October 25, 2019

This is the first of a series of long-term reviews I’ll be posting, covering items I use on a regular basis and have owned for long enough to form a useful opinion of their value.

First up: my pair of black leather Double Oak Mills loafers.

Double Oak Mills Loafers

I bought these loafers from The Iconic on sale, and have very mixed opinions about them.

Firstly, the good: the uppers are exactly how I’d hoped they’d be. Flexible, comfortable, and blister-free from the get-go. Over the period of a month of heavy use, they’ve adopted the shape of my feet. The insoles have worn very well indeed; they look nearly new and haven’t suffered any deterioration.

Like any shoes I own they’re not just an ‘office shoe’ but have done duty as extreme as a day on my feet at the Royal Melbourne Show, often with a three-year old on my shoulders for extra load. No discomfort, no rubbing, no blisters, and at the end of the day cleaned right up with a bit of polish to wear in to the office on Monday.

On that topic, they look really good: casual enough to pair nicely with dark jeans and a sports jacket, and dressy enough to meet with any client I’d enjoy working with ;).

Unfortunately, the bad: the soles are dangerously hard and slippery.

On most surfaces - concrete, asphalt, grass - they grip well. But on certain tiled surfaces they’re very slippery indeed, even in the dry. A purposeful stride on the tiles at Flinders Street Station sees them slipping and sliding around; I once ran in them at Flinders, and fell literally head over heels!

There was also a quality issue with my pair; the heel has partially detached, just behind the instep:

Double Oak Mills Loafers - sole

This leads to a slight squeak when walking. The Iconic were awesome, here, promptly offering a full refund at the sale price.

My conclusion is that these loafers are nearly my perfect shoe. If not for the slipperiness, I’d have been happy to purchase another few pairs from The Iconic to continue using as part of my ‘work uniform’ (more on that in a later post). But as it stands I’ll be experimenting with another brand; I can’t abide shoes that are unsafe on any commonly encountered surface.