A Gentleman's loafer, bench made by the 'Rolls Royce' of American shoe making. Nettletons ceased trading in 1984 but its pedigree lives on as a stelar example of artisanal manufacturing. Established in 1879, Nettletons became THE handmade shoe company, with Theodore Roosevelt wearing nothing else. This particular model, though from an American brand, has all the stylings of classic Italian design. Perfect for that weekend stroll along the Piazza.

If Nettletons were the American shoe company of the past then Alden is undoubtedly the King of that market today. Founded in 1884 in Massachusetts it continues strongly as a beacon of handmade, exceptional quality. These ox blood loafers have a vampiric style that give them a serious look and feel. Wear with grey flannel lacks and shetland sweater for a relaxed but never messy look.

In my opinion every man should have staples in his footwear collection - a boot, a loafer, an English brogue and these, the American brogue. Men will argue to the end of time over which style is superior. The American example with its thick sole and long-wing detail has a more robust feel than its British counter part. These date from the 1950s, the golden age of American menswear and are in fantastic condition.

Established in Wisconsin in 1922, Allen Edmonds is the quintessential American shoe brand. Edmonds gained much of its following after providing shoes to the Army and Navy in WWII, with many recipients being loyal to the brand for the rest of their lives. They are the life blood of America, the knowledge handed down from father to son, on and on. Allen Edmonds also has a huge Ivy connotation largely due to the fact that they are still producing shoes like this, the classic American penny loafer. The leather, butter soft and the slim continental style that was a hit on campuses 60 years ago, remains as modern as ever.

by Harley Almond