let’s say you have a Philippe Dufour Simplicity strapped to your wrist. You obviously have a penchant for fine, handmade items resulting from a labor of love. So why wear typical (poorly made), mass-market, square-toed, black, unpolished replacements of a shoe made in God-knows-what-dictatorship by underpaid, overworked five-year-olds?
You buy stunning mechanical marvels because you appreciate the centuries of tradition, know-how, and painstaking work that go into creating them. Take this tradition and know-how down to the foot level and apply the same philosophy. Contrary to watch brands, there are just a handful of makers left who click and peg using their hands, their hearts, and their sweat.
These shoemakers not only need some love, but they would be very proud to offer you a pair of leather companions to complement your De Bethune DB28!
In a recent study (conducted by myself) it was proven that wearing good shoes was good for your libido (and that of your shoemaker). Not that I’m implying that Quill & Pad readers need any kind of libido boost.
But, hey, a bit more mojo never hurt anyone.
Think of it this way: would you drink a Cheval Blanc 1945 in a plastic cup sitting at a highway rest area? You could, but it just wouldn’t taste the same. You’re missing the decorum to make it perfect.
The same goes for your timepiece. And you should be honoring the work of art on your wrist by cladding your hardworking feet in beautiful Corthay shoes.
You’ll soon see that you walk taller and happier around the corridors of SIHH and Baselworld. Kari Voutilainen would want to be your friend; Felix Baumgartner would buy you a drink; and Thierry Stern would be calling to see if you would fly to Geneva in his private jet as he wants your opinion on future Patek Philippe timepieces.
Who knows, you may end up on an Instagram photo that would make me tick. And for that I would never thank you enough.
By the way, it’s okay to wear flip-flops – if they’re in leather. . .and made by Hermès.
And if your feet are perfectly pedicured.
But never with jeans. Never. Ever.
If you do, you might as well be condemned to wearing an Apple Watch for the rest of your life.
For tips on best practices for glaçage (shoe polishing), please see Pierre Corthay, London glaçage evening.