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The Definitive Shoe Wardrobe

Christina Garofalo

Any New Yorker with an appreciation for well-made footwear knows Leffot, a West Village shoe boutique that features a unique mix of some of the world’s best international footwear brands, including selections from venerable, time-honored English names to newer up-and-coming labels. Carefully curated by owner Steven Taffel, the common thread among his selections is exceptional quality and craftsmanship. Here, Taffel shares his top picks in men’s footwear this fall. (212.989.4577, www.leffot.com)

RR: Which pair of shoes are you most excited about for fall?
ST: This month, we will be the first and only U.S. retailer to carry a collection from Austria-based shoemaker Saint Crispin’s. Their shoes are completely handmade and extremely limited production—they make just 10 pairs of shoes per day. Each pair comes with a set of hand-carved shoe trees and retail from $1,600.

RR: What is the most versatile boot for the upcoming season?
ST: The Galway by Edward Green (about $1,400). It is a classic leather, English country-style, lace-up boot fitted with Dainite soles, which are embedded with rubber studs that provide great traction in wet weather. The grainy texture around the top half gives them a stylish edge for weekend wear; but the tapered toe and rich, polished finish on the lower half make them formal enough to wear with a suit.

RR: What is the shoe no guy should live without?
ST: Alden’s cherry brown longwing—wingtip stitching that wraps around the entire shoe—made from cordovan leather ($645). I have eight versions of this shoe in all different colors. The leather is supple yet long wearing, and it is tanned by Horween in Chicago—the oldest and longest-standing tanner in the U.S. (operating since 1905)—and has the perfect amount of shine.

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Photo by Ted Morrison