Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
If you are looking for a versatile casual shoe then there is no better choice than a Plain Toe Blucher. The style with two key aspects: first, a single-piece vamp without perforations or stitching that denotes the “plain toe.” Second, the eyelets are attached to small strips of leather sewn to the vamp, which defines the “blucher” style. Imagine a generic “nice shoe” and you’re probably thinking of one.
While there are a seemingly infinite number of PTB’s out there, they’re also endlessly versatile, and we’ve gone ahead and selected an array of some of the most compelling options out there.
1) Meermin: Plain Toe Blucher
Meermin is known as one of the best brands if you are looking for a high quality-to-price ratio, and their Plain Toe Bluchers are one of their staples. They are made from Du Puy (France) box calf leather with calfskin lining, a Goodyear welt, and a studded rubber outsole in Mallorca, Spain.
Available for $195 from Meermin.
2) Löf and Tung: Plain Toe Blucher
Löf and Tung is another great choice if you are looking to spend the extra money needed to enter the mid-tier footwear world. Their Plain Toe Blucher is made in Spain from a French calf skin with a fully leather lined interior, 360º Goodyear welt, and genuine Dainite studded sole.
Available for €280 (~$337) from Skoaktiebolaget.
3) Alden: Plain Toe Blucher in #8 Shell Cordovan
If you are already well acquainted with PTB’s but want to up your shoe game, then Alden‘s Plain Toe Blucher in #8 Shell Cordovan is the obvious choice. These shoes are one of the most iconic styles out there, with their #8 Horween (USA) Shell Cordovan exterior, Barrie last, blind eyelets, and oak leather outsole. Whether you’re wearing these shoes casually or business casual, they’ll make any outfit look that much better.
Available for $761 from Lost & Found.
4) Grant Stone: Plain Toe Blucher in Veg Tan with Cavity Wedge Sole
Grant Stone is quickly becoming a go to brand for many in the mid-tier shoe market, and luckily for us they’re producing unique shoes that go far beyond the the basics. This iteration of their Plain Toe Blucher is one such offering, with its Badalassi (Japan) vegetable tanned leather, 360º welt, and Vibram Cavity Wedge Sole. While certainly on the casual side of the things (even compared to other PTB’s) these shoes a perfect if that’s the whole in your wardrobe you’re looking to fill.
Available for $295 from Grant Stone.
5) Cheaney: Deal II R
Cheaney‘s Deal II R Plain Toe Bluchers are another great option if you are partial to British made footwear. They feature a classic design and silhouette with a full leather lining, Dainite studded outsole, and blind eyelets. Available in several different leathers, they’re easy to fit into just about any wardrobe.
Available for £316 from Cheaney.
Plus One – George Cleverly: Archie III
If you are looking for a special pair of PTB’s, George Cleverly‘s Archie III is the obvious choice based on what’s currently available. This version is made in the United Kingdom from a dark grey Kudu leather with Dainite rubber soles and blacked-out edge welt, stitching, and edge-dressing. There are a lot of great PTB’s out there, but very few that are this unique while remaining cohesive.
Available for $750 from Mr. Porter.