*Near new- COLE-HAAN “Fiddle Sole” “Trafton” Full Brogue Oxford: US 12D (46D)
Size: 46-46.5 [US12-12.5] [UK 11-11.5]
Styles: Brogues, Collectors Shoes/Object d'Art, Oxfords
“Fiddle Sole” Full Wing-Tip Oxford Brogue
Cole-Haan redeemed itself with the momentary offering of this beauty among their usual commonplace inventory. For a short time, in the early part of the 2010s, a limited number of oxfords of the type shown here appeared in the New York and San Francisco stores, a line of Italian-made shoes and boots of extraordinary quality and beauty from an unnamed manufacturer. These immediately garnered a cult following among American collectors and were quickly sold out everywhere, in spite of their $500-800 prices, more than double Cole-Haan’s usual prices at the time. The internet still has a dozen websites showing the shoe…all of them long sold out.
The shoes in question are the Trafton (in polished calf), as shown here, or Werner (in Scotch Grain). These are distinguished by a high, 6-reinforced eyelet vamp, somewhat larger than usual punching and pinking (zig-zag), a wide welt, a tall, almost Hungarian, toe cap, and its single most extraordinary characteristic, a visibly chiseled, small waisted “fiddle” sole. Each pair was signed by the responsible shoemaker. As if this were not enough, Cole-Haan’s own selling point was the incorporation of the, so-called, Nike Air heel, an innovation that is meant to provide a particularly soft foot-fall. Some bloggers seem to corroborate this; the shoe is said to be surprisingly comfortable in spite of it heavy construction and formal structure. Suffice it to say it appears to be (and is reported to be) extremely durable, worth the break-in period that a new pair of these almost certainly requires.
This present pair is executed in a high-polish calf that approaches patent leather in its finish but is of a much finer quality than most polished leathers. The shoe makes an immediate impression for its dramatic lines, angular sole, high vamp and rich concentration of detail. Stylistically it harkens to the first half of the 20th century but its spectacular sole has no predecessor, that it can proudly call it own.
Size Details:marked and true to US 12D, European 46D....UK 11E, for the medium width foot.
Very lightly worn...slightest rounding of the rubber heel inset. Most of its life ahead of it!