Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

I’d like to get my father a pair of shoes for Father’s Day. I’m considering a pair of good quality leather sandals. What do you think?


Manolo says, what does the Manolo think about the “mandals”?

In the word, “ugh”.

Trust, the Manolo, no one wishes to see the 60-year-old man toes. Not even your mother, who has spent the lifetime in love with this nice man with the weird ear hair wishes to see your father’s toes. Why else would she give him the same pair of the J.C. Penney slippers every year for Christmas?

No, it is much better to give your father one of the traditional gifts of the day, such as the tie with the pictures of the trouts on it, or the book of Civil War History written by that man in the bad suit you saw on CSPAN.

Perhaps the Melissa is one of those peoples who feel they must absolutely break with the traditions. Very well, in this case the Manolo recommends the very popular Newports by the Keen, as being the sporty and manly footgear which is sandal-like, and yet does not expose the unsightly man toes to the wider world.

Newport by Keen    Manolo Doesn't Not Mind!  Click!


Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

I will be going to Europe (London, Paris, Rome) for vacation and want to have a comfortable pair of walking shoes that are also not so boxy or ugly and which I can wear to a restaurant without shocking or offending.


Manolo says, somewhere, some wag has noted that the American abroad may be distinguished from the natives by his white sneakers, which he insists on wearing everywhere, even to meet the Pope.

And now, because of this slander, the American traveler worries about the quality of his feetwear, refusing to wear the sneakers out of fear that they will offend the delicate sensibilities of the Germans and the Greeks.

While the Manolo applauds anything that convinces the Americans to wear the better shoes, he nonetheless must note that the Europeans are notorious complainers, and better shoes on the Americans will not stop this.

Trust the Manolo, he knows this. He is European.

Still, it does not hurt to wear the handsome and comfortable shoes while traveling. In this case the Manolo would recommend the Cary by Mephisto as being suitable for the multitude of European situations. They are made in France, so you can be assured that your shoes have been pre-approved by the natives.

Cary by Mephisto   Manolo Likes!  Click!


The Centipede

Manolo says, rarely is the Manolo jealous of another person’s shoe collection, but then, until recently, the Manolo had never encountered the website of the Japanese gentleman who calls himself The Centipede.


Manolo says, here is the inexpensive shoe the Manolo heartily endorses.Stephon Marbury's Starbury

Waiting in a winding line for autographs from his favorite NBA player, 15-year-old Brian Cox lifted the lid of a shoebox to show off his synthetic leather high-top sneakers with black sides and blue-and-orange soles.

At a price his mother doesn’t mind — $14.98 — he got his fourth pair of Starburys this week, a sneaker created by New York Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury. Joanne Cox brought her two teenage sons to Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear after church Sunday for the launch of Marbury’s spring line.

The NBA star “grew up in a poor neighborhood just like we did,” said Cox, who is raising the boys on her own. She says it is not easy on the wages she earns as a city traffic officer, and she has spent thousands on her sons’ shoes over the years. “Now that we got a price of $15, we’re not going higher than that.”

This is the world the 10-year NBA veteran is trying to change with his $15 shoes — a world where parents are pressured to shell out money for expensive sneakers while struggling to pay rent and buy groceries; a world where kids get robbed, shot and strangled over the latest styles. (In January, 10 Detroit middle school students were robbed of their Nike boots and Air Force One sneakers at gunpoint.)

Marbury knows it will take a while to pull off a Michael Jordan impact at a Wal-Mart price. So far, he says, he’s willing to do it one sneaker-crazed teen at a time. Starburys have been holding their own in schools and on basketball courts alongside kicks that cost 10 times as much.

Marbury is so confident of the sturdiness of his shoes that he is wearing them on the court this season. He says his pair is straight off the shelf, with no alterations or enhancements. Chicago Bulls center and four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace has also partnered with Steve & Barry’s to release his own inexpensive sneaker — Big Ben — in late August or fall.

