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Manolo the Columnist: Ashton from Allen-Edmonds | Manolo's Shoe Blog

Manolo the Columnist: Ashton from Allen-Edmonds

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

I work in a laboratory and on my feet all day. In the past I could wear jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers. Now I am senior chemist and must show visitors around. I have to wear dress slacks, shirt, tie, and clean lab coat. My feet hurt at the end of the day. Are there dress shoes that are as comfortable as sneakers?



Manolo says, as the Manolo has said in the past, thank heavens for the lab coat!

Like the priestly collar, the lab coat is the identifying mark of the special class of citizens, and like the clerical garb, it usually covers up the multitude of sins, although in the case of the scientist, those sins are most often sartorial in nature.

Yes, there are the scientists who dress fashionably, but these rare creatures are rarely encountered in the wild. Of the course, the modern lab nerd no longer favors the pocket-protectors, short-sleeve dress shirts and high-water trousers. Now the typical scientist will be found in the baggy cargo shorts, well-worn t-shirts, and the sport sandals, which is undoubtedly why the Manolo’s friend Jim is experiencing the feet-based culture shock.

As for the shoes for our newly promoted scientist, the Manolo would suggest the Ashton from the Allen-Edmonds. Not only does it look good, but with the rubber sole and cushiony interior it should give him adequate feet comfort.

Ashton from Allen-Edmonds

10 Responses to “Manolo the Columnist: Ashton from Allen-Edmonds”

  1. Jophiel July 1, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Dear Manolo,

    Lovely post, and these are very handsome shoes. But would you consider a short companion post for ladies who have graduated to a senior lab position and find themselves in the same predicament as Jim? Like Jim, I am looking for flats.


    • Manolo the Shoeblogger July 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

      Hello to the Jophiel!

      The Manolo discussed this very topic two years ago…


      However, this post is in need of the updating, and so the Manolo will post something shortly.

      • Jophiel July 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

        Many thanks to the Manolo! I am extremely grateful for your help.

        It seems, to this amateur observer, that the proliferation of ballet-styled shoe in the last two years has made it much easier to find attractive dress flats, However, it is VERY difficult to find attractive flats that convey “senior chemist” authority, which is particularly important if one is youngish (under 40) and does not possess the authority naturally conveyed by maturity. It is a problem reminiscent of Miss Plumcake”s post on “The Death of Cute”: http://manolobig.com/2010/05/06/the-death-of-cute/. Your advice on this sociological problem is deeply appreciated.


        • Astra July 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

          Go to zappos.com and search for Paul Green shoes. They are the go-to shoe for professionalism and good comfort. They tend to run a half-size large.

  2. The Accidental Tangoiste July 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    My goodness, those are handsome!

  3. Gauss July 2, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    “the typical scientist will be found in the baggy cargo shorts, well-worn t-shirts, and the sport sandals”

    That’s my husband… I will never persuade him to wear civilized clothes and shoes instead of Teva sandals.

  4. The gold digger July 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    My husband is an engineer, which is its own category of clothing. However, he dresses far better than I expect an engineer to dress: http://class-factotum.blogspot.com/2009/11/marriage-201-lecture-91-sunday-clothes.html

    Which reminds me of my favorite engineer joke.

    One engineer rides up on a new Harley.

    Engineer #2 asks, “Wow! Cool bike! When did you get it?”

    Engineer #1 answers, “This beautiful woman drove up on it. She stopped, got off the bike, ripped off her clothes, threw them on the ground, opened her arms, and said, ‘Take what you want!'”

    Engineer #2 says, “Yeah. The clothes probably wouldn’t have fit.”

  5. larkspur July 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Funny, my question was going to be the same as Jophiel’s! and no, ballet flats don’t really send the right message… Nor can you really walk around all day in high heels. It is really not the same environment as a law firm, and those business clothes rules don’t apply. tricky.

    But I love those shoes! Not only handsome, but I think they’d fit the situation for your letter writer.

    • marvel July 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

      I found these shoes on sale and I have loved them:


      There is enough of a heel to give one a little height, which helps in projecting authority; they are not cute or flashy, but solidly professional (okay, a little boring, but that is good in my job); they were affordable; I don’t know what they put into the sole but they are as comfortable as surgical clogs, so I can stand/walk all day in them. I don’t do the skinny look, so these shoes work with almost all of my work slacks (the hems brush across the tops of the shoes, and I like the silhouette). They are as close to the perfect shoe for my job and position that I have ever found.

      • larkspur July 8, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

        Marvel, those are great shoes – thanks for the suggestion! Professional, walkable, yet cute.