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The Shell Cordovan Derby

Kamau Hosten

Among the footwear essentials, a solid derby holds a permanent place on my list. It fits the aesthetic from more relaxed ensembles all the way to cocktail attire.

Heinrich Dinkelacker, the storied German footwear brand, reached out to me to try a piece from their collection. I’d been looking at other shoes in shell cordovan, but the sole was always a little too thin. I wanted something with a bit more heft, but still had a sleek-ish profile. The Rio Plain C was the obvious choice. It’s a genuinely lovely shoe. The last is slightly rounded, which has a classic appeal. The sole is sturdy, ideal for traipsing around New York, or anywhere really.

Rio Plain C Cordovan Derby from Heinrich Dinkelacker, Jeans from Gap

Rio Plain C Cordovan Derby from Heinrich Dinkelacker, Jeans from Gap

It’s equally at home with ripped denim as it is with a Hopsack suit. I always favor versatility in pieces over something intended for only one use. The Rio C delivers. What’s more is that it’s rather comfortable, I walked for a solid 8 miles on a Sunday and was fine. The shoes break in quickly and with relative ease, another plus towards this option.

I won’t go into the technical details, the company illustrates those nicely on the website. However, cordovan is incredibly sturdy and a great investment.