As always, the Manolo would recommend the better quality shoes for those who can afford them, but for young peoples of limited means the Starubury sounds like the good choice.


Cary Grant on the Shoes

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends has forwarded the Manolo this
piece of wisdom from the Cary Grant.

I’m reminded of a piece of advice my father gave me regarding shoes: it has stood me in good stead whenever my own finances were low. He said, it’s better to buy one good pair of shoes than four cheap ones. One pair made of fine leather could outlast four inferior pairs and, if well cared for, would continue to proclaim your good judgement and taste no matter how old they become. It is rather like the stock market. It makes more sense to buy just one share of blue chip than 150 shares of a one-dollar stock.

It is so very true, no?


Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

Could you suggest a nice pair of tall leather boots for winter wear?


Manolo says, the Manolo has the single commandment about the boots and the shoes for the men: you cannot wear the shoes that would potentially appear in the closet of the Argentine tango pimp.

You know the sort of the shoes the Manolo is talking about, with the overly pointy toes, and the bizarre details like the maltese cross cutouts, shoes which have weird colors and are made from the exotic leathers like the wildebeest and the pit viper and the Vietnamese pot bellied pig.

Men’s shoes must be of the traditional cut, color and materials. It is the quality of the workmanship and the fineness of the details which should distinguish the men’s shoe.

Of the course, the exception to the rule is the choice of sneaker, where the man may go as wild as his infantile heart desires. Do you wish new sneakers with the hydraulic springs in the heels and USB port in the toe? Do they come in lime green with the purple laces and the Linux operating system? The Manolo says, go for it.

As for the boots for winter, the Manolo recommends the
Brando Engineer boot from Frye, for its classic styling and durable nature.

Frye Brando Engineer    Manolo Likes!  Click!


The Blunnies

Men's Original Work Boot - Stout

Manolo says, all of the recent talk of the stylish weatherproof boots reminds the Manolo that this year the Santy Claus brought the Manolo the brand new pair of the Blundstones, the Blunnies, the most famous Australian shoes you have never heard of. (Forget about the loathsome Uggs, these they are the real feetwear of the Antipodes!)

The Manolo, as you would imagine, receives many, many shoes as the gifts from the manufacturers, most of which, because he is particular about his feetwear, he tosses into the big box destined for the charity, to provide the shoes for the homeless street urchins and the out-of-work celebrity former hotties.

Occasionally, however, something will demand to be worn, and such was the case with the pair of the classic Blunnies, which the Manolo thinks handsome in the ruggedly traditional way.

Unfortunately, it is the same old problem for the Manolo, who suffers from having the excessively elegant feets, with the unusually high and graceful arches, so that even though the Blunnies they fit perfectly in the length and the width, they are painfully tight across the top of the Manolo’s foot. And so, even though they are something the Manolo would very much like to wear, it is into the box they must go.

Such are the trials of the Manolo.


Manolo the Columnist

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

Dear Manolo,

My son, who recently graduated from law school and found a job at a good firm, knows about having high quality dress shoes for the office, but he doesn’t know what sort of shoes would be appropriate for the many casual social events that his new job requires.


Manolo says, look it is the adorable new lawyer leaving the nest! See how he struggles to spread his wings!

Once, so recently, your tattered and smelly Classic Vans skaters were all the shoe you required for the socializing, mostly because you only went to the functions at which your talent for the one-handed keg-stands could be properly appreciated.

But now you are grown up, and you are being invited to the adult parties where the fancy martinis and the scotch on the rocks are being served by the stern senior partners with their steely grey hair and their sinewy second wives.

Ayyyy! You are out of your league, boy! And those Vans, they do not belong here, you are not working for the office of the publics defender!

Thus the Manolo would suggest the traditional tassel loafer from the British mod icon, Ben Sherman.

