These Italian Leather Dress Shoes Are as Comfy as Sneakers

Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

Translation: get comfier shoes.

That’s why one company, Wolf & Shepherd, did the obvious: married sneaker-level comfort into classic Italian silhouettes. Meaning your wingtips, loafers and Chelsea boots now look great and will help you conquer the proverbial rat race. (Or a marathon. Well, half marathon. Literally. We’ll get to that below.)

W&S was started by Justin Schneider, a track-and-field star at Notre Dame who later designed hi-tech performance athletic shoes for Adidas. He’s also won a “30 Under 30” recognition from Forbes, destroying all your grumblings about millennials.

“Most every established commercial dress shoe company has tried to make a comfortable dress shoe branded with their name,” says Schneider. “There is an ethos in dress-shoe-making that says, ‘This is how things have always been done,’ so why do it differently now? We are starting from a blank slate as a brand, and have the experience from designing running shoes to back it up.”

The key to W&S? Non-traditional materials like carbon fiber, a proprietary type of memory foam and HDeva heels. It all falls under the brand’s patent-pending WolfTech (the shoe’s three-layer construction) and PhoenixTech (a system that allows customers to resole their treads in about a week after 12-18 months of regular wear).

For this time of year, Schneider suggests the brand’s Chelsea Blitz Boot in Onyx or Maple. It’s about half the weight of a typical Chelsea boot and easy to slip on and off. Also nice: the Striker, a chukka boot in “bullet” (think bourbon), the Closer (cap-toe oxford) and the Onyx Bison Ringer (loafer).

Wolf and Shepherd (2 images)

Coming up: a lightweight Italian leather combat boot with winter-lug replaceable soles, a double-monk and drivers.

Oh, and about that marathon reference: The brand hired a championship runner to try a half-marathon in leather captoe dress shoes late last year. He won.

Gimmicky? Sure. Proof of concept? Yep.