Robb Recommends: The Armoury’s Latest Dress Shoe Delivers Style and All-Day Comfort

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Something has gone very wrong with dress shoes in America.

From the after-work happy hour to the halls of power, men are increasingly spotted in unsightly hybrids that join a “dressy” leather upper to a sneaker-style outsole, resulting in a Frankenstein’s monster that’s neither appropriately formal nor casual.

The defense for these footwear faux pas is that they’re comfortable. Fair enough. But you don’t need a white rubber cupsole or memory foam injections to make standing in a dress shoe all day tolerable. What you need is the right last.

That’s where The Armoury’s Berkeley captoe Oxford comes in. Designed in collaboration with Simon Bolzoni of the bespoke English footwear brand Canons, the new style is as classic as an Oxford comes, with a close Goodyear welt that will allow it to be resoled in the future.

Review: The Armoury's Berkeley Captoe Oxford Offers All-Day Comfort
Review: The Armoury's Berkeley Captoe Oxford Offers All-Day Comfort

The Armoury Berkeley Captoe Oxford

Buy Now On The Armoury: $550

But its most distinct feature may also be its most subtle. The Northampton-made shoe is built on the FS05 last with a rounded toe and a wider forefoot, affording extra room without looking orthopedic. It’s a particular godsend for someone like me, whose spade-shaped feet tend to be pinched by the faintest taper or chisel. Relatedly, its still-sleek profile and the soft rounding of its toe make it a match for any wedding, funeral, or unforeseen court appearance, while keeping it less “dandyish” than the aggressively sculpted footwear that proliferates from other makers.

In other words, it’s a living, breathing example of that hoariest of clichés: “the one dress shoe you need in your closet.” But some clichés persist for a reason.

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