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Men's Spring Fashion Issue | Metropolis / So SoCal

Telltale Footprints

Men Love Shoe Shopping, and We Have Proof

April 07, 2002|LESLEE KOMAIKO

Contrary to the beliefs of some women, men's shoes are not all alike--and neither are their footwear preferences. Men might not have Manolos (yet), but be it Orange County, the Eastside or Beverly Hills, there's a world of variety when it comes to boots, Oxfords, loafers, trainers and the men who buy them. We wore out some shoe leather tracking down area bestsellers.

Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills: Tod's Moccasin, $325 and up

"This is like a classic moccasin with a rubber sole. We have a variety of colors, but black is the most popular.

It can be paired beautifully with anything Loro Piana, as well as Zegna. It's a man, average age 35, who's buying these. It's classic, dressy casual."

--Parool Campbell, director of public relations

Zapateria Banda, Compton: Marquez de Leon Snake Ankle Boot, $150

"It's a short, pointy boot with a zipper on the side. It's authentic snake, kind of white and brown. You can feel the little scales. People from Mexico buy them. Some might be poor, but they save up for those boots. And some of the African Americans in our area have horses, so they wear boots."

--Margie Duron, landlady

Silver Feet, South Coast Plaza: Prada Sport America's Cup, $290

"This is a rubber-soled lace-up shoe, part leather and part mesh, so the shoe breathes. It's like a casual sport shoe, a step up from Nike. It comes in [solid] black or green; [and] bone, red or blue with silver mesh. Men from 20 to 50 are buying it. It's comfortable. And it's a quality shoe."

--Richard Valenciano, assistant manager

Industrial Safety Shoe Co., Huntington Park: Hy-Test Footrest, $139 and up

"This is a black boot with a plain toe, and it has a green line on the sole. The sole is polyurethane. Everything else wears out faster. The leather is kidskin. Pretty much everybody buys it. We deal with companies from Boeing [and] Raytheon to places where they work in warehouses."

--Omar Lopez, manager

Paul Owen Shoes, Baldwin Hills: Marco Vicci Ankle Boot, $99.99

"Young teenagers to older people are buying it. They can wear it with jeans or dress it up. It has an alligator print, an inside ankle zipper and a nice walking heel. It comes in black, burgundy and brown. Men today are getting very involved with colors."

--Fred Guzman, manager

Sportie L.A., Los Angeles: Nike Air Force II, $75 to $135

"The color is red, white and blue. Everyone's looking for these shoes. It's a leather high-top, retro from the '70s. They remake them now. It's the second version of the Air Force. Young people from their 20s to 40s usually wear it. It runs between $75 and $135. It's hard to get, so the prices go up."

--Eli Amzaleg, owner

Barneys New York, Beverly Hills: Prada Main Line Spazzalato, $330

"This is a black loafer with a rubber sole and a banded vamp. It has a semi-square toe. You can wear it with jeans or a suit. Our fashion customer is buying it--the guy who's buying Gucci, Jil Sander suits, Prada suits. Not the Armani customer."

--Don McCathrion, manager, men's furnishings and shoes,

Country General Store, Van Nuys: Tony Lama Caiman Hornback Alligator Boot, $599

"This is a traditional cowboy boot. The foot is made of Caiman alligator. These boots have little bumps, like little horns, all over. My customers go for that macho look. We have a lot of the professional-type person who wears them with a three-piece suit, attorneys who wear them to court or with faded blue jeans.

We sell a lot in black.The runner-up [color] would be peanut."

--Rick Stanoff, owner

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