The folks at BeltOutlet.com asked if there were any of their products we’d like to review, so I asked for a pair of Tingley overshoes. Since I work from home, I rarely have to commute in foul weather while wearing dress shoes, but I know this is a persistent problem for many of our readers.
Overshoes were a popular product back when men uniformly wore real shoes to work. These days, they’re more of a niche product, appealing to a small group of people: those who are professional enough to wear dress shoes, but also work somewhere urban enough that walking outdoors is part of their regular routine.
So: on the the Tingleys. They’re not as ugly as I thought they would be. I mean, they’re ugly, don’t get me wrong, but in the context of a business suit, they’re suprisingly unobtrusive. I also found them pretty easy to get on, even over the clunky Brooks Brothers white bucks I’m wearing today. That said: in a non-black-shoe context, they’d stick out like a sore thumb.
The most attractive option in the category is Swims, which are a bit sleeker, have a flocked lining, and come in a variety of interesting colors. They’re a valiant attempt at making overshoes almost attractive. Swims, though, retail at about a hundred dollars, compared to just $35 for Tingley’s boot model, and $25 for their lower-cut option.
Ultimately, I think the Tingleys are a practical solution to a practical problem. With a business suit and a trench, they’ll look like a man trying to reach his destination dry. Dignified, but not exactly dashing.