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Mark McNairy navy longwings

March 2, 2011

“Shoes should always have leather soles”. It’s a mantra that was instilled in me by the old man and it’s one I’ve always stuck to. Well, until now that is. After much thought I’ve got some red brick soled shoes in the shape of these Mark McNairy longwings.

I’d been thinking about some new shoes for a while, a pair I could wear on rainy days and not worry about getting mucky, or being covered in denim bleed. It’s something my Lodgers, as good as they are, really aren’t suited for – that milkshake suede is too nice to be getting filthy wondering around London when it’s pouring down, so that’s where these come in.

The uppers are a lovely shade of navy blue and the brogueing is very fine. They’re suede but it’s very flat, almost like Nubuck, which makes cleaning them simple – a good going over with a toothbrush sorts them out and it’s the same for the sole which is much easier to care for than leather.

And that sole, in all of it’s terracotta glory makes for a much lighter pair of shoes than your normal more traditionally soled versions. There is one slight problem though and one that I didn’t think would be the case – they are bloody lethal in the rain.

Honestly, they’re slippy as hell, much more so than leather in my opinion. The problem seems to be that whereas leather starts to gain friction as it starts to absorb water, the flat EVA soles of these just repel water, meaning that they can’t grip properly, which leads to them being a bit precarious to say the least.

So I’ve got me some shoes to wear in the rain that are a bit of a liability, which isn’t exactly what I had in mind. No matter though, they’re still getting plenty of use and I’m learning to compensate for their lack of stickyness on damp pavements. They are a really nice pair of shoes regardless, nowhere near the quality of my Lodgers, but they’re nowhere near the price either.

Plus they’re Goodyear welted so when I’ve worn these down (and I’m wearing them down rather quickly), I think I’ll get some crepe soles on them for a change, then maybe good old leather after that…

10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2011 10:39 am

    Where do you get your shoes resoled, escpecially a crepe sole? I just tried to get a Red Wing sole put onto an old pair of Trickers but can’t find anyone to do it. I’m in London. Thanks in advance. By the way, the red brick sole is very similar to the sole of an Adidas Gazelle which does the same in the wet, avoid those manhole covers.

    • March 2, 2011 11:28 am

      If you want your Trickers sorting then I’d send them to the shoe healer It’d be worth dropping them a line and seeing what they can do for you. The service is meant to be first class.

      I’m still looking for a really good cobbler in London but when I find one I’ll let you know. If anyone’s got any suggestions please let me know.

  2. Dan H permalink
    March 2, 2011 2:35 pm

    Good pick up dude. Got the navy bucks, although ultimately they’re a rebranded pair of Sanders (mine, the longwings aren’t in the Sanders catalogue).
    And yes Richard at the Shoe Healer should be able to help out the above poster.

  3. Noo permalink
    March 2, 2011 10:04 pm

    Dainite sole all the way for grip and durability, although perhaps not appearance…

  4. March 4, 2011 2:51 pm

    very nice indeed, but a liability, you said it. ah well, they look great

  5. smartypants123 permalink
    March 6, 2011 4:35 pm

    Beautiful blue, works really well with the sole. I’m with you on resoling them with crepe, they’ll look ace then.

  6. March 7, 2011 5:20 pm

    @ Dan – cheers fella. As far as I’m aware these are also Sanders, although as you say they’re not in the catalogue for some reason.

    @ Mat – cheers mate! They are great looking and I think once the sole has been changed they’ll be an excellent shoe. I guess the moral of the story is buy red brick sole shoes with care!

    @ Noo – Dainite sole is an option I might look into, it’d keep the general appearance of the shoe but stop me slipping about the place. Great suggestion, cheers.

    Or as Smartpants says, crepe. Mmmm Crepe…

  7. iain beattie permalink
    April 2, 2011 10:21 pm

    got some sanders navy bucks from oipolloi last week..thanks for the tip,i wont be wearing them out when rather than if it rains we live in england after all

  8. October 13, 2011 1:52 pm


    Did you find a cobbler/replacement for your soles afterwards?


    • October 13, 2011 2:01 pm

      No not yet as I’ve not been wearing them that much recently, I am going to get them re-soled with Crepe for next Summer though, as soon as I do I’ll post up the results.

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