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Item #: 440-BW
- These are a handmade reproduction of classic Swing Era oxford dress shoes.
- Features the Aris Allen Raw Sole: a flexible leather sole and heel with a rubber layer in the middle of the heel for extra shock absorption.
- The footbed is lined with foam so it's much more comfortable and supportive than most ordinary dance shoes.
- Designed for the intermediate / advanced dancer - Also great as a second pair for beginners since the “fastness” of the sole forces you to “find your center” immediately.
- Aris Allen is known for making vintage style swing dance shoes and reproduction models that are more authentic equipment for dancing swing than ordinary ballroom shoes are. Their philosophy being that your dancing will look more authentic if you wear the same style of shoes the inventors of the dance were wearing.
- Please check the sizing recommendations before placing your order.
These are great dance shoes because of the slideable sole and heel, and the comfort you need in a shoe that's going to be on the hardwood all night.
(Our returns show we are right about 90% of the time)
We find that these run true to size. So order your usual men's dress shoe size or a half size larger than normal.
Because it is constructed in the “Balmoral” style (which means it is sewn across at the bottom of the laces) this style works well with narrow and average widths and does not work well with wide widths.
Most men know which two sizes they fit best (like 10.5 & 11 or 9 & 9.5). To figure out which size you'll fit in these:
- Narrow to Average width = you'll probably wear the larger of the two sizes you usually fit.
- Wide width = it is unlikely that you will be happy with this shoe because of its unforgiving construction that causes tightness across the ball of the foot.
About “Balmoral” construction and how it relates to fit:
These are traditional wingtips so they are constructed in the Balmoral style with stitching across the ball of the foot (at the bottom of the laces) and cannot be loosened or tightened at that point the way a shoe constructed in the “Blucher” style can (Blucher means it is not sewn across the bottom of the laces). So these are not a good style for anyone with very wide or narrow feet. Our Captoes do not have this construction and so are better suited for a wider variety of foot widths.
ABOUT THE ARIS ALLEN RAW SOLE:
- The Aris Allen Raw Sole is made from flexible hard leather that gets “faster” over time by repeatedly absorbing the natural humidity in the air (especially at a dance) and drying. The bottom of the sole and heel is made from sanded hard leather and after a few hours of wear they become “raw” on the bottom and perform a lot like Chrome Leather (suede) which allows you to spin and slide, and still control the floor. If you find the sole has picked up dirt from the floor and is slowing down, just shuffle your feet on the sidewalk once or twice to refresh it.
- The raw leather surface is designed for the intermediate / advanced dancer - but they're also great as a second pair for beginners... the “fastness” of the sole forces you to “find your center” immediately.
ABOUT THE CONSTRUCTION OF THESE SHOES:
They are absolutely 100% handmade. The cutting of the leather is done by hand - not stamped out, the glue is put on with a brush, not a machine, and the sewing, while done with a sewing machine, is done one at a time. You can even see the occasional pencil mark! This means that the shoe on your foot is the product of a craftsman who sees the shoe from start to finish. This also explains why you will find the occasional imperfection. They are made one at a time.