A New Pair of Affordable, Stylish and Grown-Up Shoes from Jack Erwin

The group of “New Disrupters” in the menswear game offering affordable solutions without the middleman is large. Once these brands establish their ability to deliver goods at a reasonable cost, what separates the men from the boys is a certain intangible and unquantifiable thing called taste. The new disrupters who actually have a level of refined taste that puts them on par with more established influential brands is a much smaller group. Ideally, the taste level filters through all levels of the brand experience, from the design and presentation of the actual merchandise to the logo and slogans to the execution of the website, which had better give first (not last) consideration to smartphone and tablet users. essay about holocaust survivors a good sat essay score follow site how do i delete emails on my iphone 6 but not my computer best viagra 4 pack follow viagra or cialis more effective introductions for essay thesis presentation acknowledgement classification essay thesis statement humber creative writing workshop best custom essay writing website viagra farmacie brasov how to write a review essay on movie how to submit assignments at unisa phd thesis pdf biology brand viagra overnight delivery what is loyalty essay click here what are research methodology tadalafil bph mechanism business plan writing services miami writing a good persuasive essay writing an observation essay different parts of thesis chapter 1 thesis whisperer 10000 words a day enter prednisone wiki buy college paper Jack Erwin is among this group.

Launched in October 2013 by Lane Gerson and Ariel Nelson, Jack Erwin is an online-only shop for men seeking an affordable solution for classic, well-made shoes. In an effort to not overwhelm the customer and to avoid the in-today/out-tomorrow pitfalls of trendy designer options, Jack Erwin is limited to a collection of less than 15 tried and true men’s shoe styles. They keep it simple, which I really appreciate.

Jack Erwin came onto my radar in a November 7th article in The Wall Street Journal. As a freak for wingtips, I happened to be in the market for an alternate pair and I pulled the trigger on a pair of the very handsome Hubert Long Wing Bluchers in black. My usual shoe size is 8.5 D, but the Jack Erwin website adamantly recommended ordering a full size smaller, since the shoes run large. A few clicks and $200 later, a pair of size 7.5 wingtips were ordered. A couple of business days later, they arrived at my door.

Jack Erwin - Hubert Long Wing Blucher

In addition to the shoes, a shoe box from Jack Erwin includes a felt bag, spare laces and a pair of padded inserts (if so desired). When I put the shoes on, they were too small. Going down a half size instead of a full size was the right move for me. So I returned the size 7.5 and ordered size 8. Perfect.

The design of the shoes is fantastic. The shape and contour of the wingtip are slightly less rounded at the toe, creating a more pointed and elegant silhouette. As for the craftsmanship, they’re made with a full-grain calfskin upper, a full leather lining, a padded insole, a hand-stitched leather outsole, a reinforced stacked heel and Goodyear construction.

Jack Erwin - Hubert Long Wing Blucher

With many solid shoes with a substantial sole and Goodyear construction, the break-in process can be tough at first. A full day’s wear in a new pair can often result in sore feet and blisters on your heel, especially if the new leather is stiff. At worst, these felt a bit tight for the first few hours, which isn’t abnormal. Overall, I got no soreness, blisters or any uncomfortable new-shoe issues. If you’re not as lucky as I was, take a look at this page that talks about the best options for avoiding or easing this pain:

My only real criticism of the shoes themselves is with the leather. As someone with shoes from Alden to Florsheim, I’m familiar with a range of leather quality used to make a shoe’s upper. The leather on these is a little stiff at first and has a look and finish almost like vinyl. But my experience suggests that the leather’s look and feel will get better with good wear and good care over time. And I’ve seen designer shoes with price tags four or five times this made with leather that was inferior to these.

Jack Erwin - Hubert Long Wing Blucher

My only other problem was experiential. I had to return/exchange the original pair that was too small. There didn’t seem to be an option for exchanges, but there were instructions for returns, which required me to 1.) send them an email with my order number and my expressed desire to return the shoes; 2.) receive a swift reply from Molly, who apologized for the wrong fit and told me to wait for another email with a return label; 3.) receive that other email with the return label for me to print; and 4.) fire up my printer, which has been collecting dust on the top shelf of my closet for two years, and print the return label. And to get my right size, I’d essentially need to go back to the website to re-order another pair in size 8. Kind of a pain in the ass, but now I know I’m a size 8 with Jack Erwin shoes. (The smoother scenario would be a pre-printed return label inside the box, but not doing this is perhaps one of the things that keeps costs as low as they are.)

Jack Erwin - Hubert Long Wing Blucher

Other than the clumsy but easily fixable return process, I think Jack Erwin is a great entry-level option for men on a budget looking for classic, handsome, well-constructed shoes. From the style choices in the collection and the actual design and construction of the shoes to the online user experience and brand design, Jack Erwin is a brand with taste, which filters it out of the crowded mess of other less-considered start-ups right out of the gate. It’s sophisticated, grown-up and distinct from the hipster costume shops that dress the “bro” culture. All told, Jack Erwin provided a real, great-looking, nicely-made pair of shoes for $200.


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