Yes, they are not the most exciting shoes, and they cannot fully express the joy you feel at being alive. But do not worry, six months of the lawyering will cure you of that.

Albion by Ben Sherman    Manolo Likes!  Click!

Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, the latest column of the Manolo it is now available at the website of the Express of the Washington Post.

Today’s topic it is the men with the big feets.

Dear Manolo,

My stepfather is despairing because of his big feet. He says he loves shoes, but he cannot find stylish, comfortable shoes that are size 14 and “medium wide.” Please help!


Manolo says, the Manolo he receives each month many dozens of the emails from the desperate womens who have giant feets. However, this it is the first time the Manolo can recall the letter asking the Manolo to help the man with the large feets.

It is the nearly universal truism that the mens take great pride in the size of the feets, as with other body parts that shall remain unnamed, the bigger the better, and indeed the Manolo himself, he has always been happy to say that he wears the manly size eleven.

The correct solution to any problem with the foot size it is the save the moneys and have the shoes custom made, however, this it is not always possible. Thus the Manolo would tell the step-father of the Tracie to do what the professional athletes do and consider the Bruno Magli. There was the reason why the O.J. Simpson shod his own size twelve feets with the shoes of the Bruno Magli.

Here is the Magonza from the Bruno Magli, the classic and handsome moccasin toe loafer, available up to the size 15 in the EEE widths.

Mogonza by Bruno Magli    Manolo Likes!  Click!


Manolo the Columnist

Manolo says, now available for the downloading at the website of the Express of the Washington Post is the latest column of the Manolo.

Today, the Manolo discusses footwears for the professor who would be stylish.

Dear Manolo,

My husband is an literature professor at a small liberal arts college who insists on wearing the typical professorial uniform, you know, the tweed jacket, the oxford shirt, the khakis, and the dullest brown rubber-soled shoes known to man. What would you suggest?


Manolo says, to the Lynn, please whatever happens, do not allow your husband professor to become the scrawny, old-before-his-time elderly man with the faded elbow patches and the grey beard, given to the dour ruminations and and the excessive chin strokings.

The Manolo asks, ubi sunt?

Where are the dapper professors of our youth?

What has happened to those engaging teachers in their elegant clothes and handsome shoes, who could inspire our provincial young peoples with their joyful and obvious conniseurship, their joie de vivre?

If the Manolo were the professor– Professor of the Super Fantastic!—he would perhaps choose as his model of style the architects, who dress in the manner that expresses the creativity and yet remains professional, so as to not frighten the natives in the building and business trades.

This style it is elegant and streamlined, however it allows for the knit ties and the unusual eye-wear, and of the course, the attractive leather shoes.

And so the Manolo he would recommend the Fairfax by the Allen-Edmonds as being the stylish shoe suitable for the professor who would be the envy of the faculty senate.

Fairfax by Allen-Edmonds     Manolo Likes!  Click!


The Next Carnivale of the Couture

Manolo says, the next Carnivale of the Couture it will be about at the About Shoes, and the title, it is near and dear to the heart of the Manolo.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the latest trends and the newest offerings from the hottest designers, there are times when even the most devout fashionista will opt for function over fashion.

So … it’s not a big night out, there’s nary a potential partner in sight, and there is no office dress code. Which shoes do you reach for when you’re only dressing to impress yourself?

For the Manolo of the informal lounging there is no comparison to the original Rod Lavers from the Adidas, but they must be in the leather and not the nylon mesh.

As for the jaunty man about the town shoes, the Manolo has recently purchased these pair of the Ballys, which he has been wearing frequently.

Breda by Bally    Manolo Likes!  Click!

Simple, handsome, relaxed, they fit the criteria of what the Manolo considers shoes worthy of the wearing, even when no one is around.


Clown Shoes

E351  by Etro   Manolo Finds Ridiculous!

Manolo says, these they may perhaps be appropriate if you were to be cast as the “2nd Travelling Salesman” in the community theatre version of The Music Man