Despite the fact that our city streets are still covered in layers of frozen slop resembling that of chocolate-vanilla swirl only far less enticing--it's safe to assume that spring really is around the perpetual corner. While we ski and/or wade to work for another messy, cold week in a row, the day will dawn when we can finally retire these insulated, rubber monstrosities we've lived in for the past two months and don more attractive, less cumbersome soles on our bored, ignored feet

A sturdy, well-made pair of shoes that can take you from day to night, dressy to casual, and last you for a few solid years of wear-and-tear are as essential to every man's wardrobe as a favorite pair of blue jeans. It's surprising really, that the majority of us are more likely to spend time, effort and money on custom dress shirts and suiting, before seeking shoes made exclusively for our own unique feet. Perhaps there are better resources in locating the former than the latter and the amount of pre-made footwear available to us today is expansive, but doesn't it make perfect sense to own custom shoes? None of us share the exact same lengths in stride, toe and heel measurements nor arch height, so why, then, are we basically sharing shoes.  

For anyone looking to obtain beautiful, multi-functional footwear made exclusively for their unique soles, we highly recommend checking out Nick's Handmade Boots, coming directly out of Spokane, WA. Nick's uses locally sourced textiles and old world bespoke construction styles for each pair of boots they produce. Almost every purchase is custom made-to-order and the craftsmanship is exquisite. Nick's boots are made to last, season to season, and cross-functional from day to night. We appreciate the sturdiness in their designs, but also the nod to vintage femininity in the subtle details. Custom shoes, especially containing luxe materials like leathers and brass hardware can easily run you a cool grand or more, but Nick's are superbly priced considering the quality and sophistication put into each pair. 

Currently, so many of us are dying to ditch our boots all together and run around in a pair of easy sneaks, right? We hear you. A favorite spot on Manhattan's lower east side is Dave's Quality Meat, for one-of-a-kind sneakers produced by a very New York Centric shop. DQM opened in the Bowery district during the early 2000s with nothing but NYC and cool kicks in mind. The owner, an original New Yorker and former pro-skateboarder, catered to the streets he knew and loved and likeminded souls in search of original soles. Now a thriving retail business, DQM partners with Van's and Adidas for exclusive collaborations on footwear and clothing, while maintaining that small-shop, neighborhood-friendly vibe. The shop's decor was set up like a butcher market, hanging products on meathooks because a great looking pair of shoes are as lust-worthy as a juicy steak, we concur. Dave's continues to give back to its community, and is regularly involved with multiple charities coinciding with their products and overall brand mission. 

DQM Exclusive Adidas Sneaker