A new year, and believe it or not, some new shoes. And boots! A number of brands and shops are coming out guns blazing in 2020—here are some of my early favorites. And don’t forget to check out all the previous Shoes ‘n’ Boots of the Week roundups—plenty of the recommendations are still available.
[Ed Note: while we never choose anything specifically because of them, some of these recommendations contain affiliate links—the price is the same for you, but Stitchdown gets a small commission if you make a purchase. It’s essential to keeping the site alive, so we really, really appreciate it.]
Stitchdown x Parkhurst Nighthawk Kudu Allen: $338 ($288 for Stitchdown Premium Subscribers)
A just-launched collab with Buffalo-based Parkhurst (here’s the Stitchdown Conversation with Parkhurst founder Andrew Svisco), these blue-grey Stead kudu boots are, modestly, something else. Plenty more photos and info here.
It’s kudu week for sure—Grant Stone also used this wonderfully ghostly leather on a new Ottawa boot, but this one is my favorite. When the leather is crazy, keep the boot clean.
These things, are, in a word: insane. Natural Shinki shell with a heavy wax that will scuff off over time. Never seen anything like them. Stitchdown Premium members who buy also get a free pair of John Lofgren socks, some Saphir Reno, and a boot brush. Open for exclusive pre-order through 1/20.
Shink shell, leather sole, Meermin’s HOK last. Crazy value.
Black CXL + black oil tan roughout heel counter, mini-ripple outsole, nickel eyelets, 1035 last, holy lord. Some of my favorite Vibergs in a while.
Seattle’s Division Road wasted zero time busting out the jaw-droppers in 2020, with three unreal horsebutt Service Boots from Viberg that were all just too good to not include. The cap-toe port-colored version is on the new 2020 last (more info on the 2020), and a double leather sole.
Meanwhile, the black horsebutt service boot comes on a cushiony, capable, still-classy Ridegway sole, one of my personal favorites.
The exquisite brown horsebutt plain toe Service Boot is by far my favorite of the three, but it’s last on this list only because there are only two sizes left: 11 and 12. Grab ’em up quick.
Viberg just released a 16-deep Drop One lineup for 2020, and this derby in fantastic C.F. Stead navy calf is probably my favorite of the bunch. Short, dark, and damned handsome. Also on the new 2020 last (more info on the last here).
Clean yet rugged, straighforward but fantastic-looking leather.
England’s Foster & Son has been in the bespoke game since 1840, and their just-released ready-to-wear line is only available stateside at The Armoury in Manhattan. I checked them out and tried some on the other day and was quite, quite impressed. Beautifully made and extremely comfortable. The whole line includes loafers, a chukka, and some really smooth suede cap-toe oxfords. These split-toes were my favorite by far.
Sons of Henrey does some great grain leathers at darn solid prices, and these loafers are nothing less than both of those.
I think I have grain on the brain. The Winchester is my favorite boot from Cobbler Union. I usually love it for just how clean the pattern is (and the extra height), but I’m pretty into this new grain version to switch them up a bit.