Explaining my complicated relationship with Tod’s iconic loafers
As the owner of two pairs of Tod’s iconic Gommino driving shoes, I can attest to their stylishness. For me, they are the epitome of casual sophistication – they just look great. There’s a reason you perpetually see them included in best loafers roundups. But beyond the superficial, they’re super comfortable as well. What’s not to love?
Well, I’ll tell you, though if you’ve ever owned a pair, you already know that your relationship with the Gommino can be a complicated and frustrating one. Why? Just see below.
They wear out. In and of itself, this is not a terrible thing. All shoes wear out, after all. But my Tod’s shoes seem to wear out much more quickly than any other pair I’ve had. And it’s always on the heel, which never looks good.
I’ve done a fair amount of studying up on Tod’s wearing out and it’s worth remembering that not all Tod’s are made for walking. The classic Gommino, which just has the nubs, is not a walking shoe. The City Gommino, on the other hand, has a rubber sole, which makes it much better for bumping around the city.
One of the questions that people routinely ask related to the shoes wearing out is: are they better if used for driving only? I’d say, not necessarily.
As I mentioned, one of the reasons I love my Tod’s is that they are so comfortable. Hanging around the house, on a plane (or train), and, yes, when I’m driving. When I had my manual transmission 3 Series, it was nice to be able to really feel the clutch. Yet when driving, the heel is getting a lot of wear. And since that always seems to be the first part of my Tod’s that wears out, I find that there is absolutely no longevity benefit if they’re just worn situationally for driving.
Now, if that situational wearing was just as a stylish slipper substitute around the house or lounging around your resort on vacation, that would probably be a different story.
I contacted the Tod’s store on Madison Avenue to see what the options were in terms of getting the shoes repaired. The good news is that they can be repaired. The store recommended an outside shoe repair shop that they always use – repairs aren’t done in-house or by the brand, though if you have an issue soon after buying, they will evaluate whether or not to warranty the shoes – and here’s how it’s dealt with.
If the wear or damage is to the sole, the pebbles will be removed and a rubber sole applied, making your regular Gommino more or less the city version. In the case of the wear or damage being to the heel you have two options: they can wrap the heel in rubber or they can replace the worn leather with another piece. So the choice is to give up a little of the stylishness for more durability in the case of rubber or know that you’ll have to get them fixed again when the new leather wears out. It’s a choice you need to make for yourself.
So, the big question: are Tod’s shoes worth it? Again, this is a question only you can answer for yourself. You need to weigh a few things – the cost, how often you want to wear them and if you’re willing to accept the fact that they’ll wear out and will need to be repaired (or discarded).
Chime in: are Tod’s shoes worth the money?
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style