I read about Quoddy shoes for years and loved the style, but never having seen them in person I could never stomach the price. There are few places that carry them in-store, as the majority are made to order, in Quoddy, Maine. Hand sewn, the whole deal. But then I found some beautifully worn boating shoes in my size at a local thrift, and thought I'd give them a go:
And ... they were just ok. Almost a let down: extremely comfy, but maybe not my cup of tea in terms of aesthetics. Maybe my disappointment had something to do with the deerskin laces falling apart and being forced to use some inferior synthetic crap. But then I took them with me to Maine and New Brunswick, and I was sold. They handle completely differently in a rugged setting, and are very clearly ideal at sea. On both the ferry crossing and whale watching they served me to perfection, while fellow passengers were slip-sliding all over the place. And somehow they also looked cooler ... I'm definitely ordering proper replacement laces.
But the ones I really want are these (spied on archivalclothing.com):
Nothing is simple, or at least nothing involving my desires. This particular four-eyelet variant cannot even be ordered from Quoddy directly, but only through Winn Perry of Portland, OR. If anyone is considering a lavish gift, I'm a 9.5 :).